UI design tools: Converting between Sketch, XD and Figma (and back again)

Converting UI design tools. Such as Sketch, Figma and Adobe XD

Why convert files to another UI design tool?

  • Convenience — Not everyone has a Mac and Sketch. Stakeholders having the ability to open a file is more important than any kind of loyalty to an operating system.
  • Cost — For some tools, there are no costs for a very basic plan such as Figma and XD. Sketch has a trial, but you have to buy it afterwards. It is very attractive to use a free plan, particularly if you are a freelancer.
  • Communication — Some tools are much better than others in the feedback process. Figma is a great example of this as it makes feedback loops very simple.
  • Prototyping — Some tools have better prototyping functionality and I will talk more about this later.
  • Client wishes — some clients do not want to use a particular piece of software, or have had bad experiences and want to change.
  • Flexibility — What if your tool ceases to exist or another tool gets much better over time? Conversion becomes very important when considering this.
  • Other tools — an interesting use case and reason to convert is people using other complementary tools that only support certain formats. UXPin is a good example that imports Sketch files.

The top design tools: Sketch, Figma and Adobe XD

From XD to Sketch

  • Using a converter — There is a real lack of converters in this area, but there is one: Magicul.io. Magicul converts XD files to Sketch. They also support Figma to Sketch and many more formats in the future. This was according to their customer service and I will update the post once this comes out. I have converted some large files there before with clean and good results.
  • SVG conversion — All artboards are exported as SVGs and then imported into Sketch. This is a messy solution that I would not recommend as there is just so much work that goes with this.

From Figma to Sketch

  • Magicul now offers a Figma to Sketch converter, which seems to work very well. They even support for very basic prototyping functions, as well as symbols and components!
  • SVG conversion — It’s not a great solution and I wouldn’t recommend it when compared to the converter I mentioned above.

From XD to Figma

  • Use a converter — Magicul, for example, can be used to convert XD files to Sketch or Figma, since Figma allows you to open Sketch files.
  • Paste — You can paste XD artboards into Figma
  • SVG conversion — You can also export files to SVG from XD and then import them into Figma. Not the cleanest solution, but it does work if you put in some extra work (often quite a bit)

From Sketch to Figma

Open Sketch file in Figma. Convert Sketch file to Figma
Opening a Sketch file in Figma. Simple.

From Figma to XD

From Sketch to XD

Keyboard shortcuts for opening files in XD (Mac and Windows)
Keyboard shortcuts for opening files in XD (Mac and Windows)
Convert Sketch file to Adobe XD. Old file.
Older Sketch files need to be created in version 43 or later to be opened by XD. Don’t worry, you can always resave the files in Sketch if you have an old file.

Prototyping: the missing link?

UX/UI Prototyping tool use
Source: Uxtools.co

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Sebastian Tan

Sebastian Tan

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UX Designer | Digital product enthusiast | Amateur Furniture Maker | Sub 2:28 Marathoner | http://sebastian-tan.com