Does Affinity Designer Have a Lasso Tool?

Every designer and photo editor has their favorite design or image editing applications. Some design or editing applications can take a whole college course to learn the extent of the features, so it can be daunting when you start using another application, and none of the tools are labeled the same.

Affinity Designer has a lasso tool. In Affinity Designer, the tool is called “Free Hand Selection” and can be found on the left-hand panel, along with other selection tools.

Now that you know how to find the selection tool, you might wonder if it functions like the traditional lasso tool. Keep reading to find out how the Free Hand Selection tool functions.

How to Use the Free Hand Selection Tool in Affinity Designer

You might not see the lasso icon in the left-hand tool panel. Another selection tool may be at the forefront. If you see a circle, square, or rectangle marquee icon, select it, and a menu will appear. The Free Hand Selection tool will be at the bottom of the list identified by the title and the lasso icon.

Once you’ve selected the Free Hand Selection tool, you’ll see the tool’s setting in the toolbar at the top of the canvas. There are three types of the tool you’re using: freehand, polygonal, and magnetic. To the right of the Type are the Modes: new, add, subtract, and intersect.

Type: Freehand

If you select freehand for the type, then you likely are using Affinity Designer on a tablet or iPad with a stylus. This selection allows you to draw the selection with your mouse or stylus. This option takes precision, but it’s useful if you like the flexibility of freehanding. You can zoom in and draw around the shape or object you desire to select.

Type: Polygonal

With the polygonal type selection, you use your mouse to make points around the object. Every click drops a point, and a straight line will appear between each point. It’s fast, precise, and can be used on round edges with enough points.

In addition to using zoom, with this type, you can use the spacebar to move the image around if you need to make a point in a part of the image that is off-screen.

There is a way to get the effect of polygonal in freehand. Select the freehand type and hold down the shift key, and you can make points with straight lines attaching from one point to the next. However, you won’t be able to use your spacebar while holding the shift key as it would make a selection instead of moving the image around.

Type: Magnetic

This type works best when you have an image with high contrast. When you select the Magnetic type in the toolbar and make your first point, move your cursor along the object or shape, and the line will automatically follow, making points along the way.

The issue that arises with this type is that the application is doing the work of selecting the object or shape for you, so it can easily get confused with the edge of other nearby shapes and include unnecessary elements in the selection.

Mode: New

This mode allows you to keep making new selections using one of the three above mentioned types. New mode is useful if you want to make one selection at a time, but if you want to make multiple selections at once, it won’t work. In New mode, the last selection is forgotten every time you make a new selection.

Mode: Add

If you want to make multiple selections in different areas on your image, you can do so with Add mode. In addition to making more than one selection at a time, Add mode allows you to overlap two selections.

When you overlap, the top selections merge into one larger selection. Combining selections is useful if you miss a portion of the image in a previous selection.

Mode: Subtract

This mode will allow you to cut out areas of a selection you do not want to be part of the final selection. Subtract mode is very useful, especially if you’re in freehand mode and it took time drawing around an object, but you absentmindedly added a portion of the image you didn’t want. Subtracting allows you to cut that portion without starting all over again.

Mode: Intersect

This mode may not be as useful as new, add, or subtract. Once you’ve made a selection(s), you can select the Intersect mode and make an overlapping selection. The overlapping portion is what will remain in the selection; everything else will return to normal. You can get some interesting shapes when you use this mode in conjunction with other marquee selection tools.


Now you have a breakdown of the Free Hand Selection Tool, which acts as a lasso to make selections. You can find resources online for more in-depth tutorials or go to the Affinity Designer website for support.