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How to Work With Text Tools in Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo includes exquisite text tools because at some point any photographer needs them. You may think a photographer’s job starts and ends with taking amazing pictures but you’d be wrong. Photographers have to know how and where to publish their photos, how to protect copyright, how to promote themselves on social media channels, and how to maintain the audience interested. In order to do all that, you need to know how to work with text in Affinity Photo.

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Three reasons for working with text tools in Affinity Photo

Adding text helps you protect your photos from unwanted use in two ways. The first one is adding your signature to each photo you publish to make sure everyone knows who the photographer is. However, the signature can easily be cut out of the photo as it’s usually placed in a corner of the photo. The other way is to apply a visible watermark, a large text over the entire image. The watermark makes the photo almost impossible to use but also affects the quality of your work.

You can use text for promoting reasons too. Adding titles, quotes, or a statement creates a connection with the public and gives you the liberty to complete the visual narrative with words. When you publish your photos on social media, you want the public to interact and give feedback. Thus, adding some words helps you keep them interested and convince them to share your work with their peers. You may share the photo’s location and date, your mood while taking the photo or connect the photo with a current event.

Text is also used to create collages and artistic works. Many photographers prefer to transform their photos into artworks by overlaying multiple images and text. It’s a form of visual poetry, which can be much more easily done with digital tools such as Affinity Photo.

Text and images produce a powerful and meaningful combination

However, adding text should improve the quality of your work. And although working with fonts, text size, and text color is an art by itself, called Typography, you should always aim to match the text’s properties with the photo’s content and the message you want to convey. Here is what Affinity Photo has to offer in terms of text tools.

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Text tools in Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo provides two text tools, available in the Tools panel on the left: Artistic Text Tool and Frame Text Tool. Alongside these two dedicated tools, you can also use the Move Tool to change the position of the text within the photo or to change the properties of the text.

Text tools

Each text you add is automatically transformed into a new layer having the text as its name. You can rename them, adjust opacity, apply live filters, choose a blending mode, and add effects. This gives you almost infinite possibilities to mix text and images.

Each text you add makes an individual layer in Affinity Photo

Effects and live filters transform ordinary text into artful elements. Apply shadows, make the text glow, or add 3D effects and gradients to make the text part of the story.  You can even make the characters resemble an image instead of having just a plain color. Add a new image layer under the text layer, then right-click on the text layer and choose Mask to Below to make the characters resemble the image.

Use an image as a filler for your text to create amazing compositions

Artistic text

Artistic text is a decorative text that can be used for signatures, titles, quotes, and artistic purposes. Affinity Photo allows you to set up everything you need to be creative, from basic text properties such as font and color to more advanced properties such as character decorations and positioning, typography, paragraph settings, and alignment. To add artistic text, choose Artistic Text Tool from the Tools panel, then click on the image to establish the text’s position and drag to establish the text’s size. Everything you need to configure the text is available in the artistic text toolbar.

Artistic text toolbar

The toolbar allows you to configure the font and font style, size, color, character style, and paragraph style. You have access to Affinity’s color picker to choose the best color for your text. Also, instead of inserting a numeric value for the text’s size, you can select the text you want to resize and drag the selection to change its size. The same method works for rotating and tilting the text.

Change the size and orientation of the text by dragging the selection
The color of the text is essential. Affinity Photo provides an advanced color picker.

Frame text

Frame text is very similar to artistic text but is created especially for working with large text and paragraphs. Unless with the artistic text, frame text comes in a box, which you can resize both horizontally and vertically, allowing you to include large portions of text without needing to break it into lines yourself. If you copy your text from somewhere else, try using Paste Without Format from the Edit menu instead of the regular Paste, to clean the text from unwanted formatting.

Once you’ve placed a frame text on top of your image, you can start setting all the parameters of the text. The Frame text toolbar looks exactly like the Artistic text toolbar, each piece of frame text is also an individual layer, and you can overlay layers as you wish by moving them backward or forward. But frame text has another feature that helps your artistic purpose. It doesn’t have to be rectangular. You can create any shape you like and then add frame text to match its contour. For example, you can create a bubble for a quote or a more interesting shape for a statement. All you have to do is create the shape, select the Frame Text Tool from the Tools toolbar, and double click on the shape to start writing the text. You can use Copy-Paste as well. The text will match the contour of the shape and you can arrange it similar to the rectangular text.

For a more poetic effect, use the Frame Text Tool to shape your text more interestingly

Character and paragraph styling

In Affinity Photo, you can style each character individually. Select one or more characters and open the Character panel by clicking the corresponding icon in the Artistic of Frame text toolbar. The panel allows you to change the selection’s font style, font size, color, decorations, position and inclination, typography, and more.

Style each character to match your artistic vision

Long text, such as statements and quotes, can be organized in paragraphs. Affinity Photo gives you control over each aspect of the text. Open the Paragraph panel by clicking the corresponding icon in the Artistic or Frame text toolbar and configure text alignment, spacing, lists, and more. You’ll notice that some of the settings are available in the toolbar too.

Large texts need paragraph styling

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Working with styles

One of the most important rules in Typography is to keep things simple. If you use text to apply a signature on your photos, use the same text characteristics each time. You want to create a personal style and give the public the chance to recognize your work. Therefore, spend some time developing the perfect styles for each type of text you need (e.g. signature, watermark, quote, statement, etc.). Then use Affinity Photo to save the styles for later use.

To create a new style, choose New style from the Artistic text toolbar. In the window that opens, introduce all the characteristics of your style. You can create a new style from scratch or select a text you’ve already personalized and start from its settings. Don’t forget to give a relevant name to the new style.

Create styles for each type of text you need and save them for later use
Set up new styles from scratch or start from an existing text


Affinity Photo provides a menu for working with text. You can use it instead of the toolbars to open the panels with settings for characters and paragraphs, the panel for typography options, and the one for text styles. You can also use it to make the text larger or smaller, adjust alignment and spacing, work with styles, insert a range of special characters, and set up spelling. If you want to hide or show all the text layers simultaneously, you’ll find the commands for doing that in the Text menu as well. The Text menu and text tools are available only in the Photo Persona. Therefore, make your photo adjustments before starting to work with text. Use the Export Persona to export versions of your work with and without text.

The Text menu

In conclusion

Working with text in Affinity Photo is intuitive and rewarding. You don’t have to start from scratch every time you need to add some text. Create a range of text styles that represent your work and use them thoughtfully. You want to showcase your photos in a cohesive and meaningful manner. Make your public remember your signature and style and share with them your thoughts. A combo of text and image is a powerful tool to promote your work and make it memorable.


  • I'm a creative writer and photographer. For me, photography is a state of mind. It's a way of living in the moment and transform it into memories. I photograph landscapes, wildflowers, and nature with my eyes and my heart. Through the viewfinder, I see the world free of any misconceptions.

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