How to Select Multiple Layers in Affinity Designer iPad

The iPad version of Affinity Designer does not have all the features of the fully featured desktop versions, but it still offers a versatile array of vector graphics tools. They just work differently than their desktop counterparts. As such, it may not always be intuitively obvious to do such tasks as selecting multiple objects and layers.

Selecting multiple layers in Affinity Designer for iPad is as simple as tapping each layer in the Layers Palette and swiping left. You can use a similar procedure to select any other object as well. Once selected, you can then use any other editing tool in the group.

Affinity Designer for iPad uses similar gestures for its other tools as well. As such. by reading further, you will learn how to use the iPad version for other more common object selection tasks.

Selecting Multiple Objects and Layers in Affinity Designer for iPad

Branded as a direct competitor to Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer stands as an excellent vector graphics editing and drawing tool. To make things even better, the developers went out of their way to make the desktop version seamlessly compatible with their iOS releases.

Available on iPad, iPhones, and other iOS devices, the iOS Affinity Designer offers the full array of Affinity tools and features. These features make the program easy to pick up and use if you are familiar with its other versions. However, you must understand how their touch controls work, but they are not always immediately obvious.

Selecting Multiple Layers

For instance, many functions require you to select multiple layers such as merging, adding, or subtracting layers. This is easy on a desktop where you have a mouse cursor you can drag but is a bit more complicated on the iPad version.

Fortunately, it is as simple as:

  1. Locating the Layers Palette
  2. Tap and hold each layer you want to select individually
  3. Swipe your finger from the left to the right
  4. Repeat until you select every layer you want to be selected

You can then swipe any extra layers to the left to deselect them.

Selecting Multiple Objects or Groups

You could conceivably use the above procedure to select multiple objects and groups as well. Any entity that Affinity Designer lists in a separate window uses the same election process. Though, there is an easier method if you can access every object on the canvas.

Then you can select multiple objects by:

  1. Select and hold the first object
  2. Tap each additional object until you select every object you want
  3. Release the first object to complete the selection process

You can even tap selected objects to deselect them as needed. Though, the selection process will reset if you tap outside the selected area.

Other iPad Affinity Designer Selection Methods

The above two methods are the most popular ways to select things in the iPad version of Affinity Designer, but they are by no means the last. The program offers many other methods for selecting objects that serve specific purposes.

For instance, you can tap the appropriate buttons to either the next or previous object in the z-order or stack if you already have an active selection box.

Automatic Selections

Affinity Designer will automatically select objects as you create them under certain circumstances. For instance, it will create a selection box every time you create a shape using the various shape tools.

This selection box will be large enough to select any size variant of the shape, allowing you to quickly alter the shape as needed. You can then manually change to a tighter bounding box using the Cycle Selection Box option on the toolbar.

Selecting All Layers or Objects

If you must select everything on the screen, you can simply tap the Select All menu item. Just note that the behavior will depend on if the “Edit All Layers” option on the Layers panel is enabled or not.

Here’s what to do for both instances:

  • If enabled, “Select All” selects all objects on every layer and sublayer
  • If disabled, “Select All” will only select the objects in the currently active layer

Now, let’s see how to select multiple similar objects.

Select Multiple Similar Objects

Affinity Designer also offers Boolean selection options based on matching colors or names. Both functions use the “Select Same” button on the Layers panel. Just make sure you select your base object first.

Then, you can tap the button to select based on the following search criteria:

  • Fill Color
  • Stroke Color
  • Fill and Stroke Color
  • Transparency
  • Stroke Weight
  • Shape
  • Name
  • Blend Mode
  • Tag Color

You can also select every object with the same object type by tapping the “Select Object” option.


Affinity Designer for the iPad and other iOS devices offers the same functionality as the full-featured desktop versions. The difference is that the iOS version requires touch controls for layer and object selection.