Sketch helps you go from design to CSS

Vector app beta adds new tools aimed at web design

A video of the Sketch 2.0 beta, an OS X app by Bohemian Coding, is in the wild, showcasing some new features that seem to pitch it more as a tool of interest to web designers. New inspector options enable vector shapes to be given property values akin to those in CSS, and any shape can be selected and its CSS exported, potentially speeding up UI design.

The app's developer, Pieter Omvlee, told .net: "There's still not a real design-focussed app for web and UI designers. For years, most designers have used what's basically photography software to do their work, and we hope to give them something that's better suited to the job." Highlights of the beta include high-quality text rendering, easily applied rounded corners, multiple fills, text styles, a 960 grid and the aforementioned CSS export.

Omvlee told us "this is only the beginning – a solid base", and while he said Sketch is a general-purpose app, he also wanted to make it easier for web designers to go from design to code: "Full HTML export is a bad idea, but constructing CSS rules from layer styles is tedious. In Sketch, you can easily copy CSS attributes for individual objects, which should make life easier for web designers."

Project Meteor co-founder Nathan Pitman enthused about the release: "I can see myself ditching Fireworks in favour of Sketch, and the next major release could strike a killer blow to Fireworks if Adobe don't pull their fingers out." However, he added that there's a drawback in the "challenge of transitioning from existing tools, because unlike with HTML and CSS, there's no common working format". David Dixon, another of the people behind Project Meteor, was also positive: "It's a potentially great tool, which goes a long way to meeting the objectives of Project Meteor, especially with its ease of mapping CSS styles to application-level effects, and its flexible, user-friendly interface. However, Sketch could find it tough to penetrate the market and 'replace' existing tools, not least because it's Mac-only and Windows is the dominant platform for web designers."

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