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The Mac app interface

Last updated on 24 Jul 2023
2 min read

The Mac app’s interface gives you full visibility of all your tools at your disposal, as well as total contextual control of every editable element. If you’re new to Sketch, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the UI before diving into its design tools.

The Mac app interface

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An annotated image showing the different parts of the mac app interface.

Image showing the main parts of the mac app interface (v90 July 2022).

  1. The Menu Bar is where you’ll find items and actions for most of the app’s features. Many of the options are also available using Shortcuts or through the Context menu (6).
  2. The Layer List Canvas shows all the Pages in a document and all Artboards and Layers on the selected page. With Search Layers field, you can quickly search for a Layer in the list. The order in which Layers appear in the list defines their relative visibility on the canvas.
  3. The Components View Components View Tab. is where you’ll find all the Symbols, Text Styles, Layer Styles, Color Variables and Artboard Templates in your document. You can create, manage, search and find all components in the Components View.
  4. The Toolbar provides quick and easy access to important tools and actions you’ll use a lot in the Mac app. It comes with a handy set of defaults but you can customize it with different buttons to suit your needs. To do so, control-click on it and choose Customize Toolbar… or choose View > Customize Toolbar….
  5. The Canvas Canvas is where you create your designs. It’s infinite, so you can set things up however you like and work directly on the Canvas itself without worrying about running out of space. If you’d prefer to work within a fixed frame, you can add Artboards to your Canvas.
  6. The Context menu is displayed when you Control click on any object in Sketch. The content of the menu depends on what type of object or objects you have selected.
  7. The Inspector shows the properties for any Layers you’ve selected, or controls for the tool or feature you’re using. It has two tabs:
    • DESIGN shows all the design properties you can edit for the Layer you’ve selected or Tool you’re using.
    • PROTOTYPE shows all existing links and interactions on the Canvas and gives you controls to create new Interactions and Overlays, as well as adjust their properties.

The Mac app also has an Insert Window where you can search for and add Components from your current document and Libraries to the Canvas.

Tip: To hide the Mac app’s UI, and view just your work on the Canvas, choose View > Hide Interface in the menu (or press .) to toggle Presentation Mode.