Placing content

Placing content allows you to add raster images, as well as Affinity documents, PDFs, and PSDs, to your page to enhance your publication.

Embedded documents

Placed image, 'sample' page spread (from another Publisher document) and Affinity logo (from Designer document).

About placing content

Once you've planned out your publication and added text to text frames, you can place additional content.

Some useful tips when placing content include:

For further information on placing specific file types, please refer to the following table:

Content type Comments
Affinity Designer files with multiple artboards You'll be provided with an Artboard option on the document's context toolbar so you can choose which artboard is displayed.
Affinity documents, PDFs and PSD files It will be listed in the Layers panel as either an 'Embedded document' or 'Linked document' depending on the Image Placement Policy set during initial Document Setup.
PSD files A bitmap representation of the file will be displayed; the file content will not be interpreted. This will generally give better results on output and also negates the requirement to have correct fonts installed. You can still edit the layers of the placed PSD, although if edits are made the file will be interpreted again and its appearance may change (for example, if a font is missing).
SVG, PSD and EPS files These will be converted to embedded Affinity Documents on placement and the original data is not retained; you can't write the embedded file out to its native file format and make it linked.
Multi-page Affinity documents, InDesign (IDML) documents or PDFs You can choose which page or spread you want to display by using Spread on the context toolbar. For PDF, only one page can ever be displayed although you can simulate a spread by duplicating the placed object and choosing a different page to view.
Placed PDFs These offer a PDF Passthrough option on the context toolbar, which defaults to Passthrough for exact reproduction within your own PDFs. If that's not possible, the Interpret option is selected and the Preflight panel lists the reason(s). A bitmap preview of the PDF’s contents is displayed while editing your document in Affinity Publisher.
Microsoft Excel Workbook spreadsheets (XLSX) These can be placed directly in Publisher as tables. When placing, click on the page (instead of dragging) to preserve the original appearance of the file.

Once added to your page, you have the option to replace the content, retaining its position, as well as edit placed content.

Place Image Tool To place content:
  1. Do one of the following:
    • Select the Place Image Tool.
    • From the File menu, select Place.
  2. In the pop-up dialog, navigate to and select a file, and click Open.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • Click to place the file at its default, displayed size.
    • Drag on the page to set the size and position of the content.
  4. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the file onto the page to place it. The current image placement policy (embedded or linked) will be honoured.
To scale a placed image/document by DPI, percentage scale or to original size:
  1. Select the image or document.
  2. From the context toolbar, select the Image/document Info section and choose an Image DPI or Scale percentage value from the pop-up menu. Alternatively, click Original Size to scale to 100% (native dimensions) and reset aspect ratio.
    Image scaling
To return squashed content to its original aspect ratio:
Place Image Tool To place multiple files:
  1. Do one of the following:
    • Select the Place Image Tool.
    • From the File menu, select Place.
  2. In the pop-up dialog, -select the files you wish to place, and click Open.
  3. The Place Images panel will appear, displaying the files you selected for placement. The files can be placed consecutively from here each time you click on the page or picture frames you would like to place them in until the panel no longer holds any files, starting with the topmost file in the panel. Alternatively, you can click on a file within the panel and then click on the page or picture frame to place that specific file.
To convert placed content into a picture frame:
To edit an embedded document:
To add an image to a layer (via Finder):
  • Drag an image from Finder to your page. The image will be added to the project as a new layer.
To add an image to a layer (via Explorer):
  • Drag an image from Explorer to your page. The image will be added to the project as a new layer.
To replace content:
  1. Select placed content.
  2. From the context toolbar, select Replace image or Replace Document depending on what you've placed.
  3. Select a replacement file from the file browser window.
  4. (Optional) You can choose whether to embed or link the replacement file by clicking Options on the file browser window. The placement option you select will override the placement policy for the document in this instance.
Supported file formats for placement

1 Multi-page Freehand files open with each page concatenated onto a single page. Add file extensions .fh10 or .fh11 in Finder to import. Text import is not supported.

2 Raw images are processed automatically.

3 Supports transparency.