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System palettes not working in 1.10.5

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Can’t add a system palette in Designer: 'Add system palette' does nothing, same goes with 'Import as system palette'. System palettes created in Publisher are not shown in Designer and Photo, but in other Mac applications. Behaviour in Photo is the same as in Designer, only in Publisher everything works as expected.

Edited by rash
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Hi @rash,

Sorry to hear you're having trouble!

I can confirm that after creating a System Palette in Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher, you will need to restart any open Affinity apps for the palette to be detected.

For example, create a system palette in Publisher, then restart Designer. Does the palette show please?

Can you also please confirm for me:

  • What are your mac specs?
  • What version of macOS are you running?
  • Has Affinity been installed from the Affinity Store, or the Mac App Store?
  • Does the above differ between apps? (ie was Publisher downloaded directly, with Photo and Designer from the app store?)

Many thanks in advance :)

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Hi @Dan C,

no matter, I can workaround the issues. To answer your questions:

  • Restarting Designer/Photo (or even rebooting the mac) doesn’t load the palette.
  • I use a Mac Mini and a MacBook Air, both running MacOs 10.14 (Mojave).
  • Designer and Photo have (unfortunately) been installed from the Mac App Store while Publisher originates from the Affinity Store. (btw: I would like to change all of them to the Affinity store which is not possible as far as I know ...)

Hope that helps.


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Thanks for confirming that for me!

I suspect this is a Permissions based issue, as the System Palette creation will attempt to write to a system folder, which is failing through the Mac App Store apps.

Can you please open Apple > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy , then in the list on the left scroll down and select Full Disk Access.

You may need to select the Lock icon in the bottom left and input your macOS user password, then you can use the + icon and add both Designer and Photo to this list.

Once complete, restart your mac and try creating this palette once again. Does this now work as expected please? :)

10 minutes ago, rash said:

btw: I would like to change all of them to the Affinity store which is not possible as far as I know

Unfortunately that's correct, currently there is no way to transfer a purchase from the Mac App Store to the Affinity Store, my apologies.

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@Dan C,

thanks for your help. Your explanation sounds logical, so I optimistically did what you told me. Sadly, there is no difference, both apps remain stubborn. I can try it later on my other computer, but at least on the Mac Mini there must be something else going wrong.

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@Dan C,

meanwhile I’ve checked the MacBook Air that shows nearly, though not exactly the same beaviour: 'Add system palette' creates a system palette in Designer and Photo here, but each palette’s only available in the app that created it. The only system palette that is offered in other Mac apps (except Designer and Photo) is the one created with Publisher.

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Thanks for trying that for me and I'm sorry to hear this hasn't helped - it may be that your Affinity apps are hitting the Mac App Store file limitation, whereby MAS apps can only read, write and access a certain number of files, before macOS stops the app from accessing more.

Do you have many fonts installed on your systems?

One way to check this limitation is through the Console app, found in Utilities. Please open the Console, then open the Affinity app separately and try creating your System Palette.

Now, check the Console log for any lines similar to:

Sandbox: Affinity Designer(1637) deny(1) file-read-data ....

Do you see this appear in your log at all? :)

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Thanks for your hint and the instructions. Again: no luck 😭, there is nothing suspicious in my console log (at least for me). It was obviously a serious mistake to buy your apps at these Apple clowns’ store, I should have known better, since it’s pretty long ago that they did any good. So I'll probably stay with my workarounds, the problem is not really critical.

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