How to convert a Sketch design file into a layered Photoshop file

How to convert a Sketch design file into a layered Photoshop file

We recently experimented with Sketch as our main UI design tool and thoroughly enjoyed it. We found it to be perfect for our needs. However, we eventually ran into a snag when our animator (who uses Windows) needed the UI in PSD format so that he could take it into Adobe Premier and After Effects to work on it.

After scouring the Internet for quite some time, looking for Sketch plugins, tutorials or anything of the sort that might have the ability to convert a Sketch file into a PSD file, we came up empty. We tried exporting the Sketch file to EPS, SVG and every other format possible, but found major problems with each approach.

The Solution

Eventually however, we found a nice software that we managed to use as an intermediary layer between Sketch and Photoshop, called Affinity Designer. We were able to bring a Sketch file into Affinity and export it to PSD with layer separation in-tact.

Here is a tutorial on how you can achieve the same result.


1. Open the Sketch design file, select the artboard and Copy it.

Sketch to Photoshop Step 1

2. Open Affinity Designer and paste the Sketch file by selecting File > New from Clipboard.

Sketch to Photoshop Step 2

3. In Affinity, click File > Export, and make sure you select the PSD tab before hitting Export.

Sketch to Photoshop Step 3

4. Open the newly exported file in Photoshop with layers available.

Sketch to Photoshop Step 4

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This method definitely has its limitations. Each layer is flattened when brought into Affinity, which means that if you want to make changes to vector shapes or text layers, you will need to re-draw or re-write them. We found this to be a small price to pay in our particular use-case.

We hope you found this information helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know on Twitter @CygnisMedia.

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