What's new in Sketchbook Pro 9

Sketchbook Pro 9.0 brings a large number of new features and updates to the app.

Those who have used Sketchbook for a while will be happy to find some of their feature requests included in this release. We have approached both new and updated workflows with the muscle memory and preferences of existing users in mind, to ease the transition.

Below you can find a list of new and updated features in this release, with links to the updated help documents throughout this site.

New features for custom color‍ management

  • Create custom color palettes and sets of palettes. Any palette can have up to 60 color swatches, there can be up to 12 palettes in a set, and a maximum of 50 color sets in the Color Library.
    • Your custom color swatches from the previous version of Sketchbook Pro will migrate to the new Color Library and can be found a set called "My Colors"
  • Pick colors or extract entire palettes from reference images. Define how colors are extracted from the image to a new color palette.

Updates to the Color Editor‍ 

  • Color harmony bar: complementary, split complementary, analogous, triadic, or tetradic
  • Gradient bar: color gradient presets and custom-defined gradients
  • Visualize color harmony in the color wheel
  • HSV sliders
  • HEX value input
  • Randomize color: select from HSV, gradient, or active color palette

New masking and blend modes

  • Clipping Masks 
  • Versatile layer masking‍ using a layer's alpha channel (transparency)
  • Isolate mask effects by grouping layers and applying 'Normal' blend mode to the group

Brush Library updates

  • Randomize brush set changes brushes after each stroke. This is particularly useful for creating realistic natural textures such as hair, fur or grass
  • Additional pre-loaded brush sets

Tool updates

  • Free Symmetry‍ tool in the symmetry sub-toolbar. Rotate your line of symmetry to any angle.
  • The Text Editor‍  now uses the Color Editor for color selection
  • There is a new option in the Predictive Stroke‍ sub-menu to enable/disable snapping, based on user request. Disabling snapping will allow the creation of straight lines that don't snap to 0 / 45 / 90 angles. Snapping is on by default, as in previous releases it could not be disabled.

User interface updates

  • Higher contrast graphics for improved readability
  • Updated icons for this decade
  • Auto Hide UI when drawing, with customizable timer for restoring the interface
  • Menu bar > View: 
    • Brush crosshair, outline and stamp, and scroll bar view options have been moved here from Preferences, so that they can be more dynamically enabled/disabled
    • Support for common hotkey combinations for zooming in and out has been added
  • Lagoon view menu (position 1): view states for UI, fullscreen, and Lagoon now toggle to remove duplicate commands
  • Layer menu: rename layer no longer supports custom thumbnail workflow. This was retired as part of updates to improve overall stability
  • Changing color of the background layer now uses the Color Editor. Note that it is not possible to use the color picker when changing the background layer.

Preferences updates

  • New preferences options for creating backup files at each save (off by default)
  • Choose whether new files will default to incremental file names (on by default) or use "Untitled"
  • Option to verify TIF files after saving, for an extra check that a save completed successfully (off by default)
  • Disable anti-aliasing with Pixel preview (off by default)
  • Create or restore a backup of your preferences