Hot off the presses: Gravit Designer 3.2

Symbols, anchors, and more — Gravit gets a huge feature boost.

As if the former range of functions wouldn’t be enough, we did our best to give you even more bang for the buck — well, if Gravit Designer would actually cost money.😉 The cornerstone of this release is a long-awaited feature: symbols. Together with the improved anchoring options — elements within groups or symbols can also react to changes of the container now — an important step towards creating flexible and reusable components is done.

But that’s not all, we introduced a boatload of other features, which make designing in our application even more pleasant and easy. Please keep reading for all improvements and be sure to download Gravit Designer 3.2 from our website, use it online or update directly in the respective app stores (it may take up to 48h until the update is available there). Oh, and by the way, it’s still free. 🙂

Symbols

With every new release of Gravit Designer we are completing the big picture and adding more missing pieces. A big part is symbols. Now it is possible to turn individual layers or entire elements into reusable assets, that can be cloned and used throughout your designs. If the master symbol changes, all instances get updated too.

On top of that each instance can still have its individual properties, like the fill of shapes (including image fills), the content of text layers, or the size and position of nested elements. This allows you to have numerous variations, which are still based on the same symbol. As a last resort, there is the option to reset an instance to the original state from a right-click.

Locking a layer in the master makes in unavailable in the instances — vice versa, deleting one in an instance just sets it to hidden. Symbols can also have shared styles for even more continuity. Furthermore, each symbol has its own anchoring properties, which lets you define how its elements react when it is resized.

All created symbols are available from in the new sidebar, from where you can manage and drag them into your designs. Read more about Symbols in our related article.

Enhanced anchoring options

Anchoring and constraints are a big thing in app design. The ability to define how elements react when their container resizes can help massively to reduce the workload when working on different resolutions. While it was only possible to set the anchoring based on the page before, now you are also able to define it based on the parent group, which gives you even more options to create standalone elements. Especially in combination with symbols, this is a huge deal.

With this, we introduced a new dropdown for groups in the inspector, that lets you choose between “Group” and “Frame.” With the former, everything is the same as before: elements in the group get resized proportionally with the group. The moment you switch to “Frame”, all elements within the group get pinned to the top-left, to indicate the changed anchoring context. This also applies if you change the anchoring of an individual element. Now you can set the anchoring options as desired — to return to the “stretching” behavior, just deselect “Left” and “Top.”

Open recent files

Chances are that when you‘re working in Gravit Designer, there are a handful of designs that you need to open again and again. In the past, that was a bit tedious, but with the new “Open recent” list in the “Files” menu in the menu bar it‘s nothing to go back to your trusted files.

Improvements to color swatches

In Gravit Designer, we put much emphasis on colors. In the color dialog you can see which colors are “in use” in your design; have a “mixer” available, that lets you set certain tints, shades, tones and mixes of a color; and there’s the ability to save your own colors at “swatches”. Especially the latter have undergone quite some improvements:

  • You can drag and rearrange them.
  • They now show the opacity.
  • There’s an indicator whether they are saved in the RGB or CMYK color space.
  • Save and load color palettes.

Improved visibility of themes

Some love the default Gravish theme, some hate it. Good that there’s the option in the settings to change it to the light or dark theme. Unfortunately, both had their problems before, but with 3.2 we revamped the whole interface, looked at every tiny button, dug through every dialog and made sure that everything is visible and usable under all circumstances. No matter what your preferences are, rest assured that you will get the best possible experience with every theme.

New “Mask with Shape” option

With a wealth of available functions and options in Gravit Designer it’s sometimes hard to find the right tool for the task. This probably also applied to our “Clip” function. It allows to show just a selective part of other layers, defined by the bottommost shape of the current selection (also known as “masking”). To ease the pain we introduced a new “Mask with Shape” option, that solves multiple issues: it is available from a right-click, easier to understand, has a keyboard shortcut assigned (Shift + Ctrl/Cmd + M) and the potential mask can be above the content, so that you can better assess the clipping.

Snap Package for Linux

The availability of Gravit on all platforms is a primary concern for us. To make it even easier for our friends on Linux, Gravit comes as a hassle-free snap package now. With this, you have everything in a single bundle and don’t need to struggle with missing dependencies. Who says that Linux needs to be complicated?

To install it, use “sudo snap install gravit-designer”.

Improvements to Pages

Pages, or artboards, like they are called in other applications — are an essential tool if you want to create multiple designs in a single file or iterate on one design and try out different variations. We improved Pages with the current release, in that you can flip their dimensions now and trim them so that they inherit the size of their contained elements.

Ability to resize layers with the keyboard

The more acquainted you become with a tool, the more you start to rely on keyboard shortcuts. Especially the ability to manipulate elements with the keyboard is an essential function to speed up your workflow. With the current release, we give you two important additions: hold + and use the arrow keys to expand the element in the respective direction, with – and the arrow keys you can shrink it.

Reduced file size of desktop apps

The recent introduction of a Chinese version with Gravit Designer 3.1 was a huge step towards opening our application to an even larger audience. Unfortunately, it had an unlucky downside: including the Chinese characters into the build also increased the download size considerably. We managed to split the respective font from the application and offer it as a separate download in “File → Import → Download extra fonts.” To switch to the Chinese version, go to “Help → Language” in the menu bar.


Other notable improvements

  • Groups can be created from individual layers.
  • Layers are highlighted in the Layers panel when you hover them on the canvas.
  • “Make exportable” also includes the PDF file format.
  • While showing the measurements guides with Alt, it’s still possible to move layers.
  • Assets are exported with lowercase file endings.
  • Tutorials were moved into the “Help” menu in the menu bar.
  • Checking the “Keep Ratio” switch also applies to elements that are resized on the canvas.
  • All icons from icons8.com are available in the Libraries tab.
  • Simplified image cropping: It’s not only easier to catch the selection handles, but also to move the image inside the frame and to reset it.
  • Anchoring also works for groups, not only for individual elements.
  • Clicking on the font size field selects the value to enable quick changes.
  • The grid is now shown no matter if you switch it on in the inspector or the menu bar.
  • New checkbox “Scale font on resizing” for text layers, that lets you decide whether the text frame is resized or the font size itself.
  • New “Flatten” option (from “Modify” in the menu bar) converts the currently selected layer or group to a flattened bitmap. This is mainly to reduce the complexity of resized images or elaborate vectors.

Remarkable bug fixes

  • Text border isn’t cut anymore when set to outside.
  • Tooltips don’t cover other important interface parts anymore and aren’t cut off.
  • Text colors correctly appear in “In use” area in the color dialog.
  • Zoom with mouse wheel jumps to predefined instead of random sizes.
  • Multiple groups can be ungrouped at the same time.
  • Lasso tool adds and removes points correctly.
  • When rotating a group, the rotation handles rotate with the object and show the correct angle.
  • Shared styles are added correctly when copied from one design to another.
  • Zoom in and out and “View > Fit Selection” work correctly under all circumstances.
  • Round and shape endings on a path work together correctly.
  • Massive improvements to Sketch import.
  • Noise fill works under all conditions.
  • Setting the background color in the export dialog works correctly.
  • Open dialogs stay in the correct place when the window is resized.
  • Holding Alt and scrolling down with the mouse wheel in input fields decreases the value correctly.
  • Lines also snap to pixels when dragging.
  • Accidental change of values with the scroll wheel in input fields minimized.
  • Various fixes for “Text on path” and pages.
  • Imported fonts and system fonts work more reliably. The former can also be removed now.
  • Printing works in all circumstances now.

There goes another massive release of Gravit Designer, which not only improves the base functionality but also gives you plenty of new features to make the application even more useful. Please add a comment if you have questions or encounter any bugs with this release. We’re always there to help out and listen to the feedback of our users.

Be sure to download Gravit Designer 3.2 from our website or update directly in the respective app stores (it may take up to 48h until the update is available there). Of course you can also use it online.

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