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What is Adobe XD

Adobe XD is a vector-based software that can be used for designing anything from smartwatches to fully-fledged mobile and web applications.

It is a significant and useful tool for designing and collaborating to designs, mainly used for designing the user interface for web applications, mobile applications, smartwatches, and televisions. It is a complete package of designing the UI (User interface)/ UX (User Experience) for any application. It provides a dynamic UI design with a preview of the design's functioning.

Adobe XD is managed and provided by Adobe Inc. It provides support for Windows, Mac OS operating systems only. It is not available for Unix-based operating systems such as Linux.

Other designing tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator do not provide support for dynamic designs. These tools were widely used for the UI/UX stuff, but the disadvantage of Photoshop design is that we cannot have the user experience. But, in Adobe XD, we can have a complete user experience (virtual tour) for an application. Its prototyping and animation features give us a complete virtual tour of the application.

We can easily create a complete project and share it with others for previewing and collaborating in the design. The Adobe XD work is shared as a web link that can be accessed by any web browser on different platforms.

Another advantage of using the Adobe XD We can create and export the designs and assets for different devices such as Android and iPhone in multiple image formats.

One of the finest things about Adobe XD is that it provides a seamless user interface for designing. Every tool in Adobe XD is quite straightforward to use as it comes with ideal options. Thus, it saves a lot of time for the designers. Designers from different locations can easily collaborate on the same projects. The Link sharing feature allows team members to view and leave feedback and suggestions via commenting and pinning straight from their browsers.

Features of Adobe XD

Adobe XD supports several extensive and premium features for designing and collaborating. It has a vast list of features that are getting improved with every update. It's most advanced and useful features are dynamic designing, prototyping, sharing, collaboration, and plugin support.

What is Adobe XD

Let's understand highlighted features of the Adobe XD:

User Interface

Suppose you are currently using any of the Adobe tools such as Photoshop or Illustrator. You must be annoying sometimes because of its vast library of features which is their beauty. But, it isn't very pleasant when you need any tool, and it takes time to find it, or sometimes you have to google it.

But, Adobe XD provides a small tool panel as compared to other tools such as Photoshop. But, these tools are smart enough to perform any specific action. For example, if you want to blur any object, then there are multiple tools in Photoshop but, in Adobe XD you can use a blur tool by using it accordingly. If you are already an Adobe user, it makes it easy to deal with the creative cloud and tools. Most of the tools are have the same functionality and ease of use as other Adobe tools.

3D Transform

3D transformation in Adobe XD is remarkable. We can land into an extensive and magical plane of the 3D user experience. We can rotate and move the objects in 3D space. We can also add the depth of the 3D transformation.

It is easy to use the 3D transformation in XD. We can apply a 3D transformation to an object by following three steps:

  • Select the component, layer, or group and apply 3D Transform to it.
  • To enable the toolset, click on the 3D cube icon in the property inspector window, which is given on the right side of the XD window. It will open the control options on the object.
  • Now, use the canvas controls such as stretch or slide or enter the values for the respective x, y, and z-axis.

Components & States

Components & States are some advanced features of Adobe XD which is not supported by Photoshop. Components allow us to create it once and use it everywhere multiple times in the same project. The component provides a powerful reusability feature to the application. Components are useful for creating some designing elements such as buttons, navigations and keeping them in a synchronized way throughout our design. When we make a change in the main component, it will be reflected in other elements as well. So it will be useful for making a change in a design.

In contrast to components, states are also powerful ways to make the design functional. States allow us to create a variation and live preview on a single component. States can be used to create hover, click, toggle, and other effects in design. It is useful for making the design clean by reducing the number of artboards required to provide an effect to design. For example, if we create a dropdown menu, we can create it by using a click state instead of creating a new artboard for a dropdown menu.

Third-Party Plugins

Adobe XD supports several third-party plugins that provide additional functionality to the designs. There are several plugins for assets management, automation, publishing, icons, illustration, etc.

Some popular plugins supported by XD are as follows:

  • Undraw
  • Icons4design
  • UIFaces
  • Google Sheets
  • Trello
  • Web export

Repeat Grids

Repeat grids are awesome to enhance the work speed. We can easily make copies of the elements and automatically arrange them as a grid in the respective directions. We can also adjust the vertical and horizontal spacing between objects, and it will save a huge amount of the designer's time in creating the same cards and aligning them in equal spacing. So, we can reuse the components without manually copying and pasting them.

We can activate the repeat grid for an item with just a single click. Once the repeat grid feature is enabled, we can repeat any object or group of objects by dragging the repeat slider. We can also override the text and images onto the repeat grid.


Adobe XD comes with two work modes which are design and prototype. In design mode, we can create and edit components, and in prototype mode, we connect different artboards based on their actions and functionality.

XD allows us to create dynamic components and interactive prototypes for connecting those components. We can create dropdowns, toggle buttons using the prototyping features. It is a kind of functioning between the different components.

Prototyping is nothing, just a link between different artboards and components in a project that will connect to act together. For example, if we create a link for the login page to a dashboard page, we will be redirected to the dashboard artboard by clicking on the login button.

Prototyping in XD looks as follows:

What is Adobe XD

From the above image, we have connected different artboards by creating some links. These links are called prototypes.

Padding & Stacks

Stacks & padding are also some of the advanced features of Adobe XD which is not available in other graphic design software such as Photoshop.

The stacks and padding are useful features of Adobe XD. It will be very helpful when working with dynamic content such as buttons, labels, managing content sections, exploring modal designs. It will save significant time and effort and provide us with a well-organized structure of the design.

Padding in Adobe XD is similar to the CSS padding. It manages the space between the content of the group or background. When we specify padding on a container, the outer spacing within that group will remain consistent.

Other key Features

  • Easy to use assets panel allows us to easily manage colors, styles, borders, and components within the project.
  • Voice command design lets us make the functionality using voice commands.
  • The easy drag and drop feature allows us to drag and drop the objects easily.
  • Keyboard shortcut support makes the workflow faster by pressing just a key.
  • CSS snippets for a component allow us to copy the CSS code easily and paste it to a live project.
  • Responsive resize allows us to make responsive objects in an artboard automatically.
  • Sharing functionality allows us to share the design easily.
  • Users can provide their comments and feedbacks by pinning and commenting on a particular component using the shared link.
  • Integration of useful tools such as Slack or Jira.
  • Animations let us define the animated effect while moving to the next component, just like a real application.
  • It also provides support for the PSD files. So, we can open and edit the Photoshop files in Adobe XD.
  • Extensive and useful documentation allows us to learn the XD easily.


Adobe XD comes with a few adobe Creative cloud plans. However, its free version is also available, but the free version comes with some limitations.

Following are the Adobe XD plans provided by Adobe Inc.:

Starter plan (free): It provides 1 active prototype and 1 active design specification. It also supports Adobe fonts and 2GB of cloud storage.

XD, individual license without Creative Cloud subscription ($9.99 per month): It provides unlimited prototypes and design specs. It also supports Adobe Fonts and 100 GB of cloud storage for storing the documents.

XD for teams ($22.99 per month per user): This plan includes an unlimited number of prototypes and design spaces. It also supports Adobe Fonts and 100GB of cloud storage. Further, it provides onboarding webinars, an admin console, and advanced technical support.

XD for enterprise: Adobe enterprise plan supports everything for the team with 100GB of cloud storage. Further, it supports single sign-on integration, corporate controls of assets, administrator control of asset sharing options. For purchasing this plan, you will have to contact the Adobe team.

Next TopicAdobe XD Vs. Figma

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