How to open and edit Sketch file in windows?

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If you are here then I assume you are a Windows user who is looking for a way to open Sketch file in windows machine. Being a designer myself, I can understand the frustration behind no Sketch support for Windows platform. But before that let’s talk about what is a .Sketch file & why do we need to open it in windows?

What is a Sketch file and why it is used?

.Sketch is a famous file format used in macintosh based application called Sketch. Sketch is used in prototyping & design UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) for applications on Android, iOS and web.

Being an industry standard, most of the UI/UX related work is done on the Sketch app. But on the downside, Sketch is macintosh exclusive & Bohemian Coding, the company behind Sketch has no plans to release a windows version of their app.

But what if you own a Windows machine and want to view or modify an existing .Sketch design file on your system?

Sadly the answer to this question is No, as there is no official Sketch software support for Windows OS. Since Sketch uses the core functionality of Mac OS X, there isn’t much probability of Sketch landing on Windows anytime soon. But there are few methods by which you can view .Sketch file on your windows machines & some lets you modify it as well.

Why you might need to open Sketch file on Windows machine?

Before figuring out how? Let’s talk why do we need to open a .Sketch file on a Windows machine.

Let us assume few situation where we might need to open .Sketch file on windows.

  • Suppose you are a UI/UX designer who works on Sketch and want to share your work with your client for approval who is a Windows user. In such cases, you can simple recommend one of the suitable method mentioned in this article for their ease.
  • Your friend is working on a ground breaking dating app which will change the way how online dating works and as a fellow UI/UX designer, he wants your input on it’s prototype by sharing the .Sketch file of his work. Unfortunately, you work on a Windows machine which doesn’t support Sketch files. What are you gonna do? Of course, follow this article.
  • Say, you work on Windows for your design work and want to use a free design mainframe or a prototype that is available on various free design resource websites such as Free Sketch Resources. You would need a way to open those files on you windows machine, which we are going to see how.

Read more: Open source alternatives of popular windows softwares

How to open Sketch file on Windows?

Well, here are some ways to open .Sketch file on Windows machines.

A. FIGMA

sketch file windows 1
World Clock App by Omar Faizan on Figma

Figma is another collaborative interface design tool, just like Sketch. It’s also one of the first design tool that provided native support to .Sketch file. Since Figma is a web-based design tool, it can work on almost all operating systems. It can open sketch file online on any compatible web browser on a Windows machine.

PROS:

  • Open and edit .Sketch files.
  • Web-based design tool.
  • Supports exporting assets into various formats.

CONS:

  • No way to save edited Sketch file in native .Sketch format. (Instead it saves it in .fig format, which can easily be accessed on Figma website)
  • Sign-up required.
  • Limited to 3 projects in Free version.

WHY FIGMA? Being web-based platform you can pretty much use it in any browser to open .Sketch files.

B. LUNACY by Icon8

We can call Lunacy as the Sketch for Windows. Icon8 has been developing Lunacy entirely on supporting .Sketch file on the Windows platform. They are pretty much confident about that. This is the only app that support .Sketch file fully.

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World Clock App by Omar Faizan on Lunacy by Icon8

For those who are unaware, Icon8 is one of the leading free design resources provider. If you are a designer, then you must have came across this website many times.

PROS:

  • Open and edit .Sketch files, with CSS support.
  • Works offline.
  • Works natively as a Windows App via Store.
  • Free of cost.

CONS:

  • None.

WHY LUNACY? Take Lunacy by Icon8 as the Sketch for Windows. If your mac died on you and you have an important sketch file to work on, Lunacy will save your day.

C. ADOBE XD

Adobe XD is Adobe’s free UI/UX designing and prototyping tool. Just like Sketch, users can design, prototype and collaborate within this tool. It allows user to view & edit .Sketch file. Also, Adobe XD is free to use. However, it provides partial support to .Sketch files. (Read more about Sketch file support in Adobe’s official documentation)

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World Clock App by Omar Faizan on Adobe XD

PROS:

  • Free to use.
  • Can open and edit .Sketch file easily.
  • Supports easy asset exports to various file formats.

CONS:

  • Partial support to .Sketch files.
  • Can’t save edited Sketch file in their native .Sketch format. (Supports .XD format only)
  • Need to have an Adobe account.

WHY ADOBE XD? It just works, if you are already an Adobe XD user. (With a couple of incompatibility)

D. PhotoPea.com

PhotoPea is basically an online image editor program, that also tends to support .Sketch files. You can simply open .Sketch file online by dragging and dropping the .Sketch file inside the website windows. This web-based image editor program works just like Photoshop & will show your Sketch file’s element in different layers.

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World Clock App by Omar Faizan on PhotoPea.com

PROS:

  • Can open & edit .Sketch files easily.
  • Easy export assets to various file format. (in form of layers)
  • Works as a website or as a Chrome Web app.
  • Can covert .Sketch file to .PSD. (Adobe Photoshop compatible)

CONS:

  • Can’t save Sketch file into it’s native .Sketch format.
  • Slow interface.

WHY PHOTOPEA? If you work on Photoshop regularly, then you will feel like home working on Sketch files on PhotoPea.

E. Sketch The Ripper

Sketch The Ripper is another online tool by Icon8, that solely works on extracting the content of a Sketch file to the end user. It uses Lunacy engine, hence there are no compatibility issues. You just need to upload your .Sketch file and once uploaded, you can view the content of Sketch file in .png format.

sketch file windows 5
Sketch the Ripper by Icon8

PROS:

  • Easy to use.
  • Perfect for viewing content of .Sketch files without installing any software.

CONS:

  • Online only.
  • No edit support.

WHY SKETCH THE RIPPER? No bells and whistles, no logins and no install, just drag and drop to see what’s inside a Sketch file.

Final words

Since Sketch uses Mac OS’ core functionality, we don’t see a future probability of Sketch for Windows any time soon. Until then, Lunacy by Icon8 is pretty much the only tool that’s not only free to use but supports .Sketch fully like they are supposed to. You really can’t go wrong with that tool, if you want to work with sketch files on your windows machine. However, if you are already working on tools likes Adobe XD & Figma, then you don’t need to install any additional software to open Sketch files.

PhotoPea is another cool way to open a .Sketch file online in a browser. Additionally, it allows you to convert .Sketch file to .PSD, a Photoshop compatible format. While Sketch The Ripper is a great yet simple online tool that you can share to your client for viewing the content of your Sketch file.

Like this article? Share it with someone who is struggling with opening .Sketch files on Windows.

He is your friendly neighbor, who spend most of his time in learning and sharing what he has learned to everyone. He is a fan of flat design and is into minimalism. Also, a huge Xiaomi critic and enthusiast. Connect with him @AnooBav on all social platforms.

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