Why cant sketch get basic features right?

over 3 years ago from , Art Director

I'm going to start a list of things Sketch needs to get right. I call them basic because that's what I'm used to on Adobe products and Sketch is a direct competitor (in many ways) to Adobe:

  1. The ability to lock rulers from moving.

  2. When creating grids there's no option to add margins.

  3. It's difficult to see where you're placing a guide because the numbers on the ruler get in the way.

  4. A 'Save as' function.

  5. Clear all guides in one click. It's annoying when you have to create a grid for a website and because the rulers shifted you end up placing guides in the wrong place then you have to drag each one off individually.

66 comments

  • Conlin DurbinConlin Durbin, over 3 years ago

    It's worth noting that Sketch has been around a very short time compared to Adobe. Adobe has had a lot of time (23 years) to get Photoshop "just right". The Sketch website says they set out "Not to copy, but rather to improve." They are trying to build something different and they are doing a pretty good job of it. There are many bugs and issues in Sketch, but it is always good to realize that they are a small team building an app that has to compete with a product that has the backing of one of the largest computer companies in the world and that has been around 2 decades.

    14 points
    • Nice Shoes, over 3 years ago

      I completely agree with this point. It will take time. But I deem the points i raised quite basic functions. And if you can't get them right what hope does the future hold?

      1 point
      • Ryan GloverRyan Glover, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

        Have you emailed the BC team to raise these concerns directly? I'd imagine they'd listen if these features are as basic as you claim. It's important to get community support, but as a developer, I prefer to get bug reports/feature requests directly so I can do something about them.

        3 points
        • Nice Shoes, over 3 years ago

          I'm hoping to get a few other issues raised from this thread and then I'll send something to them.

          0 points
          • Ale MuñozAle Muñoz, over 3 years ago

            In my experience, the level of support I've received from the BC guys is one of the biggest reasons to use Sketch.

            They are an ultra-responsive bunch, usually taking hours or days for fixing bugs (instead of years like Adobe). They listen to feedback, providing reasonable explanations for why features work the way they do.

            Remember: this is a version 2.0. Illustrator took some time to build, Fireworks was crap for the first six or seven versions, and Photoshop is starting to feel like a proper UI design tool just now.

            1 point
  • Kyle CaseKyle Case, over 3 years ago

    I just want to throw this out there because this post is getting pretty negative - Sketch is awesome. The application has many amazing features that are much simpler to use than the competition. They add great new features all the time (Background blur... amazing.) but if some of these core features are added they could really move to the next level. Even though I can't use Sketch for everything, they have my full support and I use it whenever I can.

    11 points
    • Nice Shoes, over 3 years ago

      I wouldn't call it negative.

      More like constructive feedback. It's great, it will be awesome in a few years.

      1 point
      • Toby KellerToby Keller, over 3 years ago

        "Why can't they get basic features right" and "you shouldn't charge people for a faulty product" is pretty negative. Sketch is still missing what I consider a key feature, and because of that I won't use it, but that doesn't mean I'm not tremendously impressed with what they've built… how close they've become in quality to Adobe products over just a couple years and with a tiny team. Better even, in several ways (background blur, asset exporting…). And for the price! C'mon, there's just no way this isn't a good deal at $50, kludgy guides or not. Every tool has compromises.

        I'm with you in that I'm waiting for it to become a tool that suits my needs better before making the switch, but it's obvious it's already a tool that suits the needs of many, and does it very well.

        5 points
  • Ric FurnessRic Furness, over 3 years ago

    I may be wrong, but I get the impression that something's going on over at Bohemian Coding.

    They've not updated the beta for over a month (seemed like it was every 3-5 days previously) and they've also discarded their support forum.

    I hope they've got their heads down working on new features/bug fixes and they're not about to be acquired.

    8 points
  • Matt SistoMatt Sisto, over 3 years ago

    Changing font colors is so annoying.

    7 points
    • Chiron ZorChiron Zor, over 3 years ago

      I don't get it. I always add fill to texts and treat them same as other shapes, never changing colors on text page.

      0 points
      • Adis HasanicAdis Hasanic, over 3 years ago

        Did you try changing the color of a particular word in a text block? That is the only thing that annoys me. I love everything else about it.

        0 points
  • Philipp Rappold, over 3 years ago

    As a mouse user: Mouse wheel zoom!

    7 points
    • Sindri AvaruusSindri Avaruus, over 3 years ago

      Scrolling already does something else.

      0 points
      • Joris RigerlJoris Rigerl, over 3 years ago

        Yes, but there is no reason why holding option (or any other modifier key) + scrolling shouldn't zoom the document. I am still baffled why Bohemian Coding ignores such an ubiquitous UX pattern.

        2 points
        • Sindri AvaruusSindri Avaruus, over 3 years ago

          I wasn't aware that ? / ? + scroll don't zoom! You raise a valid point there, sorry for the misunderstanding. I'm using an Apple Magic trackpad, so I zoom with pinch gestures :)

          1 point
    • Jared HardyJared Hardy, over 3 years ago

      This has been one of my main frustrations. Having to take my hands off the mouse to zoom in and out is a huge annoyance.

      3 points
      • William HutterWilliam Hutter, over 3 years ago

        I went through the same frustrations. But discovered recently you can simply press Z (alt+Z) to zoom in/out. Maybe weird at first, but got used to it.

        2 points
      • Joe VillanuevaJoe Villanueva, over 3 years ago

        I always have one hand on the keyboard, one hand holding a stylus/mouse in Sketch. What is your other hand doing that you cannot zoom?

        0 points
  • Kyle CaseKyle Case, over 3 years ago

    Bugs exporting SVGs is the deal breaker for me.

    4 points
    • Tim de Groot, over 3 years ago

      Found out the hard way the other day. Had to recreate a logo in Illustrator and save as svg. The problem was with Firefox, all other browsers showed my image correctly, except for FF, it was missing the linear gradient parts. Turns out Sketch didn't do a very good job on the export and Illustrator did. Hope they'll fix it soon.

      1 point
    • Clark WimberlyClark Wimberly, over 3 years ago

      This. Totally kills it.

      0 points
  • Rami JamesRami James, over 3 years ago

    Frankly, I'd be happy if my super-complex designs wouldn't bog the app down so much.

    With eight to ten artboards and about a hundred items in each, the app slows down to a crawl. :( Poor Sketch can't keep up.

    3 points
  • Pasquale D'SilvaPasquale D'Silva, over 3 years ago

    Layer Comps

    3 points
  • Elliott ReganElliott Regan, over 3 years ago

    Ctr + L = "hide all guides"

    2 points
  • Matt FloresMatt Flores, over 3 years ago

    Text options are lacking, most notably text-box padding.

    2 points
  • Toby KellerToby Keller, over 3 years ago

    If you prefer Save As over Duplicate (as I do), try this out:

    Go to System Preferences > Keyboard and do this: http://cl.ly/image/3R3u1c0C263H

    It globally assigns Duplicate to cmd+shift+D and Save As to cmd+shift+S. And now my Sketch File menu looks like this: http://cl.ly/image/2X1j3l3b2j3s

    2 points
  • David KizlerDavid Kizler, over 3 years ago
    1. Basic Image Cropping (not masking)
    2. Preview Artboards that shows entire design (not just top half)
    3. More accurate pen tool (if to compete with AI)
    4. Keyboard shortcuts to access colors, gradients and patterns for fills, borders, text and shadows.

    I'm also hoping for some enhanced guide functionality, but this plugin helps with some things.

    2 points
    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 3 years ago

      In Bohemian’s defence, Sketch isn’t an image editor, so I don’t think image cropping is something that should be considered essential.

      4 points
  • George PapadakisGeorge Papadakis, over 3 years ago
    1. Why do that in the first place?
    2. Duplicate (command + shift + s) does the trick equally fine, not?
    2 points
    • Nice Shoes, over 3 years ago
      1. Well, if Bohemian commit to it and iron out all of the bugs (rather than pull it), it's the biggest competitor Adobe has had for a while. It's fast, lightweight and feels more precise – when it's working properly – than photoshop.

      2. A good option, but including a 'Save as' feature is just an additional save option which some people, me included, are more comfortable with.

      1 point
      • Andrew LiebchenAndrew Liebchen, over 3 years ago

        Duplicate falls in line with the functionality in Apple's homegrown apps like TextEdit and iWork. I don't use Sketch, but I'm assuming it performs automatic saves and takes advantage of Mac OS file history thing?

        5 points
  • chris caseychris casey, over 3 years ago
    1. Windows
    2. Please...
    2 points
  • Nice Shoes, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    6 Place a guide anywhere via a dialogue box.

    1 point
  • Jon GoldJon Gold, over 3 years ago

    1) Mac apps are difficult to make 2) It's a tiny team. Photoshop has had hundreds of programmers on it for 20 years.

    1 point
    • Nice ShoesNice Shoes, over 3 years ago

      Indeed they are. However, you shouldn't charge people for a faulty product. Especially when it has a direct competitor like Adobe who already offer a almost perfect app suite. If you're going to compete don't give your customers a bad experience and expect them to pay for it. Fontcase was a disaster in my opinion. The bugs were never resolved.

      However, I see my payment as an investment in future versions because when they do get it right it will be my go to tool for UI.

      2 points
      • Elliott ReganElliott Regan, over 3 years ago

        I really want to buy it, and I come back to it every few months, but every time I come across a bug or an annoyance that keeps me from making that purchase.

        Smart objects would be killer, and some weird stuff always happens when selecting groups and artboards and duplicating objects (the worst is when an object appears in a different artboard across the page for some reason). It could just be 'illustrator-itis', but some actions just don't behave intuitively to me.

        0 points
      • Corin EdwardsCorin Edwards, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

        Adobe gets to charge people for faulty products.

        You definitely have illy-itus though, one of the basic features you require, in order to claim that software isn't broken, is that text labels are identical to its competitor.

        That's not broken, it's just new.

        4 points
      • Richard BurtonRichard Burton, over 3 years ago

        I think it's a little unfair to label Sketch as a “faulty” product. It's got bugs—all software does—but it's a really amazing tool. The trajectory they're on is what excites me most. A few years ago I dabbled with Photoshop but its photo-editing idiosyncrasies really started to irritate me. Sketch has been a breath of fresh air.

        0 points
  • Clark WimberlyClark Wimberly, over 3 years ago

    Sketch Mirror leaves a good bit to be desired. There's not even a "fit to screen" mode to make your mockup fit the right/left edge of the screen, so you can look at it like a real app.

    I wouldn't care if I hadn't spent $5 extra on it. Oh well.

    0 points
    • William HutterWilliam Hutter, over 3 years ago

      I dont get it. All my mockups fit the right / left edge of the screen.

      0 points
      • Clark WimberlyClark Wimberly, over 3 years ago

        Weird. Mine don't. When I make a long mobile layout (say, 640x1800), the top/bottom is what fits, not the left/right. So I get a lonnnng sliver down the middle of my device screen, with no way to snap/zoom to the correct level...

        0 points
  • Luke ModerwellLuke Moderwell, over 3 years ago

    Ability to move layers quickly via command similar to PS

    0 points
  • Rami JamesRami James, over 3 years ago

    I'm totally with you on number 4. The way things work now is idiotic.

    0 points
  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 3 years ago

    As a Windows user, I have to admit that seeing this topic and all the complaints (no matter how small) makes me feel a teensy bit better and slightly lessened my urge to purchase a Mac.

    Thanks, gals and fellas ;)

    0 points
    • Pasquale D'SilvaPasquale D'Silva, over 3 years ago

      How does this have anything to do with purchasing a mac or not?

      0 points
      • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 3 years ago

        I've been hearing nothing but unicorns and rainbows about Sketch, to the point where people started writing articles about how Sketch could seriously threaten Photoshop. This made me (at the very least) want to have a go at Sketch for a couple of weeks, to see if it's all that it's made out to be.

        And Sketch is Mac only, last time I checked, so I'd need one.

        I am still seriously considering getting one btw.

        1 point
        • Pasquale D'SilvaPasquale D'Silva, over 3 years ago

          I don't think it's in any way a good reason to pull somebody over to using a mac, but get a mac and you'll never go back.

          Everything just works better!

          3 points
          • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 3 years ago

            Nah, it's not. What it is though, is the drop that made me legitimately consider "Maccing up".

            Now I'm waiting for the straw that puts me over the edge, or rather, a nice fat bonus ;)

            0 points
  • Petr VlkPetr Vlk, over 3 years ago

    speaking of basic features - being able to keep color values correct in export would be "really nice to have" for a design package

    at least the values don't shift internally when using tabs now (they used to slide a bit every time you hit tab in picker)

    So I'm using it for concept work, and have to redo or finalise in AI for any client work.

    0 points
  • Chuck GibsonChuck Gibson, over 3 years ago

    I hear you.

    0 points
  • Nathan CooperNathan Cooper, over 3 years ago

    I recently downloaded the Sketch demo and am wondering if Sketch can be used to create pixel art? I found the pencil tool, and I expected it to behave like Photoshop's, but I appears it's only a means to drawing a line not coloring an individual pixel. Thanks!

    0 points