5 Very Special, 10 Sketch Tips

To be more efficient and to learn some some of the deep mechanisms of the Sketch app.

You can listen this amazing main theme music of the Braid game while reading.

1. Copy from the Past into the Present or Vice Versa

This tip can be used in all apps actually, and probably most of you already doing it for little things. But still you should consider doing it for the things even in the distant past. As I can be really lazy in designing same things again, I use this trick often.

Undo > Copy > Redo > Paste

Copy > Undo > Paste

This video might be a bit confusing without reading the following explanation and seeing the tenth tip.

The story: I didn’t make this tip’s video until just only this is left to be finished. Because a good example didn’t come to my mind first. But just after I finished the last tip’s video and put it in the article, I didn’t like the background color. So decided to change it. When I found the new color, I undo to the beginning to capture the tip from the start and paste the color there… what… boom!… It was copying from the present to the the past! That was what I was trying to find…

Still, probably you will understand this video better after seeing the last tip.

2. Selecting “Groups” at Various Depths

Although ⌘ + mouse click is being used to select individual layers in deep, it can also be used to select groups at various depths with a simple hack. Here three ways of selecting groups at various depths — I prefer the first one usually and the last one if there are lots of things to select.

Select a sibling by holding ⌘ > Select the group > Unselect the sibling

Right click > Select the group (even works while selecting multiple items by holding ⇧)

Use the filter for multiple deep selections

3. Gathering Scattered Layers

Sometimes layers scatter around while creating them and then the time comes to gather them together in the layer list. There are two easy ways of this, but I prefer the first one generally because it’s easier and more flexible.

Select layers > Click-hold-drag to the place you want

Select layers > Group > Ungroup

4. Prevent False Center Aligning

You might want to align a layer to the center of another layer. However, when the layer is not in the bounds of the other one, this can end up with false centering and changing both layers’ positions. To prevent that:

Align to the left or the right first and then to the center

5. Line Direction or Path Order

The path order of the line is determined when you create it first. So you can either create it in the direction you want or you can change it later.

Create the line with the intended direction, here upwards

To change the line direction quickly: Decrease the width of the line until it becomes zero by using (⇧ +) arrow up / down keys and then Increase the width back

6. Adding to Other End of the Path

Reverse order command in the layer menu is actually a very useful one. You need it when combining shapes doesn’t work as intended or when you need to add a point to the other side of the path.

Select > Layer Menu > Paths > Reverse Order > Add the Point

7. Distribute Layers

8. Collapse Group or Artboard with Alt Click

Discovered that this trick works for the artboard too (obviously), thanks to Gabriel Brodersen for giving the idea. So you can collapse single artboard with alt / option click or use “Collapse Artboards and Groups” menu command to collapse all artboards.

9. Quick Zoom In and Out

At the beginning this shortcut felt a bit not comfy to use because of the positions of the keys, but then I got used to it and I can say it’s really convenient.

Zoom In: hold Z + click. Zoom Out: hold Z ++ click.

10. Quickly Change the Opacity of the Layers

Same with this, you get used to it after a little time and then can’t stop using!

Select the Layer > Use Number Buttons (0–9)

An Irrelevant Secret Tip

Play “Braid Game”. The first tip reminded me the game. It’s the most amazing and brilliant game I have ever played by far and without any doubt. Extraordinary back story filled with lots of metaphors and mind-blowing puzzles related to time and space manipulation. I assure you that you won’t regret any time you spent on this game.

Sometimes I dream of how it would be if we could built a undo / redo mechanism that is so much more complicated than now; like having the ability of manipulating time of each layers separately or selective-dependently…