Exporting Layers

New in Sketch 3 is the ability to export layers directly without creating slices.

Layers or Slices

Exporting a layer by itself means that no other elements on the canvas will be exported with it. If there’s a layer on top or a background below it, neither of those will be included in the export.

This method is very useful for exporting icons or similar objects out of a grand design, but less useful for exporting your entire artwork. For that, use normal Slices or Artboards.

In this video, you can see the difference between Slices, and exportable layers, as well as a general overview about exporting in Sketch.

Exporting Layers

If you have decided that you just need to export a single layer, you can do so in the inspector. Select the layer (or group) that you want to export and click ’Make Exportable’ in the bottom-left of the inspector.

You will see that the inspector updates to show you that you will be exporting one image, at original size, with no suffix, and by default in PNG format.

You can click the little + icon to add another export size. By default this will export at double-size with an @2x suffix, but you can change all of that to whatever you want. If you are for example designing at @2x already, you can give your 1x export size a [email protected] suffix and create a second export size at 0.5x without a suffix.

Note that we now also support exporting to arbitrary sizes, so if you’re designing for Android and you need 1.5x export, that is now possible too.

Layer List

You will also note that the icon for the layer in the list has been given a little knife icon. This is to indicate that this layer is exportable. Next time you click Export from the toolbar this new exportable layer will show up there as well, amongst your regular slice layers.

Note that you can also directly export layers from the layer list, without having to make layers exportable or define slices. If you drag any layer out of the list on to the Finder or any other app, Sketch will quickly export it for you in PNG format. If you hold down the Option key, it’ll write it to the pasteboard as PDF data instead.