Affinity Photo is an incredibly powerful program, but it can be overwhelming at first. To help you jumpstart your photo editing skills, I put together this list of the best tips and tricks. Whether you have used Affinity Photo for an hour or a year, I hope you find this list to be valuable. 🙂
1) Essential Keyboard Shortcuts
- B = Paint Brush Tool
- V = Move Tool
- [ and ] = Make brush size smaller and bigger
- Command + J = Duplicates current layer
- Command+ and Command– = Zoom in/out
- Space Bar = Temporarily brings up View Tool
2) Paint Brush Shortcuts
- Holding down Shift allows you to paint straight lines
- With the brush tool out, hold down Option and click anywhere on your image. Your Paint Brush is now loaded with the exact color you clicked on.
- X = Switch between your foreground and background colors
3) Selection Shortcuts
- Q = Enter quick mask mode, which allows you to paint a selection. Painting in white adds to your selection, while painting in black removes from your selection. Red means it is not selected.
- Your Selection Brush Tool naturally adds to your selection. Hold down Option while painting to remove from your selection.
- Command+Shift+I =Invert your selection
- Command+D = Deselect
- Command + [ or ] = Cycle up or down your layers
- Select multiple layers, and press Command + G to group them.
5) Resizing Images
- Command + Option + I = Brings up a dialog box that allows you to resize your image.
- Exporting images with the quality set to 97-99 hardly reduces its quality, but drastically lowers its size.
- Command + L = Levels (to give your image a nice “pop” bring the Black Level and White Level sliders in to where the graph starts)
- Command + U = HSL
- Command + M = Curves
7) Scrubby Sliders
- You can click and drag on “Flow”, “Width”, “Tolerance”, etc. to change their value.
- Hold down Option to temporarily disable snapping.
- Command + R = Brings up the Rulers
- With the Move Tool (V) you can click and drag on the Rulers to bring out guidelines.
- Command + ; = Hide/show the guidelines
- Instead of going to “Filters”, try going to “Layer”, “New Live Filter Layer”. This allows you to modify your filters after you have applied them.
Bonus Tips and Tricks!
- Command + , = Brings up your Preferences for Affinity Photo. From here you can modify any keyboard shortcut to whatever you want it to be.
- The Affinity Forums are extremely helpful. If you have any questions, be sure to ask them here. I am amazed at how responsive Affinity’s staff is. They answer most questions in under a few hours.