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5 things you should know about Affinity Publisher 1.9

There are some incredibly useful updates packed into the new Affinity Publisher 1.9 release. In this article, we run through the top five features and explain how to use them.

We’ve just updated all Affinity apps across all platforms to version 1.9, and as you’ve come to expect from our version one updates, they are free to existing users on the platform(s) a licence has been purchased for. If you need help updating to 1.9, it’s worth checking out this handy guide—How to install Affinity updates.

Let’s take a look at what’s new in Affinity Publisher 1.9.

1. Save As Package

Packaging your work is so useful as it collates your document alongside all used images and font resources into one folder for sharing with printers, collaborating with colleagues and archiving your files. With Publisher’s new Save As Package option, you can do this in seconds.

In the package dialog, you can see a full summary of what is included in your package including the number of fonts, linked images, modified images and whether you have any missing fonts or images—which is really handy to know.

In this video, Emily shows us how to package a file, share packaged files and make edits.

2. Data Merge

With the introduction of Data Merge, you can now integrate text and image links into your document by merging from an external data source (Text/CSV, JSON and Excel files are currently supported). This is a huge time-saver for creating documents composed of many pages of data that are structured in a similar way, such as catalogues, business cards, certificates, badges, tickets, form letters and envelopes.

You can choose to use one or multiple data sources in a document, to use all or a specific range of records, and whether to update the data in your document if the original source file has been edited—all within the Data Merge Manager.

Publisher also has a new Data Merge Layout Tool which can be used to quickly and easily draw out rows and columns to create a table to hold your data.

Emily walks you through how to use Publisher’s new Data Merge feature and a few different scenarios for its use.

3. PDF passthrough/placed scale

It’s now possible to flag your imported PDFs for PDF passthrough. This ensures that the file will be a perfect representation of the original PDF when exporting, regardless of whether you have the embedded fonts installed or not.

This is a big deal for publications such as magazines, brochures and instruction manuals that feature advertisements or technical diagrams often provided in PDF format.

PDF passthrough

In 1.9, you can also see and edit the scale percentage of any placed files in the Context toolbar (previously only available for images). This allows you to reset the scaling to 100% and is especially helpful for architectural documents featuring detailed plans or advertisements being supplied to a magazine in PDF or PSD format which need to be a specific size.

In this video, Emily runs through how to place content and edit its scale, as well as how to flag placed PDF files for PDF passthrough.

4. PDF Bookmarks

PDF Bookmarks provide a listing of flagged content present within a PDF document and are a great tool to save digital readers time as it allows them to skip to certain parts of a document such as an order form. In 1.9 they can now be added via the Anchor Panel or automatically generated from a Table of Contents.

Emily talks us through the different ways to create, manage and export PDF Bookmarks in this tutorial.

5. Convert Pixel Layer to Image Node

Instead of remaining embedded within your document, any pixel layers you have in Publisher can now be converted to an image, which can now be linked to reduce overall file size or collected and packaged as a resource to share externally.

This video explains how to convert a pixel layer to an image node and how you can use image nodes with the Resource Manager.

And that’s not all…

There are so many things to talk about in Affinity Publisher 1.9 that we couldn’t stick to just five! Along with much faster IDML import, there’s more great stuff like:

Configurable Bleed and Margin Guide Colours

Another new feature in 1.9 is the ability to change the colour of your document’s bleed and margin guides to tie in with brand colours or make them more visible over certain colours or images.

You can set one colour for all guides throughout your document using master pages or pick different colours for different spreads, and if you change your mind, these colours can be edited at any time.

There are many colour options you can use to tailor your guides such as the colour picker, HSL wheel and swatches, which you can see in this video.

Studio Presets

You can now save your favourite workspace setups and easily switch between them with Studio Presets.

If you find that you work with a different set of tools for different tasks, then this feature could save you heaps of time! For example, if you often create interactive documents, you might benefit from a separate studio layout where Publisher’s Hyperlinks, Anchors and Index panels are brought to the fore.

Using the Studio Presets Manager, you can easy load, rename or delete your custom workspaces or reset to the default Publisher studio setup at any time.

Emily shows us how to make the most of Studio Presets in Publisher.

Check out our 1.9 Affinity creative sessions

For even more information about this latest release, check out the 1.9 Affinity creative sessions led by our in-house product experts. They run through all the major updates to each app, and you can stream them at any time on our official YouTube channel.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Watch more tutorials

We have a fantastic range of video tutorials designed to help you get the most out of Affinity Publisher 1.9 on our website.

Watch our tutorials

Find out more about our 1.9 updates:

Not got Affinity Publisher yet?

Why not find out more about our publishing powerhouse, or sign up for our 10-day free trial on the Affinity website.

Learn more about Affinity Publisher