Skip to main content
We no longer support Internet Explorer. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience. Find out more.

Redesigned with you in mind: the all-new Affinity V2 UI

As well as loading Version 2 with tons of new features, we’ve also given the next generation of Affinity a fresh new look—but there’s much more to the redesign than aesthetic appeal.

Painstakingly remodelled with our users in mind, the all-new UI provides many functionality and workflow improvements to make the process of creating smoother and quicker than ever before.

You’ll find new tool and button icons, revamped panels, greatly improved mono and light UI modes, and much more. Here’s a run-through of the biggest enhancements we think you’ll want to know about.

New to desktop

Revamped Layers Panel

The Layers Panel has undergone a massive overhaul in all three Affinity apps and now boasts a ton of additional functionality and usability improvements. The most notable being:

  • Clearer drop zones for clipping, masking and reordering
  • A new parent bar for easier collapsing of groups and dropping layers above or below their current parent group
  • Layer types (curves, shapes, text, pixel, mask, adjustment) have been given their own unique thumbnail icons, so you always know what types of layers you’re working with at a glance
  • We’ve added a quick menu (right-click on the visibility icon) for colour tagging
  • It’s easy to copy layer FX from one layer to another (or drag it to trash)
  • You can rasterise selected layers simultaneously
  • There’s an option to show/hide other layers
  • You can now drag across multiple layers’ visibility at once to instantly show/hide those layers
  • The number of cropping/masking layers is unlimited
  • We’ve added the ability to lock layers without selecting first

New Document improvements

New Document now includes a much more accessible list of presets, easier preset management and organisation, the ability to flag presets as favourites as well as a clearer preview and document summary.

Recent documents enhancement

Recent documents are now available to view as thumbnail previews or a list. You can also pin your documents for quick access.

Create new document from Stock Panel

By dragging straight from the Stock Panel to the top toolbar, you can now create a new document from a stock image, instantly. This is a quick approach if you want to use stock imagery as a starting point.

New box colour wheel

Along with the existing triangle wheel, the optimised Colour Panel has a new box colour wheel, which makes it easier for you to change saturation without changing luminosity and vice versa by moving vertically and horizontally.

Quick bitmap fill

You can now drag images from your files or your Assets Panel directly onto the colour swatch to create a seamless bitmap texture fill to add to any shape. You can also set them to scale with the object.

See recent raster brushes by layer

Any pixel layers you have painted on now offer a drop-down list of the brushes you have used on that layer, making it much easier to pick up where you left off, even after making heavy edits to your document in between.

New to iPad

The UI for iPad has had a significant overhaul for V2, introducing new iconography and revamped menus and panels for a more immersive and fluid way of working.

Quick Menu

A long press or three-finger swipe or double tapping the Command Controller brings up a new Quick Menu, which gives you instant access to clipboard options like copy, paste and duplicate, and up to nine customisable shortcut operations, so you can easily access things like grouping and rasterising too.

Command Controller

On desktop, tools are typically used alongside keyboard modifiers, like holding shift to constrain proportions when you drag out a shape. To give iPad users more control, all three apps now have access to keyboard modifiers through the new Command Controller—although regular gestures still work if that’s your preferred working method.

Here’s a quick look at how the Command Controller can be used as a keyboard substitute in Affinity Photo for iPad:

Learn how to use the Command Controller as a keyboard substitute, allowing you to quickly activate tool modifiers when working purely with touch gestures in Affinity Photo for iPad.

Compact Mode

A new mode available for the Layers Panel allows you to keep the panel open while maximising document real estate. It also includes a new swipe menu for masking, live blend modes, opacity and layer lock.

All-new Context Toolbar

The Context Toolbar is now located out of the workspace along the top of the screen with similar operations being grouped into fly outs, like ordering, flip and rotate, alignment options, Boolean operations and selecting in Affinity Publisher, and document, commands and selection in Affinity Photo (as you can see below). Personas are now accessed by tapping the app icon fly out.

New top toolbar options

Zoom to fit/zoom to previous, snapping and preview mode options are now readily accessible from the top toolbar, located to the right of the Context Toolbar.

New Document improvements

In the New Document dialog, the presets have been slimmed down and are now presented in a single list in their categories. Just like in the desktop apps, you can now add your own categories for presets that you create and you can rename, reorder or delete the default presets.

Revamped Panels

You’ll also find that Panels have had an overhaul to make tools for particular tasks easier to access. For example, all panels relating to text settings have been consolidated into a single text panel of most used features with fly outs to take you to the rest of the settings.

New sliders for attributes

The iPad apps now contain new sliders for attributes like brush width and opacity, stroke width, filter effect settings and more, making these settings easier to change.

Get 40% off Affinity V2 for a limited time!

To celebrate the release of Affinity V2 we are giving customers the chance to purchase the any of the apps individually on macOS, Windows or iPad or the Affinity V2 Universal Licence covering the entire suite on all platforms for a single one-off payment, with a substantial 40% launch discount applied.

This incredible offer is available for a limited time, so don’t miss out—buy Version 2 now at

Find out more about Affinity V2

More information about Affinity V2, including details of the new features and learning resources for each app, can be found here:

Spotlight editor

As editor of Affinity Spotlight Melanie oversees the stories, interviews and tutorials published on the site. Outside of work she enjoys travelling, reading crime thrillers, Pilates and dabbling in a spot of oil painting. Get in touch with Melanie if you would like to contribute or be featured on Affinity Spotlight.

Credits & Footnotes

See recent raster brushes by layer screenshot—artwork ‘Poolside’ by Guy Shield

Quick Menu screenshot—artwork ‘Sea Kingdom’ by Iannocent

Compact Mode screenshot—artwork ‘Bird’ by Laura Rubin

All-new Context Toolbar screenshot—image ‘Road to Paradise’ by Timothy Poulton

New sliders for attributes screenshot—artwork ‘Poolside’ by Guy Shield