10 Sketch Workflow Tips

People love workflow- and productivity tips — and so do I. Here are some of my workflow tips for Sketch 3 that I want to share with you.

Use symbols the right way

I start with the most valuable tip I have. I’m currently heavily involved in the redesigning process of our online banking. I therefore need to design a lot of lists and tables. You know, the boring stuff…

So this is a example of a bank statement. I vertically aligned the text on each line for the first draft:

I then wanted to check out how it would look like when the text is top aligned. To achieve that, I would need to select all the numbers on every line and move them to the top, right? Nope!

Exclude text values from symbols

After you’ve designed on table line, create a symbol out of it and make sure to exclude text values like this:

I can now just copy paste the line a few times and change the text values to create a full list. This way I’m way faster to move all the text to the top. I just need to select the values from one line and move them up. This is not just good for realigning elements — you can also change colors, sizes and other stuff and see instant updates on every line:

Faster Layer Selecting

⌘ + Hover/Click

That might be an obvious tip. But when you’re working on a large project with lots of nested groups, it’s easier to select a layer on the canvas with
⌘ + Hover/Click instead of double-clicking through all groups until you reach the layer you want.

Alternatively, you can select a folder and then check “Click-trough when selecting” on the options panel to the right.

Copy Layer Styles

⎇ + ⌘ + C

Designers are lazy sometimes and we might not always have defined shared styles for our UI elements… (We definitely should though). But if you haven’t, simply select a layer and hit ⎇ + ⌘ + C to copy its layer styles. Select another layer and hit ⎇ + ⌘ + V to paste the styles.

Set Style as Default

Sketch uses a grey background with a grey border as the default style when you draw a shape. Most of the time you might have to get rid of the border as you don’t need it. That’s pretty annoying if you have to do that every time you create a new rectangle…

Simply create a layer with all the styles you want. (Probably just a grey background). With that layer selected go to Edit → Set Style as Default.

Distribute Spacing

Perfectly distribute spacing between elements with a single click. Note that Sketch leaves the most outer elements as they are and calculates the space between.

Align Element within other Element

Select both layers by holding down the ⇧-key and then click the buttons to align horizontally and vertically.

Navigate through Layer Panel

Use Tab () and Shift + Tab (⇧+⇥) to navigate trough folders and layers. To enter a folder hit Return (). To leave a folder hit Escape (Esc).

Rename Layers and Folders

You might want to rename stuff while browsing your Layer Panel. Just hit
⌘ + R and start typing.

CSS-Like rounded Corners

Select a rectangle and type in the border-radius like this:
top-left/top-right/bottom-right/bottom-left and hit return.

Single Side Borders

Sometimes you need a border on just one side of an element. Simply use hard shadows for that task! Use x-axis for left and right borders and y-axis for top and bottom. Note: You need negative values for left and top borders!

Thanks for reading/sharing and recommending! :-) If you have any questions feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Dribbble. I’m Thomas Veit,
UI/UX Designer from Switzerland.