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Sketch - A Review of the Vector Graphics Editor For The Mac

By Edited Feb 2, 2016 0 0

Sketch has a nice clean interface and is a Mac application. It is from the same company Bohemian Coding, that makes Drawit which is for bitmap manipulation. Not expensive to buy and seems to be fairly useful, although it has crashed a couple of times for me. It puts all objects on layers and there is a choice of tools and shapes to use.

My first test was to see how the boolean operators worked with combining and subtracting shapes. The application offers Union, Subtract, Intersect and Difference. All worked as I would expect them to. Once you use a subtract boolean and you have an object divided into more than one part, you can use Split to make them into completely separate objects. I tried to do that with Vector Design and couldn’t do so.

Next test was to draw a line with the brush tool and give it a thickness of line. With Sketch, you can in the menu vectorise that outline so that you have a shape object from that line. It is then, no longer a line and you can do other operations with it. The rotate tool is easy to use and there is also a Smart Rotate. That one allows you to make duplicates as you rotate the object. Move the centre of rotation with the controls and say how many repetitions you want. Spacing of those duplicates has to be done by eye as when you get to 360 degrees you lose your spacing. It could do with some feedback on the angle in the controls.


All the usual suspects in the shapes available, with the addition of a heart shape and a plus sign. With the rounded rectangle you get the extra control for the radius of the corners. Sadly it is unilateral, all for corners together, not like in Illustrator where you can do the radius per corner. As with any object in the drawing you can press the letter I on the keyboard to get a panel to set the Stroke, Dashed Line, Fill, Shadow and Inner Shadow. Plenty of control over all the attributes you would be concerned with, including what sort of line ends and joins you want.

There are some distort tools, such as Blob, Warp, Twirl, six in total and the results are very poor. Each time I tried it on various shapes, the end result was a horrible mess. There is a slice tool that allows you to export out just sections of the whole drawing and that looks very handy indeed.

Like you have in Illustrator there is a system of having symbols. You can create a symbol that can be used over and over. You can also you can edit the symbol to have all instances of it change in the main design. Double click on an object to get the vector tool for editing on a per node point basis to alter the shape. Double click a node to convert from a sharp node to a smooth node, then arrange with the bezier curves to get the way you want.

In experimenting with the tools in Sketch you would certainly want to save often as you work, because it is not as stable as you would want it to be. Four crashes while trying it out doing various activities. It may be that you would not choose to buy Sketch until a more solid version came along. You may even prefer to use the online Graphics application FatPaint.



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