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Importing & Exporting

Discover export presets, slices and learn how to export CSS and SVG code from any browser. Also, learn how to easily import other files into the Mac app.


The easiest way to import files into the Mac app is to drag and drop them onto the dock icon or directly onto the Canvas. You can import:

  • PNG, JPG, TIFF and WebP bitmap images
  • Figma files (.fig)
  • SVG and EPS files
  • SVG code (copy the code and paste it in to create a layer)
  • PDF documents (each page will be imported as its own artboard)
  • AI and PSD files (limited support, only as a flattened layer)


The quickest way to export your work from the Mac app is to choose Share > Export… from the menu, or press E, to bring up the Export dialog. Select the items you want to export, then click Export to open the MacOS Save dialog.

Once we’ve exported your assets, we’ll show you an X Files successfully exported message at the bottom of the Canvas, where X is the number of files created. You can click the arrow in the message to jump straight to the folder where your assets are. When the export creates a single file, we show its name in the message for clarity.

The Mac app exports everything as a PNG at actual size (1x) by default. To change these settings, or export at two or more different sizes or formats, you’ll need to set Export Presets in the Inspector.

You can also select any layer in the Layer List and drag it onto your desktop to export it as a PNG (or hold while dragging to export as a PDF. Alternatively, you can select a layer and press E.

You can also paste any layer or Artboard you copy as an image. If you have a high-density display, we’ll export the image in 2x resolution.

Finally, you can export a PDF with all of your Artboards by choosing File > Export Artboards to PDF…. You can choose which order Artboards Artboard export in via Settings.

If you want to download assets and inspect designs from any browser, head to our Developer Handoff documentation.

How to create and use Export Presets

To export a layer within your document in different sizes or formats and allow people to export assets from the web app, select that layer and click on the Make Exportable panel at the bottom of the Inspector. You’ll see the default export preset there, along with a few options to choose from:

An annotated image showing the options in the export panel of the Inspector
  1. Size. Select a size from the drop-down menu, or create your own by typing directly into the Size field. You can scale up (2x, 3x, etc.) and down (0.5x, 0.25x) infinitely, or define a specific height or width in pixels (128h or 128w, respectively).
  2. Prefix/Suffix. If you’re exporting at different scales, you’ll need to use the drop-down menu to select either prefix or suffix. You can customize this by typing in the text field either before (prefix or in-between) or after (suffix) the ellipses (…), which represents the file name.
  3. Format. Pick a format from the drop-down menu. For more information about these, see File Formats.
  4. Remove Preset. Click the X to remove this export preset.
  5. Add Preset. Click the + to add another preset for this layer to your export settings.
  6. Preset Sets Value sliders Click the Presets button to choose a set of pre-defined presets, you can also create new sets of presets and remove them from here.
  7. Create a Slice Click on the slice icon Create a slice to create a slice directly on the layer you’ve selected with the export presets you’ve set.
  8. Export Selected… Click Export Selected… to export this particular layer using the presets above.
  9. Preview. The preview shows you how your layer will look when you export it. You can also drag and drop this directly onto your desktop or into another app for a quick export.
  10. Sharing. Another quick export option is to click the Sharing button for standard options to share via Mail, Messages, AirDrop, etc.
  11. Trim transparent pixels Enabling this option will remove any transparent pixels that surround content in groups or slices that you export.

How to Use Slices

Slices Exportable are a type of layer you can draw on your canvas that will export anything within them as an image. You can select, resize, move, hide, and group them just like other layers.

How to Insert a Slice

Choose Insert > Slice, or press S, then click and drag anywhere on your canvas to draw a new Slice Exportable. Alternatively, click on any layer to create a slice around it.

Tip: When you create a slice, give it a descriptive name in the Layer List as the Mac app will use this as the file name for any exports. If you include a / in its name, the Mac app will use anything you write before it as a folder name, and anything after as a file name within that folder.

Like other layers, you can set multiple export presets for slices.

How to Customize Slices

Slices have a few special options. These will show in the Inspector when you select a slice Exportable.

Checking Trim Transparent Pixels will remove any empty pixels in the slice around the edges of your slice’s content.

If you place a slice within a group, checking Export Group Contents Only will make sure that any slice exports only include content from within that slice’s group.

Checking Background Color and choosing a color will apply it to the background of your slice exports.

How to Export CSS and SVG Code

Select one or more layers in your document, control-click and choose Copy CSS Attributes to copy any style information they have as CSS code to your clipboard. Here’s an example of what a simple shape’s CSS looks like:

/* Rectangle: */
background: #6dd400;
border-radius: 5px;
/* Rectangle: */

Copying SVG code works in a similar way. Select a shape layer, control-click on it and choose Copy SVG Code.

Which File Formats can the Mac app export to?


Bitmap images are flattened versions of anything you export in the Mac app, so they’ll open in other apps as a single layer. Sketch can export to these bitmap formats:

  • PNG
  • JPG
  • TIFF
  • WebP

Depending on the file format you choose, you may also see the following options when you export:

  • Save for the web: Strips out additional file data from some images, such as EXIF metadata and color profiles.
  • Interlace PNG: On the web, interlaced PNGs will load at their full size as soon as possible and download more data after that until they are at full quality.
  • Progressive JPG: Similar to interlaced PNG, Progressive JPGs are blurry when they start loading and gradually become sharper.
  • Quality: For JPG and WebP images, lower quality images will be smaller in file size.


Vector image formats preserve layers and paths, so they’re easy to edit and scale infinitely. The Mac app supports these vector formats:

  • SVG
  • PDF
  • EPS

You can copy and paste SVG code by control-clicking any layer and choosing Copy SVG Code.

Note: Some effects aren’t supported in all file formats, including transparent gradients in PDFs, and inner and outer borders in SVGs.

How to Print Artboards or Slices

Choose File > Print and select the Artboards Artboard you want to print. If you don’t have any Artboards set up, you can print slices instead.

Last updated on 10 Jan 2023

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