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I am new to affinity photo and any kind of photo editing software, the question I am asking is when editing photo's you could end up with quite a few layers and or masks when you have finished your'e editing do you then merge all these layers or is the last layer you worked on your'e final result.

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Benymnd,
Personally I never flatten if I can avoid it. If you keep the layers you can go back and amend them if you find the effect too strong later on. Also if you get an effect you like it's easier to apply to another image as you can simply copy the layers across.

The only time and flattening occurs is when I output the final image (as a jpeg, tiff, bmp etc) and I use the export function to achieve a flattened image. I keep the layered image in a file native to the editor (Affinity Photo or Photoshop) so I can always go back and see what I did or rework the image to get a different effect.

Having said all that sometimes you have to flatten an image because too many layers has a significant impact on screen update speed and each layer is recalculated for every change. Even then I'll save a copy of the working file under a new name first just in case I want to come back.

That's my thoughts anyway :)

M

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Hi @BestestGrandad & @benrymnd

There is an alternative by selecting layer>merge visible, this method is none destructive. This creates a new pixel layer that includes all the layers that are ticked, I usually select the top layer in my stack then apply the merge visible, when the new layer appears (patience may be needed if you have a few filters) it contains all of the adjustments that you have done, then I unselect all of the layers below. This speeds up your performance and gives the advantage of being able to return to all your layers below, if you need to make changes, just delete the new pixel layer, make your adjustments and create another new pixel layer by repeating the layer>merge visible again. This saves the need for save as & version numbers. 

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In addition to what has already been said, flattening a document "can" result in a smaller file size for the document which can be a factor if you want to keep a lot of your documents but minimise the disk space used.

You will lose the ability to access previous layers and masks etc but you can of course create new ones.


Due to the ongoing Brexit negotiations, punctuation, spelling and grammar will be used sparingly until further notice.

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