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What’s new in Affinity?

This page details everything you need to know about new features and enhancements added to the apps.

These updates are free to anyone who already owns V2. You should automatically be prompted to update to the latest version of the software when opening your app, but if you’re having issues, please check out this article. For new customers, or those wishing to upgrade from V1 to V2, check out our purchase options.

Want to have your voice heard before the next update? Join our beta program!

2.4

Free update – February 2024

Version 2.4 brings some key new features and improvements to the Affinity suite, which you can read all about below.

Layer States added to Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher Available on desktop only

Windows and macOS

Already a feature in Photo, the States Panel is an exciting addition to Designer and Publisher, particularly useful for managing different variations of a project or campaign.

Previously if you wanted to toggle between artboards in Designer or spreads in Publisher, you would need to toggle the visibility of the appropriate layers on each one separately – a tedious task when you’re working from many different artboards/spreads. But now, the new States Panel gives you a much better way to work since you can:

  • Capture the current layer visibility across your document
  • Create queries based on various criteria to make a selection or toggle visibility of layers

Additional notes (including changes to existing feature in Photo):

  • As well as toggling visibility of queries, there is an additional button to select all layers that fulfil the criteria specified in the query. This is also a new function now available in Affinity Photo.
  • For those who used the States Panel in Affinity Photo, you will notice we have changed the name of what were previously called ‘Smart States’ to ‘Queries’.
DWG and DXF export added to Affinity Designer Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

Great news for architects and other designers – Affinity Designer now supports both DWG and DXF export! Available from both File->Export and the Export Persona, this means outlines created in Affinity can now be easily exported for use in various CAD applications as well as utilities for things such as vinyl cutters, plotters and CNC tools.

It’s important to note that both these file formats are primarily concerned with vector outline data, with limited support for many of the features Affinity offers. Because of this – as well as some of the other fundamental differences in the file formats such as layer structure – we do not consider this a format which is suitable to round trip in Affinity and wouldn’t recommend collaborating with an AutoCAD user on the same DWG file.

That said, within export, we do offer various options on how to deal with some of the unsupported features/differences in the file format.

Details of these can be found below:

Layers

All entities in DWG/DXF belong in a layer. There is always a default ‘Layer 0’ in a valid DWG/DXF file. Affinity also has layers. This setting determines how Affinity layers are mapped to DWG layers, and therefore which DWG layer an exported item belongs in.

Setting Behavior
Setting: None Behavior: All exported items end up in Layer 0.
Setting: Top level only Behavior: As each item is exported, Affinity will search for the item’s parent layers in the Layers Panel. If the item isn’t the ancestor of an Affinity layer, it ends up in Layer 0; otherwise, it ends up in a layer with the same name as the top-most Affinity layer.
Setting: Any Behavior: Similar to above, but instead of the top-most Affinity layer, it uses the Affinity layer that is closest to the exported item.
Setting: Any named Behavior: As above, but only Affinity layers that have a name are treated as candidates.

Gradient Strokes

Determines what to do with strokes with a gradient fill applied, which DWG does not support.

Setting Behavior
Setting: Simplify Behavior: Applies a simplified gradient.
Setting: Replace with solid Behavior: Replaces the gradient with a solid fill of the color of the gradient’s first stop.
Setting: Ignore Behavior: Removes the stroke from the output.

Gradient Fills

Determines what to do with fills with a gradient fill applied.

Setting Behavior
Setting: Simplify Behavior: Applies a simplified gradient.
Setting: Replace with solid Behavior: Replaces the gradient with a solid fill of the color of the gradient’s first stop.
Setting: Ignore Behavior: Removes the fill from the output.

Bitmap Strokes

Determines what to do with strokes with a bitmap fill applied, which DWG does not support.

Setting Behavior
Setting: Replace with solid Behavior: Replaces the stroke with a solid fill of middle gray.
Setting: Ignore Behavior: Removes the stroke from the output.

Bitmap Fills

Determines what to do with fills with a bitmap fill applied, which DWG does not support.

Setting Behavior
Setting: Replace with solid Behavior: Replaces the bitmap fill with a solid fill of middle gray.
Setting: Ignore Behavior: Removes the fill from the output.

Pressure Strokes

Determines what to do with strokes with a pressure profile applied, which DWG does not support.

Setting Behavior
Setting: Expand Behavior: Expands the stroke with its pressure profile. The expanded stroke is then exported as a hatch.
Setting: Ignore and clamp Behavior: Drops the pressure profile from the stroke. The line weight is then clamped to the DWG maximum of 2.11mm.

Overweight Strokes

Determines what to do with strokes with a line weight > 2.11mm, which DWG does not support.

Setting Behavior
Setting: Expand Behavior: Expands the stroke. The expanded stroke is then exported as a hatch.
Setting: Clamp Behavior: Clamps the line weight to a maximum of 2.11mm.

Dashes Strokes

Determines what to do with strokes with a dash pattern applied. (DWG supports dash patterns, but DWG dashes do not scale automatically with line weight, as they do in Affinity.)

Setting Behavior
Setting: Keep Behavior: Approximates the dash pattern.
Setting: Expand Behavior: Expands the dashed stroke. The dashes are then exported as a hatch.
Setting: Make continuous Behavior: The dashes are ignored and the continuous line type is applied to the exported curve.

Scale dash patterns

If any line weight adjustment is made to an exported curve (e.g. it is clamped to the 2.11mm maximum), you may expect the dashes to stay the same length, or you may prefer them to scale automatically as they do in Affinity. The former is similar to AutoCAD’s behavior – when you change an entity’s line weight, it does not recompute the dashes, which is effectively the opposite of Affinity’s behavior. If ’Scale dash patterns’ is on, Affinity’s behavior is used, so dashes will be scaled down if the line weight had to be scaled down.

Apply drawing scale

When enabled, the drawing scale is honored. If you export a rectangle that is one inch wide and your drawing scale is 1:10, the rectangle will be exported 10 inches wides. Please note that Affinity documents support multiple drawing scales within the same document, which cannot be honored in a DWG/DXF file, so only the first/common drawing scale is applied.

Set selection box Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

Previously when you cycled your selection box, it was only a temporary operation. Now you can make your selection permanent by using a new ‘set selection box’ command from the ‘cycle selection box’ choices.

In the select menu, you’ll now see two options:

  • Cycle selection box (this was the existing option)
    • shortcut: .
  • Set selection box (the new option)
    • macOS/iPad shortcut: + .
    • Windows shortcut: Ctrl + .

Desktop

iPad

Use case example: You have two shapes which are rotated by the same amount. When they are selected, the selection box is oriented to match the shape's rotation by default. Now, if you want to permanently make those shapes have a selection box which is oriented to your page, you can cycle to regular bounds and then ‘Set Selection Box’, which will do that every time you select those items in future.

Original

Regular bounds

Set to selection box

Additional notes:

  • As well as cycling to the base box and regular bounds of an object, if you have a grid set which has a different rotation to your page (or you’re working on an isometric plane for example), you will also get the option to cycle and set the selection box to be aligned with the current planar bounds of the selection.
  • If you have a multiple selection which includes objects rotated by different amounts and you wish to set your selection box for all objects in your selection to match the orientation of one of them, you can set the one you want to match to be your key object. Then when you cycle your selection box, the ‘base box’ option will match that object's rotation.

Cycle to base box

Cycle to planar bounds

Double-click / tap to switch from Node to Move Tool Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

When in Move Tool, double-clicking a vector object takes you into Node Tool. We’ve now made the reverse possible so that a double-click on an object while in Node Tool takes you back into Move Tool.

Filename available as variable in Export Persona Available on desktop only

Windows and macOS

In Export Persona, ‘Filename’ is now available as a token variable for building either folder paths or exported filenames of your slices. This is available with two options:

  1. Document Name = the name of the document without the file extension
  2. Document Filename = the name of the document including the file extension

For example, if you have a document called ‘Social Ads.afdesign’ which contains artboards named ‘Version 1’, ‘Version 2’, etc. you can now specify your path to be Document name like below:

This will automatically create a folder called ‘Social Ads’ with your slices exported within it:

  • Social Ads/Version 1.png
  • Social Ads/Version 2.png
  • etc.

You can also use these tokens as part of your exported file names, if you set up as shown in the black dialog box below:

That would result in your exported files being named:

  • Social Ads (Version 1).png
  • Social Ads (Version 2).png
  • etc.
Ability to lock insertion targets Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

We have now added the ability to lock the ‘Behind’, ‘Inside’ and ‘On Top’ insertion targets in all apps. This is activated by holding Alt / when pressing any of those buttons on the toolbar. This is particularly useful for those who like working from top to bottom in the layer stack, meaning you can now lock ‘Insert Behind’ on so all new objects you create are inserted below the current selection.

The insertion target buttons are available in the top toolbar on Windows and macOS and in the edit menu on iPad:

Spacebar modifier for ‘Lock Children’ Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

While transforming any object with the Move Tool (whether resizing, rotating, skewing or moving) you can now hold the spacebar to temporarily toggle Lock Children on or off (to achieve the opposite behavior of what you currently have set in the context toolbar).

Space Horizontal / Vertical now considers key object Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

Using even space distribution on a multi selection will now behave differently if you have a key object nominated. This relates to either the space horizontally or space vertically options available in the alignment drop down (or Alignment Options available from the Transform Panel on iPad):

The previous behavior (in the case of horizontal spacing) was always to space the objects in your selection with the furthest left item and furthest right item remaining in the same position, and all other items in your selection spaced evenly between them. This is still the default behavior.

However, the new functionality is that if you additionally specify a key object in your selection (Alt-click / -click an object), the behavior changes to mean the furthest left object and the key object will not change position, and the other items are spaced evenly between them. This is particularly useful as you may quite often have the first two objects in your selection at the correct spacing and you want to space all other objects the same distance. Now you can nominate the second object as the key object and achieve this.

Additionally, if you Alt-click / -click the space button, the distribution will be calculated between the furthest right object and the key object.

Below shows the different results for horizontal spacing, but the same applies to vertical spacing when working top to bottom.

Original positions
Default behavior
Object 2 as key object
Object 3 as key object
Object 4 as key object and ALT held
Size / Rotate objects to same Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

Within Alignment Options, you will see three new choices to make all items in your current selection adopt the same width, height or rotation. By default, this will transform all objects to match the first item selected. Alternatively, if a key object has been nominated (Alt-click / -click), it will use that as the source.

You can also choose to maintain the aspect ratio of the objects being resized. This is available via the alignment dropdown on desktop and via the Alignment Options Panel on iPad (which you can get to via the Transform Panel).

32-bit HDR PNG support added Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

All Affinity apps now support import and export of 32-bit HDR PNG files, as described in the PNG specification (3rd edition). Both PQ and HLG are supported alongside full / narrow range and a full set of primaries. Files exported can be used directly in video editing applications or shared on the web (Chrome now supports HDR PNG files). In addition, legacy PNG and TIFF files exported from Photoshop with CICP data embedded in an ICC profile are also able to be imported.

Improved RAW processing and support for 50+ new camera models Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

The SerifLabs RAW engine has been updated to include additional RAW formats and now supports:

  • Apple iPhone (13, 14/14 Pro, 15/15 Pro)
  • Canon EOS R8
  • Nikon Z8
  • Panasonic DC-GH6
  • Leica Q3 and M11 Monochrom
  • Fujifilm GFX 100 II
  • DJI Mavic 3 Pro (drone)
  • And many more! See the forum post on additional RAW format support for a full list.
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