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Affinity Publisher crash after write text in font line

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  • 3 weeks later...

Same problem here. This problem goes back Mar 2021, over a year ago. The "known issue" and work around does work sometimes (have found). However the work around is NOT a fix! Removing a MS update is ESPECIALLY not a fix. The programmer who says this a "feature" not a problem (that's a joke among programmers) should be fired along with the head of QA, since this appears to be a year old problem.  Windows 10 21H2 build 19044.2130.

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10 minutes ago, srpohl said:

Same problem here. This problem goes back Mar 2021, over a year ago. The "known issue" and work around does work sometimes (have found). However the work around is NOT a fix! Removing a MS update is ESPECIALLY not a fix. The programmer who says this a "feature" not a problem (that's a joke among programmers) should be fired along with the head of QA, since this appears to be a year old problem.  Windows 10 21H2 build 19044.2130.

Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums.

If you were seeing it a year ago, I think you were seeing a different problem.

This one really does seem to be caused by this set of Windows updates, and is likely to be (in my opinion, given the number of different programs this set of updates has affected) a Windows bug.

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 22H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 22H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.1.0 and 2.1.0. beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.1.0  and 2.1.0 beta / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.1.0  and 2.1.0beta
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.6.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.7 and 2.1.0 and 2.1.0 beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.7 and 2.1.0 and 2.1.0 beta/ Affinity Publisher 2.1.0 and 2.1.0 beta

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I do not think that we really know whose "fault" the recent crashes and anomalies with e.g. fonts, linked resource and profile lists (the latter in Affinity Photo only) are, but we know that after installation of a recent update to .NET 3.5 and 4.8 (and 4.8.1) these errors do happen with Affinity apps (and most probably with other, too, that have enabled data virtualization in context of list controls), both on Windows 10 and 11.

There is a known, easy workaround to disable the functionality that causes these issues in apps that use WPF based user interface and controls. Those users of Affinity apps that choose to keep the recent .NET 3.5 and 4.8.1 by default automatically applied recommended system updates (instead of rolling them back to avoid these rather limited Affinity-affected issues), might want to apply the easy fix given in this post to keep the updates and also avoid the issues caused by them.

If you decide to try this, please understand that you do it “on your own risk” so the instructions presented here are given just as user-to-user tip in a situation where Serif support has chosen to recommend unrolling of a recommended Windows update (that also contains security fixes), instead of giving detailed information of the problem. IMO, users who choose to unroll a security related system update also do it “on their own risk”, but most of them probably inadvertently, unless they have read the KB article related to the update they are advised to uninstall. Personally I’d definitely keep all the system (security) updates (and keep on receiving further Windows updates, rather than taking a risk of blocking miscellaneous new updates because of having unrolled one possibly being a pre-requisite for further recommended and automatic fixes).

I have no competence of making statements on whether these updates, which in addition to security fixes also contain several improvements that make the affected controls more stable, also have changes that are themselves directly causing new issues (that is, if they contain clear bugs), or whether the fixes are such that they break apps that have used certain features that in the improved versions require handling and processing, but omission of which did not cause problems in earlier versions. So far Microsoft has not provided any further fixes to the affected .NET modules, and the KB articles related to these updates state that MS is not aware of any issues related to applying these recommended updates. As far as I know this is the latest KB article related to Windows 11:


It is quite possible that such issues exist and that there will be an official fix some time in the future, but as long as such information is not made public to users (either by MS or Serif), I think that for most users it is best to allow recommended system updates and just try to live with the app issues for the moment (until getting more detailed information), as they seem to be such that can easily be either avoided or worked around (the issue with linked resources is more serious, however, and if not attended, can make it practically impossible to work with the project).

Anyway, those who don’t mind fiddling with the app setting text files and making a couple of tiny changes in them to avoid the .NET 4.8 update related issues in Affinity apps, can choose to do the following:

NOTE: You should make these changes only if you have .NET 4.8 (or a sub version like 4.8.1) installed due to recent Windows update. Please check the update history to see that this is so. Disabling the data virtualization setting has no effect unless you actually have the update active, but then you should not experience the mentioned issues in the first place)

1)      The files to be edited in case you have Serif-store purchased versions are:
C:\Program Files\Affinity\Publisher\ Publisher.exe.config
C:\Program Files\Affinity\Designer\ Designer.exe.config
C:\Program Files\Affinity\Photo\ Photo.exe.config
In case you have Microsoft Store purchased apps, I am not sure if it is wise or even possible to tamper with the configuration files, even if their location can easily be revealed by using Task Manager and opening the location of running Affinity executables.

2)      The changes to be made in each of these text files are the following:
a) In line that states the sub version of the .NET runtime version, enter 4.8 instead of 4.7.2 or something else that states the current version:
      <supportedRuntime version="v4.0" sku=".NETFramework,Version=v4.8"/>
b) In line that states whether data virtualization should be used in context of list controls, change the current value from “true” to “false”, as follows (alternatively you could delete all three lines, that is, the <appSetting> block, but it is enough to just set the value of the only setting in this block false):
    <add key="IsVirtualizingStackPanel_45Compatible" value="false"/>

3)      Save the changes (you need to run your text editor in Administrator mode), then launch your Affinity apps to see if this has fixed the problems with font lists (any Affinity app) and color profile conversion (Affinity Photo).

I cannot tell whether changing the runtime version number can have any negative effects, but if so, then it is easy enough to cancel the changes and revert the original settings. For that purpose it is a good idea to make backups of the original setup configurations before making changes to them.

I hope this user-based help is considered acceptable on the forum. I am giving it basically because I find it disturbing that Serif support currently appears to advise users to uninstall security involved recommended updates also related to issues the cause of which is not necessarily the mentioned system update, basically just to see if it “could be”, making users of release products kinds of testers (instead of spending some time and examining the cases themselves) -- and without giving any further details of the nature of the updates that they ask users to uninstall (exact KB numbers are not given, either, and e.g. there are already four or five 3.5. and 4.8 updates for Windows 11, and additionally feature updates that might either include them or be blocked because of being dependent on them).

Instead, it is basically implied that the update in question is a Microsoft blunder that the users should get rid of in order to make their system operable again [UPDATE: or, that because the issue has arisen spontaneously after a system update, it is a responsibility of MS to fix the problem as if Serif were not in power of doing anything to the matter themselves]. No notice is given whether the alleged “bug” is actually acknowledged by MS so that a fixed update could be expected in due time, or whether users of Affinity apps should permanently avoid Windows updates involving .NET components, whether security related or not.

I have not seen any publicly given information on whether a kind of feature-disablement fix (or “workaround”) shown above might at some time point be provided officially by Serif, as well, in an event it seems that there will be no Microsoft provided update that one way or another manages to implement the made improvements and security fixes without causing breaking of existing apps. And whether it is provided for all 1.x versions since they all seem to be affected.

In case this information is considered inappropriate to exist on the user forum and is estimated to possibly cause more harm than good, I apologize for posting it, and hope the moderators will remove it. The intention was nevertheless good, and due warnings were given.

UPDATE: The latest Microsoft cumulative update as of October 25 to .NET 3.5, 4.8 and 4.8.1 still does not seem to fix the issue (tested on Windows 10 and 11), and in the release article MS still claims their view of not being aware of any issues related to the update:


It means that this problem has now lasted already over a month (and the modules causing this problem in Affinity apps have been re-distributed already in a number of different cumulative updates, some containing security related fixes, as well). I do not know if rolling back the update could cause delay in update of any feature, quality and security updates but e.g. on my Windows 11 computer there is one feature update and eleven Windows 11 related quality and security updates that have been auto-installed after September 17, when the modules causing this issue were first time installed on this computer. The next official monthly cumulative update will happen on Tuesday Nov 8, and if this will not fix the issue, I would be a bit worried about the status of the problem (as there is a chance that there will be no auto-fix to the problem from MS). 

UPDATE2: For me, the patch Tuesday update as of Nov 8 2022, also including (once again) an updated .NET 3.5 and 4.8.1 module (in addition to making several other system updates), unfortunately did not bring a fix to the issues experienced in Affinity apps because of changes affecting WPF data virtualization, so the above mentioned fix is still necessary, if you choose to keep Microsoft updates.

The release note of the latest .NET 3.5 and 4.8.1 update for Windows 11, 22H2, also including a security fix: 


UPDATE: There is now official 1.10.6 update for Windows that properly fixes this issue. Please use that instead of the workaround. The updated version will overwrite any manual changes made to the app setting file so you do not need to restore anything to get the apps behave as planned.


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So, for those of us who are not programmers, is there a fix? I am working on a project for a client, and I am having this same problem with a little more added. When I try to change fonts, only a limited number of my fonts show up (maybe 1/8 of my fonts). When I try to search for the font by typing it in, then my program crashes. It looks like my windows was updated on Oct 14, but the fonts were working fine yesterday. I haven't tried Photo yet, but the problem is happening in publisher and designer.


I can see all my fonts in photo, but the favorites list is not working right, and it also crashes when using the font search bar. (but not as quickly as the other two programs)

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1 hour ago, momsthewordus said:

So, for those of us who are not programmers, is there a fix?

Serif advises to roll back the recent Windows update related to .NET 3.5 and 4.8.1. They do not give exact instructions but just refer to KB article numbers indicating some of the updates involving these modules, but e.g. on my system (Windows 11 with all updates) the KB numbers are different, and there are four updates related to these modules, so I do not even know which one to uninstall (or all) to get rid of the issue. So uninstalling might also require some extra effort from the user, and more so when time passes as you might already have later updates that are dependent on the update that is advised to be removed and might need to uninstall more than just one update.

The instructions given above do not basically involve programming skills, but if you do not feel comfortable with them, I'd advise not to try it.

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  • Staff
On 10/19/2022 at 12:16 AM, lacerto said:

In case this information is considered inappropriate to exist on the user forum and is estimated to possibly cause more harm than good, I apologize for posting it, and hope the moderators will remove it. The intention was nevertheless good, and due warnings were given.

As usual @lacerto, your help is very much appreciated. We don't recommend this workaround but I don't see why users can't be given this information so that they can make their own decision on how to get around this issue and get their apps working again. I've added a link to your workaround in this FAQ with a disclaimer - hope you don't mind.

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  • Staff
On 10/22/2022 at 4:37 AM, Mustazy said:

• I feel like this needs a serious solution instead of
=> only deleting the new Windows Updates

the software team on Serif should provide a real fix to this issue and as soon as possible...

I don't have much more information to share at the moment, sorry. When I do, I will let everyone know.

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Someone suggested that it's a Microsoft issue. Unless this is effecting a LOT of programs, MS won't do anything about it. As for Serif, they are probably concentrating on Windows 11. Be ready for Serif to say "this version has been deprecated and will no longer be supported". "We will be coming out with a new and better version for Windows 11 that can be purchased soon." 

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I'm glad I'm not the only one having this problem -- for me, so far it is every time I try to change the font style by typing in the dropdown box and using the active search feature to narrow down my list. I thought my software revision (Affinity Designer might be terribly out of date, and couldn't even find where we used to be able to see all the recent updates avail for download (ps - where the heck is that? Or where is the menu item in the program to check for updates?? Even the Help files didn't find it for me).

I, for one, do not feel comfortable rolling Windows back. They add security releases and all kinds of things in there and it is well outside my wheelhouse. This has slowed my workflow to a crawl, just hoping a fix is on the horizon. Thanks,

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Ditto. I'm with K Mori, srpohl and Mustazy on this. Hoping Serif is able to address this very quickly. I'm also not real comfortable tinkering with the Windows updates and whatnot. These are the sort of things that have kept me away from upgrading to W11. Quite frustrating now that the apps are being affected while still running in W10.

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I use all three Affinity apps (Designer, Photo, and Publisher). The crashing when typing in font names happens in all the apps. It seems to be connected with updates that include .NET 3.5 and 4.8.x.

I'm running Windows 10 Home (21H2, Build 19044.2193).

I've found two ways to avoid these crashes.


  1. Position the cursor at the beginning of the current (highlighted) font name.
  2. Enter the name of the font needed or to be searched for.
  3. Then press and hold the "delete" key to remove the current font name (to the right of the cursor)
  4. A list of new fonts will be presented and the app does not crash.


  1. Uninstall the update(s) that contain .NET 3.5 and 4.8.x.
  2. Reboot (restart) the PC.
  3. After rebooting the system, "hide" the uninstalled update(s) from Windows so these updates do not automatically show up again in the future.

With Method B, I can overwrite the current highlighted font in the drop-down menu as before with no crash. If/when the issues with .NET 3.5 and 4.8.x are fixed (either by Microsoft or Serif), the hidden updates can be "unhidden".

I went with Method B. Now I can work as I have with no crashes in any of the three Affinity apps.

What I do: Document design/typesetting; Stock photo images; Digital art | Apps I use: Publisher, Photo, Designer | My PC: AMD Ryzen 7 4700U; 16.0GB RAM; Win 10 Home (21H2)

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For those of you running Windows 10/11 and bought the program using the Microsoft Store.

Here is a solution. Again, not advised, but it worked for me.


1. Enable the option to open explorer in a separate process


Windows Button > Explorer Options > Launch folder windows in a separate process

Detailed guide here: https://www.onmsft.com/how-to/how-to-open-file-explorer-windows-in-a-separate-process-to-the-windows-ui

2. Install the "Get ownership" context menu


When you install something from Microsoft Store it is stored in the "C:/ProgramFiles/WindowsApps" directory and by default you cannot change anything in this folder. The regscript mentioned adds a simple option in your context menu that gives you the ownership of the file, meaning you will be able to alter them.

Windows 10: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/3841-add-take-ownership-context-menu-windows-10-a.html

Windows 11: https://www.elevenforum.com/t/add-take-ownership-to-context-menu-in-windows-11.1230/

3. Open your CMD as an administrator

  1. Right click the Windows Icon with SHIFT pressed
  2. Select "Terminal/CMD (Administrator)"

4. Go to the WindowsApps folder of your application


1. Type the following command. (this command makes your CMD open the WindowsApps folder)

cd C:\Program Files\WindowsApps

2. Now depending on the app you have installed, the command changes a little bit. Choose the one you use.


Affinity Designer: 

 cd *Affinity*Designer*

Affinity Photo:

cd *Affinity*Photo*

Affinity Publisher:

cd *Affinity*Publisher*


>> Hang on, we are halfway there! 😁


5. Now the "Take Ownership" of the Designer/Photo/Publisher.exe.config


> If you are using Windows 11, you'll need to click the "Show more options" in the context (right click) menu.

1. In the CMD you have opened and navigated to the appropriate folder, type:

explorer .

2. Find the "Designer/Photo/Publisher.exe.config" and right click

3. Select the option "Take ownership" (It will open an admin pop-up and a CMD window. It is normal)

6. Open the file with notepad or other program and make the changes suggested by @lacerto 

7. Save the file and you are done! 👏 👏


Common errors


I can't change the file. It shows the message "...being used by another program..."

I did the tests in two computers. One running Windows 10 e another running Windows 11. To the latter, it showed this message, and I couldn't change at all. I just deleted it and, so far, didn't notice any changes (except that my program does not crash when I search for fonts). 

            BEWARE: this can cause problems, but for me, it worked fine. Make a copy and store-it somewhere safe before deleting.


Hope this helps someone, and you don't need to waste 4 hours searching and combining solutions from random places on the internet. 😅

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"After rebooting the system, "hide" the uninstalled update(s) from Windows so these updates do not automatically show up again in the future."

Can someone explain how to do this with Windows 10? The websites I have seen refer to wushowhide.diagcab  and this cannot be downloaded in Edge or Chrome on my PC.


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As a field report, Publisher running on Windows 10 Pro 22H2 build 19045.2251 was crashing when I tried to add a new section to a document. I applied the modification suggested by @lacerto and the problem went away. I was comfortable doing this because the modification is easily reversable. I'll report back if any side effects turn up.

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42 minutes ago, aff2022ca said:

Is this still an issue in V2?

No. To me it seems (but I may be wrong and have not bothered to test) that v2 apps have "fixed" the issue by disabling the feature that is causing the problem (data virtualization), that is, by doing the same app setting change (not recommended by Serif) as advised above, in two separate posts (the former for Affinity and latter for Microsoft Store versions).

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Please note, too, that mere transfer from .NET 4.7.2 runtime to 4.8.x means transfer from min Windows 7 to Windows 10. While this change may be crucial as regards to future development, I am not sure if it is really necessary within 1.x realm of Affinity apps. 1.x versions really should be supported fully across this change [in case Microsoft has made or will make similar functional changes also to earlier modules used in Windows 7 and 8], one way or another (at least via patches, which could easily be supplied even by the community, if not supplied by official channels).

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