View design specs published from Adobe XD, which enable you to inspect the flows, measurements, and styles.

The Design Specs (Beta) feature is an early look at improving the communication between designers and developers. A designer can generate a public URL in XD for sharing with a developer. On accessing the link, a developer can inspect the flows, measurements, and styles of the design.

Note:

Design Specs is currently a Beta feature. A feature labeled Beta means that:

  • The feature addresses a subset of use cases within a larger workflow (that is, designers handing off designs to developers).
  • We expect requests for additional depth and breadth in functionality which we’ll look to tackle before removing the Beta label.
  • The feature’s availability and delivery are subject to change.
  • You can expect the same quality and performance as you would of any other feature we deliver.

Before you start

To view a design spec, you need the following:

  • A link to the design spec (that you receive from the designer)
  • Desktop browser and internet connection. For more information on supported browser versions, see System requirements.

Note: Mobile browsers are not supported/recommended for viewing design specs.

Note:

Design Spec links are public and accessible to anyone with a link. To make accessing Design Specs more seamless, effective as of March 21, 2018, viewing a published Design Specs no longer requires a sign-in with an Adobe ID.

For more information, see Change to Design Specs (Beta) for Adobe XD.

View end-user experience workflow

Developers can view the sequence and flow of artboards in the UX flow view.

This view of all the screens in the design specs is really useful. It allows the developer to understand:

  • The number of screens that need to be developed (useful for planning the development work) 
  • The sequence and flows in the design specs (useful for understanding the end-user workflow)
  • The date when the design specs was last updated
The UX flow view that provides you an overview of the project
The UX flow view that provides you an overview of the project

In this view, you can perform the following actions: 

  • Search for a specific screen by name and view it. If the screen is within the viewport, the screen is highlighted. If the screen is not within the viewport, the design spec scrolls to the screen.
  • Hover the mouse over individual screens to see how they are connected to each other. 
  • Zoom and pan to view specific details. In UX flow view, after all the screens in the design specs are displayed in the viewport, you cannot pan further. 
    Zoom keyboard shortcuts:
    • CMD/Ctrl + Mousewheel,
    • CMD/Ctrl + +/- keys to zoom
    • CMD+0 to reset zoom

Pan keyboard shortcuts:
Space+Click and Drag, or Shift + arrow key (for a faster pan)

  • Other keyboard shortcuts you can use:
    • Set the focus on a screen, and use left and right arrow keys to go through the screens in the UX flow view
    • Press enter to go to Spec view. Press Esc to return to UX flow view
  • Click the artboard to see the detailed view of the artboard.

In-app help is available to guide you while using the design specs. Notifications appear at the bottom of the screen providing hints on the pan and zoom, the click to copy, and the retaining connections features. 

Inspect design specifications

The default view shows the colors and character styles used on the screen. Click the artboard to view the artboard dimensions.

To the right of the screen, you can see all the unique colors and character styles used on that screen. When you hover the mouse over the colors or the character styles on the right, you can see the instances where they have been used on the screen.

Click a color or character style to copy it.

Inspect text properties, copy character styles, and content, and view measurements
Inspect text properties, copy character styles, and content, and view measurements

Change color formats

You can change the color formats. So, for example, if you prefer to work in HSLA, use the drop-down list to convert the color format into HSLA. This change is persistent across the entire session - the same color formats are used when you view other screens.

Convert colors from one format to another
Convert colors from one format to another

Inspect measurements

You can inspect the measurements of elements on the screen. Select an element on the screen, and view its height and width co-ordinates.

To find out the spacing between objects, select the element, then hover the mouse over other elements on the screen to see the relative distances.

Inspecting the measurements of objects
Inspecting the measurements of objects

Inspect text properties

You can also inspect the properties of text on the screen. Select a line of text, and see its character styles. You can also copy the character styles, color values, and the content from the design specs.

Adobe XD is unit-less and focuses on the relationships between elements. So, for example, if you design an iPhone 6/7 artboard at 375x667 units, and it uses type with a 10 unit font size - that relationship remains the same, no matter what physical size your design is scaled to.

However, the Design Specs appends the default units like px, pt, and dp as per the platform to the base unitless measurements, so that you better understand the measurements with the platform you are developing for. You can also change the unit of measurements from one unit to another in the design specs.

Changing the unit of measurements
Changing the unit of measurements

View and inspect layout grid properties

If the designer chose to use layout grids in the design, you can view and inspect it when viewing a screen in Design Specs. 

The values listed are the values set by the designer. If you hover over property labels, they are highlighted on the displayed screen.

To view layout grids, move the layout grid slider to the right. This option turns the layout grids on for all the screens in the Design Specs. To switch off layout grids, move the slider to the left. You can also control the transparency of the layout grid by moving the Opacity slider.

If your screen does not have any layout grids, the layout grids section is not displayed.

Inspect layout grids in Design Specs
Inspect layout grids in Design Specs

In the UX flow view, you can see an overview of all the screens in the spec. From there you can click individual screens and navigate through them.

Navigating between screens
Navigating between screens

At the bottom of the screen, click the Home icon to go to the Home screen. You can click the left and right arrows to move from one screen to the other. 

If you click linked objects on the screen, you can see the target screen on the right. Click the target screen to navigate to it.

To get back to UX flow view from the Spec view, press Esc on the keyboard.

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