October 2020 release of Adobe XD: Get to final faster with 3D Transforms, Creative Cloud Libraries, Visual Studio Code, and more

Promotional banner for the October 2020 release of Adobe XD.

It’s that time of year again - Adobe MAX and with it comes another birthday for Adobe XD! This year marks three years since we first brought Adobe XD out of beta, and we want to thank our community of over a million designers who turn to XD every day to design websites, web and mobile apps, digital marketing campaigns…and so much more. This year, we’re excited to share MAX is a free virtual event so everyone can check out all the keynotes, sessions, labs, workshops, and more from anywhere in the world.

With Adobe XD’s MAX release, we’re empowering you to create without limits with complete flexibility for your workflow. From exploring new dimensions to connecting designers and developers, we have exciting updates to share to help you design experiences that look and feel like the real thing and help you and your team move to final faster. Read on to learn more!

Create without limits with 3D Transforms

The world of digital experiences is ever evolving. Our devices and operating systems constantly change. Interfaces continue to become more rich and immersive. And new types of experiences like augmented and virtual reality are becoming more and more mainstream. And yet, the tools we use to design these experiences are limited to flat, two-dimensional design styles.

That’s why today, we’re introducing an entirely new way to design in XD with 3D Transforms. Now, you can move and rotate objects forwards, backwards, and across planes to bring depth and perspective to your designs and create new types of user experiences.

There are so many ways to use 3D Transforms and take designs to the next level. Overlay UI elements in physical spaces to design augmented reality experiences. Flip and rotate objects for playful interactions and animations. Stack objects in depth to create layered effects. Tilt and turn designs and showcase mockups in perspective. The possibilities are endless for how you can use 3D Transforms.

Shapes in a navigation component for a public library website use 3D Transforms in Adobe XD to create depth.

You can apply 3D Transforms to shapes, text, or groups, so there are no limits on what you can create. Paste objects into a transformed group and XD automatically applies the transformations to the pasted objects. 3D Transforms also works with other features in XD like Scroll Groups, Repeat Grid, and Auto-Animate.

3D Transforms is powerful yet easy to use. Select an object and enable 3D Transforms in the Properties Inspector (or by pressing ⌘/Ctrl + T). You’ll see a new control on your canvas to move and rotate objects across different planes. It’s that simple!

We are so incredibly excited to see everything you all create with 3D Transforms. Feel free to share your creations on social media using #CreateWithAdobeXD for a chance to be featured on our channels. See our guide on Let’s XD to explore different ways you can use 3D Transforms.

Design at scale with Creative Cloud Libraries

As design teams scale, it is critical teams stay connected and aligned. Design systems help teams centralize resources and develop a shared language for how digital experiences should look and feel. They also provide the foundation upon which new experiences are created in a consistent and scalable manner. Today, we’re rolling out major improvements to working with design systems in XD.

Now, you and your team can use Creative Cloud Libraries to create and share design systems. Using Libraries, you can publish your design system with a single click and invite your team to contribute and work together.

Document assets are the building blocks of your design system. Once you’ve curated your assets (colors, character styles, and components), click on the publish icon to create a Library. You can control who can access your Library and manage updates across the systems.

The new Libaries panel in Adobe XD contains colors, character styles, and components from multiple libraries.

When it comes to a design system, every member of your team plays a different role. With Libraries, you can set permissions on who can contribute to the design system verses who can consume. With view and edit permissions, you can ensure everyone can use the system but that only the right team members can author and contribute to the design system.

Assign view and edit permissions when sharing a Creative Cloud Library

Working together involves working with different tools for different workflows. You may want to edit your brand’s illustrations in Illustrator or tweak hero images in Photoshop. Using Libraries, you can easily access your assets across other Creative Cloud applications like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Libraries allow you to seamlessly move assets like colors, character styles and graphics across XD and the rest of Creative Cloud. Libraries empower you to build a creative system that seamlessly integrates workflows across different tools in Creative Cloud.

You can publish and share Libraries no matter what XD plan you’re subscribed to. Next year, publishing and sharing Libraries will be unlimited on paid plans and limited to one published Library with up to one other editor on the XD Starter plan.

Connecting designers and developers with design systems

For any design system to succeed, it needs to be created, maintained, and adopted by both designers and developers. Oftentimes, this workflow is spread over multiple tools, and means developers need to leave their tools to use the system.

Developers can construct design system packages that contain design tokens for colors, character styles, and components.

We think there is a better way – that’s why we’re introducing the Adobe XD extension for Microsoft Visual Studio Code that lets developers work with design systems without ever leaving their editor. Visual Studio Code is one of the most popular code editors for developers working with any programming language, and it’s available for free on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

The Adobe XD Extension for Visual Studio Code, available now on the Visual Studio Marketplace, helps bridging the gap between designers and developers. Powered by Creative Cloud Libraries, developers can create design tokens in seconds and compile them to multiple platforms such as web, iOS, Android, and Flutter. While coding, they can quickly access any relevant documentation and code snippets.

During the creation of the Adobe XD extension for Visual Studio Code, Adobe worked closely with customers and partners to define a new open package format called Design System Package (DSP), created to help teams share design system information across tools. You can use the Visual Studio Code extension to create DSPs using assets in a design system in Creative Cloud Libraries.

More new features and improvements

In addition to the new features described above, here are a few other updates in this release: