What is Sketch and what can you do with it?


There are plenty of collaborative design apps out there, and Sketch is one of the best choices. If you’re a professional designer, you probably know it. However, it’s not just for professionals; Sketch is a fantastic alternative to Photoshop in most cases.

In this article, we will talk about the Sketch tool, its features and who will benefit from it. Here’s everything you need to know about Sketch.

What is a sketch?

Screenshot of Sketch home page

Basically, Sketch is a vector graphics application. It is a product design tool commonly used by web designers to create concept pages, icons, and other web elements. It is also incredibly popular among UI and UX designers.

Sketch is designed for both casual artists and professionals, offering a comprehensive set of powerful vector editing tools and a host of Boolean operations. It has a native macOS app, and non-Mac users can use the web app. The original version was released in 2010 for macOS, and since then it has undergone a variety of changes.

All Sketch designs are saved in their own .sketch file format, which is supported by popular tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Of course, like all other good design tools, you can also save your files in other formats, including PNG, JPG, TIFF, WebP, and more.

The app was originally released through the App Store, though it was retired in 2015. Since then, Sketch has been available through its own website, with the basic subscription plan costing $9 per publisher, per month . Custom corporate pricing is also available.


Related: The best vector software for Mac designers on a budget

Is there a free plan?


Sketch does not offer a free plan to its customers. However, if you are subscribed to one of their Standard or Business plans, you can invite as many viewers as you want to the workspace for free. This doesn’t give them editing rights, just the ability to view and comment on your designs, inspect files, or upload specific assets.

There is a 30-day free trial, however, and no credit card is required for this. The company also offers educational discounts for educational institutions, teachers, and students.

Related: The best color picker apps for Mac

Why use Sketch?

Sketch is ideal for UI and UX designers creating design concepts for websites or mobile apps. If you’ve used Photoshop or Illustrator in the past, Sketch is a fantastic alternative.

For starters, the Mac app supports local document editing as well as real-time collaboration. You can invite other people to access your Workspace documents and work on the same document simultaneously.

The web app also offers an array of convenient options, including sharing documents with a simple link, delivering designs to developers, and viewing changes by version history. While the web app is functional, the real work is done on the Mac app.

The best features of Sketch

Sketch has gained tremendous traction over the past few years among designers. Here are some of the main features that make it so popular.


Screenshot of the Sketch plugins page

Sketch offers a multitude of plugins that you can install in order to improve its functionality and automate certain tasks. The reason Sketch continues to grow in popularity is because it’s backed by an incredible community of dedicated developers and designers.

They keep releasing and updating plugins, which regularly improve and add to the functionality of the tool. Sketch also releases official plugins to simplify workflows. For example, they have a plugin that allows you to easily pull images from Unsplash, a free image site, and use them for your designs.

Related: How to Upload Photos to Unsplash

2. Artboard Presets

Sketch offers an infinite canvas that lets you create and switch between flexible artboards. Additionally, there are a bunch of artboard presets you can use to organize your work with predefined dimensions.

Just click on the Workplan in the toolbar, and you can select popular presets for iPhones, popular Android devices, Mac and Windows. You can also always create your own presets. This way, whenever you create UI or UX elements for specific apps or screen sizes, you don’t have to customize them every time.

3. Detailed pixel alignment

Sketch allows designers to easily zoom down to the pixel level when working with vector images. You can then use Snap or their Smart Guides feature to align your designs and adjust layers until they are properly aligned.

Repairing broken pixels is a major problem for designers. However, with Sketch you can simply select Round to edge of nearest pixels to break and clean the whole layer. This allows designers to quickly layer designs on top of each other without any hassle.

Related: How UI and UX Designers Can Use Google Workspace

4. Smart Guides

Smart Guides in Sketch are keyboard shortcuts that allow you to quickly highlight and display the distance between document edges and the selected element. You can also check the distance between other objects on the canvas by hovering over it. If you move a layer on your canvas, it will automatically snap to the nearest guide.

5. Collaborative features

Designers can quickly invite people to access documents and work in real time. You can also view version history to track changes, greatly reducing constant back and forth. It doesn’t store any metrics, like what you’re working on or for how long.

Sketch offers shared libraries, giving workspace users immediate access to different digital assets. You can also invite an unlimited number of people to share comments and test prototypes.

Sketch is just one of the many design tools currently available on the market. Free options like Canva also offer fantastic features and are great for newbie designers looking to get their career off the ground. However, if you want more functionality and flexibility, you can’t go wrong with Sketch. it is stable, reliable and is continuously updated with new features.

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