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Document and Artboard Creation in Affinity Designer
  • By Design Bundles
  • 11 Apr 2017
  • 11 Mins
  • Affinity Tutorials

Document and Artboard Creation in Affinity Designer

Learn how to create documents and artboards with this beginner Affinity Designer Tutorial.

Today we are going to cover document and artboard creation in Affinity Designer. You can create documents from templates, presets, or you can customize preset settings to fit your needs. Artboards are design areas within documents.

Step 1 - Create a New Document

Select File > New (Cmd/Ctrl+N) in the top toolbar to create a new document. The New Document dialog will appear.

Document and artboard creation in Affinity Designer 1

In the New Document dialog, you can define several settings for your document, like the source (preset or template), document type, size, resolution, etc.

Step 2 - Select the New Document Source

First, choose if the source of your new document will be a preset or a template.

On the left side, you can choose between Presets or Templates. The selected option will affect what will appear in all other areas of the dialog.

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Templates

In the Templates tab, you can open document templates, browse and preview existing templates, and set up folders to save your templates to (File > Export as Template). Template files have a .aftemplate file extension and can contain text styles, graphics, and layouts that are ready to use.

If you choose to work with a template, your document will open right away. We have a tutorial onhow to use templates in Affinity Designer if needed.

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Presets

In the Presets tab, you will be presented with the document preset categories/document types. They are divided into tabs in which you can select a preset to use or customize.

When you select a category, the presets related to it will be displayed in the main area of the dialog. You can select specific print sizes, screen resolutions, etc.

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After selecting a preset, you will need to define some other settings for your new document, as shown in the next step.

Step 3 - Define the Selected Preset Settings

The settings area is located on the right side of the dialog. It will change slightly depending on the option you select in the main area of the dialog.

Define the Document Layout

The top portion of the settings area regards the Layout. Here you can choose the pagewidth and height of the document you want to create. Change the default values to create a custom page size.

The DPI option will set the resolution of your document. It should be set to 300 dpi for printing, and for screen viewing, 72 dpi is enough.

Next are the documents units. Here, you can choose to set your document in pixels, millimeters, or many other different measurements.

You can also set the document display orientation to portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal).

The Create artboard checkbox needs to be checked if you want to create an artboard with the new document. Note that you will still be able to create an artboard later on, even if you create a document first without checking the box.

Finally, specify the way an image or document gets placed inside the document. You can choose between embedding or linking them in the document by default.

Document and artboard creation in Affinity Designer 5

Define the Color Settings

Next, there’s the Color section. You can select the color format and the color profile from the drop-down menus. CMYK is the way to go if you plan to print your artwork. But if you are creating artwork for digital usage, RGB is the right choice. For most projects, the RGB/8 preset will be fine.

Thecolor profile sets the color gamut for the chosen color format. The color gamut is, in this case, the range of color reproducible or represented by your monitor, paper, or printer.

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Define the Margins and Bleed Settings

In the bottom portion of the settings area, you can define the margins and bleed settingsfor your document. These settings are useful when creating print documents.

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When you are done with all the settings, click the Create button in the bottom right corner of the New Document dialog.

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Your newly created document should appear.

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Step 4 - Add Artboards to the Document

Artboards are areas of different shapes and sizes within the same document, on which you can place design elements. By using artboards, you turn a document into a multi-page project.

You can resize and move them inside your document in any way you want. This comes in handy when your design needs a specific setting or to help you organize your work.

They can also be exported and printed together or separately, but they are saved together in their parent document.

Define the Artboard Dimensions and Insert the Artboard

If you want to create an artboard and have already started your work, you can select the ArtboardTool from the left toolbar.

Once the Artboard Tool is selected, you can select the preset size for the new artboard from the drop-down menu and then click the Insert Artboard button. Your new artboard will now appear inside the pasteboard.

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To create a custom-sized artboard, you can click and drag anywhere inside the pasteboard or inside another artboard to create a nested artboard.

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You can resize and reposition the artboard using the MoveTool (V).

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Step 5 - Adjust Document Settings if Needed

Finally, if you need to change some of the document’s settings, click the Move Tool (V), and with nothing selected, click the Document Setup button in the context toolbar above to open the dialog. Change the settings and click OK.

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If you found this tutorial on how to create a document and an artboard in Affinity Designer helpful, we have more great tutorials to check out, like installing and deleting brushes, accessing the preference panel, and using texture brushes in Affinity Designer.


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