It's time Sketch fixed their font issues

over 7 years ago from , Product Designer at Dropbox

Line-height in Sketch has been a major pain point for me in since I started using it full time. It's an amazing app! I work much faster with it than any other program, but it's gotten to be incredibly frustrating how many glaring issues there are with fonts – particularly with line heights. It's easy enough to adjust a line-height until it looks the way you desired, but when you want to hand the file off to an engineer, none of the values line up to how they should build it. It's not even consistent with it's inconsistency, so you can't say 1sp in Sketch = 1.5sp in css or obj-c. And how the text sits within the container is another major problem to itself.

I've seen some people say it's an issue with the font file, but that can't be true since other apps render the font properly.

Here's an example: Sketch vs Illustrator

The only way the folks at Bohemian Coding prioritize this issue is if we push them. So please, those of you that share this pain point with me, let's ask them!


  • Liam SarsfieldLiam Sarsfield, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    Dear Sketch:

    We love your product. It's infinitely better than the expensive, load-heavy, inaccurate Photoshop, which we've struggled with for so many years. Your product has made it a lot easier for us to iterate. It's reduced the amount of time that we have to spend interacting with our tools. That's amazing. We appreciate you, and we think you're doing a really great job. Now, there's this issue with line-height. It's a real pain in the butt. And we'd like to ask you to fix it before you move on to other features. When it comes to features, we're doing just fine with what we have for the moment. Anyway, thank you for listening, and for making such an amazing product, and we're sorry if we got a little screechy. We care about line-height a lot.

    Your friends, —DN.

    62 points
  • Robert PaigeRobert Paige, over 7 years ago

    Also that underline option. They need to be able to have the thing customizable.

    I wish I had the option to make that thing thicker. Or moved down lower.

    Am I right?

    42 points
    • Dave SDave S, over 7 years ago

      If we're already at it: Why is there no option to customize bullet points (or is there?).

      1 point
      • John PJohn P, over 7 years ago

        Do ANY Adobe apps actually have either of these options?

        Just to play devils advocate I don't think that they do and the way you two are talking is as if this is a massive oversight when the industry standard software hasn't added these features in over 20 years it has existed

        6 points
        • Arthur Lambillotte, over 7 years ago

          indesign has these options

          8 points
          • John PJohn P, over 7 years ago

            Ok... so InDesign isn't a screen design tool. Why do Photoshop, Comet and Illustrator get a free pass?

            0 points
            • Cody IddingsCody Iddings, over 7 years ago

              Why is it not a screen design tool? It's a multi-page vector layout tool.

              5 points
            • J. C.J. C., over 7 years ago

              I haven't tried InDesign for screen work, but I know it has an option to choose Screen as intent and set page size in pixels when making a new document.

              0 points
              • John PJohn P, over 7 years ago

                I on the other hand have, it's absolutely awful and only really suitable for e-magazine work

                0 points
          • Cody IddingsCody Iddings, over 7 years ago

            Yes. After using Sketch, Photoshop and seeing project comet alpha I will safely say that Indesign has these options. Always. No one looks to the best program for inspiration.

            0 points
        • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, over 7 years ago

          Any chance of indenting paragraphs? No, not at all possible in Sketch; negates the whole argument of custom bullet points.

          1 point
  • vadim mikhnovvadim mikhnov, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    It gets gradually worse even. Last few updates made some fonts (Arial, Helvetica Neue, Times New Roman, PT Sans, Verdana to be specific) fail to keep line-height consistent. It's completely bananas.

    Just look at this: Figure 1 Notice how text starts falling off the grid immediately more and more.

    Okay you say, let's see if changing it a notch down will help. Nope: Figure 2 Now it falls off at the fourth line.

    I'm not asking Sketch to replicate line-height behavior in the numbers that will be useful to devs. First, you have different platforms (iOS, Android, WP, Web with all the multitude of browsers) which all treat this stuff differently. So it's not a humble task. But at least keep the fucking line-height consistent. If I set it to something it's supposed to stay so, not to transform to a fucking mess on an odd line.

    25 points
  • Peiran TanPeiran Tan, over 7 years ago

    Khoi Vinh already ranted about it.

    Also they got crappy support for mixing typefaces within the same text frame. I ranted to them in customer support Email and they said they're working on it, somehow.

    16 points
  • Erik Friberg, over 7 years ago

    Oh good, I posted this as a bug 1 1/2 year ago with super detailed photos and examples. Never heard back from bohemian and I sort of started to think I was the only one complaining...

    9 points
  • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, over 7 years ago

    GAH! This, this awful turd that's ruining an otherwise great product. Just try and select text when you have a mix of line heights, it's just so frustrating!

    All of the typography needs a rethink, bugs, implementation and workflow.

    9 points
  • Nathan Godding, over 7 years ago

    You're not alone. It's super frustrating. We explored a few line-height issues here and found a "solution" for some fonts: https://www.designernews.co/stories/55303-sketch-lineheight-bug

    Here's another thread from a few months ago: http://sketchtalk.io/discussion/1544/sketch-3-4-line-height-bug

    I emailed support about it, and they said they're working on it...these problems have existed for a long time though so it must be difficult for them to solve.

    7 points
  • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, over 7 years ago

    I would also like it, if I could choose weather guides snap to the line-height-edges or the glyph-edges of the text.

    6 points
  • chris jacobs, over 7 years ago

    There are so many issues with Sketch - I've lost count. I want to love it like nothing else in this world, but these type issues, live-guide issues, masking issues, aligning issues...resizing issues... Blech! The list goes on. It's absolutely hysterical when I talk to my colleagues about Sketch...they all say the same thing; "I love it! I hate it!"

    let's face it, version 3 is much better than 2 - but the Mirror app still isn't working...again...lots of issues that need to be sorted until this app becomes something Adobe will worry about (which I'm sure they are already - and should be). Now let's talk about the new version of Photoshop! - oh wait... another thread!

    6 points
  • Sean WoodSean Wood, over 7 years ago

    This issue is killing me. To the point where my project has had to move back to illustrator. It's so bad I would recommend that they release no new feature until it's fixed. Love the app but my projects are type driven...

    6 points
  • Taurean BryantTaurean Bryant, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    I have consistently heard (and this applies to me as well) that the issues with how type is rendered is the sole reason it can't be used. So much of design is type, its strange that this is still ignored despite being such a glaring issue.

    TLDR; If sketch 4 was just an update that fixed all of the type issues, I'd happily pay

    5 points
    • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, over 7 years ago

      Paid for one full license and an upgrade.

      Been patient, but everything related to typography is tedious and, from my experience, completely broken.

      I would be really quite annoyed to pay for these issues to be fixed.

      0 points
      • Taurean BryantTaurean Bryant, over 7 years ago

        Those other releases provided a lot of other improvements. If they had a release that was truly dedicated to fixes and features related to typography, I'd gladly pay and I think thats fair.

        0 points
        • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, over 7 years ago

          Typography is such a fundamental part of design and design software I see it as a basic feature to get right, or at very least painless to use.

          They'd have to release some heavy type related features for me to even contemplate a paid upgrade.

          If they fix the line height issues in their next update then great, they have retained a customer who will probably pay for the next major release.

          0 points
  • Tom WoodTom Wood, over 7 years ago

    Whilst I find this issue annoying, when I move into code I always manually adjust these settings. I'd understand if it came to print, but as Sketch serves me as a very very high fidelity blueprint, the rest must always be tweaked in css.

    I don't work in app development, so can't speak to that, but in web design adjusting line heights is par for the course, no? Designs always look lovely in Sketch, but when I start building them I find that certain things I thought looked good need to be adjusted to suit all the gazillion screen sizes out there. So really this issue becomes a hiccup which I find it simple enough to work around.

    2 points
  • David AlandíDavid Alandí, over 7 years ago

    It's time to stop complaining about a young and wonderful software developed by a small team that plays in the same league as big evil companies.

    2 points
    • Ivan BozicIvan Bozic, over 7 years ago

      I hope this is a sarcastic comment. :)

      We should complain, because this is an important issue that has been bugging Sketch users for a long time. I think we need to be civil about this and take into account that Bohemian is a great, albeit a small team.

      9 points
    • Kyle ConradKyle Conrad, over 7 years ago


      3 points
    • Michael RurkaMichael Rurka, over 7 years ago

      People are complaining, but everyone knows Sketch is still awesome, and every complain is meant with lots of love. Everyone knows that. Bohemian knows that :)

      Think of it as an emotional charged feature request ;)

      1 point
  • Chris Aalid, over 7 years ago

    Completely agree, it's getting exhausting.

    2 points
  • Cameron BurgessCameron Burgess, over 7 years ago

    "And how the text sits within the container is another major problem to itself."


    1 point
  • Tal Flanchraych, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    We often use Zeplin to export measurements for developers, but since there is no option to have the bounding box be constrained to the text height rather than the line height, they have no way of accurately measuring how many px or dp or whatever is needed between the type and other elements. I would love some better settings here.

    0 points
  • Ziya FennZiya Fenn, over 7 years ago

    Ah, glad that someone said about that! But there is also another major problem related to text line height!

    When i use a font and then need to make some changes in the font (f.e. adding some glyphs, yes sometimes i need to do that...) It crushes whole line height of the font completely! That drives me nuts.

    0 points
  • Marissa Christy, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    I've been able to get around this issue by turning on a grid with my target line-height to manually tweak a piece of text's line-height to match its "real", non-Sketch value (e.g 31.5 approximates 32 for my project's font). I then save these adjusted text/line-height pairs as a text style with the correct name (e.g. 24/32). I only use a handful of line-heights in a given file so it's not hard for me to remember that 31.5 =32. But I'll admit this is pretty hacky and more than once my peers have questioned the decimal specificity of my line-height values.

    0 points
  • Christian Krammer, over 7 years ago

    Good luck with that. Bohemian give a damn about the community. You don't want to know how many bug reports, feature requests and suggestions I've sent them in the last year, but not a single one has been fixed, some of them being there for a long time. But who cares at Bohemian? They don't even reply to my mails andmore ...

    0 points
  • Maurio Leon Guerrero, over 7 years ago

    Word. They need to move on this sh-t. Figma's a bit better but has it's own quirks.

    0 points
  • Alex CicanAlex Cican, over 7 years ago

    Agree, this issue is annoying.

    0 points
  • Stan HerbenStan Herben, over 7 years ago

    Does somebody else get thinner font weights than they're supposed to be on retina? Like when I'm using Gotham book, it looks like light. But when you export it, it will get much fatter. (I'm using a 5k iMac)

    0 points
    • Peiran TanPeiran Tan, over 7 years ago

      Subpixel Antialiasing.

      0 points
    • Chris LeckieChris Leckie, over 7 years ago

      I've found when you use a blending mode anywhere in a document it enables subpixel antialiasing even if it's turned off.

      1 point
      • John PJohn P, over 7 years ago

        If you look into what blend modes actually do then it makes perfect sense to turn off subixel antialiasing when interacting with them.

        0 points