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Jack Bouba Follow

Visual Designer at Planet Argon


May 23 4 min read

My 20 Favorite Sketch Shortcuts and Tips

Weve been using Sketch at Planet Argon for over 2 years and, although
I still think theres some room for improvement, the app is truly fantas-
tic. Its quick, reliable, robust, and is actively maintained.

Here are 20 of my favorite Sketch tips, tricks, and keyboard shortcuts.


Once youve developed the muscle memory, these pointers are guaran-
teed to speed up your design workflow.

1. Math in the Inspector


You can resize or change the position of an object using math in the In-
spector. For example, use division (/) or multiplication (*) in the Size
or Position inputs and Sketch will calculate the new value.
2. Opacity
Did you know that you can change the opacity of an element by simply
typing the number on the keyboard? Type 3 for 30%, 55 for 55%, etc.

3. Mask with Selected Shape


I highly recommend creating a keyboard shortcut for the Mask with
Selected Shape menu actionI use Command-M. To create a key-
board shortcut, go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts, and
create a new App Shortcut.
4. Arrange Layers
Command-Option-Arrow Up or Command-Option-Arrow Down moves
an object forward or backward, respectively. I find this much quicker
than either dragging the layer in the Layer List or using the Menu.

5. Create an Artboard the Exact Size of


an Object
Create an object or drag in a screenshot. Make sure the element is se-
lected, type A to select the Artboard tool, and choose Around
Selection.

6. Fills and Borders


Type F to add or remove a fill, B to add or remove a border.

7. Duplicate
Option-drag to duplicate an element and move the copy.

8. Duplicate a Move
Immediately after using Option-drag to move a copy of the object,
Command-D to repeat both the duplication and the move.

9. Cycle Through Layers


Hit Tab to select the next layer.

10. Cycle Through Points


When in editing mode, hit Tab to select the next point in a vector
object.

11. Layout Grid


Use Control-L to quickly toggle the layout grid.
12. Group and Ungroup
Command-G to group elements, Command-Shift-G to ungroup.

13. Zoom
Z-click to zoom in, Option-Z-click to zoom out.

14. Find Center of Path


Command-click on a path to find the center of the path. This was defi-
nitely one of my more exciting Sketch discoveries.

15. Rotate
After selecting an object, Cmd-drag a selection handle in order to rotate
the object.
16. Measure Distance
When an object is selected, hold the Option key and hover over another
layer. Sketch will display the distance between the 2 objects.

17. Border Radius


In the Inspector, use the syntax TopLeft; TopRight; BottomRight; Bot-
tomLeft; in the radius input field to specify dierent values for each of
the corners of an object.

18. Resize
Command-arrow to resize an object. Command-Shift-arrow to resize in
increments of 10px.

19. Lock a Layer


Option-click the eye icon in the Layer List to lock a layer.

20. Round to Pixel


Although Sketch tries to keep objects on the pixel grid, a rotation or
align action can screw things up. If you see a sub-pixel value in the In-
spector, use the Round to Pixel menu command to fix the pixel align-
ment issue. I recommend creating a keyboard shortcut, like Command-
Option-P.

Thanks for reading! If you have any Sketch tips or shortcuts that you
really love, please share!

. . .

Originally published at blog.planetargon.com.