Manuals and tutorials for image editing with Affinity Photo Windows / macOS / iOS

The image editing program Affinity Photo, for which there are now some manuals, instructions and tutorials, is often compared to Photoshop and can be seen as a much cheaper version of the Adobe classic. Because the developer Serif from Great Britain is very much based on Photoshop and created Affinity Photo, a photo editing program that is similar in operation, without a subscription, but with a lot of good reviews.

Affinity Photo is now available for macOS on Mac, iMac and MacBook, for iOS on iPad and for Windows on PC - here I have compiled some current instructions and manuals for you.

Affinity Photo Manual Windows Mac macOS iPad iOS
The 3 guides featured in this article for using Affinity Photo on Mac and PC.

Affinity Photo: General information about the image editing program

Affinity Photo is not an image editing program that comes along for free, but it is much cheaper than Photoshop. With a bit of getting used to, even avid Photoshop users can switch to Affinity Photo. Many tools and names, functions, features and settings are the same. Only plugins cannot be adopted.

For comparison, here are the current prices Apps (June 2017):

  • Affinity Photo for PC / Windows Download: €54,99 €43,99
  • Affinity Photo for Apple Mac / macOS Download: €54,99 €43,99
  • Affinity Photo for Apple iPad / iOS Download: € 21,99 introductory price; thereafter: € 32,99
  • Affinity Photo Demo / trial version for Mac / PC: free of charge
  • Adobe Photoshop: free as a trial version; from € 11,89 / month (!) as a full version

Manuals: Learn Photo Editing and Photo Montage

Anyone who (has) tried around with free or inexpensive programs will sooner or later end up with Gimp or Gimp 2 - but there you can quickly reach your limits. If you want to proceed professionally and bring your imagination together with the current technical possibilities, then a good manual can help you to learn the necessary skills and to explain the individual menus, buttons and tools of Affinity Photo.

In an article from March 2016 the topic Affinity Photo manual already mentioned here. At that time there was only the version for the Apple operating system. Only later, in November 2016, was the opportunity to use the image processing program on the Windows PC - there was one here for that Testing the first public beta with comparison to Photoshop. As part of the Apple WWDC 2017 Keynote At the beginning of June it was also Affinity Photo for the iPad presented.

These manuals are currently available for the different versions:

Current version 1.5 for Windows and Mac
The manual Affinity Photo: Currently version 1.5 for Windows and Mac by Markus Wägner came onto the market in February 2017 and is 329 pages long. The basics are explained step by step and tools and processing options are shown. The current bestseller on the topic!
Introduction and practice for Windows version
A 352-page paperback book specially written for the Windows version of the photo editing program - by Michael Gradias. Rated very well and rated as the best manual in comparison by a reviewer. Especially for those switching from Photoshop and Lightroom.
Version 1.5 for Mac and Windows users; Brilliant photos ingeniously simple
For beginners and those who are switching from Adobe to Serif, this book by Johann Szierbeck is made with 264 pages. The Kindle version of this manual is particularly cheap. The ratings are also consistently good to very good.

Affinity Photo instructions online: step by step on the Internet

Of course you can also find instructions outside of the printed word to work with the Serif program. Especially if it is “only” special handles and tools that you are looking for, and not a complete introduction with theoretical treatises on digital photography, file structure, formats such as JPEG, RAW, etc. The site is a good place to go; there is exactly what the name suggests: tutorials. There is also a forum with help and support so that your questions can be answered quickly. In addition to the photo editing software, the Affinity Designer (another app) themed.

Instructions and tutorials on Vimeo

Sure, Vimeo is not as popular as YouTube, but you can find videos there with less distraction, without advertising and with a content-focused design. This is also possible on the Affinity Photo Vimeo account. 210 videos invite you to discover and learn. A similar offer is also available for Affinity Designer. The designer and graphic artist software will in 94 videos on its own channel helpful and explained in terms of various features and tools.

Help and how-to videos on YouTube (German)

YouTube is of course one of the first places to go if you want tutorials for programs in German. During a first, quick search, I found three channels with a few tutorials for image editing with Affinity Photo for Mac and Windows: Hofnaar, Affinity Jack and virtual photo art. If you want to scroll through the search results of the entire offer in general, then here is my list of results. If you are looking for special functions or tools, just add them in the YouTube search field;)

First Affinity Photo iPad tutorials in German

As I scrolled around on YouTube, in the middle of researching this article, I also found the first videos for the iPad version. In the videos of the channel affinity tutorials the problem that there is no cursor on the Apple tablet was also considered - the use of the display is shown via video splitting in addition to the screen tap. Here is an example of a German tutorial video for iPad users:

Where do you get your information?

Manual, video tutorial, forum - or maybe a healthy mix of everything? Where can you get information, tips and tricks for using the photo editing app? Or are you still thinking about downloading Affinity Photo? Feel free to leave a comment on the topic :)

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10 comments on “Manuals and tutorials for photo editing with Affinity Photo Windows / macOS / iOS”

  1. Hi John,

    Thank you for the great compilation of (surely) useful links on Affinity Photo. I'm in the process of installing it and I hope to have enough time over the next 10 days to test the software. At the moment I am still using PS Elements. But especially in the area of ​​the setting levels you are severely limited with PS Elements, compared to PS CC. My hope is that Affinity Photo will fill this gap and at a much cheaper price.

    (The .NET Framework is still being installed)

    I will certainly visit this site more often in the near future.

    Greetings Matthias

    1. Hello Matthias,
      I wish you good luck with your familiarization!
      I'm sure you'll be able to do a lot more with Affinity Photo than you can with Photoshop Elements. With the manuals and links shown, you should be able to quickly familiarize yourself with the program and its operation. The manuals in particular are structured in such a way that individual topics and operating elements or their correct use can be found after a brief search.
      You are welcome to share your experiences with us; we look forward to every practical comment :)
      Best regards and good luck!

  2. After bad experiences with Adobe, I sympathize with Affinity Photo. I haven't downloaded it yet because 10 days of testing are short and there is a lot that is not yet clear to me. It puzzles me that all the books I know (of which I don't have any yet) begin to edit images. No statement on how the photos are managed and how they get into my computer. At LR it took me a long time to design my workflow. In Rheinwerk's LR book, editing only begins on page 200! Everything before that is organization and catalog. How is that organized at Affinity? Is there also such a thing as the catalog? Thanks for an answer. Axel

    1. Hello Axel,

      For personal use as well as editing across programs, I would recommend a clear folder structure for storing and cataloging images / photos on your hard drive or in the cloud you are using. Like other files, you can freely add, move, name, delete, etc. the images there. They are sent to your computer in the way you choose, by cable (from camera, smartphone, etc.), via the cloud or Bluetooth (smartphone, other computer, etc.) or via download, memory stick, CD-ROM, etc.

      You will look in vain for your own media catalog at Affinity Photo as a direct additional offer to the Serif software. Also the official workbook almost immediately starts with the image processing. However, it is positive that the program interface, the tools and toolbars, keyboard shortcuts and much more are explained first for beginners and those switching. There are also shortcut cheat sheets for macOS and Windows at the end of the book that you can tear out.

      In short: You can compensate for the lack of a media library in the program itself with a clearly structured and subdivided photo folder. To edit images, you can drag and drop them directly to Affinity Photo and adjust and change them there with numerous functions.

      I hope I was able to answer your question satisfactorily.

      Best Regards

  3. Hi John,

    now I am sure that I made a colossal bad buy. I was looking for a program to edit a few photos (that's the emphasis). My platform is a Macbook. Affinity Photo was recommended and I bought it. the 49 € are not the issue. I've always paid for software because performance deserves something in return.

    But the program is crap for a SIMPLE user. It can't be that I have to buy an additional manual in order to understand which tools the program offers and what you can do with them. At least the basics should be supplied as a printable PDF. But none or I'm too stupid. The suspicion arises that a “great program” is being advertised at a low price in order to sell additional services. This is a cheat pack.

    Do you have any tips for decent, easy-to-use image editing software? May well cost something, but should be worth the price.

    Thank you, Eberhard

    1. Hello Eberhard,

      I wouldn't speak of a colossal bad buy right away. I don't know exactly what processing you want to do and what you mean by a simple user. But even such basic settings as brightness, contrast, sharpness, saturation, etc. are possible with Affinity Photo. Batch processing, i.e. the same adjustment for several images in a row, can also be carried out automatically. Resizing or cropping to specific areas of the image can also be carried out well.

      You can also use the “Help” menu item in the program yourself. For example, if you enter “brightness” there and move the mouse pointer over the first search result, it will automatically show you the menu path (not as text, but even graphically) that enables brightness settings. If you have any questions about a certain topic / a certain processing, then you are welcome to leave a comment - then I'll make sure that I look for the appropriate menu / the respective button.

      I wouldn't speak of a cheat pack. Sure, for the complete newcomer to the private sector, the user interface may be a bit much. But the program is also and especially made for those who are looking for a useful alternative to Photoshop. If you are looking for individual basic tools, you will find them with a little patience by trying them out. If you want to implement more complex projects, you can and should turn to tutorials, manuals and co. There is always a little familiarization.

      But as I said: if you have detailed questions about using the program, you can also write them here. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend any other software for the Mac at the moment, as I have worked with Photoshop for years and have been using Affinity Photo for some time - and nothing else that goes beyond taking screenshots and is not already integrated into macOS.

      Best Regards

  4. Affinity Photo is described in many photo magazines as a serious alternative to Photoshop at an incredible price. I have Photoshop 6.0, which I got cheaply. Nobody in this world, I repeat NOBODY, knows 100% Photoshop For the minimal service I bought two books with CDs. The books have 1052 and 1.200 pages. Nobody can expect to use such a complex program as Affinity Photo intuitively. If you just want to make your photos a little lighter or darker, you should get Picasa or Happy Photo.

    1. Hello Axel! I think you're right. I've known Photoshop since version 1 and back then I still made 3D fonts with funny selection calculations. Maybe you could still see what the program can do. But today there are so many features that I feel like most people: You sometimes use cumbersome ways because you don't get regulated in your daily workflow, still find time to learn new ways - even if these would be much more effective. I think Affinity Photo really does not have an easy game to make all ex-Photoshop users happy. The bar is pretty high, but they have already launched very impressive software at a great price.

  5. If you look at the manuals in print or on the monitor, almost all of them have a black background. In the case of printed books, this representation is particularly difficult to read. There are manuals for GIMP, InDesign and QuarkXPress, which are made with the Mac, have better screen displays than on Windows. Background is set to LIGHT. The practice book on QuarkXPress for Windows and Mac, by Nikolaus Netzer and Detlev Hagemann, costs around €8 used. Here the small font is uniformly large and still legible. this would not be possible with a black background. Greetings Klaus

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