Affinity Designer Text Manipulation

Working with Text in Affinity Designer

Sometimes when you’re working on a design you need text to be manipulated to change the overall shape of it.  Let’s change the shape where there’s a word and you want to have a wavy line at the top of the text or the bottom of the text. One possible way of doing this would be to change the text objects to editable shapes. Then you could use the node editing tools to alter the shapes of the letters one by one. Doing it this way you’d need to have some sort of guide to get the wavy shape you’re looking for. By doing it this way you’re still working with vector design objects. Staying vector could be important if the design is to be used at various sizes. When you’re using vector you don’t get the jagged, pixelated edges you find with rasterised, bitmap objects.

In the past when I was an expert with CorelDraw it was possible to take a piece of artistic text and manipulate it. This was the envelope tool and it gave you a way to use nodes and control points to change the shape of the whole object. There are applications where it’s possible to do this on the Mac – Inkscape is one. Unfortunately it’s not the case yet with Affinity Designer  Although, you can add a mesh warp to an object in Affinity Photo. It won’t be a vector though.

Affinity Designer Facebook Group

In the Facebook group for Affinity Designer a member (Jet Jet) was asking if anyone knew of a way to do this sort of text design. Initially when I opened up Affinity Designer I expected to find the mesh warp took over on the left hand side with the other tools. For a couple of minutes I thought I must be looking at the wrong editing persona. After some searching around and looking in the help files I discovered it’s only available in Affinity Photo. The good thing about the Affinity products is that they are made to work with each other. If you are working on something in Affinity Photo you can send it to Affinity Designer, or the other way around. When you have done what you need to do in the other application, you send it back. All of the changes you made will be there available for you back where you started. I haven’t use these facilities very often. It took me a while to realise it was necessary to use the command in the file menu of the apps to make this work. Once I had got past this little hold up, it was all plain sailing.

Using Boolean Tools in Affinity Designer

Convert Text To Editable Shapes

In the video I made to demonstrate how to do this editing I started in Affinity Designer. I created the text required for the job and added a wavy line to use as a guide. Before sending the text to Affinity Photo I converted it from text into editable curves. This means you can’t edit it as text any more. You can use the node editing tool to manipulate it as a shape on your page. Rather than do this manually I sent the design to Affinity Photo.

If you plan to work on each of the letters individually you need to un-group them. The un-grouping can be done in Affinity Designer, before you send to Affinity Photo or afterwards. When there are not too many letters in the word you might get away with manipulating the shape as a whole. When you’re working on a word with more letters you’ll get less distortion by doing one letter at a time. Watch the video to see how the job was done and see the difference between the two editing methods. If you do use one warp mesh for the whole set of letters, add more nodes to help keep the shapes.

Using the Cookie-Cutter Method

With certain types of design and font types you could get away with chopping off parts you don’t want. Create the shape to make the cookie-cutter and use the subtract tool. What you are left with will still be a vector shape. This could be better for you in the long run depending on how you want to use the design.

Step one is to create your text. Convert this text to curves. Ungroup these shapes which was text. Then select all of the separate items and make it into a compound object. Create your cookie-cutter if you haven’t done so already. Position the cookie-cutter to the right position to alter the text. Use the subtract tool. The cookie-cutter will be deleted and leave only the text minus what was cut from it.

Another way to do this would be to get the cookie-cutter onto the clipboard. Do each of the letters one at a time. Each subtract operation will delete the cookie-cutter. Use Command V to paste the cookie-cutter back in again and repeat for each item.

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