November Update of Adobe XD

Header image includes work by Boosted Boards, created using Adobe XD

by Harish Narayan

posted on 11-20-2017

From talking to our users, we’ve heard very clearly that you need more capabilities in XD to turn your ideas into experiences across multiple devices and platforms. That is why we are excited to introduce several top requested features that make it easier to design as well as communicate your ideas faster.

Want to see these updates in action? Check out AdobeLive from Nov. 14-16 to see top UX designers using the latest features in Adobe XD.

Design Specs (Beta)

In conversations with designers around the globe, you’ve reinforced the idea that design is only one part of your process of making an idea become an experience. As seen by your requests in Uservoice, moving from a concept to a design to a prototype to production often requires coordination with different people, including developers. Once you’ve completed your design process, communicating your intent to developers is often slow and manual.

That is why we are introducing a new beta feature, Design Specs (Beta). Now, you can publish a public URL of your experience that your developer can use to inspect flows, grab measurements, and copy styles. You no longer have to spend time authoring specs to communicate positioning, text styles, or fonts to a developer. As always, we’re focused on delivering features that speed up your design process and hope this feature saves you a ton of time.

You might be wondering about why we’re labeling Design Specs as a Beta. This feature is an early look at improving the communication between designers and developers. While Design Specs (Beta) should rapidly improve your workflow, this is only a start. Many of you have already let us know that you need additional functionality, like code snippets and asset extraction, to better support the designer to developer workflow. We are working on enhancing Design Specs and we are eager to receive your feedback.

While we continue this work, we will keep the “Beta” label. Even with the feature being in Beta, you should expect the same quality and performance as you would of any other feature we deliver in XD. For more info on Design Specs (Beta) and how we define a Beta feature, check out this helpful guide.

Design Specs (Beta) is also only available in English, but we are working to make it available in all languages supported by Adobe XD soon.

Layout Grid

Grids and layout systems are part of the heritage of design and are still relevant in the multiple screen world. While Adobe XD already supported a square grid, you told us that what you really need are layout grids with columns, margins and gutters. With our new Layout Grid feature, you can now achieve a consistent, organized design and manage the proportion between elements.

You can turn them on/off using the property inspector or using the keyboards shortcut (Shift+Cmd+’ on Mac and Shift+Ctrl+’ on Windows) and also customise the grid’s color and opacity using the color picker. The margins can be set equally (linked) or defined independently (unlinked). All attributes (number of columns, gutter and column widths, and margins) are automatically updated based on what you enter.

Once the layout grid is set on an artboard, elements you create snap to it (similar to how square grid currently works).

With Layout Grid, we strived to strike the right balance between simplicity and customization. We look forward to hearing your feedback and seeing your experiences come to life.

JPG Export

To achieve your vision, you often need to share your assets in SVG, PNG, and as many of you requested, JPG format. With this release, you can quickly export artboards, elements, and images in JPG, all with the ability to adjust export quality.

Improvements for Windows 10

With contextual layers and smart zooming, you can easily navigate to a specific area in a design. However, sometime you may want to pan and zoom to an area right in front of you. With this release, you can now use two-finger touch to pan and zoom the XD canvas on Windows 10 touch-enabled devices. This works in both design and prototype mode. We hope this feature helps you to design even faster.

Additionally, your workflow may include bringing assets into XD. You can now copy and paste elements from InDesign into your design as well as import SVG files with externally linked files.

Text Enhancements

Adding simple language in your design to communicate to your users can be challenging. We have added two new features that make the process of adding and updating text faster and easier so you can focus on the content.

First, you can easily switch from point text (text that flows as far as text exists) to area text (text that is forced to fit into a specific area), and vice versa, with a simple click in the property inspector.

Second, you can reuse your last used text properties such as font family, size, weight, alignment, and colors on any text elements that you create. Even if you switched to another tool or prototype mode, XD remembers what you had previously selected.

While writing good copy can take several iterations, these two enhancements will help you iterate faster.

Additional customer-driven enhancements

There’s more as well! We are excited to share these latest updates which address some of the features and enhancements requested on UserVoice, social media, and in-person meetings, which include:

Eyedropper available inside the color picker

Now that the eyedropper is in the color picker, you can use it to grab values for gradient color stops and your swatches in the asset panel.

Email notifications on commenting activity

Anyone commenting on a web prototype will now get email notifications when there is activity on threads in which they contributed. Owners of a prototype receive email for all activity. Email settings can be changed to not receive notifications or receive a daily digest, as well.

UX Community

We’d love to continue the dialogue! You can follow our handle @AdobeXD for updates or reach the team on Twitter using the #AdobeXD. You can also talk to us using Facebook, where we share videos and updates as well as answer questions during live sessions.

Meet some UX designers who have used Adobe XD. Learn how they got started in UX design and their creative process; check out some of their work and listen to their favorite tunes.


While sharing your prototypes on Behance, don’t forget to tag them with #MadeWithAdobeXD and select Adobe XD under “Tools Used” for the opportunity to be featured in the Adobe XD Newsletter.

Topics: Creativity, Creative Inspiration & Trends, Design

Products: Creative Cloud