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Taking shapes further

When building shapes in Affinity apps, you’re not restricted to just the default shape tools that have been provided. In this article, we’ll explore ways in which you can adjust existing shapes, or even turn them into something new entirely.

Fun with triangles

Let’s start small. With our Triangle Tool active, we can drag out and create a basic triangle shape.

Equilateral triangle

Depending on the height and width of your shape, you can make an isosceles or equilateral triangle just by dragging.

Isosceles and equilateral triangles.

If your design calls for a different sort of triangle, like a scalene, select your shape and drag the red handle to adjust the angle of the top point of the triangle.

Scalene triangle.

The angle is visible and can be fine-tuned from the context toolbar.

By dragging the top point all the way over to the left-hand side of the bounding box, we have a right-angled triangle.

Right-angled triangle.

Adjusting a trapezoid

When you create a trapezoid using the Trapezoid Tool, it will have two red handles.


These can be adjusted to alter the angle of the trapezoid’s sides.

Altered trapezoid
Trapezoid with handles being dragged

You can also drag the handle(s) all the way to the edge of the bounding box to turn your trapezoid into another shape entirely.

Trapezoid with one handle being dragged

On the other hand, If you drag on of the red handles all the way in to snap to the other handle, you can turn the trapezoid into a scalene triangle.

Trapezoid transformed into a scalene triangle

Creating new shapes

Now let’s try having a play around with some of the less commonly used shape tools.

The Donut Tool is essentially made up of an outer circle and an inner circle. Both of these can be completely adjusted simply by dragging the tool’s inner and outer handles.

Donut tool

Dragging the outer handle creates a gap in the outer circle which can be adjusted, altering the shape into something new.

Donut adjusted into a semi circle

Dragging the inner handle out or in widens and narrows the inner circle (or hole).

Donut with inner handle adjusted

By copying and pasting this new shape, you can create something with a completely different look.

Rainbow made up of donuts

Using the presets and adjustable handles, you can tweak the look and feel of many of the shape tools as little or as much as you want.

Pie Tool tilted to make a Pacman shape
Cog Tool variants and presets with handles adjusted

For more information on getting the most out of shape tools, check out this tutorial.