I’ve seen people designing interfaces with their trackpads, styluses, and mouses but I’ve never seen anybody that would design interfaces with just a Keyboard. And there’s a reason for that – it would just take ages to get anything done!
Well, keyboards aren’t entirely useless, though. They can provide quick access to a particular function by pressing one or a combination of multiple keys. These keystrokes are called keyboard shortcuts.
While they may seem daunting at first, you’ll immediately see how much time they can save you once you memorize the ones you use the most. In this article, I’m going to talk about custom Sketch app shortcuts.
I’m interested, do you have any? Which one is your favorite one and why? Below there’s a list of 7 custom Sketch app shortcuts you should start using today:
- • Align Objects Left (⇧⌘A)
- • Align Objects Horizontally (⇧⌘E)
- • Align Objects Right (⇧⌘D)
- • Align Objects Top (⇧⌘W)
- • Align Objects Vertically (⇧⌘F)
- • Align Objects Bottom (⇧⌘S)
- • Collapse Artboards and Groups (⌘4)
Aligning objects is a frequently used activity in Sketch app and since there are no out of the box shortcuts for that it makes sense to create custom ones.
But how do one create a custom shortcut in Sketch app? Simple! First, hit CMD+Space which will open Spotlight. Type “Keyboard” in it, hit Return and navigate to the Shortcuts tab.
Select App Shortcuts from the left panel and click on the plus button. This will launch a menu where you’ll specify application you’re creating a shortcut for, title and a keystroke. From the application dropdown select Sketch.
A title of the shortcut has to be named exactly the same as it’s found in Sketch app’s menu. In my example, I’m going to create a shortcut that aligns objects to the left. A menu label for this command is simply Left so we’re going to type that into the title.
Lastly, we have to specify the keystroke. I played a lot of games in my teenage years, so I’m comfortable with the WASD keys which are usually a movement keys in First Person Perspective gaming. That’s why I used CMD+Shift+A for my align objects to left shortcut. You can use whichever combination that makes sense to you. Just make sure it’s not something that’s already in use because it will replace the old one. You can have as many custom shortcuts as you want. The sky’s the limit!
Besides aligning objects, there’s a command I could even go as far as to say I use it too much. This one is called Collapse Artboards and Groups. I’m using CMD+Click all the time to penetrate through groups to select layers with just one click. That way the layer list can get messy pretty quickly. This command helps me to collapse all groups everything on a page. I have to have everything tidy and organized. I can’t help myself when the OCD kicks in.
The reason I’ve used CMD+4 for my shortcut is simple – I frequently use CMD+0,1,2 & 3 while designing to change switch between different views. It feels natural to me to add a similar keyboard shortcut for something that I use all the time.
Alright, it’s time to test these shortcuts out. Try it for yourself and see if you can get faster to align objects than clicking it from a menu or inspector. Below you’ll find a demonstration of how quickly you’ll now be able to align objects.
This is how you can create custom shortcuts in Sketch app. Simple, isn’t it? Make sure that title of the shortcut is the same as it’s in Sketch app’s menu, and you’re ready to go.