Sketch vs Figma (best free mac apps)
|Ease of Use|
|Value for Money|
|FREE / PAID|
Free for individuals. Paid plans start at $12 per editor/month.
$99 per year. Features vary based on plan. Freemium version available.
🚀 Modern, rich in features, top for collaboration. Free for individuals. 👏
👍 All-around, solid choice for UI/UX design. A classic favorite, lacking in collaboration. 💰
Figma Pros & Cons
✔️ Real-time collaboration and sharing
🎯 Intuitive and user-friendly
☁️ Web-based (works on any OS)
📚 Extensive learning resources
⚖️ Great value, free for single users
Sketch Pros & Cons
🖌 Powerful drawing tools
🎨 Excellent color management
💾 Supports multiple file types
⚙️ Large plugin ecosystem
🔄 Good integration with other tools
👥 Solid community support
💾 Limited offline support
🛠 Some tools not as advanced as rivals
⚙️ Limited plugin ecosystem
💻 Requires high-performance hardware
🖥 No native app for Linux
💫 Can be overwhelming for beginners
👥 Limited collaboration features
☁️ No cloud support
📱 No mobile app
💵 Can get expensive
🧰 No built-in prototyping
Other best free mac apps
There are numerous free apps available for Mac that can considerably enhance your productivity and creativity. Some of the best include ‘Evernote’ for note-taking, ‘VLC Player’ for multimedia playback, ‘Gimp’ for image editing, ‘LibreOffice’ for office suite, ‘Slack’ for team communication, ‘Spotify’ for music streaming, and ‘Firefox’ for web browsing. Additionally, ‘Sketch’ and ‘Figma’ are excellent tools for vector graphics and UI design respectively.
Sketch offers a free 30-day trial, after which a paid license is required. Nevertheless, for students or educational institutions, Sketch provides a significantly discounted license. They also regularly update their software with new features, ensuring you get the best value for your money.
The free tier of Figma provides users with access to 3 projects, 30-day version history, and up to 2 editors, which is suitable for individual users or small teams. Its paid tiers offer unlimited projects, unlimited version history, premium design features, and more options for team collaboration, making them ideal for larger teams or professional designers.
Yes, Figma is available for use on a Mac. It is cloud-based and can be accessed through a web browser, ensuring it’s widely available across different operating systems, including Mac OS. There is also a Figma desktop app available for download specifically for Mac users.
Sketch is a vector-based design tool with a focus on user interface and user experience design. It offers features like artboards, symbols, and styles that streamline the design process, making it easier and faster for designers. Furthermore, it allows designers to prototype and collaborate within the app itself. Its integration with numerous plugins also extends its functionalities. However, it is only available for Mac OS, which makes it a sought-after tool among Mac users.
Sketch is primarily used for designing interfaces for mobile apps and websites. Its vector-based tools are ideal for creating complex shapes and working on intricate layouts. Furthermore, Sketch’s prototyping feature enables designers to test their interface designs easily, and its seamless integration with a wide range of plugins enhances its functionality.
Yes, Figma can be an excellent alternative to Sketch for Mac users. It offers most of the capabilities of Sketch along with additional features like built-in collaboration and cloud-based access. These features allow designers to work on projects remotely and in real time with other team members, something that Sketch does not natively support.
Figma has numerous benefits over Sketch including being platform-independent as it’s cloud-based, enabling users to access their designs on any device with a web browser. Additionally, Figma has real-time collaboration features built into the app which is beneficial for teams. It also provides features like component libraries, responsive design capabilities, and more comprehensive prototyping tools than Sketch.
Figma is primarily an online tool that requires an internet connection to access all its features and to synchronize your work across devices. However, with Figma desktop app for Mac, you can work on local files offline. The changes will be updated once you get back online.
As of Sketch version 71, the Sketch app introduced real-time collaboration features called Sketch for Teams. This allows multiple users to edit and work on the same Sketch file simultaneously, making collaboration more seamless for teams. However, it should be noted that this feature is only available with a Sketch for Teams license, which is separate from the normal Sketch license.
Yes, Sketch and Figma can easily coexist in a design workflow. Designers often begin their process in Sketch due to its expansive toolkit and then import their work into Figma for collaboration and prototyping, courtesy of Figma’s superior handling of these aspects. However, the workflow can vary based on individual or team preferences and requirements.
Yes, Figma does allow importing of Sketch files. In fact, Figma maintains the layer structure and editable properties of Sketch files fairly well, allowing for a seamless transition from one tool to another. This is particularly useful if you are transitioning from Sketch to Figma or if you work collaboratively with others who use Sketch.
Figma’s prototyping capabilities are more extensive than Sketch’s. Sketch primarily focuses on basic click-through prototypes, whereas Figma allows for an interactive experience with custom animations, overlays, scrolling, and even input forms. This makes Figma a more suitable tool for usability testing and dynamic presentations.
Yes. Although Figma is primarily a web-based tool, it does offer a desktop app for Mac. The Figma desktop app provides a bit more performance and functionality than the browser version. You can download it from the Figma downloads page.
No, unlike Figma, the Sketch app does not require an internet connection to work. Once you have installed it on your Mac, you can create and edit files on Sketch app offline. However, if you want to use Sketch for Teams or use the updates and cloud services, then an internet connection would be needed.
To run Sketch, your Mac needs to be running macOS High Sierra (10.13.4) or later. On the other hand, as Figma is a browser-based tool, it will run on any system that supports Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. However, for the best experience with Figma, a fast internet connection is recommended. The Figma Desktop App for Mac requires macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or later.
There isn’t a standalone mobile app for Sketch. However, the company did launch Sketch Mirror for iOS, an app that allows you to preview your Sketch designs on an iOS device. For Figma, there is no standalone mobile application, but Figma Mirror is available for both iOS and Android. It allows you to view your designs from your Figma desktop app live across all your Android and iOS devices.
Both Sketch and Figma provide detailed documentation and tutorials on their official websites(Sketch Learn, Figma Help Center) which are great resources for beginners. Additionally, websites like YouTube, Udemy, and Skillshare offer numerous video tutorials and courses on Sketch and Figma taught by experienced designers. Practice, experimentation, and implementing these tools in real projects is the key to mastering them.
Both Sketch and Figma support various plugins that can enhance your design workflow. ‘Runner Pro’, ‘Sketch2React’, ‘Automate sketch’, ‘Anima’ are popular ones for Sketch while ‘Unsplash’, ‘Content Reel’, ‘Autoflow’, ‘Figmotion’ are well-received by Figma users. Choosing the best plugins can depend on your specific needs and working style.
A must-have free Mac app for a graphic designer is definitely Figma. With its advanced design tools and a resourceful collaborative environment, Figma has become a favorite among professionals and beginners alike. You can find the app here.
No, Sketch is not entirely free for Mac. It offers a free trial period after which it becomes a paid app. However, its extensive functionality and ease of use make it worth the investment. You can download the trial version here.
The Figma Community is an incredible resource for learning to use the tool effectively. It hosts numerous tutorials, design examples, and plugins for users to learn from and get inspired. You can access the community here.
Theoretically, yes. Both Sketch and Figma serve similar functions in interface design. However, Figma has more robust collaboration features while Sketch has stronger integration with other Mac applications. It ultimately depends on the specific needs of your projects.
Along with Figma and Sketch, there are several other free apps that are beneficial for a Mac user. For instance, Alfred enhances productivity, Amphetamine keeps your Mac awake, and AppCleaner helps to thoroughly uninstall unwanted apps. Find these and more in the App Store.
Yes, in majority of cases, you need to be connected to the Internet to use Figma because it operates in the cloud. However, you can still edit files offline if you had them opened before you lost your internet connection.
Sketch has robust integration with macOS and its native features. It also supports more plugins than Figma, providing greater customizability. Hence, it might serve better in some design situations.
Yes, it’s pretty straightforward to migrate from Sketch to Figma. Figma has a built-in Sketch import feature which allows you to bring your Sketch design files directly into Figma with minimal conversion issues.
With its recent updates, Sketch now includes Sketch for Teams, which offers features like real-time collaboration, version control, and shared libraries. However, Sketch for Teams is a paid feature.
Yes, Figma has a mobile app called Figma Mirror available for Android and iOS. It allows you to view your designs in real-time on your mobile device as you edit them on your computer.
Yes, the Figma interface is quite intuitive and very user-friendly for beginners. Also, it has a helpful support team and a resourceful community where you can find various tips and tutorials.
No, Sketch is exclusively designed for macOS. Users who want similar functionality on a Windows machine might consider Figma or Adobe XD as alternatives.
To run Figma efficiently on a Mac, you should have MacOS 10.12 (Sierra) or later, a minimum of 4GB RAM, and preferably an Intel processor. The more powerful your device, the smoother Figma runs, especially for large designs.
Figma is a lightweight cloud-based tool which means it will not overload your Mac with data. However, like any other design tool, it will draw on your computer’s resources, especially when handling complex tasks or large files. The impact on performance will depend on the specifications of your Mac.
The principal difference between Sketch and Figma lies in the fact that Figma is browser-based and more focused on team collaboration, whereas Sketch is a macOS-only application known for its seamless operating system integration.
Yes, Figma provides a free tier version of its design tool, which includes up to three projects and unlimited file storage. The free version also allows you to collaborate with up to two editors.
The transition from Sketch to Figma may require a little time to get used to Figma’s interface and functionalities. However, the similarities between the two applications should make the learning curve manageable.
While Sketch doesn’t come with real-time collaboration like Figma, it does offer Shared Libraries and Sketch Cloud, allowing multiple users to access and update designs.
Yes, since Figma is a web-based tool, it’s compatible with multiple operating systems including Mac, Windows, Linux and Chrome OS.
Both Sketch and Figma have strengths in UI/UX design. Sketch’s integration with macOS and rich plugin support make it a powerful tool. Meanwhile, Figma’s real-time collaboration features and cloud-based nature add flexibility. The choice depends on your team’s specific needs and work environment.