Affinity Photo Keyboard Shortcuts and Custom Shortcuts

by May 25, 2022Photo Editing Tutorials

Robin Whalley Landscape Photographer

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Affinity Photo Keyboard Shortcuts and Custom Shortcuts

In this tutorial, I’ll be sharing what I consider to be my essential Affinity Photo keyboard shortcuts. These are the shortcuts that I personally use the most when editing my images. But in addition to sharing my favourite shortcuts, I’ll be explaining how to create new custom keyboard shortcuts in Affinity Photo. If there’s a menu command you use a lot, but which doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut, you can use this to assign your own.

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My Essential Affinity Photo Keyboard Shortcuts

When editing photos with Affinity Photo, you can often improve your productivity by remembering a few important keyboard shortcuts. Here are the ones that I find myself using most frequently.

Affinity Photo Command Mac Shortcut Windows Shortcut
Copy selection to the computer clipboard Cmd C Ctrl C
Paste selection from the computer clipboard Cmd V Ctrl V
Zoom to fit image to the screen Cmd 0 Ctrl 0
Zoom to 100% Cmd 1 Ctrl 1
Zoom to 200% Cmd 2 Ctrl 2
Zoom in Cmd + Ctrl +
Zoom out Cmd – Ctrl –
Invert selection Cmd I Ctrl I
Add a new empty layer to an image Shift Cmd N Shift Ctrl N
Merge layers down Cmd E Ctrl E
Merge selected layers Shift Cmd E Shift Ctrl E
Merge visible layers to a new layer Shift Option Cmd E Shift Alt Ctrl E
Select All Cmd A Ctrl A
Deselect Cmd D Ctrl D
Invert the pixel selection (inverts the selection) Shift Cmd I Shift Ctrl I
Repeat last filter applied to the image Cmd F Ctrl F
Increase Brush size (works with all brush tools) ] ]
Reduce Brush size (works with all brush tools) [ [
Default colour to black foreground, white background D D
Switch foreground and background colours X X
Paint Brush Tool B B
Healing Brush Tool J J
Clone Brush Tool S S
Crop Tool C C

There may be other shortcuts that I use from time to time, but this list is what I use most and therefore try to remember. Although this list is long, Affinity Photo has many more keyboard shortcuts than this.

The Complete List of Affinity Photo Shortcuts

If you would like to view a complete set of Affinity Photo keyboard shortcuts, the  Shortcuts Design site is excellent. I’ve linked to the page showing the keyboard shortcuts for Affinity Photo. This allows you to switch between showing Mac and Windows shortcuts. You will also find the shortcuts for other popular software packages on this site.

Viewing the Affinity photo Keyboard Shortcuts

But you don’t necessarily need to learn a long list of the keyboard shortcuts from a website to become more productive. The menus in Affinity Photo also list the keyboard shortcuts next to any command that has one.

Affinity Photo menu displaying keyboard shortcuts

The keyboard shortcuts appear in grey to the right of the menu command they apply to. Every time you find yourself needing to repeat a step in a menu, check to see if there is a keyboard shortcut and then begin using it. They soon sink in.

In addition to the menu commands, many of the Affinity Photo tools appearing in the Tools Palette also have keyboard shortcuts to select them. These aren’t immediately obvious in the interface, but when you hover your mouse over a tool so that it’s name pops up, you will see the keyboard shortcut at the end, displayed in square brackets. For example, “Healing Brush Tool [J]”.

But what about the commands and tools that you use frequently which don’t have keyboard shortcuts assigned to them. For those, Affinity Photo enables you to create your own custom keyboard shortcuts.

Adding Custom Keyboard Shortcuts to Affinity Photo

Adding new keyboard shortcuts in Affinity Photo is relatively straight forward but there are a few things to remember to make the process easier.

To add a custom keyboard shortcut, open the Affinity Photo Preferences. On a Mac computer you can do this in the “Affinity Photo” menu at the top of the interface and then select the “Preferences” option. On a Windows PC you will find the Preferences option in the Edit menu.

The Affinity Photo Preferences dialog includes links to the Keyboard Shortcuts

When the Preferences dialog opens, select the Keyboard Shortcuts option either from the icon or the dropdown list at the top.

On the Keyboard Shortcuts preferences page, you will see a display like the screenshot below.

Keyboard Shortcuts preferences dialog in Affinity Photo

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At the top of the dialog are two dropdowns. You can use these to list the various commands and tools in Affinity Photo. The top dropdown of the two is where you can select the Affinity Photo Persona, as each Persona has a different set of tools and menus. Then the second dropdown below that lists the menu or tools that you want to configure.

After selecting the relevant options in the dropdowns, you will see the tools or menu commands listed, together with any keyboard shortcut that are already assigned.

To create or change a keyboard shortcut, click the field on the right and then press the keystrokes that you want to use. After creating or changing the Affinity Photo keyboard shortcuts, close the preferences dialog and you should see your changes reflected in the interface.

Keyboard Shortcut Problems in Affinity Photo

Whilst the process of creating or changing keyboard shortcuts is simple, there are a few problems to be aware of. The following short YouTube video demonstrates the entire process as well as providing a few tips to help you. Please take a moment to watch this as it contains important information.

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You can also watch this video on my YouTube channel. I publish a new video every week, often based on subscribers’ requests and feedback. Subscribe to my YouTube channel now and be sure not to miss future videos.

If you’ve found this tutorial helpful, please share it with other Affinity Photo users.

More Affinity Photo Tutorials

You’ll find more high quality, free tutorials on my Affinity Photo Tutorials page.

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