About workspace modes

Not everyone works in the same way. Affinity Photo accommodates this by having two different modes that you can choose from: Normal and Separated mode. Each mode's workspace layout can be customized to suit your design needs. This is especially useful as different Personas use different panels.

About workspace modes

Affinity Photo offers both Windowed and Maximized modes.

Normal mode

When Affinity Photo first opens, it will run in Normal (single window) mode. This means that all panels and view will be neatly docked together so that all controls are at your finger tips and easy to find.

Normal workspace mode

Separated mode

Separated mode has no containing frame. The panels (or panel groups) and toolbars are floating, and each open document has its own view (although you can still create groups). This can be especially useful if you have more than one screen as it allows the biggest possible work area. This means that you can be working on several documents at a time, each having their own full screen desktop!

Separated workspace mode

Full screen view

Regardless of which layout mode you choose to work in, you also have the option of full screen view. In this view, Photo is effectively maximized to its own desktop, giving you every available pixel to work with.


When Affinity Photo first opens, it will display in a window which fills approximately three-quarters of the screen. You can change the size of this window at any time.


When maximized, Affinity Photo will fill the entire available screen space, excluding the area occupied by the taskbar at the bottom.

To change to Separated mode:
  • From the Window menu, select Separated Mode. This menu item lets you toggle between the Normal and Separated mode.
To group multiple documents into a single window:
  • While in Separated mode, from the Window menu, select Merge All Windows.
To resize a window:
  • Position the cursor at an edge or corner of the window and drag inwards or outwards to decrease or increase the window size, respectively.
To switch to Maximized mode:

Do one of the following:

  • On the title bar, click the Affinity Photo icon on the left and select Maximize.
  • On the title bar, click the Maximize icon on the right.
To switch to Windowed mode:

Do one of the following:

  • On the title bar, click the Affinity Photo icon on the left and select Restore.
  • On the title bar, click the Restore icon on the right.

When switching back to Windowed mode, the window will return to the size it was at before entering Maximized mode.