In regards to designing templates for the Publisher, where do the biggest problems lie? Are there any possible workarounds for existing templates? To simplify the answer, we’ll split Sketch and InDesign up, since the way you create templates will slightly differ depending on which one you’ll use.
Generally, the Publisher is best suited for creating less complex templates, with as little running text as possible. Why? Simply because when applying lengthy text snippets or complex imagery, you could run the risk of creating inconsistencies. Business cards, posters, or ads are usually better suited than flyers, brochures or fact sheets. Text-heavy translation workflows can also prove tricky since text lengths can differ depending on the language.
Publisher only modifies elements in the source document that have actually been changed. For example, if no changes are made to an element, the element in the original document remains untouched. This means that even if elements don’t look quite right in Publisher, they are still rendered correctly when downloaded – because, essentially, they haven’t been modified.
The most important considerations to make when designing or converting Sketch documents for Publisher use are listed below. Please know that, since the Publisher is always evolving, changes may occur to the list.
Sketch Version: We support Sketch 49+; support may change according to changes in Sketch and its file format.
Artboard: A template must include at least one Artboard. Otherwise, nothing will be rendered upon export. Artboards must have unique names, as these artboard names are used for the export. Having multiple artboards named the same results in overwrites and missing artboards in the export.
Layers: Put editable layers into the foreground (as high up in the layers panel as possible), while non-editable layers should be in the background (as low in the layers panel as possible). This is due to the partial render mechanism: We try to render as much of the non-editable elements as possible in a static background image.
Grid/Layout: Don't show Grid or Layout in your Sketch files. This might cause issues with the layers in your templates.
Fonts: Custom fonts can’t be bundled with Sketch files; they need to be manually installed on the server. Please contact customer support to learn more.
Images: Do not rotate, mirror, or transform images if the intent is to have them changed by the consumer. Transformations will be kept when replacing images, which would leave the consumer confused when replacements are suddenly transformed. Also, make sure to use JPEG or PNG images, as Sketch will automatically inline SVGs as shapes; they won’t be replaceable in Publisher.
Add images as actual images and don't use "Image Fill" on a Shape.
Text: Split different text styles or elements (e.g., title and subtitle) into separate text fields. That way, they can be unlocked, edited, and styled independently. Because of differences in text-rendering between the browser and Sketch, line-breaks might end up earlier or later in the text.
Text boxes: Publisher respects the “Fix Size” control from Sketch, so be sure to set the appropriate setting if you need vertical or horizontal auto-growing text boxes.
Text lists: Lists are currently not supported.
Masks: Masks are currently not supported.
Symbols: Symbols are not supported, so make sure to “detach” them before importing the template to Publisher.
Combinations: Combinations of layers are not supported (Layer > Combine > Union, Intersect etc.) Use a vector path instead.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us.