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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!


Free update – May 2024

From variable font support and a new Stroke Width Tool, to exciting optimizations for Windows users, Affinity 2.5 introduces a batch of new features and fixes sure to improve your workflow.

Native Windows ARM64 support Available on desktop only


Since the inception of Affinity, we’ve been fixated on performance, wanting to produce the fastest, smoothest creative experience possible. So we’re thrilled to announce that the entire Affinity suite is now optimized for the latest Windows hardware thanks to full native optimization for devices with ARM64 chips. In fact, Affinity is the first creative software with end-to-end native ARM support.

So what does this mean? Well, the new Snapdragon X Elite range—equipped with high-powered CPUs and GPUs with unified memory—allows our applications to perform at their full potential, and we’re now seeing speeds that were previously only possible with high-end desktop PCs on much smaller, lightweight devices. The advantages are particularly noticeable when working on documents with thousands of pixel layers or vector objects, and Affinity customers ordering machines with the new chip can expect a more responsive user experience with tasks like painting, pixel editing, filter effects, document rendering and more.

It’s blown us away and we can’t wait for our Windows users to experience the benefits.

Variable font support Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

You’re now able to use variable fonts in all Affinity apps, which opens up a new world of typographic design possibilities.

As well as providing predefined font styles, such as light, bold and condensed, variable fonts give you fine control of specific design aspects known as axes of variation (or just axes for short).

To try out variable fonts in Affinity, apply one to some text and then:

  • On desktop, click the Font Variations button on the context toolbar (or on the Character Panel)
  • On iPad, tap the arrow to the right of Bold/Italic/Underline/Strikethrough on the Text Panel and then tap Variations.

Once you’ve followed the instructions above, you’ll see settings for each axis that the font designer has made individually adjustable.

Many variable fonts allow you to adjust their width and weight axes, and possibly italic, optical size and slant. These five axes are common enough that they’re defined by the OpenType specification. Other axes may also be adjustable, such as:

  • the height of ascenders and depth of descenders to better fit your chosen line spacing
  • the stem terminals, to choose between straight and swelling
  • the width of counters, which are enclosed and partially enclosed spaces within glyphs

For examples of other possible axes, check out the axis definitions that are available for variable fonts at Google Fonts.

You may see fewer axes in Affinity than are mentioned by a font provider’s marketing. For example, Google Fonts lists 13 axes for Roboto Flex and Affinity exposes five of them. This is because we respect font designers’ ability to specify that an axis should be hidden. This is part of the OpenType specification and means that software isn’t meant to provide an interface for such axes.

Variable fonts and PDFs

PDF doesn’t support variable fonts. So, when you export a PDF of an Affinity document that uses a variable font, we create a static instance of the font with fixed settings. We’ve taken steps to ensure static instances of fonts are well-named. You should find this minimizes the need to identify the original variable fonts if you later import or place the resulting PDFs.

Stroke Width Tool Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

Available alongside the Pencil Tool in Affinity Designer’s toolbar, the new Stroke Width Tool gives you an on-document way of editing the pressure profile of any curve.

While in the Stroke Width Tool, the positions of those points are shown along the curve, and you have the ability to change their width and position by dragging them.

You can also click to add a new pressure point or double-click to remove any pressure point on a curve.

There are various modifiers available which can be seen in the status bar:

  • Shift + Drag – to modify the width at any point without adjusting its position
  • (macOS) / Ctrl (Windows) + Click – to manually enter the width required at the chosen point
  • (macOS) / Ctrl (Windows) + Drag – to move the point position without adjusting the width
  • Double-click – to remove pressure point

Additionally, you will find some other options in the context toolbar when using this tool:

Lock Line Weight – If this is turned off, then should you drag the width of any point to be greater than the current stroke width (i.e. greater than 100% pressure), the stroke width will be increased to allow you to drag the width unrestricted. If it is turned on, then the maximum width you can drag to is 100% of the set stroke width.

Lock Point Ordering – This option allows to you to specify whether you want to prevent the tool from dragging one point past another along the curve, effectively swapping their order.

Snap to curve nodes – This will show any nodes on the curve as small white dots and will snap any pressure points to those nodes.

Snap to widths on same curve – This will snap the width at any pressure point on a curve to other widths which already exist on that curve. This only applies when holding Shift (i.e. you are adjusting the width without altering the point position).

Pencil Tool improvements Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

We have made some further improvements to the Pencil Tool, including a new curve-smoothing algorithm which gives better, smoother results overall.

Additionally, as has been commonly requested, we have now changed the ‘Auto-close’ method so that when you have that option checked in the context toolbar the curve only closes when you are near to the start point of the curve being drawn. You will now get an indicator when you are in range of the start position of the curve so you know when a curve will be auto-closed.

QR Code Tool Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

You can now easily add QR codes to your documents using the new QR Code Tool on the shape tools flyout. These codes can then be scanned to perform actions such as visiting a web page of your choice.

When setting a QR code‘s data, you can select from several common data types (available settings depend on the selected type):

Text – for encoding any text you wish, especially if it doesn‘t fall into one of the other types

URL – for visiting a resource, usually online, such as a web page, a downloadable file, or an FTP site

Phone – for making an audio call to a suitable telephone number

SMS – for sending a single-line or multiline text message to a telephone number

Email – for sending a message to a specified recipient, optionally with a default subject and body

WhatsApp – for sending a message to a user of Meta's instant messaging service

FaceTime – for making a video or audio call to a user of Apple's communication service

Location – for looking up a physical location using its longitude, latitude and elevation

Wi-Fi – for joining a wireless network using provided credentials, e.g. network name, encryption type and password

vCard – for sharing contact information such as an electronic business card

The Text data type can be used to encode freeform information. For example, it can be used to generate QR codes for:

  • sharing calendar events as vCal (.vcal) and iCalendar (.ics) data
  • making calls with other communication services, such as Skype and Zoom
  • deep-linking to content in a mobile app using the app's custom URL scheme

To create a QR code:

  1. On the shape tools flyout, select the QR Code Tool.
  2. In the document view, drag on the page to set the required size of the QR code.
  3. On the context toolbar, select the Data setting. On the dialog that appears:
    • Select the Type of data for which to generate a QR code.
    • Set all required information to a valid value.
    • (Optional) Set additional information as needed.
  4. Select OK.

The QR code automatically regenerates as you change its data.

‘Default preset’ for grid Available on desktop only

Windows and macOS

Within grid and axis settings, you can now set any of your grid settings to be the default so that when you create a new document, those settings will be applied.

You can set / clear default grids from the burger menu next to the grid preset drop-down:

Typography dialog turned into a panel Available on desktop only

Windows and macOS

As requested, we’ve now converted the typography dialog from a pop-up into a panel so you can easily dock it / keep it open should you wish.

This is available both from the Window menu and also from the typography button in the context toolbar [fi] when you have text selected.

Other improvements Available on both desktop and iPad

Windows, macOS and iPad

There are a few other minor improvements to mention in 2.5:

  1. New cameras have been added* to LibRAW, including:
    • FujiFilm X100VI
    • Leica SL3
    • Pentax KF (Ricoh)
    • Samsung Galaxy S23+
    • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
    • Sony ILCE-9M3 (A9 III) (improved)
  2. DWG polylines import improvements* – We have made some substantial improvements when importing polylines, which now ignore the cached points created by AutoCAD. This simplifies the resulting curves substantially.
  1. When you have ‘Transform objects separately’ checked and have a multi-selection, if you type a value in either the width or height field and precede it with an equals sign (e.g. H: ‘=100px’), it will now set all objects in that selection to have that specific width or height value entered. This is opposed to scaling the other objects in your selection proportionally based on the key object which is the result you get without the equals sign.*
  2. Visual indication of text frame rescaling* – When you have rescaled a text frame using the outer bottom-right scale handle, the handle changes from white to blue. This is an indicator that scaling has occurred and that any containing frame text is resized proportionately to the new text frame dimensions. You can double-click to reset the frame text (not the text frame) to its original font size.
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