Jump to content
You must now use your email address to sign in [click for more info] ×

How to control callout rectangles

Recommended Posts

Is there a tutorial showing the most direct way to create comics-style "word balloons"? I've been trying to use the "callout rounded rectangle" tool and and finding it almost completely unpredictable and impossible to control. I was able to work with it a week ago and get a black outline with white opaque infill. I had to create a separate text box and group that because at no point was there any indication that the callout included a text feature. This week, I can put text in it but cannot control anything but the nodes. That is, I cannot change the line color or thickness of the blue shape (see attachment), nor give it an opaque fill.

Clearly, there is something about this control that is completely changed by some kind of not-obvious setting. What is really needed is a simpler version of this that immediately produces an opaque white "callout" with black lettering and editing nodes, not something that requires that you understand every possible nuance from the very beginning. Help, please! 

Screenshot - 02_26_18 , 2_56_07 PM.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, JCarls,


Here are the nuances.


The callout shapes are made to look like traditional cartoon word balloons. But any shape or area, such as a star or a freehand blob, will turn into a text container if a text tool is clicked on it. Text containers set limits on how the text flows within them. They don't have stroke or fill attributes, which are erased. Only the text attributes can be manipulated. So to get what you want is a 2 step process.


Make the callout the shape you want, with whatever fill and stroke you like. Duplicate that, and use a text tool on the duplicate and start typing. The text box can be left on top of the filled and stroked shape, or nested as a child. The text will reflow both when the parent or child shape is altered.


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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! That was definitely a missing bit of information for me. However, even if I clicked on the copy with a text tool it still lost those properties as you said, disappearing and leaving only the text I had typed. This seemed to be a permanent change, which makes me wonder why this is even a "feature." Perhaps I misread what you wrote and the proper procedure is to create a separate text box and move it over the callout, then group those if desired. That seems to work with more predictable results.

Another problem kept happening, though: I would suddenly get the message that the layer I was working on was rasterized, and I could no longer edit the textbox at all.

I get the feeling that there is something about the Affinity interface that is at odds with the way I expect it to work. I understand how that can happen, but until I understand how to control the interface, I keep feeling lost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, JCarls said:

Another problem kept happening, though: I would suddenly get the message that the layer I was working on was rasterized, and I could no longer edit the textbox at all.

If you open the Assistant (little rectangle with 3bars, next to the left pointing arrow), right at the bottom is Assistant.  You may find with Assistant enabled that it is set to Rasterise vector layers when applying filters or brushes. You can change these settings.



M1 IPad Air 10.9/256GB   lpadOS 17.1.1 Apple Pencil (2nd gen).
Affinity Photo 1.10.5 Affinity Design 1.10.5 
Affinity Publisher 2, Affinity Designer 2, Affinity Photo 2 and betas.

Official Online iPad Help documents (multi-lingual) here: https://affinity.https://affinity.help/ 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.