Using a Sketch file in Axure

Hi everybody,

Lately I have been following some tutorials, en I am getting the hang of it.

Now I made my Designs in sketch, and if i copy and paste these in Axure it is only one solid Picture.
Is is possible to bring all the assets / different widgets in Axure in one go.

Hopefully you guys understand my problem.

Let me know,

Thanks,

Freek

Hi Freek,

Axure RP can’t import Sketch files, but it can import image files such as PNG, JPEG, and GIF. Those can be imported either by dragging and dropping them into Axure RP from the file explorer, copying and pasting them in, or importing them via the image widget.

I’ll file a feature request on your behalf for Axure RP to have Sketch importing abilities. In the meantime, we have recently made SVG image import (non-editable though) and a vector drawing pen tool available in the 8.0 beta. If you’d like to check that out and see if it could be useful for you in the future, you can get the beta here:

Download Beta | Axure

We don’t recommend doing important work in the beta yet since we’re still ironing out bugs, but hopefully you’ll find the new options useful.

+1 for some sort of Sketch integration (plugin) - With so many prototyping tools offering tight Sketch integration this seems like a great path to go down. I will never give up my Axure, but Sketch is part of my daily life now and to see my two favorite tools have some integration would save me (us) so much time.

I have a ton of suggestions for types of integration if you guys are interested, hit me (or better yet the entire Axure community) up. I’m sure together we could discover some great ideas!

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+1 for Sketch integration. I am a huge proponent of Axure for prototyping and am finding that many colleagues have adopted Sketch in the last 18 months as a replacement for Photoshop/Fireworks. For an interesting example, look at Proto.io plugin for Sketch import. Would love to see workflow consolidation and integration.

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+1,000,000 for Sketch importing for Axure. Just like how Principle does it where Axure would recognise the Sketch raw file, and import each layer and group into Axure in their respective layers and groups.

To be honest, with Principle and Pixate and all the other new prototyping tools around now days at a much cheaper price, I would say Axure is falling into the animated wireframe only section of tools. I mean that is fine, but I think Axure should recognise this publicly by either being the absolute best and dedicated wireframing animation tool OR go hard and take over principle’s gaining success by implementing Sketch importing etc.

I am not sure where Axure stands anymore, it’s confusing. Why pay so much money for a licence when I can get by with Principle at a fraction of the cost?

I love Axure for it’s interaction events but going Hi-Fi in Axure is becoming a nightmare. Stakeholders want to see more fidelity and Developers need to see complex interactions that mimic the iOS or Droid animations they will be building.

Axure is getting left behind so fast that I am even learning Framer.js now just to have nice Sketch importing and ability and realistic animation. I think Axure is still great for some corporate dashboard style prototyping but getting left in the dust with more modern design trends.

If Axure wants to remain afloat, my naive but experienced opinion is that they need to get a grip on the emerging needs of modern UX Designers and Stakeholders and rapidly implement those design needs into Axure immediately. Adobe XD was slow off the mark as they were still gloating about how great Photoshop is and now everyone has switched to Sketch and Invision leaving Adobe in the dark with their photographer client base only and animators using after effects.

I do love Axure (when it’s not pissing me off) and I hope they can rise again or at least choose a direction and lock it down solidly. If they don’t want to add sketch importing or adv animation then don’t. But at least announce what your goals and focus is. Right now Axure is promising all these feature requests to the dev team and leaving us waiting for the feature to be built. Just be honest, to us, which way is Axure heading?
Thanks

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We’re actively working on being able to convert elements from SVGs to Axure RP vector widgets, and I think that gets us a good way to supporting a workflow that includes Sketch (and many other tools). From there, we think there will be opportunities to add more value.

“Which way is Axure heading?”

The answer has pretty much always been towards the biggest project problems that can be alleviated by prototyping.

For a lot of projects, those problems exist in the earlier phases (pre-visual design), where prototyping can drive functional specifications, enable early user testing and feedback, help make go / no-go decisions, facilitate pre-project planning, align teams, etc.

And many projects have challenges that happen during or after visual design such as specifying micro-interactions, testing UI design options, etc.

Axure is focused on the first set and will continue to put a lot of resources into solving those problems. Axure RP does a good amount for the second set (it’s generally possible to build), but is not integrated with tools like Sketch. I realize this is exactly what you asked us not to say, but we’re continuing to look for unique and lasting ways that Axure can help designers with the second set.

Are you saying here that it is not on the current roadmap (near future) to have Axure support vector input from Sketch?

If so, that is a major hiccup that will prevent Axure’s wider adoption. So many houses are using the Sketch ->Invision (slideshow) or Sketch -> Flinto route or Framer.

Axure is way more powerful than those solutions and can make a far richer prototype, but is handcuffed by the lack of bringing mockups from other designers’ flows into this rich tool. If there were one feature that is critical to add to Axure imminently, I would say it is adding Sketch and other SVG layered & grouped import into Axure. This would enable the world of static high fi mockups to be pulled into a working app immediately. It would be clear within organizations that Axure can assist in bringing reality to the customer a lot faster. Right now, a lot of houses use Sketch + Zeplin to share output CSS with developers. Axure should allow Sketch import to one-up that and add export of animations and interaction notes as well.

Please reconsider this roadmap time schedule or at the VERY least, please open up Axure with an API that enables someone to write a 3rd party sketch importer themselves.

thanks!

This is a major requirement… redrawing everything in axure when it has been created in sketch is very time consuming… :frowning:

Hi!

I just looked at Principle, and it seems to have the same limitations that (the now defunct) Pixate had. Great at conveying an idea or interaction internally, or creating an app click-through to show flow, but limited since everything seems to be image-based. Can you create a freeform text entry field in Principle (rather than just a simulation of one)? If not it would be unsuitable for use in a usability test. Simulating web sites for usability tests is a large part of my job.

I’ve been looking for an alternative to Axure for a while, basically because I want to learn something new, but also because I want something that feels like a native app on mobile. Any recommendation for a tool that can simulate a fully functional mobile app, including support for text and native controls? Framer.js looks promising, but I might as well write my prototypes in javascript at that point.

All of that said, Sketch import (with re-import after making changes to the Sketch file) would be a great feature.

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My work-around which saves a little time is

  1. copy and paste the artboard into Axure so that I have a template to work off
  2. copy and paste the individual elements in the correct position over the artboard and save them as masters
  3. delete the artboard/template once all the elements are in place

Then as I need to make the individual elements interactive I edit the relevant master. Tedious but quicker and easier than trying to redraw everything from scratch.

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+100 for sketch import functionality.

I won’t repeat all of the good reasons that have already been raised in this thread but I do think it would be an absolute priority if Axure wants to make tool-of-choice claims for practicing UX designers

I must agree with this. The community rapidly switching over to Sketch so fast it’s making my head spin. At my agency, we are having discussions about using Sketch + InVision to replace more of the work that Axure used to do.

I will agree with the others that nothing beats Axure for it’s detailed events and interaction systems. But other tools are catching up. The major advantage Sketch has is that it plays so nicely with other programs. This is a major weakness for Axure, which has always been more of a walled garden.

I love Axure and use it every day, but if there was one feature I would request above all others, it would be the ability to easily integrate a Sketch mockup into my Axure file and start adding detailed interactions to it.

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+infinity to add Sketch

I work for a huge company that is about adopt a new UX process. We currently have a group license for Axure, but due to it being such a (as another user put it) “walled garden,” it is no longer feasible for us to use-- we have one team member who still uses it on a team of 15+ (and growing). We have switched over to (and LOVE) Sketch, so the inability of Axure to re-use those assets directly is a literal deal-breaker. There are so many features (feedback, commenting, integrations with other software) that other new companies are bringing to the mix that Axure is completely remiss in seeing “playing well with others” not as a threat (or a burden or conflict with their product goals) but an opportunity: to pivot, to be fresh again, and adapt to changing times. Users demand integrations and products that play well together so we can create the workflows that work for us, even getting down to individual product/project level.

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We’re in a corp environment and would love to be able to bring in sketch files. We start in Axure for usability testing and then recreate in Sketch for the purpose of exporting to Zeplin. I’d love to be able to import Sketch files.

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“We’re actively working on being able to convert elements from SVGs to Axure RP vector widgets”. Oh, please! While being able to paste SVG code is good, it’s not as clean as a native vector. I’ve attached an example.



Hi Guys -

I’ve been a long-time user of Axure (basically since initial beta). If you don’t quickly step on the Sketch bandwagon, you run the risk of being made obsolete quite quickly. I run a small UX team and every one of my designers is using sketch to quickly mock-up design concepts (and create high-polish comps). They are looking to Invision’s Craft (still in beta) or UXPin or Marvel or Flinto to build out interactions so integration would help them from abandoning the (Axure) ship…

Please let us know if this is something that you are quietly working on.

David

Thanks for your feedback and concern, everyone! We really appreciate hearing from you.

Converting SVG to Axure widgets (instead of just pasting as an image) is coming really soon. We’re testing internally now. I wanted to explain how it’s going to work. From Sketch, for example: [ctrl+click] a layer and choose “copy SVG code”, paste into Axure RP; in RP, [ctrl+click] the pasted image and choose “convert SVG to Shapes” and you’ll end up with an editable vector shape with layers.

This feature is going to be in beta for a while after we release it, and we’re looking forward to getting your feedback after trying it out!

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How does one get in on the beta for that?

Oops; great question! Here’s the best way: In Axure RP, go to “Help > Check for Updates…” and make sure you have both “Check for updates when Axure RP starts” and “Include beta channel builds” checked. Then you’ll get notified right in Axure RP of beta releases. In the release notes that go with an update notification, you’ll be able to see when this feature is included so you can be sure you grab that update.

I really enjoy this feature Rachel, love these kinds of progression and iterations you make to Axure as a product!

But…

Axure is a tool I use on a daily basis (for our UX challenges) and I got very used to the way the product works for the interaction part, but the integration between Axure and other design tools is way ahead of the competition. This worries me, because the only way to survive in the UX world is to provide tools that adjusts to the way how people and teams work these days…I’m afraid that Axure is going to loose this fight if you guys don’t adopt change fast enough. To enable and facilitate Agile and MVP workflows you have to serve people like UX Designers, Visual Designers, Developers to work together in some sort of way. Things like these must be included to become futureproof:

  • Auto update your design assets (Sketch plugin, Dropbox import, you mention…)
  • Better collaboration (…realtime! Check-in/Check-out is for developers :wink: )
  • Copy CSS and SVG from the Axshare prototype (assets export for developers)
  • More control over animations (timeline etc.)
  • Import/export JS/CSS or ways to generate production ready stuff.

I really hope the Axure team will come up with solutions like these. For some of our (mobile) products we are already moving to Framer prototypes as this tool becomes more designer friendly and offers more integration possibilities :rolleyes:

I’m afraid to loose you as an old friend!

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