September 4, 2019 Sketch 56 and 57 Have Arrived

My Sketch subscription had just expired. Since Sketch can be used for a lifetime without upgrades after the end of your subscription period, I thought I would wait to renew my license until a big upgrade was released. Two days later Sketch 56 was introduced 🙂 The new version’s functions convinced me to purchase it immediately. I will not save money with this upgrade, but I will definitely save some time. 

Then, before we could even blink, Sketch 57 was introduced. Let’s see what has been added to my favourite design app during the last 30 days .

Introducing Sketch 56

Text Override on the Canvas

Undoubtedly, my favourite function of Sketch is the symbol creation and the overrides. I guess I am not alone, as this function is being continuously improved, making it more and more fantastic. In my opinion, this update brought it to the next level in terms of ease of use. 

From now on, when you want to update a text layer in a symbol, you don’t have to click out to the inspector any more. You can simply double click that text and type. Isn’t it amazing? To show this awesome new function I hijacked the challenge listing page and created a demonstration video.

Smart Distribute Update

Beware XD, Sketch is following you! During my short history with XD I got really jealous of the repeat grid. Finally, in the last version Sketch introduced the Smart Distribute function.

With Smart Distribute version 56 both horizontal and vertical dimensions can be used, so you can easily set the gaps of a grid layout. The dimension can also be a negative value, enabling element overlap. Moreover, we got a new feature: by clicking the Tidy button in the inspector panel a grid will be created automatically from a bunch of elements. Say goodbye to the pixel by pixel arrangement of tables and dividers!

Other Updates

For me, these two upgrades were enough to hand over my bank card and invest in another year of Sketch updates. But let’s see the list of other upgrades:

  • Text layers can be set to auto resize horizontally or vertically, making it easy for you to keep either the height or the width of a text box.
The new buttons
Different auto resize settings
  • Distance between layers can be better seen when you zoom out as only the most relevant ones will be shown.
  • Select All in the Artboard command to select all elements of the active artboard.
The new menu item
  • New faces in the Data plugin.
Many new faces
  • And many, many fixed bugs.

The above features came with Sketch 56, but let’s see what is new in Sketch 57.

Reorder Layers in a Smart Distribute Selection

Sketch 57 updated the Smart Distribute function. Now you have a chance to reorder your items in the Smart Distribute grid without losing the pattern. It also works with artboards. The struggle of wasting time placing the artboard into the perfect position on the canvas is now gone. However, be careful with reordering items in both horizontally and vertically distributed grids, as it might break causing unexpected results. For now, stick with only reordering a row or a column.

Paste Rich Text from the Clipboard to the Canvas

Do you have a pre-formatted text in a Word file that you would like to use in your design as is? Now you are offered the opportunity to simply copy and paste it without having to recreate the styles.

Solid and Gradient Presets Got Their Own Sections

With the new version it is easy to find your proper color presets, as they are arranged into two sections; one for solid colors and one for gradients.

Solid and Gradient sections

Changed Shortcuts for Layer Order Arrangement

If you are using keyboard shortcuts for layer ordering then you will see some changes. The new combinations are:

  • Send Backward: ⌘ + [
  • Bring Forward: ⌘+ ]
  • Send to Back: ⌘ + ⌥ + [ 
  • Bring to Front: ⌘ + ⌥ + ]

Setting the Default Style

Now you can set the default style for your new items in the Layer menu.

Setting the default style

Other Updates

  • Speed improvements
  • Better visualization of the Rotate tool
  • More reliable boolean operations
  • And many more bug fixes

I am sure that after playing around with the new features you will also fall in love with them quickly. Make sure that your plugins are already compatible with the new version before upgrading to it.


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