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How to use Affinity Publisher

When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time, Lady Gaga

Affinity Publisher is a desktop publishing application for Windows and macOS. It is an intuitive, smooth app that helps publishers and creative professionals create and modify designs or layouts for professional-level books, ebooks, magazines, newspapers, social media templates, website mock-ups, and more.

Adobe InDesign is still the industry standard, but it’s quite pricey and unaffordable, specially in these financially straitened times. At the writing of this article, the full design suite is 62,99€ per moth and Adobe Illustrator costs 24,19€ per month. Affinity Publisher is a one-time or one-off purchase. Scribus is the best free desktop publishing solution, but is still missing some features and options.

Avoid subscription software like the plague. This model is death by a thousand cuts.

  1. Launch Affinity Publisher. Select File, New, then the New Document window will open where you can set up your project, e.g., select Print for a print, physical book, A4.

  2. Choose the settings that fits your needs: DPI (300), Orientation (Landscape, Portrait), Image placement policy (you can decide whether files are embedded within the document or linked from their original disk locations), Number of pages, facing pages (it refers to the two pages which are visible at the same time in a multi-page document like a book, newspaper or magazine. The first and last pages will be shown as single pages), etc.

    Be sure to set DPI (printer dots per inch) as 300.

    ![How to use Affinity Publisher](/software/images/affinity4.JPG ./software/images/affinity2.JPG ./software/images/affinity.JPG ./software/images/affinity3.JPG)

  3. Master pages are non-printing pages that you can use as templates for the rest of your document’s pages. They are the perfect solution for ensuring a common look and feel and create consistency from page to page throughout the whole project.

    To add page numbering, on the Pages panel, select a master page. Create a text frame to place your page number by selecting the Frame Text Tool, then click and drag out a bounding box. Select Text, Insert, Fields, Page Number and a hash symbol # will indicate the presence of a page number.

      How to use Affinity Publisher

  4. Select the Picture Frame Rectangle/Ellipse Tool to create a frame or container into which you can place content, then click and drag out a bounding box. On the context toolbar, click Replace Image, select an image from your computer to place it inside the frame. Drag the Scaling slider below the picture frame to zoom in or out. How to use Affinity Publisher

  5. To add text, select the Frame Text tool, then click and drag out a bounding box. Type or paste the text into the text box. If there is too much text, use the Selection tool to click the > sign that appears on the lower bottom right of the text box, and finally, click the text box in the next page. Select the text with a triple click, then we can apply a text style, e.g., Heading 1 and Body text/Standard.

    Set a new font, font size, style, and color. Let’s save it or, more accurately, update our text style by clicking Update Paragraph Style. How to use Affinity Publisher

  6. When your work is done, export your project as a digital PDF or jpeg images by going to the File menu, and selecting the Export option. In the Preset pull-down menu, select PDF (digital - high quality) or JPEG (High quality). In the Area pull-down dialog box choose All Pages for all the pages to appear individually.

  7. To import InDesign files into Affinity Publisher, save your Adobe InDesign document as an IDML file. Navigate through File, Export; give your exported file a name, then click on the dropdown Save As Type, and select InDesign Markup (IDML). Launch Affinity Publisher, go to File, Open, navigate to the IDML file that you’ve just exported and click Open to proceed. Then, save it as an APUB file, that is, Affinity Publisher’s native file type.

  8. If you want to add a new page or pages before/after a chosen page (e.g., 7), select it in the Pages window. Next, click Add Pages. From the dialog, enter the Number of pages you want to add, Page (it shows the previously chosen page, e.g., 7), Insert: Before/After, and which master page to assign to the new page/s.

  9. Dropped capitals have decorative purposes. They are used to give your page more personality and grab readers’ attention. They are large single letters that are several lines larger than the surrounding text. They are taken from the first letter of the first word of the paragraph. To set up drop caps, go to the Paragraph panel’s Drop Caps section, and tick the Enabled checkbox to enable drop caps.

  10. To insert special characters, go to Text, Insert, e.g., Symbol, Copyright (©); Symbol, Trademark (™); Maths, Infinity (∞); Maths, Pi (π). A glyph is the specific shape, design, or representation of a character. To add a Glyph, firstly switch on the Glyph Browser: View, Studio, Glyph Browser. Second, from the Glyph Browser panel, double click the desired Glyph to add it into the text.

    To insert superscript/subscript, go to the Character panel’s Positioning and Transform section, and select from the S: dropdown control, the Subscript or Superscript option.


  1. Affinity Documentation
  2. Spolight, Learn how to use Affinity Publisher, fast
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