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Sketch 3 for Mac adds reusable Symbols and Presentation Mode, improves Export tool

17 April 2014, Nick Peers

Sketch 3 for MacBohemian Coding has released Sketch 3.0, a major new version of its Mac vector-based design tool. Version 3.0 adds a brand new feature called Symbols, which lets users combine multi-layered objects into a reusable group.

Other changes include major improvements to the Export Tool, redesigned Text and Layer Styles, a revamped inspector and a new Presentation Mode for showing off designs in full screen.

The headline new feature in Sketch 3 are support for Symbols. Users can now create an object from multiple layers, then convert the group to a Symbol via a single click. The Symbol can then be used in multiple places on a document, and making changes to one Symbol automatically updates the others too.

Sketch 3.0

Sketch 3.0 adds a welcome set of new tools and refinements to its feature set.

Sketch 3 also ships with a vastly improved Export Tool. Individual slices can now be treated as Layers, while Layers and Groups are now directly exportable too. Users can also export to multiple sizes and formats simultaneously and enjoy one-click Artboards export as well as support for exporting Artboard and Slice backgrounds.

Both Text Styles and Layer Styles have been redesigned and unified for a more consistent experience, while the Inspector has also been revamped to make accessing anything much quicker – an example of this is that common colours now appear automatically in the Inspector.

Users also gain a full-screen Presentation Mode, allowing them to review or display work without any distracting elements like the Inspector or toolbar.

Support for fill effects on individual layers has been extended from just four to an unlimited number in Sketch 3, while the Noise effect is now a separate fill with three different patterns, variable intensity and custom blending options all available.

The bitmap editing user interface gains new selection tools (including Magic Wand) alongside cropping, filling and vectorising. Vector editing has also been simplified and the UI streamlined.

Initial support for text lists has been added too, with numbers and bullet points initially supported, but more to follow.

Other improvements include the Grid Tool, Sketch Mirror and better support for importing SVG, PDF and EPS files. There’s also extended scripting support and more templates with an emphasis on iOS and web design.

Sketch 3.0 is available now as a free trial download for Macs running OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or later. At time of writing, the full version of the app can be purchased for $49.99.

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