Since its debut in 2016, Figma has been on a constant rise. Designers across the world have been gravitating toward this software because of its unique features and capabilities beyond what the designers imagined. In fact, in 2020 and 2021, Figma was the most popular tool across multiple categories in a designer’s toolkit according to the UXTools survey. With that being said, we thought of creating a list of tips and tricks used by us (and thousands of designers) that will make your work more effective. These tips have the potential to improve your workflow even further.
A quick note before we head on; we’re using mac shortcut keys. If you’re a Windows/PC user, please swap as shown below.
1- Adjust nudging
With arrow keys, you can move an object (or multiple objects at once) by one pixel. If you do it while the Shift button is pressed, you can move (nudge) the objects in larger steps. Usually set to 10px, but you can change the default value of 10px to however much you want. On an 8px grid, we would change the nudge value to 8px. To do so, do to Menu > Preferences > Nudge Amount.
2- Smart selection
Got a bunch of items all over the place and you need tidying? Don’t worry, Figma’s got an easy solution. Select the items, and you will see a grid symbol on the bottom right of your selected frame. Click on it and it’ll do the work for you. Now the pink lines you see in between the items will allow you to adjust the vertical and horizontal padding, which you can also do from the properties panel on the right-hand side. You can also swap the position of the items by clicking on the pink circle in the middle of the item and dragging it to your preferred position.
3- Importing multiple images into shapes
Press Command + Shift + K and select multiple images. After that, you will be able to click on the shapes and it will the shapes with the images that you selected one shape/image at a time.
4- Select all with the same (elements)
Now, this is a little trick that comes in handy if you name your layers properly. Select an object or text and go to Menu> Edit > Select all with the same… From here you can edit and change the same elements throughout your page and it will save you a tonne of time and effort.
5- The Shortcuts Cheatsheet
This is an important one. Knowing this will help you be so much more productive, just like it’s been helping us. Press Shift+Ctrl+? or use the burger menu on the left to see all Shortcuts in Figma.
If you’re wondering why some of them are blue and some gray, it’s because the blue ones are the ones that you’ve already used.
6- Copy page or element link
If you want to share your work, just press Command + L and the link to the page will be copied to your clipboard. Should you want to share just a specific frame or element, just select the frame/element and press Command + L and the link to that specific object will be copied to your clipboard. Upon opening the link, only your selected object will appear. Very handy if you want to share just an element with someone.
7- Cursor chat
Often seen as a gimmick, this is a handy little feature that allows you to talk and discuss small things with your collaborators and teammates in real-time without having to jump across different multiple software. To use it, simply press the / button on your keyboard or you can access it through the right-click menu.
8- Auto-width for text boxes
This handy little feature will allow you to change the text box width automatically according to the width of the content. Just double-click the right end of the text box and it will automatically wrap it to ‘auto-width’.
9- Rename and group your components
Select multiple objects, like icons, at once. Then you will see a dropdown menu in the top bar. From the dropdown menu, click ‘Create multiple components’. Press Command + R and Figma will give you the option to rename the layers. Choose a prefix, icons in this case, and then choose the list name according to your preference.
10- Version history
Sometimes we make a whole lot of changes to a file only to find out that we need to revert back. This handy feature comes into play. You can save versions for up to 30 days in Figma for free. You’d have to be a premium member to save it for longer. Nevertheless, it’s still an incredibly wonderful feature that can save the day. To use this feature, go to Menu > File > Show version history. Now you can see the timeline with all of the saved versions. From here you are able to view, share, duplicate, and most importantly, restore file versions.
Figma auto-saves file versions. But, if you want to save a specific version, simply press Command + Option + S or go to Menu > File > Save to version history to save your desired version.
11- Opacity trick
Why scroll through the properties panel to adjust the opacity when you can do it with this neat little thing? To change the opacity of shapes or elements quickly, simply press your desired percentage number, eg. 20 for 20%, 30 for 30%, and so on.
12- Auto Layout
Adding auto layout to your design will help you remove a big amount of repetitive work. Elements like buttons re-arrange themselves as you update the text. You can nest auto layout frames to create elements like cards, menus, and even pages. To add auto layout to an object or multiple objects, just select the object(s) and press Shift + A or right click and from the menu chose to add an auto layout. Auto layout is one of the most popular features of Figma, so make sure you use full advantage of this much-loved feature.
13- Design over the auto layout
We LOVE auto layout, but sometimes we just want to add a little element quickly without having to disrupt the auto-layout settings. This little trick helps you do exactly that. Just hold the spacebar as you drag the element over the auto layout set and boom!
14- Community for Plugins and Resources
Community is one of the best features of Figma. You’ll find a plethora of resources in Figma’s community section, as well as plugins. The plugins will make your work easier and will potentially save you a huge amount of time. Simply go to the Community section from your home and let the search begin.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog in which we will share some of our favorite Plugins and Resources from the Community.
Figma is full of features but these are some of our favorite features and tricks that we use. We hope you use these to improve your workflow and productivity. Happy designing!