Selecting colors

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

About selecting colors

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

Using the Color panel

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

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

The relevant swatch updates to the selected color.

To switch colors 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 color model:
  1. Click the Panel Preferences menu, and select Sliders from the menu.
  2. At the top right of the panel, click the current color mode displayed, e.g. RGB, to reveal a pop-up menu.
  3. Select a different color model from the menu.
Panel Preferences To apply a color 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 color tint, respectively.
Panel Preferences To use a different color mode:
Panel Preferences To save colors to Swatches panel:

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

Using the Swatches panel

The Swatches panel provides color swatch presets that are selectable from various categories. You can easily apply grays, solid colors, or gradient colors as presets.

To use a color swatch:

Do one of the following:

Using the Color Picker

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

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

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 color to vector content:
  1. Select the object.
  2. From the context toolbar, click either the 'Stroke' or 'Fill' swatch.
  3. From the pop-up menu, choose color from a Swatches, Color, or Gradient pane.

Using the Edit menu

The Edit menu allows you to easily apply or edit a color 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 Color—pick any color from the adjacent swatch using a pop-up HSL Color wheel.
    • Primary Color—uses the currently set primary color from the Color panel.
    • Secondary Color—uses the currently set secondary color from the Color 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® Colors

PANTONE® Color palettes are available from the main Swatches panel, and will automatically become a global spot color in the document palette when applied. 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® Colors:
  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® Color name and number, click the Swatches panel's Panel Preferences menu and select Appearance>Show as List.

Registration color

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 color as a swatch that can be assigned to an object on the page, creating an on-page registration mark.

To add a registration color as a swatch:

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