Styling

The inspector panel holds all styling options for the selected layers.

Starting with the shared styles, we move down to general opacity and general blending, followed by Fills, Borders, Shadows, Blur and Reflection. Each of these has been given its own section in this manual, so click through to read more about each.

There are however a few generally applicable tips and tricks and we’ll discuss those here.

Text Fields

The text fields in the inspector aren’t ordinary text fields. If you hover your mouse over them you will see little up and down arrows appear on the right-hand size of the text field. You can click those to quickly increment or decrement the value. If you press Shift, Sketch will instead increment or decrement the value by 10 times as much. And, if applicable, holding down will increase/decrease it by a tenth of that size.

Up and Down

Once you are editing the text fields directly, the up and down arrows will have disappeared, but their functionality is still available. You can use the Up an Down arrow keys in combination with Shift or to achieve the increment/decrement feature as above

Math

Another great feature in our text fields is that you can perform math on them. This works for simple math as such as adding +5 or /2, but almost any expression is supported.

Scrubbing Values

For quickly adjusting text field values you can click and drag on the little label under any text field to quickly increase or decrease its value. If you’re sure about the exact value you want but just want to see its effect on the canvas, this is great way for quick experimentation.

Back on Canvas

You will be going back an forth between the canvas and the inspector a lot. Select an object on the canvas, change some text values and go back to the canvas. However normally the applications’s focus would remain on the inspector, so if you’d press the R shortcut to insert a Rectangle, you’d be typing that R into the text field instead.

Most of the time that’s not exactly what you want. To confirm any edits you made in the text fields, press Return. If you then press the Return key again, Sketch will move the focus from the text field back on the canvas to allow you to use any shortcut and canvas-specific feature again.

Drag Drop

A Border, Fill, or Shadow can be dragged around. To do so, grab it in an empty space between the buttons and text fields and start dragging.

You reorder fills this way and even drag them out of the inspector to remove them straight away.

Cleaning up unused Styles

An effective way to try multiple variations of some style is to have a number of borders or shadows, and selectively turn some on or off. Or whatever the reason may be, we noticed that many designers had a lot of disabled styles in their inspector.

To make it easy to remove disabled styles, as soon as you have a disabled fill or border, the section will show a little trash can icon. Click that, and all disabled styles will be removed.

Copy Paste Styles

This is not necessarily inspector-related, but you can Copy-Paste styles between layers using the Edit menu. If you don’t want layers to be permanently linked but do want to share some style elements, this is a perfect solution.

Alignment

At the top of the inspector are a few alignment-related buttons. The six buttons on the right are for aligning layers among themselves, or, in the case of a single selection, aligning that layer to the parent artboard.

The alignment icons on the left are for distributing layers horizontally and vertically. In case of distributing horizontally, the left-most and right-most layer will stay where they are and the layers in between will be spaced out evenly between them.

Layer-opacity Shortcut

Again not strictly inspector related, but whenever you have a layer selected you can press the 1-9 keys on the keyboard to adjust the opacity of the layer quickly to 10%-90%. Pressing 0 brings it back to 100% Opacity.

In this section…