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I'm a graphic artist who has worked with PS in its various iterations for years.  Unhappy about paying thirty bucks a month for a professional subscription with a lot more bells and whistles than I actually wind up using, and seeing a lot of buzz about Affinity as a genuine alternative.   (No, thank you, Gimp and Corel, I'm too old a dog to learn your new tricks...)

So, I'm checking out Affinity on the ten-day trial right now.  At first glance I'm impressed.  At second, actually loading and playing inside the program,  it seems to have a simple workflow with all the shortcuts and quickbuttons I'm used to, enhancing the learning curve... BUT immediately upon importing a project and trying to work with it as I would normally, I notice some aspects missing that I'd consider absolute essentials for a minimum standard of design and editing, and some peculiar responses that feel like glitches.    

a)  There is no easy way to merge or delete layers en masse - ridiculous.   The 'merge visible' or 'delete hidden' control is crucial for getting through blends quickly and efficiently.
b)  Where is my clone brush?   One hard-edge, one soft-edge:  so vital for making basic repairs to any pixel-based image.  
c)  copying over multiple layers from one project to another seems to produce uneven results, edges misaligned or showing up in strange ways.  C&P should be exact, not approximate.
d) Switching from one tool to another should not also switch you into a different layer.  You can really foul up your project by drawing or erasing on the wrong layer, especially if it already contains pixels which you are 'painting over' or images you are enhancing.  At the very minimum, you lose the work you've done if you've, say, traced directly on your reference image rather than the layer above it, as a simple example.
e)  This might be me missing something, but the 'flood fill' doesn't seem to have an opacity control with it, just a boundary sensitivity.  I tried adjusting it in the colour panel on the right with no results, and then tried 'fill opacity' under the Effects tab, which made my entire original image opaquing, but had no effect on the actual level of fill.  Sometime you just want a subtle blush of colour added to an object, not the crude spraycan of MS Paint.   (The 'smudge' also has a very different feel, like trying to use my fist instead of my finger to blend.  Maybe I just need to fiddle with settings and get used to it.)  

If I could get a clone brush and a layer merge, I'd pay the fifty bucks for this program so fast Adobe wouldn't see my dust.   

Can someone give me some workarounds, or are there pro solutions coming to these issues?

  With appreciation -   Bard Judith (http://graphictional.weebly.com)


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If you go to the menu Layer > Merge Visible it merges the layers into one (or rather, creates a new merged layer on top). You can also right click on the Layers panel.and use Merge Visible.




You can also select multiple layers and group them, if you don't want to merge them. Similar but less destructive..


if you select multiple layers and press delete it deletes them all. (Ctrl click to select more than one layer or click, then shift click on the first and last to select a group)  These layers are all selected (blue highlights). If I press delete, they are history!



I've never seen the layers  change when I choose a brush. The only time I can think of is if you try and paint on the wrong type of layer, like a vector layer, or if no layer is selected. Affinity Assistant creates a new pixel layer for you. You can stop that happening if you want


I have not noticed any problems with cut and paste I do that quite a lot. More details ?




The clone brush



Clone brush settings


Choose hard edge, soft edge (Hardness) or anything in between


The settings appear on the Context toolbar when you select the clone brush.



It is mostly learning curve. I had the same problem after using PS for thirty years. But I wouldn't go back now.

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

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Most of your problem will be learning curve related. Worse, you don't only have a curve to ascend, you have to go thru an unlearning curve for ingrained habits. Both Photo and Designer's workspace is pretty well laid out, but it is extensive, and expect to spend time investigating all the aspects.


As a for instance, the flood fill doesn't have a transparency control for itself, but the color picker dialogue associated w. it does. I have only been using Photo for a few weeks, tho' Designer for some months. When I didn't find a transparency control associated w. the flood fill, I looked for the color settings to see not only what color, but how it would be used.


You will find some things not yet built, or needing refinement. I was reading a PS board posting from a year ago, and a user said that Affinity Photo needed to be at least where PS CS2 was before switching. I looked up the CS2 features, and it seems Photo has at least 80%, but also some things from later versions. According to some PS users who have switched to Photo, there are some features which are easier/faster to use. 

iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

iPad 12.9" Retina, iOS 10, 512 Gb, Apple pencil

Huion WH1409 tablet

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Ah !!  You didn't say and my post above was based on the idea you were using Affinity Photo because you referenced using Photoshop.


I saw another post you made and have come to the conclusion that you are trying to use Affinity Designer for editing photos?


Affinity Designer is an illustration program, like Adobe Illustrator. You can't compare that to a proper image editing program, like Photoshop. Designer does have some image editing features but it's not designed to be an image editor. Any more than Adobe Illustrator is. 


I suggest you download Affinity Photo instead. That is a Photoshop equivalent and will do what you ask for in your post above.



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

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