After spending the past couple of days working on a couple of documents for clients I wanted to share a quick note of appreciation for the Affinity apps by Serif. One of the documents was a newsletter, the other an annual report, both created in Affinity Publisher. What a joy to use! In fact, all three Affinity apps have become my primary apps for any graphic design. Affinity Photo is probably the least used but still very handy for photo editing in the context of images being used for design projects. Affinity Designer for smaller 1-2 page documents. And Affinity Publisher for newsletters, annual reports.

All three are excellent replacements for Adobe’s subscription apps and are really affordable as one time purchases, less than $60 each and available for Mac, Windows and iPadOS. The iPad apps sell for less and currently, Publisher, while announced for iPad, has yet to be released. It’s expected sometime in 2022. As I do most of work on the iPad I appreciate that the iPad apps are fully featured with nearly 100 feature parity to the desktop apps. I’m really looking forward to having Publisher on the iPad.

Something to note about the Affinity apps is that the file format works across all the apps with no conversion or exporting necessary. From Windows to Mac to iPad, an Affinity document opens up on any of the platforms, in any of the apps. It’s fantastic.

Screenshot of a newsletter document being layed out in Affinity Publisher

Also worth noting, Publisher has a feature called Studio Link that comes in very handy. In the top left corner of the Publisher app window are the icons for the other two Affinity Apps: Photo and Designer. If I’ve got an image in my current Publisher document that needs to be adjusted I can click the Photo icon and Publisher goes into a Photo mode. It doesn’t open up that app but the interface changes to match that app’s tools. If I’ve got an embedded/linked external Affinity Designer document in my Publisher document, say a vector infographic, I can click into the Designer mode and suddenly Publisher now looks like the Designer app and I have all of the tools found in the Designer app available to edit my graphic. With Studio Link, Publisher becomes those apps with the specific tools of those apps for editing images or vector assets. It happens instantly and seamlessly.

Of course, all that said, Publisher is quite capable on it’s own with many of the tools of those other apps already integrated. This is important to note because the Studio Link feature will only work if the user has all three apps installed. If you only have Publisher though you’ll still have many of the same capabilities.

A last note of something I first noticed years ago when switching to the Affinity apps and have appreciated over the years and that’s just how smooth they are to use. Not just in the above mentioned aspects of file compatibility across apps and platforms, but in terms of the speed of the apps. While fully featured they feel so well optimized. On the iPad the apps open in to a splash screen which then opens a recent files view. Time to open a file from tapping the icon in the dock is less than 3 seconds.