A lot of the tools in Affinity Publisher are available in Designer or Photo, but not every tool is available in each of the three softwares. If you have tried to find the brushes in Publisher to no avail, it’s because they are not there.

There is a simple workaround though, in fact it is pretty slick but to access this you need to have Photo or Designer installed on the same computer as Publisher.

In the video tutorial below, I show you how to access vector and pixel brushes without leaving Publisher and the difference between the two once you are back in Publisher mode.

The main points:

  • Switch to Designer Persona to access vector brushes
  • Switch to Photo Persona to access pixel brushes
  • Vector brush strokes can be edited in Publisher
  • Pixel brush strokes in Publisher behave like an image

Here’s the rest of the transcript if you prefer to read:

So let’s look at the difference between those two. So I’m in Publisher right now. We can switch to different personas, which gives us access to the different tools in both Designer and Photo from within Publisher I’m switching to Designer persona here. And here I’ve got access to the vector brush. 

Now, if you’re in Designer itself, you’ll notice you can also switch to pixel persona from within there and get pixel brushes. From Publisher as far as I’ve been able to find, you can only access the vector brush. So we’ve got access to these vector brushes so we can make our little stroke here with our vector brush. 

We can access the pixel brushes by switching to Photo persona. And then we just go down here to our paintbrush tool and let me find my brushes again. 

And so we’ve got our different pixel brushes here. So let’s say I want to pick one of these and I can draw out my stroke here. And I’m just going to draw two. All right. So now let’s go back to Publisher and you’ll see, we still have these strokes here in Publisher. And let’s take a look at them in the layers. 

So we’ve got one, that’s a pixel. So obviously that’s our pixel brush. And then we have one that’s a curve. So the curve was the one that we drew out in Designer persona using the vector brush. And what that means is we can select this, I’m in Publisher still, and I can actually change the stroke width of this, and I can go to the color. I can change the color. And so it behaves like a vector. 

This on the other hand is a pixel image and I cannot choose these individually. And in order to scale them to a different size, I need to basically grab the whole image as one and move it up and down like that. Also when I use these pixel brushes like an image. If I get big enough, I’m going to get blurriness and pixelation. Whereas with this vector brush image, I can stretch it out as far as I want and it’s not going to 

pixelate. So that is how you can access brushes. You do need to have Designer or Photo on the same computer so that you can switch to the different personas and then Designer will give you access to the vector brushes and Photo will give you access  to the pixel brushes.