How to Add Drop Shadows in Affinity Photo

Ever see those cool graphics like shadows around text or images in print publications or online? Shadows, lines, and other designs may be subtle or bold, or somewhere in between. They give the work an aesthetically pleasing depth, and you may be wondering how to add drop shadows to the objects in your Affinity Photo file.

Adding drop shadows in Affinity Photo is a quick and easy way to elevate plain text or a simple image into an eye-catching part of your design. Let’s see how it’s done.

Adding Drop Shadows is a Simple Process in Affinity Photo

Drop shadows are just what the name implies: a shadow of the selected text or other object that helps to emphasize the original. The “drop” part of the name is somewhat misleading though. Shadows don’t have to always be situated down below the selected object. They can be moved to the left or right, up or below the item being shadowed.

Affinity Photo offers users the chance to create customized drop shadows for text, objects, and images. The process is the same for all three and is really quite simple with plenty of options to make the shadows uniquely your own.

We’re going to assume you’re familiar enough with Affinity Photo to create your document and add text, images, and other objects. Now you’re ready to add the drop shadows.

1. Select the Object to be Shadowed

Let’s say you’ve added some text and it’s positioned where you want it in the work area. Now you want to put in a drop shadow. The first thing you need to do is to select the text. When you click on the text, a blue box with dots at the corners and on the sides will appear overlaid on the text.

2. Enable the Drop Shadow Option

To get this fare, you’ve probably been working in the Layers tab. The next step is to navigate to the Effects tab on the toolbar. You’ll find it between the Layers tab and the Styles tab. Other tabs include the Adjustments and Stock tabs.

When you click on the Effect tab, you’ll see a drop-down menu of effects from which you can choose. Click on the Drop Shadow box, which then opens up another drop-down box that offers options to customize your drop shadow.

Here’s where the fun begins. Affinity Photo offers plenty of room for creative minds to design unique drop shadows. The possibilities are practically endless with the following options:

  • Color
  • Opacity
  • Radius
  • Offset

3. Choose the Shadow Offset

The first step in customizing your drop shadow is to establish its offset.

  1. Click on the Offset Tool button in the preferences box.
  2. Your mouse will now be an arrow followed by two offset boxes.
  3. Click your mouse once and drag around the shadow that appears until it’s where you want it. Then release the mouse to position the shadow at the chosen spot.

The Offset tool is the easiest way to form a drop shadow, but there is another way to create and position a drop shadow. The Offset slider and Angle button reflect the movement that happens when you use the Offset tool, but you can also manipulate each of these independently to create and fine tune a drop shadow.

4. Select a Shadow Color

Using the Color option, which appears first in the preference box, you can change the color of the shadow to pretty much any color you want. Click on the box to bring up the available ways to alter the color, including RGB, CMYK, Hue, Saturation, and others. Depending on the needs of your final product, choose the best one for you.

For example, with the RGB option, you can use the red, green, and blue sliders to locate the color you want. Or you can click anywhere inside the rainbow box to get a particular color. There is also a color picker tool that allows you to grab a color from any image or other source and use it in your drop shadow.

5. Select the Opacity

Opacity refers to how transparent or dense the color is. Use the slider to adjust the drop shadow to the desired opacity. Sliding to the left makes color more transparent while sliding to the right makes it more rich and opaque.

6. Choose the Radius

The radius slider offers you the chance to round the edges of the drop shadow. The default shadow has a hard, square edge. Radius lets you soften the edges by moving the slider to the right.

Final Thoughts

Adding drop shadows to text, images, and other objects in Affinity Photo is simple to do and can add depth and style to any document. Use drop shadow to release your inner creativity and bring on the “wow” factor every designer craves.