How to Edit a PNG in Affinity Designer

PNG, or Portable Network Graphic, is a file format used primarily for high-quality digital images, whether for print or web. Due to the file format’s lossless compression style, all the image metadata is preserved, making it a highly detailed, albeit large file. Affinity Designer is one of the most popular design software for editing images and graphics, like PNG.

Suppose you’re used to editing your designs in applications like Photoshop or Illustrator and are new to Affinity Designer. In that case, there is a bit of a learning curve to acquaint yourself with the interface. Functions might be similar to its competitors but may be titled differently and be found in a different menu. Keep reading to find out how to edit a PNG in Affinity Designer.

The Elements of Editing a PNG in Affinity Designer

There could be several different elements you would like to change when editing your PNG file, and each element will have its instructions for editing in Affinity Designer. Let’s look at this application’s basic elements of editing a PNG. Many of the changes you’ll make to PNG files will be under the Pixel Persona.

So, the first thing you’ll want to do is open your PNG file in Affinity Designer:

  1. To open your image, navigate to File > Open
  2. Select the PNG you would like to edit
  3. Click on Open

Once you’re done editing your PNG file, use to bring your design to life on a product mockup or hundreds of other templates for virtually any project.

Getting Your PNG Ready for Editing

Before you make any changes to a PNG file, always check the terms of use if the image is not your design. Even if you purchased the rights to use the image, those rights might not include the ability to make changes. Every designer has different terms of use.

When you look at the graphic after you’ve opened it in Affinity Designer, you will see in the Layer Panel all of the different layer elements say it is an image. To edit the graphic, the layers need to be in pixel format.

Before converting to pixel format, ensure the image is the size you want. Otherwise, resizing after the fact could result in a grainy image. The graininess happens because rasterizing a graphic locks in the image’s resolution.

To change the image/graphic into a pixel format, use the following instructions:

  1. Select the image
  2. Right-click on the image
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Rasterize
  4. Now click on the Pixel Persona icon in the navigation bar’s top right corner of the canvas. The icon looks like a group of squares.

If you plan on making changes to a large portion of the design, you can use one of two tools in the left toolbar, the Elliptical Marquee Tool or the Rectangle Marquee Tool. Both tools can be used by simply clicking a dragging to make your selection.

Change the Color of Your PNG

If you want to make a color change to a small portion of your PNG, use one of the selection tools to isolate the area you want to make the changes. For this change, you will use the Flood Fill Tool.

Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to the left toolbar and click on the Flood Fill tool. The tool icon is a paint can being poured out.
  2. In the right panel, click on the Color or Swatches tab and select the color you want to use as the fill.
  3. Then you will hover your mouse over the image and click the areas to fill.
  4. When you’re finished filling in, you can deselect the area by hitting CTRL + D or navigating to the Select menu at the top right of your screen and clicking on Deselect.

Add a Pattern to Your PNG

Now that you’ve learned how to change or add color to a portion of your graphic, let’s move on to adding a pattern.

If you would like to add a pattern to a specific area that is filled with a solid color, you can do so with the following instructions:

  1. Select your graphic first
  2. Navigate to the Select menu at the top right side of the screen
  3. From the drop-down menu, click Select Sampled Color
  4. If the tool selects more than the area you want for your pattern, decrease the tolerance until only the area you want is selected, then click Apply.
  5. Now you will navigate to Designer Persona, which is the icon to the left of Pixel Persona.
  6. Select the Fill Tool from the left toolbar. The icon looks like a rainbow wheel.
  7. In your context toolbar, you will go under Type, and in the drop-down menu, select Bitmap.
  8. A dialog box will appear and prompt you to select a pattern and click Open.
  9. Adjust the placement by moving the center dot of the right angle adjustment bars.

When you’re done adjusting the pattern, you can deselect by hitting CTRL + D or navigating to the Select menu and clicking Deselect.

Edit Text in Your PNG

Often PNG images will have not only colors and patterns but text.

If you need to edit the text of your PNG image, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Use the Rectangle Marquee Tool
  2. Select the text you want to edit
  3. Select the Flood Fill Tool in the toolbar
  4. Select the color from the Color Wheel or your Swatches tab
  5. Click the text to fill it with the new color

If you want to add text to your PNG image, you can use the Artistic Text Tool in the left toolbar. You can also use the Character Panel to edit the color, font, position, typography, etc. The Character Panel is in the Text Menu at the top right corner of your screen. Text > Show Character


Many of the edits you will make in your PNG file can be done through the selection tools, fill tools, and text tools. It takes time and energy to play around with the functions of Affinity Designer and see what works best for your design. The learning process can be quite enjoyable if you allow yourself to explore and make mistakes.