8 Sketch Design Tricks All Designers Should Know

Brian Laiche
Sep 11 · 5 min read

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m huge on efficient design workflows. Sketch has so many great little features and tricks to speed up and quickly make your designs flawless with ease. Here are 8 easy Sketch design tricks all designers should know.

Table of contents:

  1. Copy/paste style
  2. Change default style
  3. Math equations
  4. Sticky footer
  5. Image Fill
  6. Repeat grid
  7. Symbol swapping
  8. Circle chart

1: Copy/Paste style

This is a simple trick where you can mimic the style of another object. Simply right-click on the layer you want the style to come from select ‘Copy Style’. Then repeat on the layer you want to apply the style to, but this time select ‘Paste Style’. Using this in conjunction with the use of Layer Styling allows for future changes to all objects very quick and painless.

2: Change the default style

It can be rather annoying and tedious when creating new shapes, and the default style has a border but none of my shapes do. Luckily you can change the default style very easily. Simply create a shape with the style you want to be the default style, and navigate to Layer > Style> Set as Default style and now when you create a new shape the default style will be what you defined.

3: Math equations

I was never any good at math. I always turn straight to a calculator. What I didn’t realize going into a design field is how heavily influenced design is by math. Fortunately, within Sketch, all value boxes support math equations. So, when we need to double the size of an object, simply type ‘*2’ in the box, hit enter and it’s done for you.

4: Sticky Footer

When designing apps and websites, there is always an object at the top and object at the bottom. The content in between is always dynamic making the length of the page grow and shrink in size. Making the footer stick to the bottom of the page makes for very quick adjustments to screen size without having to adjust every piece of content to fit the page. To do this, first place your footer or bottom nav at the exact bottom of the page, Then with the footer object selected, use the resizing pane to pin to the bottom edge and fix the resizing so it doesn’t stretch. Make sure the Artboard has adjust content on resize checked as well. Top tip, make sure proper rules are set for every object on the page for the quickest results when resizing a page.

5: Image fill

Images are used in almost every design. Using image fill instead of masking adds the benefit of quickly resizing the object the image scales With your object selected, under the color tab select color fill, there are 5 dots on the top select the one with the moon on it. Either use Sketch’s UnSplash plugin or upload your own by clicking choose image.

6: Repeat grid

Almost every app and website has some form of table or grid view where components or objects are repeated down the page. The repeat grid tool is super useful in Sketch and is kind of hidden unless you know where to look. I recommend adding it to your toolbar as it’s a feature you will use from time to time. To create a repeatable grid, just click on the repeat grid tool in your toolbar with the object you want to repeat selected. Then enter the parameters and click make grid. And you’re done.

7: Symbol Swapping

Symbols are by far the most powerful tool within Sketch. When used properly, the added benefits, organization and time saved designing is astonishing. Of course, I could write an entire series on just symbols in Sketch. And I probably will at some point. But this time around all we care about is the naming convention. Using a ‘/’ allows us to group like symbols together and using our inspector we can easily swap between them. So I can quickly change the state of let’s say a toggle switch by swapping the symbol in the inspector view.

8: Circle Chart

Circles, donuts, and pie charts are all really cool conceptually but can be a pain to design. Luckily, there is an easy trick to designing these really fast in Sketch. It’s a long explanation, but super easy to do. Start by creating a circle. We want to use the border to design the thickness and style of the chart we want. Now, remember that math step above? Here is where it comes in super handy. We will be using the Dash and Gap to define the length of our circle chart. We first need to know the circumference of the circle. I know I said I’m not a math wiz but to find the circumference we multiply the diameter by π or 3.14. And we have the diameter which is the number in the height and width. Put this equation in the Gap box of our circle. Then Adjust the Dash until our desired length is met. And there you have it a simple beautiful circle chart.

There you have it. My 8 design tricks in Sketch. If you found this useful, give it a like. If all of these are new to you share it with someone else who needs to know this too. If you are totally awesome and knew all of these let me know in the comments what I’m missing, maybe I can learn something from you.

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