Affinity Designer: interface explained for iPad

So when your comparing the interface on a Mac or PC vs. mobile like an iPad your going to see a few differences. The layout will look different, however because affinity has a fully powered program that offers all the same features* on iPad as it does on Mac or PC, it becomes about understanding where to click, tap or look to achieve the same result. That said lets break down the interface.

*as far as I can tell

So here we go with a basic breakdown of the interface on iPad.

Affinity Designer for iPad new document (left handed layout)

As you can see above this is what a newly opened document would look like for Affinity Designer. This is a far cry from what people would be used to if opening a program on a PC or Mac 🖥. Let’s now look at where you would look if you wanted to use different tools.

Ok so if you are looking for the Toolbar (specifically object control options and design aids) your going to tap this little button here with the (…) three dots.

So the things that would typically be in the menu are somewhat scattered but in terms of some of the file options this is where you would look for them.

So above you’ll see two simplified columns of tools ⚒️, and dependent upon which persona is active you have they change to suit your use case. They are all designed to bring the most relevant tools to the forefront and aid in your design in different ways.

Due to the more simplified layout that goes with the iPad version vs. the Mac 🖥 or PC versions the context tool bar is moved to the bottom center of the iPad screen. On the desktop versions it would be up in the top right below the main tool bar and whether it is the desktop or iPad version its function remains the same and changes dependent upon the selected tool or object and what functions those have.

A few more icons you should recognize before I leave you for today.

this hides all buttons and UI so if you all of a sudden can’t find your layers tap this

this button takes you back to your main menu and closes the document your working on. you shouldn’t lose anything when that happens but always err on the side of caution.

these are the different personas and depending on which one is selected you change which tools are available to you so if you cannot find a tool you need double check here.

history button (if you want to jump back farther than a few steps use this it will pull up a longer history of your document)

a back button and redo button (these are for quick undo and redo. i’d use the history if you want to go back farther than a few steps, gestures work as well)

the question mark will pull up what all the buttons are so when in doubt and you don’t know which tool to use click it and it pulls up the icons meanings.

cheat sheet for all the buttons under the different personas and what they are below

For right now I hope this helps you all. I know that Affinity can be confusing for people who are new to the platform so I thought I would share my own learning process and hopefully we can all learn this together. If you have any other questions please feel free to shoot me an email or post in the comments and I will do my best to answer the question.

thank you all and Happy Designing; till next time 💚