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Hi Susan,

Welcome to Affinity Forums,

There's no way to change the document background colour. Just do as FLOKK suggested. If you are referring to the pasteboard (the area around the canvas) go to Affinity Designer -> Preferences, User Interface tab and change the Backgroud Gray Level slider.

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I can't figure out how to set the background for a new image through swatches. I'm looking for affordable option for Photoshop for very casual usage, but I have to admit Affinity is giving me grey hair straight from the get go. Can anyone help a dum-dum?

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Hi VincentLakes,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
There's no way to define a background colour for the canvas in Affinity apps. You have to create a shape (rectangle) with the same dimensions as the canvas or a Fill Layer (affinity Photo only going to menu Layer ▸ New Fill Layer) and then selecting the colour you want from the Swatches panel. Not sure if I've addressed your question properly... Let me know if not.

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The original OP didn't state Affinity Photo or Designer, Mac or PC so the answer was a bit more complicated

 

Likewise, are you talking about the user interface background colour, or the document background colour ? If you are specific, then it is possible to give a specific (and simple) answer.

 

In Photo, if you want to set a document background colour, just go Layer > New Fill Layer and click on a colour. Dead simple !  If you use it that often, you can even set a keyboard shortcut.

 

You can change the colour at any time, apply a gradient etc etc.

 

 


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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On 16/11/2017 at 8:17 AM, toltec said:

 

In Photo, if you want to set a document background colour, just go Layer > New Fill Layer and click on a colour.

 

 

And in Designer?

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1 hour ago, Roku said:

And in Designer?

As was mentioned in several of the posts here, add a rectangle shape with the desired fill color the same size as the document & send it to the back.


Affinity Photo 1.9.2, Affinity Designer 1.9.2, Affinity Publisher 1.9.2;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.9.1.225 & Affinity Designer 1.9.1 (showing 1.9.7) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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Why not create a background as an Asset, or two? It could have any colour, or a gradient.

 

You can then drag the background to the document. That's quite modern


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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3 hours ago, impossiblecolor said:

The feels like a pretty clumsy solution. I expected something more modern from affinity for something that is used so frequently

If you mean the lack of a fill layer in Affinity Designer, it is just a consequence of its focus on vector based, resolution independent graphics. It isn't something that is needed for vector graphics all that often to begin with, but with snapping enabled, it takes maybe two seconds to create a rectangle snapped to the margins or spread (effectively, the page size) & send it to the back or wherever else in the layer stack you want it to be.

 

If you are outputting to a raster format, you can set the matte color at export time to anything you want -- there is no need to create any other background.


Affinity Photo 1.9.2, Affinity Designer 1.9.2, Affinity Publisher 1.9.2;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.9.1.225 & Affinity Designer 1.9.1 (showing 1.9.7) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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12 hours ago, R C-R said:

If you mean the lack of a fill layer in Affinity Designer, it is just a consequence of its focus on vector based, resolution independent graphics. It isn't something that is needed for vector graphics all that often to begin with, but with snapping enabled, it takes maybe two seconds to create a rectangle snapped to the margins or spread (effectively, the page size) & send it to the back or wherever else in the layer stack you want it to be.

 

If you are outputting to a raster format, you can set the matte color at export time to anything you want -- there is no need to create any other background.

I can start a new file in Adobe Illustrator and have a white background from the start instead of a checkerboard without doing anything. Every second counts when you have a busy day

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1 hour ago, impossiblecolor said:

I can start a new file in Adobe Illustrator and have a white background from the start instead of a checkerboard without doing anything.

If you want a white background for new files, just make sure the Transparent background box is not checked:

5a90d7c92053a_NewDoc.png.1f9ffad7630cfea75d1573169ea249c3.png


Affinity Photo 1.9.2, Affinity Designer 1.9.2, Affinity Publisher 1.9.2;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.9.1.225 & Affinity Designer 1.9.1 (showing 1.9.7) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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I see that this is long dead, but there are reasons to want a real background color.  For example, if you are using a object as an "erase" mask and want the background color to show through, it's really the only way.  Otherwise, it exports as transparent area in a file format that allows transparency or as grey in a raster image.  Or, if you deselect a transparent background, then you get white.

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Oh, and never mind... I just figured out a work around :)  What I said is true, but to fix it I just limited the scope of the "erase" by making that object a child of the object(s) that I was needing to effect.

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