Cog Tool In Affinity Designer

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Where ?

The Affinity Designer cog tool is found beneath the triangle in the application. As with the applications in the suite of applications, you can find it with the crescent, star, cloud, donut, heart, arrow etc. Simply click it and then apply to the current art board / document to create a vector shape

Control bar

You can modify a number of the settings such as the teeth, inner radius, hole radius etc all via the control bar. You can use the sliders to change the values. Personally, I prefer to use the interactive controls that are also available when you have selected the tool.

Interactive settings

Or use the dots on the vector itself (accessible only when active, if you are using another feature of the application such as the move then you won't see the red dots). You can move the dots to change the value. You cannot control the number of teeth via the interactive settings so you will have to use the control bar for that. It is a great way to quickly experiment with the options available.

Color of the shape

You can set the color of the fill and stroke to anything. You can fill it with gradients as well as patterns as well as images. To fill with a gradient, select the design with the move tool and then go to the gradient and click and drag the line and release. You can also copy a design and then paste that inside the vector design by using the paste inside command (edit menu). You can also paste inside pattern layers as well as other layer designs

Bitmap pattern fill

You can also change the type to bitmap and the fill then can be filled with a bitmap pattern, browse for the design and fill with any image. You can also paste text into the vector artwork to create all kinds of unique text designs.

Paste inside

A great way to fill the artwork is to use the edit menu and paste inside menu command. Select any path and then copy it and then select the design and use the paste inside command. You can then position it inside the design and also duplicate it (right side menu and duplicate) and create multiple artworks within the container.

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Scaling and Rotation

Use the move to shift and scale and rotate the shape. You can also do the same via the cog. Resize or select top extended indicator and rotate. You can also use the large white dot on the vector to rotate it. Use the blue dots on the sides to scale it and squeeze it. You can also select the artwork and go to the transform panel and set the horizontal and vertical values as well as the rotation and the x and y position.

Radius etc

With the shape selected, you can modify the curvature, inner radius etc. The number of teeth can only be changed using the teeth setting. The other settings can be changed via the small dots : notch size and tooth size as well as inner radius and hole radius.


There is a curvature setting and it can be used to create some interesting curved designs but it depends on the tooth size and notch size. The interactive tools are useful as well. To really curve the design, you may prefer to use the convert to curve button and then curves can then be modified using the nodeas well as using some of the powerful actions such as splitting the curves.

Star creation

You can set the inner radius to the hole radius and the result will be a starburst design. Many different star designs can be generated using the teeth settings.

Suggestions for various designs

Here are some suggestions

chunks: teeth 29, inner 83%, hole radius 83%, tooth size 38%, notch size 43%

sharp separate triangles: teeth 29, inner 83%, hole radius 83%, tooth size 4%, notch size 43%

thin lines: teeth 45, tooth size 4%, inner 83%, hole radius 83%, notch size 100%

long thin lines: teeth 45, inner radius 43%, hole radius 43%, tooth size 4%, notch size 100%

curved edges: teeth 9, inner radius 84%, hole radius 0%, tooth size 47%, notch size 100%, curvature 100%

Setting up presets

You can also add to your presets. Go to the little gear (settings) wheel at the top of the application in the options bar. Presets are a great way of quickly accessing a whole range of different settings without having to move the sliders etc

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Preset manager

With the shape active, you can also manage the current set of presets by going to the presets panel and right side and selecting the manage presets. You can rename / delete the presets, though not the Affinity ones. You can also create a category for them. You can restore everything back to the factory default settings. You can export and import user presets. You can also filter the panel to only to the current or the star or circle etc

Creating a star burst

Select and draw a vector and keep selected. Set the teeth to 48 & inner radius 69 & hole radius 60 & tooth size 0 & notch size 0 and then goto the Ellipse and create a circle in the center of the artwork. This creates a star burst design. You can change the notch setting to create different star artworks. You can also add other paths to the center of the star and then combine them using the union button.

How to round the corners of the design

You can modify the shape by using the 'corner', it can turn the sharp nodes into smooth, curved path. Once you have used it, the shape can no longer be changed using the interactive features so the inner radius, curvature are no longer accessible. You can use the different corner types to create many variant artworks. Draw a path and apply the corner and drag and manipulate the sharp nodes - rounding them to smooth paths.

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Once you have finished, you can click the convert to curves button or right click and select the convert to curves. After the conversion, you can no longer use the shape to edit the artwork but you can use the node to move the individual nodes. You can move them into all kinds of positions and you can also click on the curves to modify the designs in even more ways. You can drag the nodes in all kinds of different directions. The path can also be manipulated further via the actions at the top of the application such as breaking the curve apart, smoothing the curve, reverse curves etc. You can also use the node to add additional nodes to the path by just clicking on the path in between the existing nodes.

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Text frame

Vector designs can be quickly turned into a text frame where you can add text, filler text and more. Go to the layer and convert to text frame command

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Adding effects to the artwork

You can effects or layer styles to the artwork path. I would love to see more effects added but at preset only blurs, bevels, shadows etc are available. Goto the view menu and studio and effects. With the effects panel open, click the Gaussian blur check box and then set a value. Repeat with the other effects that you wish to use such as adding a bevel. Click the little gear design at the right side of the bevel etc to display a bigger range of options such as directions, highlights, profiles etc


You can combine the live design in numerous ways with text as well as other shapes by using the layer menu and create compound command. Once you have a compound shape, the artwork within that can be moved around and re-sized and the path can be quickly modified such as the number of points by using the points value or the interactive setting. You can still then shift the shape around and duplicate and more and build up a complex design

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You can also add all kinds of strokes to the artwork by selecting the path and going to the stroke setting and clicking the style and setting the width as well as setting the path with an arrow as well as adding dashes and gaps to the design as well as modifying the stroke width via the pressure setting as well as changing the opacity variance to create a shimmery line instead of a solid line and also change the size variance and more. You can also use the appearance panel found via the view menu and studio to add additional strokes to the artwork. To do this, go to the bottom of the appearance panel and click either the add stroke (+) and add fill buttons. You can add multiple additional strokes though the ordering as well as the size and opacity and blending mode for each will change the end result.