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Hard time understanding slices and export in Designer

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Hi, I have a very hard time understanding the slices and export.

Should a slice not automatically be created from a layer.. ALWAYS ? Did I miss something? it seems to be it does at times and at other times it does not.

When I duplicate a layer containing my design, rename it to something else than the original (say original is called Flyer.. and dupliate is renamed Web banner) it becomes a truly new layer thus shouldn't a new slice be automatically created at this juncture or am I totally off-base and shouldn't that slice inherit the name of the renamed layer also?

If a file is set up as a print file, I think I can enter pixel unit in the Transform toolbox using px next to the number (though that box still shows mm).. and thus use pixel values for resizing layers that need to be in px for exports (my projects often include having to create both print and web elements). I'd swear at times entering pixel values in the Transform yields correct pixel exports and at times not at all..

Basically I'm trying to understand where I bug and where the software bugs.. as when different outcomes happen after a similar sequence of events.. I  get totally confused not getting the expected result.

PLEASE point me me to very clear Youtube or video tutorials (I need images to understand I do very badly with text tuts) .. H E L P

At this point things I did farily easily if not very easily using Adobe products are still quite complex in affinity.. guess my brain is not yet matched to this way of thinking.

I'm off Adobe but at times I miss it still.. I was hoping the switch would be slightly more intuitive.


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I feel very much let down by this "community".. am thinking of going back to Adobe.. No answer from any Affinity people (whom I think should be doing the job..).. makes me feel like Apple forums where lost people try and help each other (when you are lucky enough that someone took the time to try) and Apple never ever reacts to any question, bug issue etc (likely to protect their ass legally and pretend no issue exists) until they release some sort of blanket statement and/or fix.. is this the society we're building, the Amazon cashier-free style of "deal with it monkeys." Sad, very sad.

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Hi ianstudio,

I just came across your topic. I just saw it today so I'm gonna try my best to help you out but you could also wait to see if someone from Affinity could help you more.

First my recommendation is that you take a look at the official tutorials. You can check them here (just scroll down and look for the section - Saving, exporting and sharing for Affinity Designer and Finishing Off for Affinity Photo): 

1. Slices. Regarding the automatically creation of Slices I never experience that. Independently of how many layers I have when I go to Export Persona I must go to the layers panel inside the Export Persona mode and click the Create Slice button. I must say that I prefer this way. I rather decide for myself which layers or objects I want to export. Besides, it's as easy as a click.


2. Layer duplicates and Slices, yes they are independent and if you gave them different names they'll appear with different names in the Export Persona mode, both in the Layer panel and Slices Panel. But as I said before the slices are not created automatically. At least as far as I know.

3. Units. When you create a new document one of the things you should set is the document units. Imagine if you set it to mm, every object in your document will reflect that choice. Nevertheless if you want to enter px values in the Transform panel you can do it but after you click ok, the value are showed in mm, the document units you set before. When you go to export the object size will be correct be it in mm or px. Don't forget that if you gonna enter a different unit of the document in the Transform panel you must specify the unit (substitute mm for px or whatever unit you're using).


I think it's just a matter of understanding how things work.

By the way, I left Adobe from the first Affinity beta versions and no way I'm going back. Last month I even wrote an article on my blog with my experience. You can go check it if you want.
This topic is very important since not everyone understand this concept so I'm gonna see if I can make a tutorial covering it.

Don't forget that my help is based on my personal experience and as far as I know. The Affinity team may have something different to say.
I really hope I could help.



Photographer, Artist & Educator

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Thanks a lot for all your answers..

1. Well my slices were created automatically from each board I had created, but not when I then duplicate one of these boards. Maybe that is because when I create a new file I click the checkbox "Create artboard" below units that it then acts that way..

2. Units do work as you say, more or less, they always seem to add a pixel here and there: 300px entered in the mm box becomes 301px upon export etc.. I like precision even if only for basic web banners (I don't do UI design but that would be a real issue there) so I'm now changing units at the file level when working on a web banner and switching back when working on a flyer for example (I have files containing both, so I can work on all of them at once), I wish there were a simple toggle button right in the toolbar for that. I also wish the toolbar could be attached to the right side as in Adobe (I hate a floating toolbar just a little less that a toolbar on the left (I'm right-handed.. so rare...!!!).


There are certain things I don't like with Designer.. when you place an object/image, the part outside the board does not show, which is good but limited, it would be good at times to actually see the whole image and its edge without having to select it first (as you can toggle viewing "frames" in InDesign for example).. And I really hate that you cannot fold the "studio", you can hide it all or show it (I really like the way Adobe approaches the folding and having several levels of tools not just one column on each side). So at times my brain feels the interface is quirky.. maybe when I really get use to it all.. I understand they cannot totally copy Adobe, but Adobe had decades to figure certain things out with their UI's, not all good of course but many are)


What's gonna make or break it for me over time is the "upcoming" "Publisher... loooong waait.. end of 2018 they say.. if I find I can work with the trio pleasantly then I'll possibly be an Affinity person.. Not sure the level of precision in typography will be up to par, will kerning, justification etc match Adobe's.. unlikely.. Adobe composer in InDesign is quite advanced.

Right now I work with InDesign a lot and still compare when it comes to overall UI... when I switch from InDesign to say Affinity Designer.. I sort of feel like I am switching to a more toy-like environment.

Thanks again!

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Your welcome,

1. When you create Artboards indeed they get to have a automatically created Slice. Since you didn't specify it in the first post I thought you were working on a single board with different layers. If you duplicate an Artboard, in fact it doesn't have a slice created for it and this maybe a bug. But you can have a different approach, instead of duplicating the Artboard just draw/create a new one. This way it works. Don't forget to give different names to each one (flyer, banner, etc).


2. Regarding the issue of the added pixel here and there, I think when you're talking about pixel perfect alignment you must activate the Force Pixel Alignment function. When you work in mm you can have half values but this is not the case for pixels. In pixels based work you are working in 1px full increments. This is my suggestion, you can try and see if it works for you. Regarding the placement of the toolbar, you can in some degree place it where better suits you but indeed it's not the same has Adobe (don't see it as a good or bad thing, it just different despite there area some issues in this area). But what can I say, I'm left handed... :D


Regarding the other "issues" you mention, Adobe and Affinity have different approaches and for me this is an healthy thing. Most of the cases is a matter of getting used to it. And despite many things being the same, I like they didn't copy Adobe, I think we need new and sometime better ways of doing things.


I'm also wanting for Publisher but before judging let us see what Affinity can bring to the table, maybe we get a big and good surprise.




Photographer, Artist & Educator

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I feel like I'm on a hill, close to the top.. and that when I get there I'll hopefully feel "fluent enough" with Affinity. I originally got both apps as soon as they came out as everything about Adobe is bloated, too many apps, most of which I have no use for, the subscription of course and just that I hate when a company has a monopoly. I have to stick to Affinity, suffer a little (I barely touched my Affinity apps until very recently, always going back to Adobe out of laziness). Thanks for the uplift.

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