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Smart Layout, a new Welcome Window and Projects on the Mac and Cloud — What’s new in Sketch?

While we’re working hard on the next big Sketch for Teams features, we also wanted to share some equally important updates to the Mac app!

It’s been a busy summer for the whole team here at Sketch and we’re not slowing down yet. While we’re working hard on the next big features for Teams, we also wanted to share some equally important updates to the Mac app — Smart Layout, a new Welcome Window, and Projects support.

Introducing Smart Layout

When we laid the foundations for design systems in Sketch, we started by creating a powerful way to build and reuse components with Symbols. Then, we made it easier to keep Symbols and styles consistent across teams with Shared Libraries. With Sketch 58, we’re taking things a leap further — introducing Smart Layout.

With Smart Layout, you can say goodbye to manually resizing Symbols to fit their overrides, or building multiple Symbols within the same design, just to accommodate different sizes of the same component. Now, Sketch can handle all of that.

Simply set your Layout properties for your Symbol master and it’ll resize automatically whenever you edit an override in one of its instances. Better still, Smart Layout maintains the padding and spacing between layers in your Symbol as it grows in the direction you’ve set.

A basic button symbol with a horizontal layout,growing from the center

For basic components like buttons, Smart Layout is going to be a real time-saver. But when it comes to complex components, we think it’ll be a true game-changer. By setting up groups inside your Symbol master, you can set different layout directions for different parts of the same Symbol. So a card component can grow vertically to fit its copy, while the buttons at the bottom grow horizontally to fit their labels.

That’s just the start of what Smart Layout can do. You can see a few more examples of it in action on our website. To see how it works in detail, check out the Smart Layout documentation, or grab some popcorn and watch our video guides.

If you’d prefer to get some hands-on Smart Layout experience, you can download the demo file and check it out for yourself. We can’t wait to see how you’ll use Smart Layout to supercharge your Symbols.

Projects—now in the Mac app

Last month we announced Projects on Sketch Cloud, so whether you’re part of a team or working on your own, you can organise your documents on Cloud. With Sketch 58, we’re bringing Projects to the Mac as well.

First of all, we’ve made it easier to save Cloud documents to a specific project. When you create a new project and save it for the first time, you’ll be able to choose a workspace and project to save it to, using the drop-down menus. We’ll also add the ability to create a new project from the Mac app very soon!

With the launch of Sketch for Teams, Cloud documents and the recent introduction of Projects on the web, it was only a matter of time before we brought full support for all of these features to the Mac. In our latest release, we’ve updated the Welcome Window to accommodate them all. The old Welcome Window served us well but it’s now been replaced with the all new Documents Window, and it’s bigger, better and snappier than ever.

Whether you’re a part of a team or a personal account user, you’ll be able to see all of your Teams and Projects in the sidebar and clicking on any of them will show you just the documents you’re looking for. We’ve made the Documents Window bigger, too, so there’s plenty of room for all those thumbnails.

Like the old Welcome Window, you’ll still be able to see recently opened documents and access templates using the relevant tabs in the Sidebar. We’ll be making further updates and improvements to the new Documents Window, so keep an eye out for future releases.

Sketch(hub): What’s next for Libraries

You might notice something missing from the new Documents Window right now and that’s Libraries. One of our next big steps is improving support for Libraries across Cloud, Teams and the Mac app, giving them their own place in your workflow, just like Documents & Projects. Stay tuned for updates on publishing your Libraries on Cloud, approval controls for accepting updates, instant update notifications, and, soon, the ability to open source your Libraries and UI Kits with other teams and users, through improved sharing features.

Say hello to the Sketch team!

We’re on the road right now, bringing Sketch to design conferences across the world. If you’re heading to any of the events below, come and say hi, pick up some Sketch swag, catch up with the team and even get a sneak preview of some new features:

As ever, we’d love to hear what you think about Sketch, your feedback helps us improve whole the platform. Keep an eye out for future updates, we’ve got plenty more to show you before the year is out.

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