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Managing documents

Learn how to manage your documents — from saving your work to using document updates in your Workspace.

Opening Workspace documents in the Mac app

In the Mac app You can find and open documents in your Workspace from the Workspace window. Double-click on any document to open it in the Mac app.

The Workspace window

The Workspace window will pop up every time you open the Mac app — you can also bring up the Workspace window to open a Workspace document by choosing File > Open Workspace document (or pressing O).

You can choose to browse documents in your Workspace either in a list or a grid view. To switch between these two views, use the buttons next to the search bar.

If you’re part of a team or have created projects Group, you’ll see these in the sidebar. Clicking on a Workspace or project name will show only the documents that belong to it.

In the Workspace window, you’ll find the project a document belongs to under its thumbnail. You can also see the different levels of access to that document with the following icons:

  • Globe: Anyone with the document’s link can access
  • People: Only certain Guests can access
  • Lock/Unlock rulers: Only you can access
A picture showing the different sharing badges in the workspace window.

You can also toggle between Workspaces using the switcher in the top-left side of the window, check our templates or create new projects from the Workspace window.

Opening and editing documents from the web app

You can open any document in the Mac app directly from your browser by clicking on the Edit button at the bottom of the sidebar in a document’s overview. Depending on your browser, you may have to confirm this action before your document will open in the Mac app.

If you are viewing a single Artboard, you’ll see a new icon to the right of the zoom controls to open your document focused on that specific Artboard in the Mac app.

You can also open documents in the Mac app from the All Documents view All documents in your Workspace. To do this, hover over any document’s thumbnail, click and choose Edit.

Creating a new document

To create a new document, you can either double-click on the New Document thumbnail in the Workspace window and choose File > New, or press N.

Saving documents

Saving files to your Workspace

Choose File > Save (or press S), select the To a Workspace tab and choose the Workspace and, if you want, project folder where you want to save your document.

If you close a document while it’s saving to your Workspace, we’ll ask you whether you want to wait for the save to complete or whether you want to close and cancel the save. If you select Close and Cancel, the update will not upload to your Workspace.

You can also save a document to your Workspace by clicking on the Collaborate button in the toolbar Collaboration, choosing a Workspace and a project (if you’ve created one) to save to then clicking Save.

If you have a document saved locally (on your computer) you can drag it onto the Workspace window to save it to your Workspace. When you do this, you’ll be able to choose a Workspace and project to save it to. This also works with multiple documents, making it great if you’re moving an entire set of documents to your Workspace for the first time. You can also save a local document from the Recent Documents tab in the Workspace window.

Saving files locally

Choose File > Save (or press S), select the On Your Mac tab and choose the location where you want to save it on your Mac.

Tip: Press D when in the save dialog to set the save location to your local Desktop.

Working with real-time collaboration documents

To collaborate on a new document, you’ll need to save it to your Workspace. Once you’ve saved it to your Workspace, we’ll save your changes automatically while you work. Every time you close or save a document, we’ll create an update — a snapshot of your work at that moment. You can access and browse updates in the web app’s sidebar.

Working on a Workspace document locally

When you’re working on a document with other people, you can download the Workspace document to your computer, make your changes locally and manually upload them to your Workspace to create a new update of the document. Click and hit Update Document…. Before uploading your document, we’ll ask you to confirm this action, as it might overwrite edits from other collaborators.

If someone is working on the same document as you in your Workspace, you won’t be able to push changes until they’re gone.

A picture showing a message that changes cant be uploaded to your workspace because someone is working in the same document in the Workspace.

Saving real-time collaboration documents offline

If you’re working offline, we’ll store any changes you save locally. When you are back online, we’ll sync the latest update of the document that’s available in your Workspace with all your new changes.

Note: If someone deletes an object that you’ve edited while you were offline, we won’t be able to apply changes to that object.

Searching for documents

You can search for a document in your Workspace using the search bar in the top-right side of the Workspace window in the Mac app or the search bar in the web app. You can search a document by its name or the author of the latest update of the document and choose whether you want to search within a specific project or all the documents in your Workspace.

Using updates

When you save changes you’ve made to a Workspace document, it’ll automatically appear as a new update under the Version tab in the right sidebar of the web app. You can click on any update in the sidebar to view an older update. When you’re viewing an older update, you can click the See Latest Update button in the top-right to go straight to the latest update.

You can also see updates for specific Artboards Artboard (if they’ve changed) in the Artboard view.

Deleting updates

Open your document and hover over the update you want to delete in the sidebar, click on Dots Cloud and choose Delete…. You will need to confirm that you want to delete that update by clicking Delete Update in the confirmation window that appears.

Note: If there is only one update in the document’s history, you won’t be able to delete it.

Adding descriptions to updates

You can add a description to any update in the web app to highlight key milestones or important changes in your document’s history. For example, you could make note of what’s changed to your design or list the latest components you’ve added to a Library.

To do so, open a document and click on the Version tab in the sidebar. Hover over any update in the right sidebar, then click on Dots Cloud and choose Add Description.

You’ll also have the option to add a description whenever you star an update. Simply type in a quick summary in the text box within the modal.

A screenshot of the Star an update modal in Sketch

To edit or delete an update description, follow the same steps. Hover over the update in question, click on Dots Cloud and choose Edit Description. Here, you can edit the description or erase it. Then, click on Edit Description or Delete Description.

Note: if you unstar an update, we’ll still show any description you added to it. But don’t worry — if you want to remove it, you can do it manually using the process above.

Switching between Workspaces

To switch between Workspaces you’re a member (Editor or Viewer) or Guest of:

In the Mac app Use the drop-down menu in the top-left of the Workspace window and choose a Workspace or toggle between Workspaces using 1 (or the number that corresponds to your Workspace). You’ll only see documents and projects that belong to that Workspace.

In the web app Select your Workspace from the drop-down menu in the top-left to view all the documents shared in your Workspace.

An image showing the workspace switcher in the web app

Viewing Workspace documents in the web app

There are a few different ways to view documents in the web app.

From the Mac app With a Workspace document open, click on the Collaborate button in the toolbar, or head to File > Workspace, and choose View in Workspace…. This will open the document in a new browser window.

If someone has shared a document with you via your Workspace email address, choose the Workspace they shared it from using the drop-down menu in the top-left of the web app. You will see the shared document in the panel to the right.

If you’ve been sent a link to a Workspace document, clicking on that link will open it up in a new browser window. When you open a document in the web app, you’ll see its prototypes, pages, Artboards and Symbols. You can click any of these to view them in more detail. You can also use the drop-down menu in the document’s title to view a particular page’s Artboards.

Exploring Workspace documents in the web app

You can choose to browse documents in your Workspace either in a list or a grid view. To switch between these two views, use the buttons in the top-right corner of the web app’s menu bar.

When you’re viewing an individual Artboard, you can use the Arrow keys or click on the arrows in the top-left to jump between the different Artboards in the document.

When you’re viewing an individual Artboard, you can click on it to zoom in and view it full size — or use the zoom controls in the top-right. You can also press:

  • 0 to zoom to 100%
  • 1 to fit the Artboard on your screen
  • + to zoom in (or = on non-US keyboards)
  • - to zoom out

From there, you can scroll around to see all of its contents.

Components web view

With Components web view, you can open up your libraries and make them easier for everyone to understand. Components web view allows you to browse through Symbols, Color Variables, Layer Styles and Text Styles, search for specific components and explore them in detail in the menu on the left-hand side.

Browse components

When you open a document in the web app, you’ll be able to navigate through different views listed in the right sidebar (Pages, Symbols, Text Styles, Layers Styles, Color Variables, and Prototypes). Click on any view to access its content.

Each component gets a big preview that you can hover over to zoom or click. You‘ll be able to explore and inspect Symbols in detail and add comments in the right sidebar. For Color Variables, Layer Styles and Text Styles you‘ll be able to use the web app Inspector too.

Search for components

Use the search bar in the top-right side to find a component or an Artboard. When you search in the Components web view, you’ll need to select the relevant component type first and then type your search. All relevant results will appear in the main window.

You can navigate through all your Symbols and Symbol groups in the left side menu. We‘ll show all your Symbols by default but you can click on any group or Symbol to focus on them in the preview grid. If you want to see a Symbol in detail, click on any Symbol thumbnail. You can click every layer in the Symbol, measure its distance from other layers and see all the details in the web app Inspector. You‘ll also be able to leave comments and see all the updates for that Symbol by switching between the Comment and Version tabs in the right sidebar. To go back to the preview grid, click on the back arrow button at the beginning of the breadcrumb nav bar.

Navigating Layer Styles, Text Styles or Color Variables in the Components web view works exactly the same for all three components. In the left side menu, you can navigate the components and their groups. When you click on any item, we‘ll show you all components in that group in the preview grid. Click on any component to inspect it in the web app Inspector in the right sidebar.

Making a local copy of a Workspace document

In the Mac app Depending on your Auto Save preferences, you can either choose File > Duplicate (Auto Save enabled) or File > Save As… (Auto Save disabled) to save a new copy of your current document. In the save sheet, you can choose to save it locally (on your Mac) or to a Workspace.

Tip: If you have Auto Save enabled, you’ll only see Duplicate in the File menu, but you can hold down to show Save As… instead.

In the web app From your Workspace or project view, hover over your document’s thumbnail, choose and then Download Document. From the document or Artboard view, click on in the top nav bar and choose Download Document.

Moving documents from My Drafts to a shared Workspace

In the web app You can move documents from My Drafts to a shared Workspace by hovering over the document’s thumbnail, clicking the more options icon Dots Cloud that appears and choosing Move to Project…. From there, select the project you want to move your document to and click Move to confirm.

Note: You cannot undo the process of moving a document from My Drafts to a shared Workspace.

Adding a preview thumbnail to documents

To add a thumbnail to a Workspace document, move the Artboard you want to use so that it is the first Artboard of the first page in your document. This Artboard should be at least 250x250, otherwise it won’t show.

Downloading documents from the web app

You can download any document in your Workspace by clicking Download Document at the bottom of the sidebar in the document view, or by hovering over a document’s thumbnail, clicking Dots Cloud and selecting Download document.

Note: Clicking Download Document will download the update you’re currently viewing, even if that’s an older update.

Renaming documents

In the Mac app Choose File > Rename…, enter its new name in the title bar, then press enter on your keyboard to save.

You can also double-click on any document thumbnail in the Workspace window (or Control-click on the thumbnail and choose Rename) to rename it.

In the web app

  • From your Workspace or project view: hover over your document’s thumbnail, choose Dots Cloud, then Rename….
  • From the document or Artboard view: click on the document title in the right-hand sidebar and type in a new name.

Deleting documents

When you delete a document in your Workspace you’ll send it to the Trash Trash icon prototyping. We’ll automatically delete any documents that have been in the Trash for 90 days, but up until that point you can easily restore them

In the Mac app Control-click on a document’s thumbnail in the Workspace window and choose Delete Document…, or click once on the thumbnail to select it and press the backspace key on your keyboard.

In the web app From your Workspace or project view, hover over your document’s thumbnail, click and choose Delete Document…. You can also drag and drop a document’s thumbnail to the Trash item in the sidebar Trash icon prototyping. If you’re viewing a single Artboard or in the document’s overview, you can click on in the top nav bar and choose Delete Document….

Restoring documents

To restore a file in the Trash Trash icon prototyping, click on the document’s preview and choose Restore. You can also hover over the document’s preview in the Trash, click Dots Cloud and select Restore document.

Permanently deleting documents

If you want to permanently delete a document, hover over its thumbnail in the Trash, click Dots Cloud and select Delete Permanently. When you delete a document permanently, it will also remove all its activity and history for your whole team.

To empty the Trash, hover over the Trash icon Trash icon prototyping in the sidebar, click Dots Cloud and select Empty Trash. Be careful — anyone in your Workspace can empty the Trash and this is a permanent action, so please be sure before you do so!

Note: At this time, you can only access and empty the Trash Trash icon prototyping from your web browser. We’ll be bringing this functionality to the Mac app in a future update.

Last updated on 20 May 2022

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