Affinity by Serif, Affinity Designer, workbook

Node Settings

Hello, creatives and fellow designers; the topic today will be nodes in Affinity designer for iPad. The other day while helping a co-worker with a file, I realized that nodes and their options could be confusing. In Affinity, there are at least three different ways to make strokes and shapes. So we will delve into them and what options there are with them.

Firstly this is what the node tool looks like on an iPad, so when going to work/adjusting the nodes and elements of a shape or stroke, this is the tool you will want to have selected. When selecting this tool, you will open up a context toolbar.

Node Tools Context Toolbar

As you can see, once the node tool is selected, your context toolbar will update with the options needed to make adjustments and edits to the points of your illustration. This toolbar will update and change depending on what tool you have selected to work with, so do not freak out if you hit the type tool and it changes 😉.

The Sharp Button will eliminate any handles on the selected anchor point.

The Smooth Button takes an anchor with no handles and will add handles, smoothing the node. You will then be allowed to adjust the curve of the path by moving the handles.

The Smart Button will adjust the anchor handles to what it thinks you are trying to do with the shape. Be aware, however, that as soon as you move or tweak the handles, you will be reverting the anchor point and handles to a regular node point.

The Delete Button will delete any selected node or nodes from your path. You can also click anywhere along the same stroke to add nodes back while the node tool is selected.

When you use the Break Button, you can break a single node apart. It will open a shape or break a single line segment into 2 line segments.

When you click this Close Button, it will take the selected stroke and turn it into a closed shape. Bear in mind, however, that it will just create a straight line between the two endpoints of the line segment. So you might want to add more nodes and make adjustments to the shape after closing.

When using this Smooth Button, you’re not affecting just one anchor point. With this one, you will add or adjust nodes throughout the entire stroke to adjust the smoothness of the selected object. I have found that every time you click this button, it adds, takes away, or generally will tweak the nodes in the selected object to facilitate the smoothness of that object.

This Join Button will join two previously disconnected strokes. It will not work on closed shapes or objects, only strokes and line segments. The tool is good for when you have been using the Pencil Tool or the Vector Brush Tool, and you need to go back and connect all the line segments into one shape.

The Reverse Button has a simple purpose. The goal of this is to flip the stroke weight on a line segment. If you are using one of the brushes that vary the thickness of the stroke as you draw, this button can come in handy to quickly adjust where that weight falls on the stroke.

I wish I had a good answer for all these little buttons and options. As best I can tell, they’re to help with the alignment and spacing of the shape. When you’re working with an individual node, the buttons seem to do nothing when clicked on or off. If I figure out more specifics of what they do, I will update this article with new information.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read 💙. Till next time, Happy Designing ❤️!