Sketch is a vector drawing app for designers and this is official channel for everything Sketch; tips, tricks, examples and tutorials. Updated regularly, we hope it’ll help you become better at Sketch and learn about its hidden depths.
It’s time for another little Sketch tip. This one may be one that’s gone unnoticed for many, but I think it’s extremely useful.
To see exactly how many pixels there are between two objects - or between an object and its artboard, select the shape, hold down the Option-key on the keyboard and hover your mouse over the second shape:
Admittedly, it doesn’t sound like the most exciting topic out there. However, a quick glance at Sketch’s inspector will reveal that we have a ton of text fields in there; positioning, size, border thickness, color values, and much more.
Surely, for something that common, we must have a few extra tricks up our sleeve? Indeed, we do.
First of all, we present you with: Math! That’s right, you can do addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and more. Trying to shift a layer 48px to the left? Easy. Want to double layer’s width? Easy again.
Secondly, you will have noticed that when you hover over a text field they show little arrow buttons on the left. (Which disappear as soon as you click inside the text field). Clicking these buttons will increase or decrease the value by 1 (or by 10 if you hold the shift-key). As long as the text field doesn’t have focus you can also click+drag up/down or left/right to scrub the value.
Once the text area does have focus, you can arrow up/down to decrease the value and, again, shift up/down will increase/decrease it tenfold.
Not bad for simple text fields, right?
Artboards and Exporting
This week’s video explains how to use Artboards to group content. See how easy it is to move content between artboards. We’ll also cover exporting artboards and specific layers using slices.
It’s been very exciting for us watching our customers create amazing things with Sketch. If we then stumble upon a great set of icons or an amazing UI Kit, with source files included, of course we have to share this with you.
Rotation tips & tricks
See what you can do with rotated groups; their contents rotate automatically and yet everything is still editable
We’ve released Sketch 2.2.1 today with some great improvements and additions; Color Accuracy, Circular gradients, faster saving and much more.
But here, I’d like to highlight one small addition to the Slice tool. Next to the Export button you’ll now see a tiny preview of your slice. You can drag this preview out of there and drop it anywhere in the Finder to save the file directly.
But it doesn’t stop there; you can drag this preview directly to Safari, or to an email, iMessage, or anywhere else. It’s very convenient and basically saves you that extra step of saving a file - and then deleting it again afterwards.
Another quick tip; if you ever thought you needed a way to flatten one more layers into a bitmap, this is now easier too; just make a slice and drag the preview back into the canvas and it’ll be imported as a layer.
Our first video tutorial - iOS UI Part 1 - Navigation Bar
Marcelo Marfil created this custom UI on Sketch for this tutorial.
Download source file here.
In our first actual post on the Sketch tips & tricks blog I thought it’d be a good idea to go through some common shortcuts that can significantly speed up your workflow with Sketch.
The first set of shortcuts is for inserting new layers on the Canvas.
Pressing ‘R’ at any time will insert a new Rectangle on the current page. Similarly, ‘O’ will insert an Oval, ‘U’ a rounded rectangle and (coming in 2.2.1), ‘L’ will give you a line. ‘V’ will activate the Vector tool - for making a new one, and similarly, ‘P’ will activate the Pen Tool. Lastly, pressing ’T’ will insert a text layer.
Note that any selected layer be edited by pressing the Return key. To stop editing any object, press Escape.
If you’re in a sub-panel of the inspector, pressing Escape will be equivalent to pressing the Back button. If there’s no inspector or current tool, Escape will deselect all layers.
For navigation around the Inspector, Tab / Shift-Tab will get you from one text field to another (like in any Mac app of course). If you have full Keyboard Access turned on it’ll even include buttons in this way. Whenever a button has this focus, you can press Spacebar to simulate a click. Given this, configuring a shadow becomes easy; Click on the X field, and then use Tab to get to the other fields. Lastly when you’re on the color button, press spacebar to go to the Color Inspector.
On the subject of text fields, arrow up/down will increase or decrease the value.
Speaking about Colors, the Ctrl+C shortcut will bring up the Screen Color picker - and you don’t even have to be in the color inspector already for this to work! If your selected layer has only a fill color, the Screen Color Picker will change the color of that, whereas if there is a border as well it will change that one instead.
If you’re already in the color inspector or gradient tool it’ll change the color of whatever the active element is.
I hope you’ll find these shortcuts useful in speeding up your workflow in Sketch. Until next time. :-)
iOS Resource File
For our inaugoral post on the new blog, we immediately have something great to show. It’s an iOS UI Kit made by Marcelo Marfil, 100% done in Sketch, of course.
Download it for free here.