How to Punch Out Holes in Affinity Designer Shapes

Affinity Designer offers so many spectacular image editing tools that sometimes even the simplest processes can be tricky to figure out. One of those basic functions is the ability to punch out or cut holes in Affinity Designer shapes.

To punch out holes in Affinity Designer shapes you simply need to add another shape in whatever form you want the hole to be in, select the whole shape with the move tool then finally tap the subtract icon. This will turn the new shape you added over the old into a hole.   

If you’re having trouble cutting holes in shapes while using Affinity Designer, you’ve come to the right place. In our guide below we will break down both how to punch out holes in Affinity Designer shapes on a PC and on an iPad. That way whatever medium you’re using, you’ll have the full scoop on what you can do. So with that, let’s dive right into it!

How Do You Cut a Hole in an Object in Affinity Designer?

We’ve given you an overview of how you can punch holes in Affinity Designer shapes. Now let’s take a look in greater detail. 

The following steps will guide you to cut or punch out holes in Affinity Designer shapes:

  1. Open the program and create your object or shape: First things first, you want to either open the file that already has the shape you want in it or boot up the program and create a shape you can punch a hole in. 
  2. Make the background transparent or add a background layer: You don’t actually have to do this but it will make it easier to confirm that you have actually succeeded in the end. If all works out right you should be able to see the background through the hole in the shape when you’re done. 
  3. Make another shape over your original one where the hole should go: Now you need to make a shape over your original one. This shape will ultimately become the hole in your object so make it whatever shape you want that hole to be. This will work regardless of whether it is a square, eclipse, circle or anything else. 
  4. Use the move tool to select the entire shape and the “hole”: The move tool is just the little cursor icon found on the left side of the screen. Select the entire shape including the shape that is supposed to be the hole. 
  5. Click the subtract icon at the top of the screen: Now you just need to click the subtract icon at the top of the screen. When you do this the shape you put over your object should disappear and become a hole.   

And there you have it. That’s how you punch holes into shapes in Affinity Designer. If you feel like you may need this tutorial in the future feel free to bookmark this page and return to it any time. Next we’ll talk about how you do the same thing, only on the tablet version of Affinity Designer.

How Do You Punch Holes in Affinity Designer for iPad

If you’re using Affinity designer on an iPad the process is similar though the user interface is different. Therefore it would be worthwhile to go over how to punch holes in Affinity Designer if you’re using an iPad. 

Follow the steps below to punch holes in Affinity Designer shapes when using an iPad: 

  1. Open the document with the object you want to punch a hole through: Again you need to either first create the shape you want to punch a hole in or open the document that already contains it. 
  2. Create the shape of your hole: Next you just want to use one of the shape tools to place the shape of the hole over your object. This is usually done with a circle or an ellipse but it can be done with any shape. 
  3. Go into the layer options for your hole and change the mode to erase: In the layer options you should see erase mode. This will turn your shape into a hole. 

While this is the most commonly recommended way for iPad users to punch holes in their shapes it can also be used on the desktop version as well. 

So Really, How Do You Punch Holes in Affinity Designer Shapes?

Punching holes in your shapes in Affinity Designer doesn’t have to be complicated. You simply need to create the shape of the hole, then either use the subtract tool or just set the shape to erase mode in layer options. 

Just remember it will be easiest to tell if your holes worked out right if you either have a transparent background or a normal background layer. That way you can see through them and ensure they really are holes and not white circles. Best of luck. If you think you may need this guide in the future feel free to bookmark this page and return any time.