Jump into Affinity Publisher

New to Affinity Publisher? To help you find your way around the app and get to grips with everything it has to offer, Product Expert Emily has put together a handy beginner’s guide.

Whether you are new to desktop publishing or are a seasoned professional, I’ve designed this guide to help you get to grips with Affinity Publisher’s interface, key tools and vast capabilities. I’ll also be highlighting some of my favourite features and sharing a few handy tips I couldn’t live without.

I am positive that after this, you will be much more comfortable working in Affinity Publisher and you’ll learn something new and useful that you didn’t know about the app. Let’s get started!

Creating a document

To begin, I’ll explain how to create a new document while navigating the panel setup. You can set up your document either for print or digital work. To do this select New Document from the Welcome Screen or go to File > New.

Or you can use these handy shortcuts: Command + N (Mac) Ctrl + N (Windows)

Tip: You can customise any of the shortcuts to suit your needs. On Mac go to Affinity Publisher Menu > Preferences Menu > Keyboard Shortcuts. On Windows go to Edit > Preferences and select Keyboard Shortcuts. New Document Settings Window

This will open up the New Document window. Everything you’ll need to set up your document can be found in this window, including: Page Dimensions, DPI, Orientation and Image placement policy—with Image placement policy you get to decide between linking or embedding your images to your file. For further information on linking and embedding check out this article: Affinity Publisher: to embed or to link files?

One of the most important things to decide on is if your work will be viewed on a screen or in print as this will help you select the correct colour format and profile. You can go ahead and change this by going to File > Document Setup later if you change your mind. Also, remember to set up Margins and Bleeds for your print needs.


In the latest version of Publisher, you can create a new document from a template. When you have finished designing your document, you can turn it into a template by selecting File > Export As Template. This will turn the Publisher file into an .aftemplate, meaning you can then open it as a new document and start creating straight away.

Create a New Document from a Template Window Document Setup and Spread Setup

These setup dialogs give you full access to your settings from the most accessible place, and you can change them anytime. Both of these dialogs are located at the top of the work area on the context toolbar. Here’s a quick breakdown of what all the settings do.

From Document Setup you can change all these things:

Document Units i.e. changing from Millimetres to Inches DPI (Dots Per Inch)—i.e. 72 DPI for lower quality like a newspaper, or 300 DPI for magazines Image Placement Policy (see Creating a document) Layout Settings Facing Pages—two pages facing each other Arranging Your Pages Start On—Left or Right Colour Settings Colour Format Colour Profile Assign and Convert Transparent Background Bleed Settings—the area that extends further than the trim edge.

From Spread

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