Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Affinity Photo

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. ūüôā


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

4) Layers

  • 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.

6) Adjustments

  • 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 ‚ÄúFlow‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúWidth‚ÄĚ, “Tolerance”, etc. to change their value.

8) Snapping

  • Hold down Option to temporarily disable snapping.

9) Guides

  • 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

10) Filters

  • 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.