Selecting colours

Affinity Photo offers several ways of choosing colours for your photo edits and design.

About selecting colours

An essential requirement for efficient editing and design is the ability to access colours easily and intuitively. You may have a preferred method for colour selection, so Affinity Photo provides a choice:

Using the Colour panel

With the Colour panel, colours can be adopted by tools (or applied to vector content) in just a few clicks. Opacity and noise are further colour attributes which can be applied. Colours can be saved to a palette in the Swatches panel.

To select a colour (using default HSL Colour Wheel):
  1. Click the Primary or Secondary swatch at the top left of the panel.
  2. Click for a hue colour on the outer ring.
  3. Click in the inner triangle to set the combined Saturation and Lightness.

The relevant swatch updates to the selected colour.

To switch colours between the swatch selectors:
To adjust opacity or noise setting:
  1. Select the toggle button to the bottom-left of the panel.
  2. Drag the slider to set the value.
Panel Preferences To use a different colour model:
  1. Click the Panel Preferences menu, and select Sliders from the menu.
  2. At the top right of the panel, click the current colour mode displayed, e.g. RGB, to reveal a pop-up menu.
  3. Select a different colour model from the menu.
Panel Preferences To apply a colour tint:
  1. Click the Panel Preferences menu, and select Tint from the menu.
  2. Drag the slider to the left or right to increase or decrease the colour tint, respectively.
Panel Preferences To use a different colour mode:
Panel Preferences To save colours to Swatches panel:

Click the Panel Preferences menu, and select one of the following:

Using the Swatches panel

The Swatches panel provides colour swatch presets that are selectable from various categories. You can easily apply greys, solid colours, or gradient colours as presets.

To use a colour swatch:

Do one of the following:

Using the Colour Picker

The picker lets you sample colours within or outside Affinity Photo, then use them in your project.

colour picker To use the Colour Picker:
  1. Drag the Colour Picker icon to the colour you want to sample.
  2. Click the swatch selector you want to apply the colour to.
  3. Click the swatch next to the Colour Picker to apply the colour.

Using context toolbar (vector content only):

For quick access, Fill and Stroke swatches are available from the context toolbar of any selected vector content.

To apply a fill or stroke colour to vector content:
  1. Select the object.
  2. From the context toolbar, click either the 'Stroke' or 'Fill' swatch.
  3. From the flyout choose colour from a Swatches, Colour, or Gradient pane.

Using the Edit menu

The Edit menu allows you to easily apply or edit a colour fill across a pixel or vector layer or selected layer content.

To apply a fill to selected content:
  1. From the Edit menu, click Fill.
  2. From the dialog, choose one of the following:
    • Custom Colour—pick any colour from the adjacent swatch using a pop-up HSL Colour wheel.
    • Primary Colour—uses the currently set primary colour from the Colour panel.
    • Secondary Colour—uses the currently set secondary colour from the Colour panel.
    • Inpainting—restores damaged, lost, deteriorated or unwanted areas of the selection.
    • History—reverts the selection back to a previous history state or a saved snapshot.
  3. (Optional) Reduce the Opacity to limit the fill strength.
  4. Click Apply.

Using Gradient

Use the Gradient tool to apply your own gradient paths across either a pixel layer or to vector content fills; you can also apply solid and bitmap fills. The tool's context toolbar lets you change the gradient to be radial, elliptical, or conical.

Gradient Tool To use the Gradient tool:
  1. Select a pixel or vector layer.
  2. Select the Gradient tool from the Tools panel.
  3. From the context toolbar, select a fill type from the Type pop-up menu.
  4. Drag the cursor across the content.

    Hold down the to constrain the angle of the gradient path to 45°.

Accessing PANTONE® Colours

PANTONE® Colour palettes are available from the main Swatches panel. They are also available from the pop-up Swatches panel on the context toolbar when a shape, line, or stroke is selected.

To access PANTONE® Colours:
  1. On the Swatches panel (or pop-up Swatches panel), from the category pop-up menu, select your preferred PANTONE palette.
  2. To display the PANTONE® Colour name and number, go to the Swatches panel's Panel Preferences menu and select Appearance>Show as List.

Registration colour

Printing to PDF will allow you to include printer marks, including registration marks assigned with registration black (100%C:100%M:100%Y:100%K). However, you can add this registration colour as a swatch that can be assigned to an object on the page, creating an on-page registration mark.

To add a registration colour as a swatch:

You can then apply the swatch to an object on the page.

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