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Tutorial

Transparent Background In Affinity Designer

There is nothing more frustrating than exporting the image, uploading it to the internet, or placing it in a publication and finding out that it doesn’t have a transparent background. Yaay!

To avoid this from happening in the future, I’ve decided to write this tutorial. Here you will find out how to create a transparent background in Affinity Designer if you’ve already made your designs and you want to export your image with transparency.

In the second part of this tutorial, you will find out how to apply transparent background to your project right from the beginning.

These Are The Steps You Need To Take To Create Transparent Background In Affinity Designer:

  • Step 1: Navigate to the Document Setup
  • Step 2: Select The Transparency Option In The Color Tab
  • Step 3: Export Your Work

For more details, follow the full step-by-step tutorial below.

How To Make Transparent Background In Affinity Designer

Exporting Current Image In Affinity Designer With Transparent Background

Step 1: Navigate to the Document Setup

Go to: File > Document Setup or use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+P (Shift+Cmd+P on Mac) and a pop-up window will open.

Transparent background in Affinity Designer - step 1: go to Document Setup

If you have the Selection Tool activated, and you don’t have any object selected, you can access the Document Setup in the top Toolbar. In case you have an object picked, click somewhere outside the artboard to exclude the selection.

Navigating to the Document Setup

As you can see, you can access the Document Setting in a few different ways. Now, let’s see where you can set the transparent background for your image.

Step 2: Select The Transparency Option In The Color Tab

Once the Document Setting window opens, navigate to the Color Tab and check Transparent background.
Click OK, and you have set the transparent background.

Choosing Transparent background checkbox in the Color tab

Step 3: Export Your Work

Now all you have to do now is export your design. Go to File > Export… or use the shortcut Alt+Shift +Ctrl +S on Windows and Opt+Shift+Cmd+S on Mac. When the Export Settings open, choose the right file extension that supports transparency. It can be .png, .svg, .gif, just to name a few.

Exporting designs with transparent background from Affinity Designer

How easy was that? A few clicks and you’re done!

If you want to see your artwork on a white background again, uncheck the selection box in the Color tab under the Document Setup window.

Ok now that you know who to apply transparent background to your existing file, let’s see how you can set this option at the beginning of the working process.

Applying Transparent Background In The Affinity Designer From The Start

Step 1: Create New Document

To create a new document, go to File > New…, or use shortcut Ctrl+N or Cmd+N if you’re working on Apple.

When a pop-up window opens, you can choose among different Presents, depending on the type of work you’re going to do. So if you’re planning to create a design for the web or the print, the right DPI, color space and bleed will be already set for you. But no matter what preset you use you can set the transparent background the same way.

Creating New Document

Step 2: Choose Transparent Background

Navigate to the right side of the New Document window.
Under the Color tab, you can find the Transparent background option. Check the checkbox
and inspect if all the other settings match the purpose of our project. Mind that you can always change the document settings under the Document Setup option.

Once you’re happy with everything, all you need to do is click Create.

Choosing the Transparent background checkbox in under the Color tab

Now you can start working on your designs without any background right from the start. As mentioned earlier, if you’d like to switch back to the solid background, you can go to Document Setup (shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+P or Shift+Cmd+P on Mac) and uncheck the Transparent background option under the Color tab.

Bonus Tip:

I prefer working with the created Artboard right from the get-go, so I can apply a range of different properties to it. As a result, I thick the Create artboard checkbox in the Layout tab of the New document window.

Selecting Create artboard setting

How To Export Multiple Files With Transparent Background

If you have multiple transparent files ready to export, read on and find out the fastest way to do that.

Step 1: Navigate To Export Persona

To export all the files at once, go to Export persona in the top left corner of the Affinity Designer window. It’s the most right icon of the three.

Navigating to the Export persona in the Affinity Designer

Step 2: Select The Slices You’d Like To Export

Select all the files you want to export. You can export all the files you’ve made, or you can mark the ones you’d like to. To select all the files, click the first one, hold the Shift key and select the last one. On the contrary thick the boxes of the Slices, you’d like to export.

The number next to the Export Slices button will indicate how many files you’re going to export.

Selecting the slices you want to export

To the files you’ve selected, you can apply the proper file format. How to do that you will find out in the next step.

When you’ve selected the files you want to export, be sure to select the right file format that supports transparency.

Step 3: Apply The Proper File Format To The Slice

Some of the most popular formats are PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, SVG. Most of the time you’ll be exporting .png or .svg that works great if you use them in the digital environment.

Like choosing the slices for export, you can also pick the format for all of them, or you can apply a preferred format to a specific slice.

However, selecting the files, in this case, works a bit differently. To mark the ones you want to set the desired format you have to click on the space next to the name. As displayed in the image below.

selecting the slices for file format application

Now, select the proper format under the Preset option in the Export options tab.

applying the proper file format to the slices

Step 4: Exporting Files

When you’re done with your selection, click the Export Slices button. When the pop-up windows show up, select the folder where you want them to be saved. Click export and you’re done.

exporting multiple files at once from Affinity Designer

Final Words

If you’re used to the Adobe working environment, you can tell that the process of exploring a transparent background from Affinity Designer is a bit different. When using Adobe, you get to select the Transparent option when you’re saving the file, but in Affinity Designer, you have to set it beforehand. Therefore, it takes a bit of repetition to get it in your muscle memory, thus making it a bit annoying at times.

I hope this tutorial will help you to be more stress-free while exporting designs with transparent background from Affinity Designer.

Till next time!

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