How to Use a Wacom Tablet with Affinity Designer

For graphic designers finding the right tools without breaking the bank is extremely important. One such necessity is the right tablet. A tablet gives you the freedom to be able to draw and edit without excess time being taken up trying to do the same thing with a computer. For many, a Wacom tablet provides the quality and versatility they are looking for and can be hooked up to Windows, Mac, and Android devices.

However, a good tablet also needs the right kind of program they also need the right kind of program to edit and give the detail that their work needs-such as a brush or pen strokes. Adobe illustrator is perhaps the most well-known of these programs, but Affinity Designer is increasing in popularity due to its great features, regular updates, and affordability. So, how do you use Affinity Designer on a Wacom Tablet? Read on to find out!

How Do I Use Affinity Designer on a Wacom Tablet?

Before you use your tablet, it is very important to make sure that your computer has all the driver software it needs. This will involve installing the Wacom driver software, possibly the DisplayLink driver software, and regular updates of both as needed. Let’s explore this more in detail.

To download Wacom driver software to your computer, take the following steps

  1. Go to the Wacom drivers page. This can be found here.
  2. Click download on the operating system that you use. These links will be found at the bottom of the page.
  3. Once you’ve downloaded the driver, follow the directions. Your driver should now be installed.

If the device display appears, then your tablet should be ready to use. If not carry on installing the DisplayLink driver to your computer with the following steps:

  1. Go to the DisplayLink downloads page. This can be found here.
  2. Select the correct operating system. There will be 6 options.
  3. Once you have chosen the operating system, click the download button.
  4. Follow the directions to finish the installation. If it has been properly installed, you should see it appear either in the systems tray or menu bar.
  5. You can now click it to adjust display settings. You have now connected your computer to your Wacom tablet and can carry on to using Affinity.

How to Use Affinity Designer

While this video is about how to use Affinity Designer on an iPad, the main difference between an iPad and a Wacom tablet is that you connect a Wacom tablet to the computer, while the iPad is stand-alone. Therefore, many of the same rules and guidelines apply. Let’s take a look at how it works.

Start in the gallery, then click on the plus button on the right side of the screen. You will see several options including “New Document” and “New Project. You can create a new folder by tapping on “New Project” with your pen, which will then give you the option to name it whatever you would like. Once it has been named it should appear in your gallery and you can move documents into it.  

To edit or work within a document, click on it. You will see many buttons, but the ones you want to focus on are the three on the far right of the set of buttons at the top left of the screen. These buttons are called the personas and they include:

  1. The Vector Persona. With this persona, you can create coordinates and smoothly connect them. They can also be sized up and down without changing the appearance of the picture.
  2. The Pixel Persona. With this persona, you can draw lines, but they will be more jagged and will get blurry as you increase the canvas side.
  3. The Export Persona. With this persona, you can choose a picture that you have created and move it to a different part of the screen

Next to the three personas buttons is an ellipses button. If you click on the ellipses, you will see options for changing the document, including converting it, resizing it, and exporting it.

From there, if you want to learn more about Affinity’s interface, you can focus on the three buttons on the top right of the screen. There will be a plus mark button, a question mark button, and a circular button. The plus mark button does the same thing as the plus mark button in the gallery, but if you are not in the gallery, it can be a helpful shortcut to creating a new folder or project.

If you are at a complete loss as to how everything works and need an intensive guide, then the question mark button will be your best friend. If you click on it, you will see a list of all the things Affinity Designer can do including (but not limited to) Painting with Raster brushes, Gestures, and Symbols. If you click on any of these options, you will see a detailed guide on how to create and design, sometimes with video guides and sometimes just with text.

The final button you will notice in the top right corner is the circular button, and if you click on this one you will be able to set your preferences. This includes changing your interface, color, tools, and fonts. So, no matter what you are designing and how often you need to change it, the option will be right there at easy access, or you can set your tablet to behave in the way that is most comfortable for you.

There is much more to learn about how Affinity Designer works on tablets, and this video provides step-by-step, detailed guidance on it all.


Both Wacom tablets and Affinity Designer are highly popular tools amongst graphic designers. In order to be able to use Affinity Designer with your tablet, you need to make sure that your computer has the WacomDriver and Display Link Software.

Once you have both of those, then you should be able to transfer your work from your tablet to your computer. To use Affinity Designer, you can create a new folder by clicking the plus button in the top right of the screen or on the right side of the screen when you are in the gallery.

For detailed instructions about what is included in Affinity Designer and how to use it, click on the question mark button in the top right. To change preferences, such as font click the button with the circle on the top right of the screen.