Adobe Creative Cloud

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November 2, 2016 /UX/UI Design /

November Update of Adobe Experience Design CC (Beta)

If you’re reading this post, it’s hopefully because you’ve downloaded Adobe XD and are decimating design deliverables with the 50+ features we’ve added since March. But maybe you’ve been waiting for a few more features before switching over to XD.

With the November release, we believe Adobe XD is ready for everyday use on macOS. We want XD to be the single space where you design, prototype, and collaborate – the program you start your day with and hang your hat on every night, putting behind the days of stitching a myriad of apps together to do your work.

Based on your feedback, the November release of Adobe XD includes the following major functionality:

  • Layers
  • Symbols
  • Commenting on Shared Prototypes

Don’t forget to check out  XD for iOS and Android, which was introduced in September. Preview your designs and prototypes in real time on iOS and Android devices with the XD companion apps for both platforms.

If you haven’t tried XD yet, or are still figuring out what it is and how it can help you, check out this video.

What’s New?

Layers

Layers are here, and that means it’s easier to navigate between artboards and to work with the elements that are on each artboard. Layers in XD are an adaptation of the Layers functions in Illustrator and Photoshop, re-imagined for the UX design workflow. You can work faster in XD because it’s easy to find only the elements you’re looking for – keeping your view of the XD interface clean and uncluttered.

  • Open the Layers panel by clicking on the icon in the lower-left corner of the application window, or via shortcut (Cmd+Y). The Layers panel will open on the left, revealing all of the artboards in your document.layers-icon
  • Easily navigate to the artboard you need by double-clicking its icon. XD will automatically pan and zoom to that artboard, fitting it into the application window.
  • The Layers panel contextually displays only the layers for the artboard that you select. Double-clicking on groups allows you to explore and navigate to nested elements.
  • Reorder, rename, show/hide, export, make symbols and lock/unlock layers quickly and easily.

Watch a short video about Layers:

Symbols

Based on customer feedback, we are pleased to announce that Symbols are now available in XD. Symbols are objects that you can reuse throughout your design and that all change simultaneously when you change one instance.

  • Open the Symbols library by clicking on the icon in the lower-left corner of the application window or via shortcut (Shift+Cmd+Y).symbols-icon
  • You can create a Symbol in one of several ways:
    • Right-click on an element and select “Make Symbol” from the contextual menu
    • Select an element on the canvas and click on the “+” button in the Symbols library
    • A keyboard shortcut (Cmd+K)
  • You can edit a Symbol directly on the canvas by double-clicking on it (without entering an isolation mode). Any changes you make to the Symbol are instantly propagated to all other instances, across all artboards.
  • Use the Symbol library to view all Symbols in your document.
  • Create a new instance of a Symbol by dragging it from the library onto the canvas.

4-symbols-all

Commenting on Shared Prototypes

Up until now, you’ve been able to create and share prototypes with stakeholders and other designers, but in this release, we’re adding powerful new functionality to your shared prototypes: commenting. Get fast, consolidated feedback on your designs by enabling commenting on your prototypes. Make changes in the authoring environment, update the link, and your web-based prototype automatically updates to reflect the feedback you’ve received. Anyone you send the link to can sign in to create comments. The Creative Cloud desktop app notifies you when someone leaves a new comment. Say goodbye to email threads and extra steps to incorporate feedback.

5-commenting

Preview designs and prototypes on iOS and Android devices, in real-time

In case you didn’t hear the news in late September, we now have Adobe XD companion apps for iPhones, iPads, and Android phones (tablet support is on the way). By connecting your mobile device to your computer with a USB cable, you’ll be able to preview your XD design, test your interactions, and make changes all in real-time. This is a major time saver that revolutionizes the way mobile experiences are created, giving you the power to see and feel your design before the development process begins.

6-preview

Download the XD companion apps from the App Store for iOS or the Google Play store for Android and let us know what you think.

What’s next for Adobe XD?

We’re ready for everyday use now, but that doesn’t mean we’re slowing down. You can expect another update before the end of year.

Thank you

Adobe XD 💜 the Design Community

Designers from all over the world are influencing how we prioritize features. Not only do they provide fuel for us to rethink and challenge existing mental models, but they’re ensuring that we deliver the right value to our customers. Our team takes feedback seriously, so we monitor channels daily, including UserVoice, Public Forums, Private Prerelease (apply now!). We’re also gathering feedback through frequent customer meetings and demos.

Thank you for all the feedback!

Social

You can follow us @AdobeXD for updates or reach the team on Twitter using the #AdobeXD. You can also talk to us using Facebook where we answer questions during live sessions, share videos, and publish other updates. And don’t forget to get our latest insights about UX design on Medium.

#MadeWithAdobeXD

While sharing your prototypes on Behance, don’t forget to tag them with #MadeWithAdobeXD and select Adobe Experience Design under “Tools Used.”

Adobe XD Private Pre-release Program Application

Interested in accessing XD’s latest and greatest features before they make the public releases? Every month, we’ll select 50 people to join our Adobe XD Private Pre-release Program. Apply now!

Please download the latest version of Adobe XD and let us know what you think. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

FAQs

Where can I download and try Adobe XD? How much does it cost?

Adobe XD is in Beta, and is available to any Creative Cloud member for free. You can download it from xd.adobe.com or from your Creative Cloud desktop app. Please note that the XD Beta is currently available for Mac only, with a Windows version coming soon.

I noticed that “Preview” was changed to “Beta.” What is the reason for this?

We replaced “Preview” with “Beta” to align with Adobe’s overall branding approach,
 and this does not represent a change in our development process.

Why is Adobe XD called a Beta release?

Adobe XD is still in development, with frequent updates that incorporate both customer feedback and new functionality. By offering early looks at technology we are working on, customers are encouraged to share feedback that will ultimately shape its future.

How do I provide feedback for Adobe XD?

You can share product feedback such as feature requests and bugs by visiting us at adobexd.uservoice.com. For general feedback, you can also find us on Twitter or Facebook.

What languages are supported by Adobe XD?

You can download and use Adobe XD in English, French, German, Japanese, or Korean.

Where can I learn more about Adobe XD?

We have a number of resources to help you learn about Adobe XD:

UX/UI Design

Design. Prototype. Share. All in Adobe XD.

Go from idea to prototype faster with Adobe Experience Design CC (Beta), the first all-in-one tool for creating and sharing website and mobile app designs. Test drive XD and tell us what you think.

DOWNLOAD

Join the discussion

  • By Souheil - 8:47 AM on November 2, 2016  

    Love the layers, symbols, and commenting features. Well done!
    Now make it possible to link to layers in Prototype so we can turn them on and off, or slide them left/right 😉

  • By abdul - 10:33 AM on November 2, 2016  

    amazing job guys keep coming.

  • By evan0 - 11:25 AM on November 2, 2016  

    And the Windows version is still “coming soon”… Feels like we’ve gone backwards in time to the days of the Platform Wars

  • By andoy - 11:32 AM on November 2, 2016  

    Windows?

  • By Cristian - 12:15 PM on November 2, 2016  

    Where’s the Windows version? Not everyone uses Mac you know! I really don’t understand why most designers like Macs… it’s like they feel more creative or something? I’ve tried OSX and for me Windows is much more productive with the tools I have available. Plus a decent PC doesn’t cost a fortune compared to a under powered Mac.
    Sorry for the rant… still waiting for the XD Windows version!

    • By Austin Fish - 6:23 PM on November 2, 2016  

      I think I can speak for most professional designers when I say that logistically using a Mac to design just makes more sense. Don’t get me wrong, I started as a PC user and when I transitioned to Mac I wasn’t quite sure at first, but now that i’ve been primarily a Mac user for the last 2-3 years, I’d be a fool to go back to PC, at least when it comes to design. Macs offer a range of benefits in the design realm, my personal favorite being Quick Look. The ability to simply click a file, press space, and preview the image/text/diagram/whatever without having to waste the time to open an entire application just to find that the file I clicked wasn’t the correct one… I have no clue why windows hasn’t implemented a Quick look feature. But aside from that, Macs come standard with a retina screen, which means that you get at least 2x the pixel density for working on a pixel perfect image. This also means that you have more screen space, not to mention that you can open multiple desktops on one computer. The pixel density of a retina screen is especially helpful if you’re working in vector. In bitmap, a pixel is a pixel, doesn’t really matter how big or small you make it, it’s a pixel. But a vector is a path, and it will always be a smooth path no matter how far you zoom in, so a higher density screen allows you to see the same line but with higher clarity/sharpness/etc. Macs are also much better at file handling, now to an average user this doesn’t really mean anything, but for someone where time is literally money, every little bit of time that you wait for a program or file to load reallllllly adds up. In a more designer-centric light, despite Macs not being very extendable, when they ship the screens are perfectly calibrated, and across the board, with every Mac Retina screen, you have access to a consistent color bit-depth, which is more accurate and sometimes more extensive, than a PC monitor. Of course you can buy a high-end monitor and buy hardware to perfectly calibrate it for any Windows PC. But the convenience and consistency factor is a big plus for Macs and Designers.

      Now as to why XD is only on Mac at the moment. They are actively working on a PC version, don’t fret. It’s just taking them a lot more time as they’re actively trying to roll out new features as they make the windows version. I’m sure there’s a wide range of other obstacles, but to avoid throwing around too much speculation, I’ll just leave it at that. They started with the Mac version because, though not all designers use a Mac, most do. They wanted to reach the widest audience possible because, as it says in the title for the program, it is in beta still. It’s not finished. They’re in the testing stage, trying to manage getting feedback, rolling out new features, catering to their intended audience, and trying to redo it all for Windows at the same time. If you think about it, it’s actually a privilege for Windows users. Mac users are the lab rats, and once all of the bugs are squashed and the features polished, then Windows users will have a clean, fully functional program.

      *TLDR*
      Macs are generally superior for designers for a wide range of reasons, and that’s why most professional designers use them. And it’s because most designers use Macs that Adobe decided to have us be the test dummies. Macs encompass their widest audience, which allows them to roll out features and receive constructive feedback from the largest number of people. This way, focusing on one OS, they can more rapidly further their development, once the program is no longer in beta, everyone, including Windows users, get a fantastic program.

      • By Harold - 11:29 AM on November 3, 2016  

        Austin,
        there’s a vast amount of Windows based designers & studios using Windows. It’s not all Mac exclusive as many will believe. If you include other areas of the creative process, from design, develop, video, 3d, animation, etc. You’ll find more Windows based systems.

        Many of the things you mentioned as only being able to do on a Mac are simply not well informed. Everything you mentioned you can do on both platforms (ie: preview files, retina screens, file management, color management, etc.).

        Sorry to break it to you, however Mac screens do not come perfectly calibrated. You’ll get the same level of “Perfectly” calibrated screen on both platforms given an equivalent price you pay for your Windows/Mac screen. And if you’re using Adobe apps you’ll know that where color management is needed, you’ll have it… regardless of whether it’s a Windows or Mac.

        There seems to be alot of misconceptions of information you provided. Windows or Mac they both offer the same level of system to application capabilities.

      • By Kristian - 5:37 PM on November 3, 2016  

        Your post qualifies in the same category as the people that “tried Android and didn’t like it”. That is, they bought a $300 Android phone and compared it to their $800 iPhone. You bought a $300 monitor and are surprised it’s not calibrated. My $500 monitor is hand controlled for calibration, it’s not magic. And your Mac screen probably cost 3 times as much.

        I quite frankly don’t understand why people choose Macs now, 5 years ago I could. But now Macs get a touch bar, while my 1,5kg ultrabook has an OLED full touch screen with a chargable stylus. And you get a powerhouse with Nvidia GPU in the desktop market for the price Apple gives you some underperforming AMD hardware. Also I don’t think Mac is really more user friendly, it just removes control from the user and assumes way too much. Which gets incredibly annoying as soon as you have another preference than their designers.

        It seems lazy not to offer XD for Windows. It’s like the Sketch people’s excuse, just say you don’t want to make it instead of making lame excuses. But after Adobe screwed up Fireworks I need a new tool that let’s me make things for the web quickly. And so do many others, good market opportunity.

      • By Alain Graham - 1:48 AM on December 1, 2016  

        To be quite honest, windows does have a “quick look feature”, on windows 7 you activate it using the symbol with three squares (looks like kitchen tiles) and that activates the preview pane. you then click on the file you want to preview.

      • By Alain Graham - 1:49 AM on December 1, 2016  

        “open multiple desktops on one computer” windows 10 has that feature

    • By Andrew - 5:51 PM on November 17, 2016  

      Do you realise how much work goes into releasing a program on two different operating systems? It makes most sense to release on one, get feedback, perfect the features and when it is finished, recreate the program for a different OS. It would take twice the amount of time to get the product right if it were released on both Mac and PC, and then you would probably complain about that too.

      As a side note, the whole Mac VS PC debate will go on forever. There’s no definitive answer for which one is better for designers. It’s like asking what car is best for drivers? We all have different needs and tastes. It makes sense to me to release this program on Mac. It’s probably easier to develop for and looks better than anything on a PC.

      We are designers, and I would think most of us could recognise that anything on a Mac literally looks better than a stock standard PC set up with a regular display. Why anybody would be willing to settle for a sub par display when their sole purpose in life is to make beautiful designs is beyond me. Obviously not everyone can afford a Mac, and have to use what they have access to.

  • By Artur - 1:00 PM on November 2, 2016  

    Thank you guys, so much. Really amazing job.
    I’m waiting for the guide layouts update. Also a pdf import will be really cool feature for me.
    Thank you.

    • By Peter Flynn (Adobe) - 11:39 PM on November 3, 2016  
    • By Tom Krcha - 9:10 PM on November 7, 2016  

      Hey, right now the only workaround is to copy the PDF into clipboard and paste it into XD. You can do this multiple ways, one is to open your PDF in Preview and select a page and CMD+C and then paste into XD. Actual drag and drop PDF into XD is coming later.

  • By Bahador Kharazmi - 5:37 PM on November 2, 2016  

    It would be cool if we can freeze an item in a specific location on the page so when we scroll down the placement of that item does not change and things in the background will be scrolled underneath these frozen elements. Like when we define a tab bar on iOS we don’t want the tab bar to be scrolled with the rest of the concept. or even the header. We want the header and tab bar to be frozen on where they are.

    Thanks,
    -Bahador

  • By Gino - 8:19 PM on November 2, 2016  

    Guys, this is AWESOME! All I can say is good bye sketch, hello XD on a daily basis by now!

  • By Chhote Lal Babu - 12:27 AM on November 3, 2016  

    Hi Guys,
    First of all I want to thanks adobe team that this is AWESOME Tools! All I can say is good bye sketch, I have one request that you release XD for window as soon as possible, because a lot of designers (70%) waiting for first release of Windows XD platform.

    Thanks,
    Chhote Lal Babu

  • By Sarah - 4:11 AM on November 3, 2016  

    All the features are great and I was really looking forward to the commenting feature, which works really well apart from you have to sign in to comment…Clients and other stakeholders don’t always have an adobe account, in fact at the moment, none of them do for me – so that renders a brilliant tool useless.

    Commenting would be so much better if you didn’t have to sign in – I can’t ask or expect my clients to have an adobe account!

    Hopefully this will be address in future releases otherwise I will have to find another way to prototype.

  • By Oppi Brinken - 7:02 AM on November 3, 2016  

    These are great features, but symbols without the possibility to place links inside them? I am disappointed.

  • By Eve - 9:16 AM on November 3, 2016  

    Thank you for such an awesome update! I absolutely love XD and use it everyday in my work. Great job, can’t wait to see what’s coming!

  • By Hugo - 9:28 AM on November 3, 2016  

    Thank you guys so much! These features were mandatory and it is a big deal for me that we have this now!
    It will increase my workflow a lot! Thanks!

  • By axell - 2:24 PM on November 3, 2016  

    This is an amazing tool.
    But why didn’t you release the Windows version yet?

    Coming soon? How soon?

  • By looksawesome - 6:37 PM on November 3, 2016  

    Do people have to sign in to leave comments? I’m not sure it’s a good idea to get a client to create a cc account just to do that…

  • By francois - 11:27 PM on November 3, 2016  

    hello, the library cc is so usefull, can we have this main option on XD ?

  • By Anton Kalik - 6:06 AM on November 4, 2016  

    Hi. When we can make handoff for developers like zeplin or avocode from sketch? Thanks.

  • By Franklin Manghi - 9:09 AM on November 4, 2016  

    Hi! in the demo at MAX, there was a Spec Mode tab…how do we access this but i realized that was demo was hosted on a localhost so is this something done in app or in creative cloud library?

  • By Jaroslav Bereza - 9:12 AM on November 4, 2016  

    Could selected layers have more contrast in panel?

  • By Blake Gilchrist - 9:17 AM on November 4, 2016  

    Any meaningful progress updates on Windows version? Adobe’s website stills says “coming soon for Windows 10”. I signed up months ago to receive updates about Windows version but heard nothing since.

    • By Peter Flynn (Adobe) - 11:33 AM on November 4, 2016  

      We’re still expecting to release a public beta of the Windows version before the end of this year. I expect you’ll hear more soon if you’ve signed up for email updates 🙂 In the meantime, check out this quick video for a peek at how it’s coming along: https://twitter.com/dantuhoarca/status/793971091882446848

  • By Harun Alikadic - 2:04 PM on November 4, 2016  

    Good job. Layers, Symbols, Comments. I can finally give it a serious try on my next project.

  • By Zafer Latif - 9:36 AM on November 7, 2016  

    Windows? I’m really tired of this. I’m tired of waiting.

  • By Jimmy - 9:52 AM on November 11, 2016  

    Great job Adobe XD Team! I can say that this product is already ready for prime time, and I am using it to design our next web application.

    I have some feedback for you:

    Positives:
    – Simple, clean interface. Keep it that way.
    – Fast and responsive (on MBP)
    – Love prototyping within the app
    – All the shortcuts that have been carried over from Ai are extremely useful. I hit the ground running.
    – Contextual pen tool – no more super annoying switching back and forth between A and V and P and so on.

    Suggestions:
    – During creation or editing mode, you can normally hold down Space to reposition an object. This is very useful, as you can complete 2 steps at once.
    – Again while creating or editing, it can be useful to press ‘i’ to sample a color or style from another object. Having to use the mouse to click on the color picker is very slow (Fitts law) and is multiplied since this is an extremely common action
    – When I imported an SVG with multiple objects, I could not separate them. I also could not do a simple operation such as cutting a circle in half. In Ai there is the scissor tool, but perhaps you can think of a more clever way to allow this functionality 🙂
    – More robust masking. Its convenient to drag a photo into an object, but what if I want to reposition it inside?
    – Bezels like its 1999!

  • By Koen van Niekerk - 12:44 PM on November 21, 2016  

    Hi Guys, Great drawing tool, BUT:

    We really, really need animation!

    Real animation, like it is done in applications such as Principle

    Current prototyping features are just far too limited

  • By Terry G - 1:36 PM on November 28, 2016  

    Don’t get me wrong. I love the fact that Adobe is making a prototyping tool but it’s way too late. The competitors are so way ahead and there’s nothing here to tip them off really.
    XD ironicly feels like a prototype of a prototype tool. It lacks interactive features to create autentic Ui design. In Axure WOF is supported when I make a desktop prototype in html. There’s no style option for typography like you have in ID and I can’t say I’ve been able to discover any scripting support like you have in tools such as Axure. In Axure you have dynamic panels to make interactive stuff like drop down menus, accordian panels, live Google map feeds, video support from YT and Vimeo etc. XD is basically just a static tool with some cool linkage features. I like the art board approach. I hope Adobe is able to further develop XD to make it more relevant, as of now it’s not a bird or a fish.

  • By Lionel Crisba - 7:31 AM on November 30, 2016  

    Thank you for finally implementing Symbols… but as it stands they are unfortunately close to useless in supporting my design activity.
    Symbols are most useful in UX design to represent persistent elements of the screen, this does not mean that these elements are identical from screen to screen, slight variations are required to represent state. The most typical example is a tab control. Every view accessible using the tab will re-use the TAB SYMBOL, but for every view another TAB is highlighted.
    There are of course work arounds to address this, but the most elegant solution is to allow the designer to override ANY of the attibutes of a given instance of a Symbol. This makes it trivial to override color, text, even position for a given instance to represent change in state.

    The most elegant solution I have used is available in Balsamic where any attribute of a symbol can be overriden, a reset button is abvailable to reset to the base Symbol.
    The ability to “disconnect” an instance from the symbol is also useful.

  • By Lionel Crisba - 7:34 AM on November 30, 2016  

    Thank you for finally implementing Symbols… but as it stands they are unfortunately close to useless in supporting my design activity.
    Symbols are most useful in UX design to represent persistent elements of the screen, this does not mean that these elements are identical from screen to screen, slight variations are required to represent state. The most typical example is a tab control. Every view accessible using the tab will re-use the TAB SYMBOL, but for every view another TAB is highlighted.
    There are of course work arounds to address this, but the most elegant solution is to allow the designer to override ANY of the attibutes of a given instance of a Symbol. This makes it trivial to override color, text, even position for a given instance to represent change in state.

    The most elegant solution I have used is available in other design tools where any attribute of a symbol can be overriden, a reset button is abvailable to reset to the base Symbol.
    The ability to “disconnect” an instance from the symbol is also useful.

    • By Lionel Crisba - 7:34 AM on November 30, 2016  

      Note : The other tool is Balsamic.

  • By viswambarareddy - 5:07 AM on December 1, 2016  

    Till now i did not use Adobe Xd but i watched and read every article about it
    My feature Request is

    Implement Eraser Tool For Remove Some Part of Shape When making Icons and Logos
    and also implement same undo tool for eraser