The last six months have been some of the busiest and most exciting in the history of Sketch. We had our first funding round, we announced our biggest update yet, and we’ve been travelling all over the world to share sneak previews of what’s next for the platform. And after a busy Summer, it’s finally time to share what we’ve been working on with all of you — from big improvements to the Mac app, to the Sketch for Teams beta.
Smart Distribute Upgrades
With Sketch 55, we introduced Smart Distribute to make managing and creating complex layouts easier. We also promised we’d be back with updates that made Smart Distribute even more powerful. In today’s update, it gets a serious upgrade.
Originally, Smart Distribute only worked in a single direction — controlling the spacing between layers in a horizontal row or vertical column. But in this latest update, it supports grids, so you can adjust the horizontal spacing between each layer in a row, as well as the vertical spacing between the rows themselves.
Better still, you can now use negative spacing (so layers can overlap) and adjusting the spacing between layers inside a group is as simple as clicking on the group itself, grabbing a handle and dragging.
We’ve also introduced a new “Tidy” button in the Inspector. It’s the quickest way to organise multiple layers into a neat grid of rows and columns.
Editing overrides on the Canvas
We’ve had a lot of requests for this one, so we’re very excited to say you can now edit text overrides on the Canvas. Simply double-click on any text in any Symbol instance and start typing. Now you can stay out of the inspector, stay in the moment and speed up your workflow.
Introducing Cloud Documents
Sketch Cloud is great for sharing designs, getting feedback and distributing Libraries, but we know uploading and opening documents can sometimes slow you down. So, we’re launching Cloud Documents — a new way to create, save and open documents from Sketch Cloud, right in the Mac app.
It starts with a new Cloud tab in the Welcome Window, where you can view and open any of your documents saved on Sketch Cloud. Firing up your browser and trawling through your Downloads to find the right file is a thing of the past.
You can choose whether you want to create Cloud or local documents by default (and change that setting at any time) in Preferences. Cloud documents regularly and automatically save locally as well, so you won’t have to worry about losing your work. When you want to save the latest version to Sketch Cloud, simply hit save.
This is just the start of our plans to bring Sketch Cloud and the Mac app closer together. And if you’re a regular Sketch Cloud user, we think it’s going to be a huge improvement to your workflow. You can find out more about using Cloud Documents in the documentation.
Improvements and Fixes in Sketch 56
Along with our headline changes, the latest Mac app comes with plenty of small improvements and fixes:
- There’s some new faces in our data plugin — 102 to be exact. So, if you want to keep your designs looking fresh and your mockups diverse, we’ve got you covered.
- We’ve given the General tab in Preferences a tidy. Nothing’s missing, but a few things live in the other tabs now.
- This update also includes the usual round of bug fixes and tweaks, if you were having trouble with Symbol masters duplicating or spotted odd highlights in the Layer List, this update is for you.
Sketch for Teams Beta
And we’re not done yet. Today marks the official launch of our Sketch for Teams beta and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. As we mentioned in our previous post, the beta is an early look at what’s in store for you and your team, and we’ll be shipping regular updates between now and the full launch later in the year.
You can sign up today and get a fully-featured, 90-day free trial for your whole team. We hope this will give even the largest teams plenty of time to try it out and to see how it makes collaboration in Sketch (and beyond) easier, faster and more seamless.
In the beta, you’ll be able to:
- Invite your whole team to a single, shared workspace in Sketch Cloud
- Add an unlimited number of viewers to preview and comment on designs
- Add contributors who can edit and share documents via the Mac app
- Get a full history of every team document — and roll back to a previous version at any time
- Easily manage your team from a new admin dashboard. For full details of what’s on offer in Sketch for Teams and to sign up, head to sketch.com/collaborate.
We promised some big things when we announced our funding round earlier this year, and what you’re seeing today is just the start. With Cloud Documents and the Sketch for Teams beta we’re laying the groundwork for some even more exciting projects we’re working on right now. And we’ll be sharing them with you very soon.