Affinity Designer 1.7 beta now available

The next update to Affinity Designer 1.7 for Mac and Windows isn’t too far away, and if you fancy taking part in the beta you can download it now…

Owners of Affinity Designer on Mac or Windows can now download and test the beta of version of 1.7. With a wealth of new features and fixes, here’s some of the things you can look forward to:

Tools

  • The Node Tool has a new Transform Mode which provides a containing box for the selected nodes and allows for more freeform editing of the nodes.
  • Node and Pen tools have a new Construction mode which gives easy access to common construction features to help you build complicated shapes or intersections accurately and easily.
  • The Pen Tool now has a rubber band mode and also a mode to allow future curves to be added to the current object’s curves.
  • The Node Tool can now auto-snap nodes if you drag a node from one curve over the top of a node from another (selected) curve and pause, it will offer to snap to the same geometry as the node you’re hovering over (ie, modify the on and off-curve nodes to match).
  • The Node Tool now allows for lasso selection of nodes by holding the Alt/Option key and dragging a selection lasso.
  • The Pencil Tool now offers a ‘sculpt’ mode that allows for extending or manipulating curves in a more natural way. More to come in this area soon…
  • Many tools now allow for Alignment widgets, which you can toggle the visibility of in the context toolbar. When enabled you can visually adjust the alignment or even, for example, ‘align to centre, snapped to the left edge of this object’ by simply click/dragging.
  • Fill Tool correctly allows editing of skewed fill handles and newly-created skewed fills draw much nicer now.
  • Ruler origin can be edited by simply dragging the area where the rulers intersect each other—it can even be snapped onto objects in the document.
  • Guides can be edited in most tools by simply dragging a guide in the ruler area.
  • Grid setup is now more interactive: origin can be dragged, axis scale adjusted and angle adjusted on-document, complete with snapping to objects and angles in the document to help you reconstruct useful grids from finished artworks or sketches.
  • By enabling Edit in Plane on the new Isometric Studio, tools can edit objects and appear to make those edits along the currently active plane—extremely useful for artists who enjoy working with any axonometric projections.
  • Shapes tools now have presets so you can create your own favourite shape setups and more easily use them again.

General

  • New brushes, styles and assets are now shipped with the product.
  • Visible bleed (accessed from the View menu) so you can more easily design into the bleed area—a common feature request.
  • ‘Alternate futures’ for document history have been added. Traditionally, if you roll back the undo history then do something else all your changes after that point are lost. Affinity Designer will now display a small branch icon in the history tab when you do this. Pressing that button will cycle between all the different “futures” after that history entry—meaning you will never lose work you have done.
  • The new Isometric Studio makes it easy to setup and work with various axonometric projections within the application.
  • HEIF images can now be loaded directly into Affinity Designer. If they contain a depth map, this will also be loaded as a second layer. Because depth maps are typically lower resolution than the main image, optional ‘smart’ upsampling will be performed.
  • Affinity Designer now supports custom document presets—a popular feature request.
  • New ‘Move inside / outside’ commands have been added—useful for quickly clipping/unclipping.
  • New ‘Merge curves/Separate curves’ commands.
  • Grids now have an editable number of angle subdivisions.
  • Numerous text improvements have been made—including new features such as bullets and numbering.
  • Significant PDF import / export improvements and fixes.

Pixel persona brushes

  • Designer 1.7 includes the new sub-brush mechanism available in Affinity Photo 1.7 and developed in conjunction with Paolo Limoncelli from DAUB® Brushes. This exciting feature allows any brush to have a list of other brushes attached which will draw at the same time. Each sub-brush has a fully separate and customisable set of dynamics. You can control when the sub-brushes are drawn and how they blend with the main brush.
  • Symmetry (up to 32-way) is now supported—including on-canvas controls and optional mirroring.
  • Wet edges and accumulation are now available on colour brushes and brushes with HSL variance.
  • Brushes with multiple nozzle textures have always chosen the nozzle at random. In 1.7, the nozzle choice has a dynamic controller and ramp for greater control.
  • All pixel brush tools now support left and right arrow keys for rotation—a common feature request.

Adjustments

  • The HSL Adjustment Layer has been rewritten. It now supports custom hue ranges, a new algorithm, new UI and picker controls.
  • The Levels Adjustment Layer now supports output levels—a common feature request.
  • The White Balance Adjustment Layer has been rewritten.
  • The Selective Colour Adjustment Layer has been rewritten.
  • PSD import / export of adjustments has been improved.
  • The Vibrance Adjustment Layer has been rewritten.
  • The Recolour Adjustment Layer has gained a lightness slider.

Misc

  • Numerous other bug fixes—too many to list!

A new look?

You will notice that we have revamped the icons for 1.7—primarily to ensure better consistency between different operating systems. We are still refining these, and will talk more about it closer to 1.7 launch.

You may also notice our beautiful new splash screen, illustrated by the magnificant Zutto!

Download the Affinity Designer 1.7 beta today!

You can download the Affinity Designer 1.7 beta using the buttons below:

For MacFor Windows

PLEASE NOTE that you need to have a paid for version of Affinity Designer 1.6 installed to take part in the beta. If this is your first time using a customer beta of an Affinity app, it’s also worth noting that the beta will install as a separate app—alongside your store version. They will not interfere with each other at all and you can continue to use the store version for critical work without worry.

It’s also worth noting that we aren’t done yet—we are still working through reported bugs from previous releases and hope to fix as many as possible before the final release of 1.7.

Remember…

As this is a beta it is considered to be not suitable for production use. This means that you should not attempt to use it for commercial purposes or for any other activity where you may be adversely affected by the application failing, including the total loss of any documents.

Thank you for all your help!

We hope you enjoy the new features and improvements in version 1.7, and as always, if you find any bugs or have any suggestions to improve Affinity Designer, please post on the relevant forums here.

It’s your feedback that will help to shape what version 1.7 of Affinity Designer will be. We really value all your help and support.


Artist relations
Kate heads up our artist relations team and is the co-editor of Affinity Spotlight. Having shelved her dreams of being an artist, she now spends her spare time refereeing a rebellious toddler and an aging Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Get in touch with Kate if you would like to contribute or be featured on Affinity Spotlight.