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Add overlays

  1. Adobe XD User Guide
  2. Introduction
    1. What's new in Adobe XD
    2. Common questions
    3. Design, prototype, and share with Adobe XD
    4. System requirements
      1. Hardware and software requirements
      2. Adobe XD, Big Sur, and Apple silicon | macOS 11
    5. Workspace basics
    6. Change app language in Adobe XD
    7. Access UI design kits
    8. Accessibility in Adobe XD
    9. Keyboard shortcuts
    10. Tips and tricks
    11. Adobe XD subscription options
    12. Changes to XD Starter Plan
  3. Design
    1. Artboards, guides, and layers
      1. Get started with artboards
      2. Use guides and grids
      3. Create scrollable artboards
      4. Work with layers
      5. Create scroll groups
    2. Shapes, objects, and path
      1. Select, resize, and rotate objects
      2. Move, align, distribute, and arrange objects
      3. Group, lock, duplicate, copy, and flip objects
      4. Set stroke, fill, and drop shadow for objects
      5. Create repeating elements
      6. Create perspective designs with 3D transforms
      7. Edit objects using Boolean operations
    3. Text and fonts
      1. Work with drawing and text tools
      2. Fonts in Adobe XD
    4. Components and states
      1. Work with components
      2. Work with nested components
      3. Add multiple states to components
    5. Masking and effects
      1. Create a mask with shapes
      2. Work with blur effects
      3. Create and modify gradients
      4. Apply blend effects
    6. Layout
      1. Responsive resize and constraints
      2. Set fixed padding for components and groups
      3. Create dynamic designs with stacks
    7. Videos and Lottie animations
      1. Work with videos
      2. Create prototypes using videos
      3. Work with Lottie animations
  4. Prototype
    1. Create interactive prototypes
    2. Animate prototypes
    3. Object properties supported for auto-animate
    4. Create prototypes with keyboard and gamepad
    5. Create prototypes using voice commands and playback
    6. Create timed transitions
    7. Add overlays
    8. Design voice prototypes
    9. Create anchor links
    10. Create hyperlinks
    11. Preview designs and prototypes
  5. Share, export, and review
    1. Share selected artboards
    2. Share designs and prototypes
    3. Set access permissions for links
    4. Work with prototypes
    5. Review prototypes
    6. Work with design specs
    7. Share design specs
    8. Inspect design specs
    9. Navigate design specs
    10. Review and comment design specs
    11. Export design assets
    12. Export and download assets from design specs
    13. Group sharing for enterprise
  6. Design systems
    1. Design systems with Creative Cloud Libraries
    2. Work with document assets in Adobe XD
    3. Work with Creative Cloud Libraries in Adobe XD
    4. Migrate from linked assets to Creative Cloud Libraries
    5. Work with design tokens 
    6. Use assets from Creative Cloud Libraries
  7. Cloud documents
    1. Cloud documents in Adobe XD
    2. Collaborate and coedit designs
    3. Coedit documents shared with you
  8. Integrations and plugins
    1. Work with external assets
    2. Work with design assets from Photoshop
    3. Copy and paste assets from Photoshop
    4. Import or open Photoshop designs
    5. Work with Illustrator assets in Adobe XD
    6. Open or import Illustrator designs
    7. Copy vectors from Illustrator to XD
    8. Plugins for Adobe XD
    9. Create and manage plugins
    10. Jira integration for XD
    11. Slack plugin for XD
    12. Zoom plug-in for XD
    13. Publish design from XD to Behance
  9. XD for iOS and Android
    1. Preview on mobile devices
    2. Adobe XD on mobile FAQ
  10. Troubleshooting
    1. Known and fixed issues
      1. Known issues
      2. Fixed issues
    2. Installation and updates
      1. XD appears as not compatible on Windows
      2. Error code 191
      3. Error code 183
      4. Issues installing XD plugins
      5.  Prompt to uninstall and reinstall XD on Windows 10
      6. Issues with preferences migration
    3. Launch and crash
      1.  XD crashes when launched on Windows 10
      2.  XD quits when you sign out of Creative Cloud
      3. Issue with subscription status on Windows
      4. Blocked-app warning when launching  XD on Windows
      5. Crash dump generation on Windows
      6. Crash log collection and sharing
    4. Cloud documents and Creative Cloud Libraries
      1. Issues with XD cloud documents
      2. Issues with linked components
      3. Issues with libraries and links
    5. Prototype, publish, and review
      1. Unable to record prototype interactions on macOS Catalina
      2. Issues with publish workflows
      3. Published  links do not appear in browsers
      4. Prototypes do not render correctly in browsers
      5. Commenting panel suddenly showing up on shared links
      6. Unable to publish libraries
    6. Import, export, and working with other apps
      1. Import and export in XD
      2. Photoshop files in XD
      3. Illustrator files in XD
      4. Export to After Effects from XD
      5. Sketch files in XD
      6. Third-party apps not visible in Export

Learn how to add overlay to simulate interactive slide effects.

Adobe XD allows you to stack content on top of another artboard, rather than duplicate it on multiple artboards, to simulate effects such as drop-down lists, slide-up keyboards, and more. 

Keyboard appears as overlay on artboard
Keyboard appears as overlay on artboard

  1. In Design mode, select a source artboard and the other artboard to overlay it. You can reuse an overlay artboard multiple times. 

  2. In Prototype mode, drag-and-drop the connector from the source artboard to the artboard with the overlay content. Click the connector to view the Interaction panel that appears in Property Inspector and set the following options:

    • Trigger: Select an option.
    • Action: Select Overlay. If you want to assign two actions in a single trigger such as Tap, set the first Action + button in the Property Inspector to Overlay , and set the second Action + button to a non-transitional action such as Audio playback or Speech playback.
    • Animation: Select the animation type. If you select Slide Up or Slide Down, XD automatically positions the overlay to the edge of the source artboard.
    • Easing: Select an option to simulate easing effects.
    • Duration: Enter the time duration. The maximum duration you can set between two transitioning artboards is five seconds. 
    Adding keyboard as overlay on source artboard
    Adding keyboard as overlay on source artboard

  3. To adjust the position of an overlay on the source artboard, click, drag, and drop the green position knob (+).

  4. To preview your overlays in supported browsers, click 

Nested overlays

Adobe XD does not support nested overlays where you apply an overlay over another overlay. In such scenarios, when you connect the first overlay artboard to another artboard, the first overlay is transitioned out before transitioning in the second overlay. 

Examples and sample files

Want to create interactive overlays using background blur effects? 

  1. Choose a source artboard and an overlay artboard with a background blur. For information on how to add background blur, see Work with blur effects in XD
  2. Switch to Prototype mode to wire the source artboard to the overlay artboard.
  3. Choose the following options from the Property Inspector: 
    • Trigger: Select Tap.  
    • Action: Select Overlay.
    • Animation: Select Dissolve. 
    • Easing: Select Ease Out.
    • Duration: Enter 0.2s.
  4. Wire as many different source artboards to the overlay artboard. 
  5. Use Desktop Preview to preview the effect.

For a detailed tutorial and downloadable sample files, see Create an interactive overlay.

Want to learn how to use overlays to create a slide-in drop-down list effect? Watch the tutorial at the end of this example and follow these steps:

  1. Choose a source artboard and an overlay artboard that has a drop-down list of items.  
  2. Switch to Prototype mode to wire the source artboard to the overlay artboard. 
  3. Choose the following options from the Property Inspector: 
    • Trigger: Select Tap.  
    • Action: Select Overlay.
    • Animation: Select Slide Right.
    • Easing: Select Ease Out effect.
    • Duration: Enter 0.3s.
  4. Wire as many different source artboards to the overlay artboard. 
  5. Use Desktop Preview to preview the effect.

Learn more

To learn more about overlays in XD, watch this video.
Viewing time: 10 minutes

You can also check out the XD community for more such tutorials and sample files.

Best practices

"Overlay is a very powerful feature that has many uses. The tasks that users are trying to perform are becoming increasingly complex, and overlays can really help to take off the pressure". Says Oliver Lindberg. Check out his blog on best practices for designing overlays.

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