In this Affinity Publisher tutorial i’m going to show you how you can create a drop shadow for your text in two different ways.

Create two words on your canvas that are identical. I am using Hello. Boring, I know.

Method 1:

The easiest way to create a drop shadow is to select your object, in my case the text “Hello.”

Click on it or select it in the layers so that you see the bounding box come up.

In your Layers panel, at the very bottom look for the letters “fx.” When you hover your mouse over it, it should say Layer Effects.

Click on fx and your Effects window will pop up.

You can also find the Effects window from the Layer menu across the top of your software window. Click Layer and then scroll down to the bottom where it says Layer Effects.

In the Layer Effects window, click on the box that says Outer Shadow.

Now we can manipulate some settings. The easiest way to make adjustments is to turn up the intensity a fair bit, and then turn up the offset. Now you should plainly see your drop shadow.

From here, you can adjust the settings. When things are looking good, dial back the intensity and offset so it looks more natural.

The radius control will blur it a little bit.
The opacity setting will make the effect a little bit more subtle.

You can also use the angle control to adjust which direction the “light” is coming from. This will change the position of your shadow.

A lot of drop shadows default to the lower right so the light is coming from up the upper left and shining diagonally down towards the lower right.

Again, once you are happy with things, adjust the offset (which controls how far away from your text the shadow is) and then bring the intensity back down until it looks natural.

Method 2:

The second way to create a shadow effect is to duplicate the layer you want to create a shadow for. Again, I am doing this for my word Hello.

I’m going to CMD or CTRL J (depending if you’re on a Mac or a PC) to duplicate.
Now we have two copies of our word.
I’m going to leave the top one alone.
It’s the layer underneath it that I am going to work on.

The first thing I’m going to do is go back to the Layer Effects again and this time I want to click on

Turn that up and that will blur the lower copy of our text. Be sure to select the little box “Scale with object” and that way if we need to resize our text our shadow will scale as well.

So, adjust the blur to make the word a bit blurry. Then use your mouse, or your arrow keys to adjust the position of the blurred text so it looks like a shadow.

If you want it to be more subtle, adjust the opacity of the Layer down a little bit.

So why would you want to do this instead of just using an Outer Shadow like we did in the first example ? Well there might be a few extra things that you can do with it if you leave this as its own layer separate from the original word.

One cool thing that you can do is use the Transparency Tool (looks like a wine glass on the left toolbar).

Click on that and then pick a spot on your layer, click the mouse and drag up and you’ll see that makes the shadow kind of fade out. That would add a little interest to your shadow instead of a typical drop shadow.

Watch the video above for a demonstration of both methods.