For a very long time Adobe’s Photoshop has been the go-to app for image editing but also for UI design. Despite some of its limitations, people kept using Photoshop to design websites and web apps even tho, at its core, Photoshop is just an image editing software.

On September 7th, 2010, the dutch company Bohemian Coding released Sketch, a vector-based graphics editor. The software got better and better with each version and in the past 2 years it has been adopted on a very large scale by designers.

Now, in 2017, Sketch has reached version 4 (or 40+, as dubbed by its creators) and even tho Photoshop has been fitted with a couple of great features, Sketch is still the preferred tool for UI and icon design.

Here are 5 reasons why Sketch is better than Photoshop.

1. The Purpose

Sketch was built specifically for web and UI design, while Photoshop is mainly a photo editor. Sure, the stuff you can do in Sketch is also doable in Photoshop, but it’s not as easy.

For example, Sketch has something called artboards — basically separate canvases. A neat feature that allows for awesome organization. Photoshop also has artboards (tho only introduced recently) and they perform a similar function, but somehow they don’t work as well as the Sketch ones.

2. Vector vs. Raster

Sketch is a vector app, while Photoshop is raster. What does this mean for an UI designer? Well, it means if you suddenly decide you want all your design assets at 2x instead of 1x, that’s doable by clicking a button in Sketch but it’s not so easy in Photoshop.

3. Speed

Sketch is just so much faster than Photoshop. And I’m not just talking about boot times. I’m talking about speed in general. Switching between pages, artboards and even documents is a breeze in Sketch. Photoshop still struggles in this department, even if you run it on a high-end machine.

Also, dealing with very large files is not a problem in Sketch. Photoshop on the other hand still struggles greatly with this.

4. The Measuring and Aligning Systems

Hands down, these systems work so much better in Sketch. You can very easily measure the distance between two elements or an element and the boundaries of the artboard and you can also align these very quickly by using some neat custom shortcuts in macOS. For more details on how to do that, check out this tutorial.

5. Symbols, Global Styles and Shared Styles

Some of the greatest features of Sketch are represented by symbols, global styles and shared styles. These allow you to reuse elements, shape properties and text styles.

A recent addition is nested symbols which takes things up one level, allowing you to create a really awesome workflow.

Photoshop has something similar, in the form of Smart Objects, but they’re harder to work with and less flexible.

Honorable Mentions

These are the 5 main reasons Sketch is better than Photoshop. Of course there are many more reasons why you should switch, so here are a few more that might convince you:

  1. Sketch has built in, customizable grids
  2. Sketch has a better color picker
  3. Sketch has a better export feature
  4. Sketch has a built in CSS code extraction tool
  5. Sketch is a one-time purchase, while Photoshop can only be used with a Creative Cloud subscription.