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A guide to installing add-ons in Affinity apps

If you’ve bought add-ons from the Affinity Store and want to know how to install them into your Affinity software, you’ve come to the right place.

The Affinity suite provides the ability to install add-ons purchased from the Affinity Store directly into your Affinity apps via the Account window, making it fast and easy to start using your add-ons.

Traditional manual installation is also available for add-ons downloaded as files from the Affinity Store website and third parties.


In this guide


Add-on types and compatibility

Affinity supports several types of add-on.

Assets are stored design elements that can be added to any open document simply by dragging and dropping them from the Assets Panel. They can be installed in all Affinity apps.

Brushes created for Affinity come in two types: raster brushes and vector brushes. You can use raster brushes in Affinity Photo and in Affinity Designer’s Pixel Persona, but vector brushes work only in Affinity Designer, in its Designer Persona.

Check the Affinity Store product page for your brushes to confirm whether they were made for Affinity Designer or Affinity Photo to determine where you’ll be able to use them.

Affinity Publisher’s StudioLink technology makes brushes installed into Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo available automatically in the app’s Designer Persona and Photo Persona.

Document templates are pre-made documents from which new documents can be created and then edited. Like a regular document, each template can contain its own pages/artboards, text styles, assets, swatches palettes and other custom content.

Folders that contain templates can be added to any Affinity app’s New Document dialog (on desktop) or Home screen (on iPad).

A look-up table (LUT) is data that enables transformation of pixel color values to change the aesthetic of images. LUTs can be installed only into Affinity Photo.

Macros are recorded sequences of operations that perform corrective or creative effects. Their purpose is to reduce time spent repeating processes by automating steps instead. They can be installed only into Affinity Photo.

Styles are sets of effects, fills, colors and other properties that can be instantly applied to an object. They can be installed into all Affinity apps.

Swatches Palettes make it easy to store and share color selections. A swatches palette can be installed into all Affinity apps as:

  • An Application Palette, which is saved within your Affinity app and available to any document.
  • A Document Palette, which is saved within the current document.
  • A System Palette (macOS only), which is saved to your macOS user account and available in other apps.

How to install add-ons using Account

You’ll need to register your app and sign into your app’s Account feature using your Affinity ID to use this service. Follow our License Activation & Registration Explained guide to do this.

Using the Account feature, add-ons can be installed manually or automatically. A persistent Internet connection is not required to use installed add-ons, nor do you need to remain signed into your account to use them.

To open the Account window:

  • On desktop, select Accounton the Toolbar.
  • On iPad, tap Account on Affinity’s Home screen.

With your app signed into your account, the window lists all the add-ons registered to your Affinity ID.

Account window

From here, you can choose which content is installed, and customize your app's installation behavior. The default behavior is never to automatically download content, which avoids unwanted use of any metered data allowance.

When an add-on is installed via Account, it is automatically available in all Affinity 2 apps on the same device that are compatible with its type.

Automatic versus manual installation

Below the list of add-ons, you can configure your app so that add-ons are installed automatically or manually.

You might choose automatic installation if your Internet connection is unmetered and your device has plenty of free storage.

Optionally, you can impose a maximum size for each add-on that is automatically installed and manually install larger items from Account as needed.

Choose manual installation if you want full control of which add-ons are taking up storage and to manage the amount of content that is presented to you in Affinity’s user interface.

To automatically install add-ons

  1. On the Account window, below the My add-ons list:
    • On desktop, select Always install available content.
    • On iPad, choose Download available content on Wi-Fi or Always download available content from the pop-up menu on the left.
  2. (Optional) Choose a maximum size from the pop-up menu on the right.

To manually install add-ons:

Either:

  • Click the cloud iconnext to each required add-on or bundle to download the item.
  • Select Download all from the My add-ons list’s Preferences menuto download all items currently registered to your Affinity ID and compatible with the app you’re using.

Understanding status icons

Each add-on listed on the Account window displays an icon that indicates its current installation status.

Some items in the list are bundles that contain multiple add-ons. You can install all or some items from a bundle. To see a bundle’s contents so you can choose what to install, click/tap the arrowon its left side.

  • Click to download the add-on or bundle. (A green dot on the icon means only some add-ons from the bundle are installed.)
  • The item is installed and ready to use.
  • The item failed to download. Click/tap the icon to retry.
  • The add-on is provided in a file format that does not install into a panel. Click/tap the icon to download the add-on from the Affinity Store in your web browser and then follow any included instructions on how to use it. For example, overlays may be provided as image files, which can be added to documents via your app’s Place command or by dragging and dropping them from your system’s file manager.
Tip: Any installed add-on, even if it was installed automatically, can be uninstalled by clicking its status icon. Note that this will uninstall the add-on from all Affinity 2 apps on your device.

About the Preferences menu

Various advanced features for managing your add-ons and Affinity Store account are available from the My add-ons list’s Preferences menu (on desktop,on iPad).

If an Affinity Store purchase that is compatible with the Affinity app in use is not listed, choose Re-sync library from the Preferences menu.

By default, only Affinity Store purchases compatible with the Affinity app in use are listed. To see all your content purchases, select Preferences and select Show incompatible packs.

All add-ons installed via Account can be removed from all Affinity 2 apps on your device by selecting Uninstall all from the Preferences menu.

About add-ons downloaded as files

Add-ons from the Affinity Store (and third-party providers) can also be downloaded as files using your web browser and manually installed via the part of your Affinity app that corresponds to their type.

Downloading Affinity Store add-ons this way enables you to keep a backup that can be installed at any time, e.g. when an Internet connection is unavailable. The same methods also apply to add-ons downloaded from third-party sources.

Extracting add-ons from a ZIP archive

Downloads from the web may be provided in the compressed ZIP format and need to be extracted (decompressed) before they can be installed. To do this:

  • In Finder on macOS, double-click the archive to extract its contents to the same folder as the archive.
  • In File Explorer on Windows, right-click the archive and choose Extract All, then follow the on-screen instructions to extract the archive’s contents to your required location.
  • In Files on iPadOS, tap the archive to extract its contents to the same folder as it.
Tip: On macOS and iPadOS, if an archive contains multiple files, they are extracted to a folder named after the archive. If an archive contains a single file and you can’t find it in the same folder as the archive, try sorting the folder by Date Added (on macOS) or Date (on iPadOS).

How to install add-ons via Import Content

In Affinity 2, many types of add-on (assets, brushes, macros, macro categories, styles and swatches palettes) can be installed into their respective panels via a single command.

To import:

  1. Do one of the following:
    • On desktop, select Import Content from the File menu.
    • On iPad, from Affinity’s Home screen, tap the app icon (top left) and select Import Content.
  2. Navigate to and select the files you wish to import.
  3. Click/tap Open.
Importing add-ons into Affinity software on desktop (left) and iPad (right) via Import Content

Other types of add-on in Affinity 2 (document templates, fonts, LUTs and LUT categories) and all types of add-on in Affinity 1 are installed via the part of the user interface that corresponds to their type. For instructions, expand How to install add-ons via panels below.

How to install add-ons via panels

Each type of add-on is installed via a dedicated part of the user interface – in most cases, by selecting an Import command from the Preferences menu of the panel that corresponds to their type.

Importing assets into Affinity software on desktop (left) and iPad (right)

To begin installing

Follow the steps below that correspond to the types of your add-on and device, and then (except for fonts) continue to Selecting files to install.

If the steps refer to a panel that is not on screen:

  • On desktop, select the panel’s name from the Window menu.
  • On iPad, tap the panel’s icon near the screen’s right edge. To identify panels by name, press and hold the question markat the lower right.
Tip: Alternatively, on desktop you can install assets, brushes, macro categories, styles or swatches palettes by dragging and dropping one or more files onto your Affinity app’s main window.
Installing assets

File extensions: .afassets

To import on desktop:
  • On the Assets Panel, select Import Assets from the Preferences menu.
To import on iPad:
  • On the Assets Panel, select Import Category from the Preferences menu.
Installing brushes

File extensions: .afbrushes, .abr

To import on desktop or iPad:
  • On the Brushes Panel, select Import Brushes from the Preferences menu.
Installing document templates

File extensions: .aftemplate

Tip: Create a template folder for each project you work on to keep your templates organized in Finder/Explorer and your Affinity software’s New Document dialog.
To import on desktop:
  1. Use Finder (macOS), File Explorer (Windows) or Files (iPadOS) to move the document template files to a folder for long-term storage.
  2. On the New Document dialog (on desktop) or your Affinity app’s Home screen (on iPadOS), select Templates.
  3. Select Add template folder.
Installing fonts

File extensions on desktop: as supported by your operating system

File extensions on iPad: .otf (OpenType), .ttf (TrueType)

To import on macOS:
  • For an individual font, double-click its file and choose Install Font on the resulting dialog.
  • For multiple fonts, open the Font Book app (included with macOS), click Add fonts (+) on the app’s toolbar, locate and select the font files, then click Open.
  • Drag one or more font files and drop them onto the Font Book app’s icon.
To import on Windows:
  • In an Explorer window, browse to the font files to be installed.
  • Select one or more of the files.
  • Right-click one of the files and select Install—please note you may require administrator permission.

Please note you may require administrator permission.

If your installed fonts are unavailable in Affinity, confirm in your font manager that they are enabled, then quit and reopen Affinity.

To import on iPad:
  1. On your Affinity app’s Home screen, tap Preferences, select Fonts and then tap the cloud icon .
  2. Navigate to the font files to install.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To install one font file, tap it.
    • To install multiple font files, tap Select, tap the files and then tap Open.

The fonts will be available in all Affinity 2 apps on your iPad.

Installing LUTs (look-up tables)

File extensions (one LUT per file): .cube, .csp, .3dl, .look

File extensions (one LUT category per file): .afluts

To import on desktop:
  • On the Adjustment Panel, click the LUT adjustment, click Options, then do one of the following:
    • For a one-LUT file, select Import LUTs.
    • For a LUT category file, select Import LUT Category.
To import on iPad:
  • On the Adjustments Panel, select LUT from the pop-up menu, then do one of the following:
    • For a one-LUT file, select Import LUT from the Preferences menuon the category into which you wish to import it.
    • For LUT category file, select Import Category from the panel's Preferences menu.
Installing macros

File extensions (one macro per file, desktop only): .afmacro

File extensions (one category per file, desktop and iPad): afmacros

To import on desktop:
  • For a one-macro file, click Import on the Macro Panel.
  • For a macro category file, select Import Macros from the Library Panel's Preferences menu.
To import on iPad:
  • For a macro category file, on the Macros Panel, select Import Macros from the Preferences menu.
    Tip: The Macros Panel on iPad works only with macro category files (.afmacros). If a third party supplies you with an individual macro (.afmacro) to use on iPad, either ask them to resupply as an .afmacros file or import it into a category in Affinity Photo for desktop and export the category to an .afmacros file.
Installing styles

File extensions: .afstyles

To import on desktop:
  • On the Styles Panel, select Import Styles from the Preferences menu.
To import on iPad:
  • On the Layer FX Panel, tap Styles, then select Import Styles from the Preferences menu.
Installing swatches palettes

File extensions: .afpalette, .ase (Adobe Swatch Exchange), .clr (macOS only)

To import on desktop:
  1. On the Swatches Panel, open the Preferences menu.
  2. Select the palette type you want to create from the Import Palette submenu.
To import on iPad:
  1. On the Color Panel, tap Swatches.
  2. From the panel’s Preferences menu, select the palette type you want to create from the Import Palette submenu.

Selecting files to install

After following the instructions for your add-on’s type:

  1. Navigate to and select the add-on file you wish to install.
  2. Click/tap Open.

After installing

Importing most types of add-on creates one or more new categories or swatches palettes on the corresponding panels. You may need to select a category to see your content.

Add-ons installed from files are automatically linked to, i.e. made available in, all Affinity 2 apps on the same device with which their type is compatible. For example, brushes are linked but macros and LUT categories imported into Affinity Photo are not.

Template folders must be added separately to each app in which you wish to use them.

Still need help?

For other types of content, such as overlays and images, please refer to any instructions included in the download.

If you have read this guide and need additional help installing content downloaded from the Affinity Store, please contact us on affinitysupport@serif.com.

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