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How to Outline Text in Affinity Designer
  • By Design Bundles
  • 01 Jul 2021
  • 8 Mins
  • Affinity Tutorials

How to Outline Text in Affinity Designer

In this tutorial, you will discover 2 methods used to Outline Text in Affinity Designer.

In this tutorial, we will explore two different methods on how to outline your text. The first one shows how to offset textand thesecond method how to add a stroke to your text.We will use the Contour Tool to offset thetext, which is the preferred method if you are wanting to use your text with projects that involve layered vinyl.

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to offset text with the contour tool and how to create an offset by using a stroke.

We will be usingthe Samiyatta Font Duo for this demonstration.

Process 1: Offset Text with Contour Tool

The contour tool comes in handy to create offsets and insets in vector objects so this example will work with any vector object, not just text.

To get started, create a New Document and use the Artistic Text Tool to type your text.

Artistic text tool in Affinity Designer

Choose your font and give it the size and alignment that fits your needs. For this tutorial, we are using 144 pt with a center align.

Add text in Affinity Designer

Step 1: Duplicate your text layer

Duplicate (Command/Control + J) the layer by going to Edit > Duplicate.

Duplicate layer in Affinity Designer

You will notice a second text layer in the layers panel. You will need to create and work on this duplicate to get separate "letter" and "outline" paths.

Layers panel in Affinity Designer

Select the bottom layer and change the Fill of the text to a contrasting color.

Contour tool in Affinity Designer

Step 2: Use the Contour Tool

For this, we will be using the Contour Tool (O).

Contour tool in Affinity Designer

Once you activate the Contour Tool you should notice the round handle at the top center of the text. If you drag it to the right you will apply the offset to the text.

Expand outlines in Affinity Designer

Step 3: Refine the outline

You can increase and decrease the offset by dragging the handle right and left or you can change the values using the Radius setting in the top menu.

Contour panel in Affinity Designer

There are other details of the offset path that you can change in the ContourPanel (top menu).

Like the Contour Type, by default, it is set to Round Joins, but you can change it to Mitre or Bevel Joins.

Round joinsin Affinity Designer

Mitre joins in Affinity Designer

Brevel joins in Affinity Designer

You can also change the Cap of the lines from No Cap to Round or Square Cap.

Cap in Affinity Designer

And the Fill from Auto Closed to Force Open or Force Closed.

Fill in Affinity Designer

You can stop hereif you want, and the results will be similar to process 2,but if you skip the next step, you won't be able to scale the text without distorting the outline, sinceit (the outline)will remain the same size regardless of the text size.

Step 4: Convert to Curves

To convert the outline to shapes, select both layers and click on the Bake Appearance button in the top menu.

Bake appearance in Affinity Designer

Your text will now be a group of singular letter shapes.

Grouped letters in Affinity Designer

Then, go to Layers > Ungroup All.

Ungroup all in Affinity Designer

Your layers will all be separated.

Ungrouped layers in Affinity Designer

Make sure that everything is selected (Command/Control + A) and go to Layers > Convert to Curves or click on the button on the top menu.

Convert to curves button in Affinity Designer

Convert to curves in Affinity Designer

Then group everything together (Command/Control + G) going to Layer > Group or clicking on the button on the top menu.Group button in Affinity Designer

Group in Affinity Designer

Group in Affinity Designer

Finally, if you want to merge the individual letter shapes together into a single one, select them and use Add from the Geometry panel in the top menu.

Select layers in Affinity Designer

Geometry add in Affinity Designer

Merged layers in Affinity Designer

Process 2: Create offset by applying a Stroke

The other wayto outline text is to add a Stroke to it. You can use this process if you don't need to have the letters and outline as separate layers.

Select your text and in the Stroke panel apply the desired values to Width, Color, Mitre, etc.

Add stroke in Affinity Designer

If you check the Scale with object box, the stroke will become larger or smaller. If you leave it unchecked, the stroke will remain the same.

Scale with object checked in Affinity Designer

Scale with object unchecked in Affinity Designer

If you convert this text to curves, the stroke will remain as it is (and won't become a path itself). You will end up with paths with a stroke around them.

Curves with stroke in Affinity Designer

If you liked this tutorial make sure to check out some of our other text tutorials such as learning text basics in Affinity Designer, putting text in shapes, and typing on a path in Affinity Designer.

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