Sketch is a modern graphics design app for macOS that took the world by storm after its release in 2010. It is now the staple for the web, mobile, UI / UX and icon design. The app is universally loved and has very few direct competitors, but unfortunately, due to the technologies exclusive to macOS that it relies on, the developers are not considering releasing it on Windows and Linux. While a good number of graphics designers use Macs, many do not, and thus, Sketch’s Mac exclusivity becomes a problem. So, if you are primarily a Windows or Linux user, here are the 8 best Sketch alternatives for Windows and Linux that you can use in 2019.
Best Sketch Alternatives for Windows and Linux in 2019
Figma is one of the best Sketch alternatives for Windows and it brings a robust and powerful UI/UX designing tool. The tool is browser based which comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of being a browser-based tool is that you can use it on any operating system including Windows, Linux, and macOS. Also, you won’t have to download any software or patch or update it as everything happens in the background. On the flip side, you will need a constant internet connection to use its web app. Recently, the company has also launched native apps for Windows and macOS platforms, however, there’s still no app for Linux users.
The UI of Figma is very much like Sketch so you will find yourself right at home. Coming to its features, Figma brings feature-rich prototyping tool which allows you to quickly create beautiful prototypes and allows you to share them with your client with just one click. Its pen tool is very powerful and uses vector networks. It also supports 60 FPS interactive editing with pixel-perfect previews and export. Another benefit of Figma is that all your work is automatically synced to the cloud with specific version history so you don’t have to worry about saving or uploading your files.
Figma also works great for teams. There’s a shared team library where all the assets are shared across the team members so they all have access to the same assets at all the time. That said, this feature is reserved for professional users only. Figma has received a ton of praise from designers across the board and you should definitely check it out.
Availability: Windows, macOS, and Web (Free, $12/month)
2. Adobe XD
Adobe is a giant in the creative industry and seems to offer a tool for all the creative needs. Similar to all of its other popular creating apps, Adobe XD is a powerful tool which can easily replace the Sketch app for Windows users. The app offers powerful UI and UX designing tools which can help you go from wireframing to prototyping. The app also brings familiar user interface and if you have ever used Sketch or any other such app in the past, you will find Adobe XD quite easy to get used to.
Adobe CD brings a plethora of features including fast and versatile artboards, modern and contextual layers panel, support for Illustrator and PSD files, interactive transitions, drag and drop controls, zero lag time while interacting with the canvas, and more. One of the biggest benefits of Adobe XD is that it also comes with mobile apps which allows you to preview files on your smartphone. This means you will be able to see exactly how your designs look on a smartphone without having to code it. Other features of Adobe XD include voice prototyping, responsive resizing, auto-animate, and more. If you are looking for the best Sketch alternatives it should be on your list.
Availability: Windows, macOS (Free, $9.99/month)
3. Affinity Designer
The Apple Design Award winning vector editor Affinity Designer was originally created as an alternative for Adobe Illustrator. That, however, does not negate the fact that depending on the use case, it is one of the best Sketch alternatives on the market. I have been a long time user of Affinity Designer on Mac and I am happy to report that the Windows version is no different than the Mac version when it comes to features. That means you are not essentially sacrificing on any feature if you are buying it for your Windows machine. Affinity Designer brings in robust pen and node tools allowing users to create what they want with just a few clicks.
The software also supports custom keyboard shortcuts so you can customize how the app works according to your needs. Other features of Designer include tool and mode switching support, support for multiple artboards, symbols panel, constraints for UI design, corner and pencil tool, and more. Another benefit of Affinity Designer is that you when you buy it, you get “Grade UI Kit” for free which brings over 1000 customizable elements, icons, panels. and buttons. While the software is not as powerful as Sketch when it comes to UI/UX design, it is a worthy alternative for Windows users.
Availability: Windows / macOS ($49.99)
Vectr is a free graphics designing tool which can be used to create graphics easily and intuitively. The app doesn’t come with a massive learning curve and anyone including beginners can get up and running with the software quite easily. Vectr also comes with both written and video tutorials which is a great place to start if you are just starting your design journey. Like Figma, Vectr can either be used online in a browser or using its native apps which are available for both Linux and Windows devices.
Apart from the normal UI/UX designing features which you can expect from such a software, Vectr brings a ton of other cool features. My favorite is the real-time collaboration link feature. The feature basically allows you to send a link to the project you are working on to other Vectr users so that you both can work on the same project in real time. Also, all your work is automatically uploaded and saved to the cloud so you don’ have to worry about any of that. While Vectr is not as powerful as some of the other tools on this list if you are looking for an easy to use alternative for Sketch which can help you get started, this is the app for you.
Availability: Windows, Linux, and Web (Free)
5. Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator is easily the most well-known and feature-rich vector graphics editor in the world. From logos, icons, mobile and web design to sketching, print design and typography, Illustrator lets you do it all. Just like most other Adobe titles, the community for guides, tutorials and resources, both free and paid is enormous.
Some of the features include perspective drawing tools, shaper tool, live shapes, dynamic symbols, smart guides, multiple artboards, transparency in gradients, and live gradient editing. Using Illustrator through the Creative Cloud also brings additional features such as cloud syncing, which lets you access your designs from anywhere, companion apps for Android and iOS, and access to Adobe’s collection of millions of royalty-free images, graphics and videos.
While Illustrator is great for digital illustrations (hence the name), and general-purpose vector design, it does not have a workflow for product and interface / UX design. It is certainly doable, but lacks the versatility of Sketch in this department.
Availability: Windows, macOS (Free 7-day trial; $19.99/mo with Creative Cloud)
6. Gravit Designer
Gravit Designer has evolved a lot over the past few years and has become the best free and open source Sketch alternative for both Windows and Linux users. First of all, now the app not only works on the web but also offers native applications for all the three major desktop platforms including macOS, Windows, and Linux. That is a huge update as now users don’t have to rely on browsers to get the work done as they can use the native apps which feel much more at home and are normally faster than the web app. Talking about the features Gravit not only includes tools for screen design, interface design, vector graphics, and logo creation but it also allows users to create high-quality icons, presentation, and illustrations.
It comes loaded with preset canvas sizes, over 29,000 icons, more than 1,000 stock photos, a curated list of Google web fonts and a community marketplace where you can purchase assets for your projects. Another benefit of using Gravit Designer is that it keeps everything in sync with the cloud. Also, now you don’t need a constant internet connection to use this app as it can work offline and the changes you made are automatically synced when you go online. The new app also brings a clean UI which adjust itself according to your needs. Overall, Gravit is an excellent app and is better than most of the paid apps out there. It’s definitely one of the best Sketch alternatives that you will find on the market right now.
Availability: Windows, Linux, macOS, and Web (Free)
The venerable open-source tool Inkscape is a general purpose vector graphics editor. While it is neither as feature-rich, nor as powerful as Sketch, it makes up for the shortcomings by being cross-platform and extremely lightweight. It has support for importing the greatest number of file formats, including Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Microsoft Visio and Sketch (using an extension).
Inkscape packs in features such as flexible drawing tools, including a pencil tool for freehand drawing, a pen tool for creating Bézier curves and straight lines, a text tool, and other powerful tools for illustrations, web design, and general vector image editing. Due to it being free and cross-platform, it is a great tool for students, people with older computers, and beginners to vector graphic design.
Availability: Windows, Linux, macOS (Free)
8. Xara Designer Pro
Xara Designer Pro is one of the most comprehensive solutions for graphics design. Other than basic support for vector design, it has tools for illustrations, web design, photo editing and more. Some of the advanced features include Live Effects, non-destructive photo handling, vector masking, layer blending, website creation tools, and support for PDF and PSD file formats.
Compared to the UI / UX design bent of Sketch, Xara is a more of a general-purpose graphic design application, offering something for nearly everyone. It is also much more conductive towards web design. If all you need is basic raster and vector image editing, Xara is overkill for you, both in scope and in price. Fortunately, you can choose to buy only the Graphic Design, or Web Design components separately.
Note: During installation, Xara offered to install a “PC cleaner” app called Simplyclean, marked to be installed by default. This qualifies as bloatware and is simply unacceptable for a program of Designer Pro’s repute and price.
Design Your Next Project with These Sketch Alternatives
We hope you found these Sketch alternatives for Windows and Linux useful. Although Sketch’s capabilities and workflow for UI and UX design are unrivaled so far outside of the macOS ecosystem, things are not so bad in general vector and raster graphics editing. Even in the interface design domain, things are looking up with the imminent release of Adobe’s Experience Design for Windows. Did you like these Sketch alternatives? Have more to share? Let us know by dropping us a line in the comments section below.