Sketch vs Adobe XD: Which One Should You Use?

July 25, 2019 posted by

hello and welcome to annum borrowed Tut's plus tutorial I'm Maddy Pattillo and today I'm gonna try and answer a question that probably a lot of you have asked what is better sketch or Adobe XD now these are two apps that probably every web designer out there knows about sketch has been around for a while XD is kind of the new kid on the block so in this tutorial I'm gonna try and answer this and also give you my own personal opinion on which is best for me and why is that now when we ask what is better sketch or XD I don't think there is an answer that's 100% correct because what works best for me might not work best for you so it's really about each individual and how they're used to working and what kind of tools they're using and what kind of computer they're using all of that have to be taken into consideration now sketch has been released in 2010 so yeah eight years ago it has a lot of history too went through a lot of versions I believe I started working in sketch when it was a version 3 right now was version 5 so yeah it got through a lot of iterations and quite frankly it turned out to be a really really amazing product I've been using sketch I switched from Photoshop to sketch because back then XD was not around it was probably just starting out his project comet if I remember correctly from Adobe so it was just in its infancy but sketch yeah it came out to be like an amazing replacement for Photoshop which I've used for many many years before for you know basically website design because that's what I was doing even though photo shop at its core is mainly used for image editing and image processing but Adobe came up with XD which is well meant for UI and UX design so sketch was released in 2010 as I was saying XD was launched in 2016 so two years ago as you can see already sketch has 6 years ahead of XD in which time it's managed to create a really amazing community behind it a lot of designers use sketch and also are developing plug-ins for sketch this is one of the core features of sketch its support for third party plugins now let's talk about pricing this is also very important aspect sketch right now starts at $99 per year that's basically for the app itself and for a year of updates once you purchase sketch you own it forever but you only get updates for a year so if that year passes you can still use sketch but you won't be able to update it the newest versions for that you would have to renew your license which is $99 per year XD on the other hand is free it is free I has been recently made free by Adobe initially it was part of their Adobe CC suit of apps and you needed a sec subscription to be able to access to access XD but now it's been made free and the free plan actually let me show you on their website their free plan comes with the app of course you can use the app however you want but you have some limitations on the shared prototypes design specs and cloud storage and also the type kit is limited to just a few fonts if you purchase as a single app then you have some upgrades here as well but if you're just starting out you don't need for example the full Typekit portfolio or you don't need unlimited shared prototypes then the free version is definitely enough now let's talk about plot now let's talk about platforms because this is where things suddenly become black and white and that's because sketch is Mac only so if you don't have a Mac you cannot use it and Macs as we all know are pretty expensive and this might be a deterrent for most people they're not gonna simply get a Mac just to work on the sketch they're gonna stick with what they know and what they have which is a Windows PC in which case their only option is to use XD which is cross-platform it works on both Mac OS and Windows so yay for XD now let's see about the main differences between XD and sketch first of all and this is a big one XD doesn't support plug-ins sketch does and it has a huge library of plugins made by the sketch community basically on sketch you can get plugins to do all sorts of things like for example automatically add padding and margin to specific elements or you know change the aspect ratio of an element to a predefined or a manual one the examples can go on and on the sketch community is the sketch plug-in community is very very large XD on the other hand being relatively new still doesn't have plugins doesn't support plugins it probably will in the future but right now in 2018 it does not so you know if you're the kind of person who prefers to extend the core functionality of an app using plugins then you know sketch might be for you something else that I want to to mention is that XD is faster and wow it is faster than sketch let me give you a quick demo here I'm gonna open XD and then I'm gonna open a sketch just so you can see how fast these app or how fast XD loads so XD here we go and it's up now sketch on the other hand here we go and yeah okay so XD is definitely faster and I'm not just talking about how fast these load once you've launched them I'm talking about the overall speed XD is built differently it's always you know much snappier it doesn't get bogged down by you know large documents and stuff sketch does that unfortunately and what I have right here this is a MacBook Pro it's early 2013 so it's a five year old MacBook it runs the latest version of of Mac OS but still you know even on this machine XD is very fast compared to sketch I'm having a lot of trouble lately working in sketch simply because even a simple document is I don't know it's sluggish it's always laggy it's always I always get my mouse cursor it doesn't it's not fluid right what XD it's a whole different ballgame and that's I think the main reason that I like working in XD so much is its sheer speed and responsiveness it's just amazing now something else that I want to point to is that xD doesn't have as many features as sketch it just doesn't of course it's it's relatively new as I said two years old so it didn't have the time to develop all the features that sketch has which was launched back in 2010 so I'm sure that in time it's gonna get those features but until then it just doesn't so if you're you know used to working in a sketch and being able to quickly do things because of all the integrative features that it has xD might be a little bit disappointing in this in this area an example that I can give you is the the way symbols work so in sketch you can basically nest and override have symbol overrides so I can have a button and on that button I can change the color from symbol the symbol and I can change the text I can change images I can change any kind of element inside that symbol well with XT it's not as easy and some of some of these things that I told you are actually impossible to do in in XD and the list can go on and on now let's talk about the visual interface this is sketch and I'm going to create a new document in XD as well now the visual interface or the UI from XD is much simpler than the one in sketch as you can see here of course in sketch you can hide these icons on the top and you can toggle some panels here too to have more working room but XD has a much cleaner interface I especially love the assets panel in XD so for example if you're here working along maybe have some elements in XD let's create a text here I want to group this up maybe want to save this color for further use well you can go to your assets panel you can add that color here you can add that character style and it can also create a symbol out of this right so whenever you're gonna need that symbol you can simply copy it from here and what I love about this is that it has a visual representation of the character style of the symbol of the colors alright it's it's really really awesome something else I love about XD is the fact that once you use a color from the assets and you decide to change that color like for example this let's say I want to make it a brighter red it updates in all instances where that color is used so that is super handy it also works with character styles so I can change here from I don't know regular to bold and that's gonna change in all instances so this is super super handy one thing that I don't see next d and I miss from sketches pages so sketch has pages right here that you can use to organize your artboards into alright so I can create a new page have different artboards in each page it's you know easier to organize especially if you're working on a large project and you have a lot of artboards it's much easier to organize them into pages rather than and I was just having them all displayed on the on the infinite canvas here now what about tools well when it comes to tools XD has some pretty interesting tools so let me just show you what I'm on about the first one is the repeat grid so if I want to make like a series of events here instead of just copying and pasting each one and making sure my spacing is correct what I can do is simply select the element select repeat grid and then just drag like this up and down it works on both directions and I can change the distance both horizontally and vertically between all the elements at the same time I think this is just amazing a fantastic feature of course if I'm done here and I don't need a grid I can hit ungroup and I still get those elements unfortunately a sketch doesn't have that sketch has a feature that I mentioned previously and that is symbol overrides to understand what this is all about I'm gonna give you a simple example let me create a button in here and let me get an icon yeah something like this so let me create a symbol out of this icon and let me add another icon let's say this for example and I'm just gonna put it here and create a symbol out of it as well okay so I'm gonna select this button I'm gonna group it up and I'm gonna create a symbol okay so with this button I can duplicate it and for each individual instance I can select the new text like for example click me and I can also select the new icon for it so here are the two icons that I have has symbols in my own document I can select this one and the this arrow was gonna be replaced by the other one or if I'm using sketch libraries I have access to a whole bunch of libraries just at the click of a button and this is another feature that I really love about sketch basically you can create a document with a bunch of symbols in that you can save that document in any location you want and then you can go into sketch preferences under libraries and you can add that document as a library so then you can always from any document you can go to symbols click on that document slash library that you just created and grab any kind of symbol from that from there it's really awesome and I don't have that functionality in x-d x-d has CC libraries which you know it is ok you can save colors and character styles and different graphics in there and you can you know name your libraries but it's in my opinion is not as good as these sketch libraries so what else well XD has better prototyping sketch didn't have native prototyping tools until a very recent update but XD has had it for I think since version number one and the the prototyping in XD is much faster and it's better so to give you an example I'm going to create two Art boards here and I'm gonna put an element here and an element here alright so now if we go to prototyping sorry I mean here I can basically click on this element and I can click this artboard and I can select a transition and easing that's pretty nice and then I can select this one I can take it from there and then I can present it nicely it's pretty simple to use now recently in a recent update xD introduced something very interesting that's called overlays and fixed elements and those features allow you to basically set a fixed element like a navbar for instance you can set it fixed on the top so when you're presenting your prototype and you're scrolling through the page that elements element stays fixed and also overlays allow you to create very realistic prototypes by allowing you to move elements around to make elements appear when you take certain actions like for example if you had a hamburger menu icon that would open up an off canvas navigation you can do definitely do that in XD sketch as far as I know does not have that functionality I need to talk about exporting options because exporting options are much better in sketch than they are in XD you have a lot more control so for example you can select an element you can click make exportable and you can add as many export options you want here different sizes you can use a prefix or a suffix you can choose what file type you want so for instance you can select this button and export it in 1 2 3 4 7 different file types and that is just with a click of a button it's really really awesome XD well it's support its export capabilities are pretty limited you have a window that allows you to choose the format depending on what you're exporting for you can also choose the resolution and which you design it and you know that's pretty much it you you can't really do much more than that and something else that's pretty cool or XD specs now this is still in beta but for example if I go to share publish design specs I can create a public link and then I can open that link and share it with other people so this would work for example if I'm a designer I create my designs an XD and then I hand off my designs to a developer and I send them the link to you the specs so the way specs work is for each element they give you a lot of information like for example the width height position rotation the appearance the color you can get it from here border opacity if you click on the text it gives you information about the typography the font you chose the weight the height the size sorry the actual content so you can simply click and everything is copied do you want to get the color simply click here and the color is copied so that is very very interesting you also if you don't select anything you can also get details about the screen size the colors all of the colors that are being used all of the character styles and so on it's a very very interesting feature now here's my personal opinion on sketch versus XD because I have used both of these apps when I was working mainly on my Mac I used sketch of course but recently I started working more on my Windows machine so there I used XD for any kind of design I needed to make so what's my opinion I would say that XD has a lot of potential definitely a lot of potential I love the speed I love the overall responsiveness of the application and I love some of its unique features like the repeat grid like even specs I think this is very very interesting I love that assets panel which lets me you know preview all of my assets colors typography character styles symbols all of that is great now with that said i have been using sketch for a long time so i'm kind of deeply integrated into this whole ecosystem i have a lot of files or well most of my design files are in sketch and even though XD can read sketch files it's it's still buggy at times and plus I do love plugins so I have a few sketch plugins that I just cannot live without and so because XD doesn't have plugins or XD doesn't have functionality that's doing the same thing the plugins are doing I find it a bit hard to to make the switch so for me personally I'm gonna stick with sketch for now I really hope that the performance improves a little bit and the app gives a little bit more responsiveness and a little bit more speed but other than that I'm still extremely happy with sketch and as I was saying in the beginning if you're thinking about switching or if you are using Photoshop for instance and you don't know should I go for sketch should I go for XD well you can go both ways I guess if you have a Mac also xD supports Photoshop files so you can open your Photoshop files directly in XD you really have to weigh you know what's what's best for you if you are willing to pay $100 a year for the updates or for the app itself as I said it's really it's really up to you I hope that with this video I give you you know some some good information to help you decide so let me ask you this what software are you using right now is it sketch XD figma whatever it is let us know down in the comments and also let us know your thoughts on sketch versus XD which one would you use if you were for example just starting out well thank you very much for watching this tutorial I hope it was useful I'm Ally Padula and until next time take care you


49 Replies to “Sketch vs Adobe XD: Which One Should You Use?”

  1. Amir Khademi says:

    It was a realistic comparison and gave me a better idea of both. keep up great work 🙂

  2. Ken high says:

    Why isn’t anyone mentioning the fact that XD has prototyping capabilities built right in the app while with Sketch you need to use an additional app like InVision to create a prototype. I find this fact alone is what pushes XD to the front. That and the ability to create grids so easily. I do wish XD would add a hover state though.


    Although I have not used Sketch because I don't have a Mac machine but I have used some other prototyping tools on the market, i.e, Invision Studio, Figma and XD. However, for me, XD is much more preferable than the rest. I see XD kicking these guys out of the market very soon

  4. Usman Zahid Farooqi says:

    Please make a new comparison video with Adobe XD. Now Adobe XD have plugins options.

  5. Roger Nevez says:

    Which One Should You Use?
    Free !!!!

  6. niraj thapa chhetry says:

    sorry what was your name again?

  7. Hoa Lola says:

    If you are familiar with Sketch, design at Adobe XD is easy cause tool basic are same, just slightly different with interface. If you are using Photoshop and Illustrator for designing ui ux design, you will be more struggle

  8. Nathan Ritchie says:

    How have your opinions changed now that XD has opened up to plugins and with the addition of auto animate?

  9. George Chiramal Davis says:

    Now that there are plugins and new features in XD could you do an Update video? Would be very helpful. Thanks

  10. Alex Winkler says:

    Thanks for the overview, no Mac so I just downloaded XD

  11. 98thpixel says:

    I recently installed XD and finished one project with it. However, I'm thinking of finding a good alternative to XD due to adobe installing too much of bloatware on my mac when I installed XD.

  12. Rohit Taurus says:

    2019 update solves all the shortcomings stated in this video. XD now supports Plugins, reworked Symbols and more new features like gestures.

    After watching this video and few more. I think i'm gonna use Adobe XD, cause it's simple and integrates with PSD files better. Thank you, the video was informative.

  13. Часовой Механизм says:

    really gave some information for me to deside – thx

  14. TheWeeklyJourney says:

    Can I use Muse Widgets into XD???

  15. Anton P. says:

    all the performance differences you see are because of plugins. Install 10 plugins into XD and then compare again. Unless you are biased towards Adobe anyways…

  16. Naalein Grohiik says:

    I'd say Figma is the most noob friendly of them all. I love it

  17. Omoniyi Oluwafemi says:

    There are plugins now in 2019. (Nov 2018)

  18. Jaydev patel says:

    XD is near to become a complete package! and have more potential! no need to learn sketch! Thanks to adobe!

  19. ali bangash says:

    hi sir how are you,thanks for share your exp.i like your video ,which is important for ux designer,becz i have little idea of html css,and i m not like coding …, so what can i do.

  20. Joe Dolack says:

    What are the sketch plug-ins that you can't live without?

  21. தமிழன் தமிழன் says:

    Thanks for your videos.

    I have a question. Am i able to create one design into different sizes? At change content can replace in all sizes?

    I need your help

  22. Xavier Maximin says:

    XD now supports plugins.

  23. Dennis Choomac says:



  24. Giorgi Tchkuaseli says:

    moi je préfère adobe XD il est plus simple:)

  25. Tam Nguyen says:

    I like Sketch but XD Free 🙂

  26. Joe Seven says:

    One other question. For someone who has been using Photoshop for years to design websites / UI, would it make more sense to use XD over Sketch? I'm assuming it would feel more intuitive.

  27. Joe Seven says:

    It's 2019. Has Adobe improved any of the issues described in this review? (ie exporting, symbols, etc)

  28. Rob Williams says:

    This is too out of date, will end up misleading people.

  29. Da Woon Jeong says:

    Thank you for this comparison! so useful.
    I use XD because XD was easy for me.

  30. Przemysław Manuszak says:


  31. Exe1 says:

    Thanks for great comparison. Love your way of presenting and breakdown of core requirements for these two apps.

  32. Sab Sab says:

    Figma lol

  33. Ololou Ololou says:


  34. Marolop Leonardo David Siagaian says:

    This is a very useful comparison. Thank you.
    I'm using figma + sketch but sketch for personal use and looking for sketch replacement. Thank you for the review!

  35. Emil Cataranciuc says:

    Jesus Christ! Macs are expensive? Compared to what? A potato? Most likely yes. To a similarly powered ultrabook? Not really. Let's not forget about the ecosystem.

  36. Calvin Ng says:

    Now Photoshop + XD…

  37. Cam Cardow says:

    I love the simple UI/UX of XD which doesn't get in my way the way other apps do, including just about every other Adobe CC application. I often use it for simple icon design and conceptualization. As for speed, I have huge files for the prototypes my company is requesting and once you said Sketch was slower, that ended my fascination. So, for my experience, XD wins. That and and you just can't dismiss Adobe's ability to both innovate and quickly catch up.

  38. Adithya angara says:

    XD now has addons (Dec 2018)

  39. Leonard Leon says:

    Use Adobe products only if there is no other option. Adobe was probably great 15 years ago but lately it became this moneygrabbing incompetent company
    And Sketch? no. They are tied to Macs. While sketch by itself is not bad, Apple is just another horrible company

  40. Cosmin Negoita says:

    Please excuse my ignorance for not watching the video. I just came here to give the correct answer: Figma 🤘

  41. Matthew Spangler says:

    XD does support plugin with their updates

  42. Igor Khomenko says:

    Even at 1.75 feels so slow. Not sure how much XD has progressed by December 2018, but as of now a lot of your info on Sketch is very misleading or incorrect, well at least supper subjective. Not a big fan of it being for Mac only, as well as its interface is ugly and hard to use – I have to agree here.

  43. hemant lodhi says:

    I want to leran skech and xd please sir

  44. Jaan-Matti Saul says:


  45. Dragon Whimsy says:

    Affinity Designer. Sure, you lose the plug-ins from Sketch (for now) and the prototyping of XD, but you get most of Sketch's other features and the power of a full vector editor. And it's on Windows. For prototyping Marvel is a simple solution.

  46. Dueng Design says:

    Sketch + Zeplin

  47. David Nagy says:

    the plugin support is nice and good, but why i still use other tools, because XD won't let me use multiple fills/effects on the same object which can be a pain… on the other hand, if i could import my Figma files to use the new Auto Animate feature, it would be really good for my workflow

  48. Akın Özgen says:

    now xd has plugin support. also animations. i used animations yesterday and its really east to use.

  49. Petar Milenkovic says:

    Always ask developers whats the best for them..

    My developers like Figma so i switched there to make their life easier and its actualy very good.. already tried adobe xd and and zeplin and sketch.. but so far for now Figma is my favorite..

    Thanks to my devs 😂

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