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Set fixed padding for components and groups

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Learn how to use fixed padding to create content-aware layouts such as buttons, drop-downs, tool tips, or modal dialogs with ease.

Adobe XD enables you to set fixed padding values on groups or components with states and automatically scale the background when content changes are made.

This reduces design friction and cognitive overload when creating buttons, drop-downs, tool tips, or modal dialogs.

Usage of padding to create content-aware layout

Unlike responsive resize that acts when you resize an entire group, padding acts when you change the content within a group.

Goodbye to manual resizing and hello to flexibility and faster workflows!

Work with padding

Padding is the distance from the visual background to the edge of the content on each side identified by a stretched background. 

XD automatically identifies a background when:

  • Any shape, group, or Boolean group is positioned lowest in the group or component layer, and 
  • Other elements overlap the lowest layer. 
Same padding values in all directions

To precisely control the background size of an object through padding, follow these steps: 

  1. From the Property Inspector, toggle to enable the padding button.
  2. Based on your design needs, set values for Same padding for all directions or Different padding for each direction.
Different padding values for each direction

You can view the Padding option only if the background element of the layer structure is positioned last in the group and it overlaps other objects.

When you move or resize the content within a group or component, XD identifies the background, calculates the padding values, and updates them in the Property Inspector.

The updated values are maintained in the group or component and the background is automatically resized. When a group or component has no visual background, the padding value is set to 0.

Want to modify the padding values?

Use any of the following options:

  • In the Property Inspector, update the existing padding values.
  • To resize padding on a canvas, press the  `  key, hover over the padding area, and drag.
  • To update the padding values on a group or component, manually resize or move the background on canvas.
  • To edit all the padding values, select Shift + `.
  • To edit opposing padding values, select  ` + Alt.


When you increase the padding values, XD creates an invisible padding that acts as a safe-space around logos or in a larger tap area for buttons when prototyping.

  • Want to change a label of a button? Type in the next text and the button resizes.
  • Want to add more rows in a dropdown? Use repeat grid to create more rows within a group and notice that the background resizes with the repeat grid.
Repeat grids and padding
Use repeat grid with padding

Padding in components with states

Components inherit the padding behavior from their master component. This means that the padding values set on the master component are synced across instances or states.

Padding override occurs when you:

  • Change the padding values on a component instance and in a master component, or
  • The instance does not update its padding values.

Things to keep in mind

  • When you enable padding:
    • All instances of components and states automatically inherit the property set on the master component or default state without the option to locally override them.
    • Send to Back option in the canvas positions any item in a group or component just above the group background.
  • If the background is a Boolean group, a mask, or a component, responsive resize rules are applied to resize the object.
  • If you delete a background, XD evaluates the group and automatically promotes the next potential layer as a background and updates the padding values. If there is no background layer, padding value is reset to 0.


  • Components and point text cannot act as a background for a group or component.
  • Padding does not animate in Prototype mode when using Hover or Tap states within the design content.

Examples and sample files

Want to change the label of a button without the label overflowing outside the button?

Sample files

  1. Download and open the sample button file in XD.
  2. Select the object and its background.
  3. To control the background and the content within the button, enable Padding in the Property Inspector.
  4. Based on your design needs, select and apply any of the padding options.

Learn more

Viewing time: 7 minutes.

What's next?

We've got you started with padding. Take a step forward and learn how to create interactive designs or prototypes and share them with stakeholders such as developers and fellow designers.

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Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online