Our favorite new feature is Private Projects, where you can create projects that are not visible to the rest of your organization. These projects are only visible to team members you explicitly add from the new people management menu. To add teammates, just click on the avatars in the top right corner of any project.
Soon, we’ll add the ability to invite outside guests into individual projects. 🙈 🙌
We’ve been concentrating on fixing bugs and improving performance. With this build, we were able to make some great enhancements.
- Speed improvements for file opening/exporting
- The return of missing close buttons from dialog boxes!
- Sidebars automatically open when selecting or drawing an annotation
- Multiple fixes for navigating the layer detail and drawing annotations including one that would cause an annotation to be created in the wrong spot on the image
- App now navigates to the correct screen when it opens from a share link
- Fixed an issue that could cause newly synced commits not to appear in the list
As always, if you see any bugs or have thoughts on the new features, reply to this message! Screencasts and screenshots are extra helpful when it comes to bugs.
It’s May! How is it May already? In short: We’ve got a big new feature and improved another big feature. We also made a bunch of tweaks, tons of fixes, and other improvements.
We’re excited to launch annotations: a way to comment on a specific part of an artboard. This is something we know a lot of our testers have been asking for quite some time now, and something we ourselves couldn’t wait to play with, too. 😄
From your artboard:
- Click the annotation icon in the bottom left corner of the comment column. Or type A as a shortcut.
- Next, click or draw a rectangle over the design you’d like to annotate.
Finally, write and submit your comment. Et voila! You just created your first annotation!
We’d love your feedback on annotations and how we can make this feature even more powerful—just reply to this message to share your thoughts.
We finally had the opportunity to give the update flow the love it deserves. We hope you’ll find that it’s clearer, more reliable, and easier to use. You’ll now also see a visual preview of the update before you commit.
We’ve tweaked the look of our messages in Slack—you may have even seen these updates over the past few weeks. We’ve also added a few new activity types, including branch creation events and branch status changes.
We’ve simplified the design of in-app notifications. The notification menu is now single-column and available from anywhere in the app—even the artboard detail! Oh, and we sped them up a little, too. 🏎
Various UI, spacing and typography fixes. We squashed bugs and improved overall performance.
We're really excited about these updates and can't wait to hear what you think of them. :)
You've probably seen a flurry of small releases in the past week. We've been busy fixing bugs before our next build that has some bigger changes.
Here is a rundown of some of the things in the last few releases:
- Lots of bugs fixed in the Sketch plugin including fixing all known causes of Sketch crashes
- An issue that caused downloading a new project to sometimes fail is now fixed
- Closing the window when in full-screen mode now works correctly
- All causes of unexpectedly being logged out are now fixed
- Accidentally creating duplicate branches or projects when double (or triple ;) clicking the create button no longer happens
- Only projects that need syncing will sync now (great for you all that have older or infrequently updated projects)
- Lots of small issues for opening untracked files were addressed
We're working on a few bigger things that should land in a build next week.
👋 — Kevin
PS We're also working a lot on our web app (app.abstractapp.com) so expect more news about that soon too! If you haven't tried our Slack integration in a while, you should check it out again and click on a commit or comment to see some of the direction for the web app.
We’ve been busy the past couple of weeks! Lots of bug fixes, new features, a blogpost about component-based workflows in Sketch, we expanded the team (👋 Haley and Andrew!) and a lot more.
- New account settings, and a lot more stuff coming to the web soon
- Ability to restore a branch to an older commit. A lot of you have been asking for this feature, and we’re happy to finally ship it 🤗
- Merge commits now show history of merged branch and link to the merged branch too (from this release onwards)
- On the organization overview, projects now show when they were last updated (instead of when they were created). You can also sort the list to see the most recently updated projects.
- Fixed @mention popover on comments
- Issue where layer detail would become very slow when scrolling through history
- Issue where layer detail would not show all commits in a layers history
- Small UI issues with project creation when offline
- Issue where jobs could get stuck in progress when started during "app nap" or machine is shut down whilst a job is in progress.
- Improved performance of comment authoring and branch loading
- Fixes users with old stored preferences not seeing hierarchy view of branches
- Fixes not able to clone when tmp directory on another volume than user directory
- Updated comments empty state
As always, send us your feedback!
As promised we’ve been hard at work tracking down remaining syncing issues on both the client and the server. We’ve seen a big improvement on our end and hope that things are feeling more stable than they were a couple of weeks ago! If not please do send us a message…
- The Abstract Sketch plugin will no longer randomly disappear 👻
- We tracked down an issue that would cause previews not to generate until Abstract was restarted once Sketch has timed out. This mainly affected teams with large files.
- Fixed project activity randomly hanging in "syncing…" state.
- It's no longer possible to see menu items for edit and delete on another users comments.
- We fixed users removed from org re-appearing in "People" list despite not belonging to the team.
- We now don’t mark comments as read when navigating to a projects home.
- We fixed an issue that would cause comments on commits to not always load, especially when clicking through from a notification.
- The layer detail now retains zoom and pan position when navigating through an artboard or symbols history, next up we’ll add keyboard navigation - promise.
- ENTER now moves to description field in commit form rather than submitting. For they keyboard inclined you can submit with CMD+ENTER.
As always, contact us through the in-app support if you have any thoughts, problems or questions - we’re surprisingly quick at responding 🎉
Last Monday we released a new build that included better insight into the status of syncing for your projects in Abstract. While this was a significant step toward giving more information and better control over syncing, it also has been a bumpy few days since the release, so I wanted to give a quick update.
With this release, 0.44.8, we have addressed the major issues. Thank you to each of you that hung with us to help figure out what is going on—and testing custom builds over support! 🙈
The best news is that this feature has also exposed some syncing issues that have either eluded us or been completely hidden. Now they're front and center when they happen. We're working to address these in order to build a more and more reliable syncing system, but if you run into issues that do not resolve by retrying or restarting jobs (in the three dot menu), definitely let us know.
As always, thanks for being a part of our alpha and building Abstract with us through your usage, bug reports, and patience.
With this update, we've added a feature to give you more insight when Abstract is syncing your projects. You can see this feature on the lefthand side of the app titlebar.
When everything is up to date it will look like:
The text will change when your projects start syncing or there are issues while syncing. You can also click the status indicator to see a list of what is happening or manually retry if an error happens.
This update includes the status of syncing that gives you more information about what is happening, but it also includes improvements behind the scenes to be more resilient to failures. We've also included bug fixes, as usual!
Let us know what you think!
👋 This update is a small but important update.
First, a small introduction: I've had conversations with many of you via Intercom, but for those of you I haven't chatted with, I'm a co-founder and the CTO here at Abstract.
Artboards are changed, but you didn't change them?
Many of you have written in to tell us about your confusion or frustration when Abstract indicates that artboards or layers are changed when you did not directly change them. Thanks so much for letting us know! We have been listening and investigating, and to be honest, we haven't had many good answers.
By its very nature, Abstract tracks every change that happens to the data of your Sketch files. Sometimes Sketch changes how it stores data, which results in artboards or layers being marked as changed, but sometimes data that shouldn't have changed does change. We cannot do much about Sketch changing its data structures but this release should ameliorate the latter issue.
The tl;dr is that Abstract will now make the storage of numbers stable across tiny, inconsequential fluctuations (think 15 or 16 decimal places).
There is one other thing we've discovered. If you use custom fonts and your team members are not all using the same version of the font, the data for text layers can change unexpectedly because of different font metrics, so try to make sure you all are using the same version of a font to avoid unexpected changes. We experienced this on our team with different versions of San Francisco.
How this update will affect you
When you save your files after this update, you may see some artboards or layers marked as changed that you did not change. This is expected but will not happen again.
If you continue to see artboards or layers marked as changed that you think is an error, please contact us so that we can walk you through getting more information.
One more thing: syncing
We are diligently working on improving our syncing. The next build will have a feature that allows you to see more detailed syncing information and retry uploads or downloads that fail. In addition, we are working under the hood to improve the resiliency of our syncing system. (Fun fact: we are adding about 3 gigabytes of data to our backend each day)
Thank you all for being a part of our alpha (and your amazing feedback, insights, and patience!) to help us get Abstract ready for the public. We couldn't do this without all of you. 🙏
Ha, second build of the week and it’s only Tuesday! (Trying to get our average up)
Go to Abstract > Check for Updates… or download the update here.
- Tweaked project grid view design
- Project list view
- Project filter
- Fixed a comment-form related bug
How is it March already?! Sorry this build took a bit longer to go out (totally broke our build-per-week streak), but we spent part of last week planning the future of Abstract (turns out we might be on to something with this)
Go to Abstract > Check for Updates… or download the update here.
- Design tweaks (typography, buttons)
- Commit comments now have more breathing room
- Comment form improvements across the app
- In Sketch: Ability to hide our plugin bar
- Also in Sketch: Shortcut to commit & preview
- We'll no longer log you out when there is an unexpected network error *cough* AWS *cough*
- UI performance improvements
- Fixed issues that cause files not to load
- Fixed copying link to page in page right click menu
- Fixed default organization logos having TINY text
- Fixed a bug that would cause layer detail to error for very old branches
- Further improved reliability of commit uploads
- It's now possible to delete diverged branches
- Sketch plugin improvements (if you haven’t saved when clicking “Commit & Preview…”, the plugin will do that for you)
- Numerous small fixes/improvements throughout the app
Here's to an awesome week!
We just released a new update of Abstract, 0.42.1 has a ton of bug fixes and improvements, so we urge you to go and update! Get the update here or go to Abstract > Check for updates…
- Design tweaks
- UX tweaks
- New organization switcher (click your org name in the header to reveal the organization switcher)
- UI performance improvements
- Sketch integration performance improvements
- Overall performance improvements
- Fixes the most common file-import bug (this is a big one)
If you’ve reported any bugs over the past week, they should be solved. If not: Please report more bugs 😉
This week’s build is another one filled with bug fixes. Go to Abstract > Check for Updates… or download it here.
- Right click on a layer thumbnail to get a share link (which will allow people to see the layer in the browser and also comment on it)
- Projects now correctly sort alphabetically
- Fixed an issue that would cause commits to hang forever and require an app restart (thank you all for reporting this one, it’s the biggest bug we’ve had in a while)
- Restored functionality to handle a diverged Master branch
- Fixed removed users not appearing as removed on clients
- Improved performance of comments loading
- Improved performance of loading changes after saving in Sketch
- Add support for :emoji: 🎉 (results may vary while we iron out some kinks here)
Thanks (again) for all your help reporting bugs and requesting features. Keep ‘m coming!
We’ve got a new build out! Go to Abstract > Check for Updates… or download it here
This is a big one! Behind the scenes, there’s a plethora of bug fixes and performance improvements (especially when it comes to syncing with our servers and your colleagues).
In the UI, you’ll notice 2 new things: New file detail screen and new layer detail screen.
- filter by layer name
- Filter all/changed artboards (this replaces the “Changes” tab we used to have)
- Change the zoom level of the thumbnails
- File preview right on that screen
- Simplified layer interactions (layers is what we call artboards/symbols or top-level layer groups)
- History on the left, comments/detail (coming soon) on the right
- Button to toggle sidebars so you can preview layers bigger
- We rebuilt the zoom functionality, and it’s gonna get even better soon
That’s it for this week! Lots of wins, especially fixing all the bugs you helped us track down.
Another week, another build! In particular we've been hard at work improving the reliability and speed of background syncing. We're also really excited about some features and design improvements that are in the pipeline for next couple of weeks…
Go to Abstract > Check for updates… and as always shoot us a message back here if you have any feedback or come across any of those pesky bugs.
- We fixed a number of issues that could cause branches and other information to not sync, between clients or take a long time to do so
- We've improved the performance of generating previews after a commit
- We now 'verify' files on every commit to ensure data integrity
- Artboard previews on the commit form will now update in realtime as you save your Sketch files
- Deleting a branch will now take you to the project dashboard instead of leaving you hanging on that deleted branch.
We just released 0.39.1 fixing a couple of small (yet annoying) bugs. The app should ask you to update, or you can go to the menubar and click Abstract > Check for Updates…
- Fix status indicator
- Better connection with Sketch
- Mark notifications as read fixed
- Opening a file from master didn’t prompt to create new branch
- Language and layout improvements
Half new micro-features, half packed with bugfixes, this week’s update should make a lot of you beautiful people happy. Keep the feedback coming!
Get the update here or click Abstract > Check for updates… in the app menu.
- It's now possible to open any file as untracked. Just right-click (or use the ••• button) and select “Open untracked”. Great if you quickly want to grab some assets.
- Simplified branch actions (updating a branch, resolving a diverged state)
- Easier way to discard changes (it now lives in the commit bar at the bottom)
- Better iconography in commits list
- Spellcheck is back!
- More things to right-click (like when you’re zoomed in on an artboard and want to copy the image)
- Layer order is now maintained in merges and updates
- Commit comments no longer appear as branch comments
- Issue that prevented Abstract files from opening properly
- Fixed the issue that caused some organization icons and user avatars to disappear
As always, let us know if you run into any issues, or have questions for us.