Bye-bye, InDesign

This is a little off-topic, but I know a lot of us require DTP heavy lifting, and probably always will need to finish large projects outside of Dorico.

Just a quick side note to say that, while I used InDesign for the past 5+, I’ve been using Affinity Publisher for the past two weeks, and I’m never going back.

Little things make a huge difference. For example, scrolling behavior (including modifier keys) is identical to Dorico. InDesign’s behavior here drove me nuts. And master pages in AP are so much more intuitive, IMO.

Publisher integrates with Designer, so all the functionality feels the same. There’s a lot of cohesion between programs too.

And while InDesign is $35 a month ($21 if you pay for 12 months at once), Publisher is something like $50 for a perpetual license.

I’m still a newcomer to Publisher, but although I’ve labored for years to learn the “correct way” to do things in InDesign, I already feel just as efficient in Publisher, or more so.


A very fitting typo, considering the topic.


Haha, too quick for my edit.


I’m glad it’s going to work out for you, Dan.

Sending a pre-flight to my printers now to double-check before I start on the next big one. Fingers crossed…


Ok, I’m just completing my first hymnal in Affinity Publisher. It’s 390 pages, with PDFs placed from Dorico exports. A few thoughts:

  1. Crashes still happen, perhaps slightly more frequently than ID. But Autosave works fine, and frequent manual saving is a good idea anyways.
  2. There are a handful of small annoyances in workflow that I think are more than just preferences. Similar to how adding a page at the beginning of a project in Dorico resets page overrides… yeah, that’s a thing in AP too. Lesson learned.
  3. It’s a resource hog, but in odd ways. RAM usage is easily 20 GB. My laptop is an i7 Xeon and the CPU is getting a workout. Exporting the final PDF from InDesign used to take 15 minutes, but in AP it takes 5 seconds… and yet saving the file can take 5 minutes. Weird.

Overall though, I vastly prefer it to InDesign. So much faster, and the workflow generally makes much more sense to me.

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This surprises me. I literally cannot remember the last time AP crashed on me. I wonder if it has anything to do with mac vs. windows build… but I can tell you that on mac it’s very stable. Then again, I’m also not working on 400 page PDFs, so that could be partly to blame too.

Yeah, the crashes started when the document got bigger. I think I need to lower the RAM allotment in AP as well. I have 32 GB, but I don’t know how far I can push it.

Thank you Dan for this information. If you have a moment, could you tell us what your procedures are?
Is each song a separate Dorico/PDF file, or do you have a number of flows in a single PDF? What settings for import? Is there anything unexpected you have to do or check once they are all placed? How is your Table of Contents created? Do you have small “cue” size beginning fragments of each song in your TOC or elsewhere as reference?
Thanks :slight_smile:

One project per song, all using the same template that I created with a lot of custom settings, and margins and such.

I import them as linked PDFs, adding song numbers as I go, as well as topic headings. I already have the song titles in a spreadsheet, so I generate the indexes for those. No incipits.

Thanks Dan for your reply and good to know AP works as it should now. I’d rather use the control in AP instead of doing it all in Dorico. (I used to have InDesign, but for the amount of use, it was not worth it. I’ve been waiting for AP to progress—obviously it has now.)
Thank you for creating this thread, although I have been following the other related ones.

this is exactly how i felt leaving Illustrator for Designer.

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