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How to Use the Shape Tools in Affinity Designer
  • By Design Bundles
  • 08 Jul 2021
  • 11 Mins
  • Affinity Tutorials

How to Use the Shape Tools in Affinity Designer

In this step by step tutorial learn how to use and edit the shape tools in Affinity Designer.

Affinity Designer offers basic geometric shape tools as a grounding for designs. The designer has the option to edit, distort and change shapes as they choose. New shapes created can then be saved as presets for later use.In this tutorial you will learn how to use the Shape Tools in Affinity.

To get started, open Affinity Designer and select New Document. Adjust your settings if required and click Create.

Shape Tools and their editing options

Each shape has its own set of editing options and is placed on its own layer. On the left side panel there are four options; Rectangle Tool, Ellipse Tool, Rounded Rectangle Tool and the Shape Selection Tool.

Clicking on the white arrow next to the Tear Tool opens the tool selection. Here you will find a wider selection of shapes.

Shape Tools in Affinity Designer

At the top of the screenare the editing options for each shape. The options will change according to the shape tool used. Shapes have red editing nodes, except for the Circle and Rectangle. Once edited, the Rectangle will gain the red nodes.

These nodes can be used to distort or change the shape. Once the shape has been converted to a curve these editing options will no longer be available. Holding Ctrl + clicking will keep the shape proportional.

Editing options for shapes Affinity

Rectangle Tool

On the left side panel you will find the Rectangle Tool.At the bottom right is the Transform Tool.The size and position can be adjusted here. If the Transform tool is not visible, click the View menu at the top, then Studio and click on Transform. A check mark will show next to it once selected.

The Rectangle and Round Rectangle Tool have a very cool editing option. You can change the shape of the corners independently withCorner Type options.

Draw out a rectangle then go to the Editing options at the top. Uncheck Single Radius if it's checked. When checked, all corners are adjusted at once. Unchecked allows you to change each corner independently.

Adjust corner types Affinity

Change the Top Left corner by clicking on TLin the editing options. You have a choice of None (no change applied), Rounded, Straight, Concave and Cutout. The percentage is set by default to 25% and can be adjusted. Change the TR (top right), BL (bottom left) and BR (bottom right) corners to however you choose.

The red nodes can be edited by clicking and dragging or changing the percentage of each corner.

Edit corner nodes Affinity

The Absolute Sizes option changes the percentage of the corner(s) to the Document units. The document units are selected when creating a new document. If you chose pixels as the units, then Absolute Sizes will change corners to pixels when selected.

Ellipse Tool

The Ellipse Tool includes two shortcut options to change to either a Donut or the Pie Tool. Click on the Ellipse Tool to select, then hold down Shift and Click + Drag out the shape. You now have a perfect circle.

In the Editing options at the top click on Convert to Donut. The properties for the Donut shape will become available in the Editing options. The options include adjusting the Hole radius, the Start and End Angles and Invert Angles.

The Convert to Pie options features the same editing tools. Close Pie closes the circle if the Start and End angles have been adjusted.

Edit Ellipse Tool Affinity Designer

Rounded Rectangle Tool

The Rounded Rectangle Tool is fairly obvious with rounded corners. The editing tools are the same as with the Rectangle Tool. Click on the Rounded Rectangle Tool and draw out the shape.

Rounded Rectangle Tool Affinity

The cornersare rounded with a single editing node. As you adjust this node, all the corners become more or less rounded. Drag in the node and the shape becomes a circle. To adjust the corners individually, uncheck Single Radius.

Shape Selection Tool

You are not restricted to simple circles or rectangles. Affinity Designer comes preloaded with 18 fun additional shapes. These shapes can be edited to create many more shapes. In the examples below, the original shapes are filled with green. Each shape was copied, edited and filled with pink.

Shape menu selection Affinity

Once you are done editing shapes, you can Convert to Curves to edit further with the Node Tool.

Convert shapes to Curves Affinity

Use Node Tool Affinity

Saving New shapes as presets

After spending time fine tuning a shape you may want to save it for future use.To do that we use Presets. Click on the Cogwheel at the top bar. To better organize the presets we will create a category for them. Click on the menu, shown as small lines at the top right corner, and click on Manage Presets.

Add new preset category Affinity

Click on Create Category, give your category a name and then click Close.

Name preset category Affinity

Once again click on the Cogwheel, click on the menu and choose Create Preset. Name your new preset and change the Category.

Add new presets Affinity

Locate your preset by clicking on any of the shape tools. Next click on the Cogwheel.Scroll down to the bottom to My Presets.The preset shape can still be adjusted with the shape editing options.

Locate new shape preset Affinity

Have a little fun experimenting with the shape tools and the various editing options.

Create bee pattern Affinity

The Shape Tools in Affinity Designer are a great way to start designing from scratch.

If you liked this tutorial, make sure to check out our other Affinity Designer tutorials such as:how to put text in shapes,how to type on path, andhow to make a gradient.

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