Embedding vs linking

When placing content you have control over whether files are embedded within the document or linked from their original disk locations.

Embedding vs linking


A copy of the original file is embedded into the document. As a result, there is no means of checking if the original file is modified at a later date, but the file will be kept with the document when it is moved.


Instead of embedding, a link is created between the document and the file on disk to allow it to update (via Resource Manager) if changed on disk. The linked file is never stored in the document.

If one or more linked files have been moved or renamed since you last opened your document, you'll be prompted to locate the file the next time the document is opened.

File sizes and embedding/linking

Embedding resources means the document is portable at the expense of a greater file size—all the resources are stored in the document. Linked resources give a much smaller document file size as only link information is stored.

Alleviating excessive file sizes dynamically

If the amount of embedded content placed in your document exceeds a specific 'size' threshold, you'll be prompted to convert all placed content from embedded to linked automatically. If you agree to this, the image placement policy in Document Setup will also change from Prefer Embedded to Prefer Linked, so future imported content will be linked by default.

To set the default content placement policy:
  1. From the File menu, click New.
  2. From the dialog, choose an Image placement policy. The Prefer Embedded option stores the file in your document; Prefer Linked does not embed but maintains a link to the file, still in its original location.
To change the content placement policy:
To automatically update linked content:
  1. From the Affinity Photo menu, select Preferences.
  2. From the Edit menu, select Preferences.
  3. On the General tab, check Automatically update linked resources when modified externally.
To change an embedded file to a linked file:
  1. From the View menu, select Resource Manager.
  2. From the manager, select the file to be linked and click Make Linked.
  3. Use the dialog to navigate to a folder to which you want the embedded file to be saved out to and click Link.