dobe XD has many powerful, time-saving features to help you to focus on your designs and less on the tactics of how to make them happen. Working with images is no exception. In this guide, we’ll cover the essentials of working with images, cropping them and sourcing them to make your designs stand out.
XD supports a variety of image asset file types, including PNG, JPEG, TIFF, SVG and GIF (though GIF files import as a single still frame at present). To import an image asset you have a variety of options, from copying and pasting onto your artboard from the web, dragging and dropping from your file browser or using a plugin like UI Faces or Stock Image to automatically populate vector shapes with image fills.
Copy and paste
Copying image assets from your file browser or favourite stock photography repo is very easy. With the image copied to your clipboard, navigate to Adobe XD and press CMD/CTRL + V to paste onto the canvas. You can also use the right click menu or the ‘edit’ menu to select the paste option if you prefer.
Drag and drop
Alternatively, you can seamlessly drag and drop image assets from Finder or File Explorer onto the Adobe XD canvas like you would when copying or pasting. With drag and drop, however, you also have the option to drop your image into a vector shape to automatically create an image fill. Simply move the image file overtop of an object and, when it highlights blue, release.
Creative Cloud Libraries
If you or your team are using a Creative Cloud Library, you can easily drag and drop images from that library in much the same way as you would from your file browser. Navigate to the Libraries panel (Shift + Command + Y on MacOS or Shift + Ctrl + Y on Windows). Select the library you wish to use and click and drag the asset onto your canvas or onto a vector shape.
The images you pull in from CC Libraries will show as a "linked asset" with a green link icon in the top left corner. This means, as these assets are updated in the library, they’ll be automatically updated in your document or anywhere else it is being used. If you would rather the image isn’t linked back to your library, simply right click the image in the library and select “Place Copy”.
Adobe XD supports many great plugins to expedite your workflow and make your life easier when designing. There are a handful of plugins that can help with image sourcing as well.
UI Faces can populate any vector shape or even Repeat Grids, with open-source imagery of faces from a variety of sources.
Stock Image gives you quick access to the Adobe Stock library of images so you can visualise how assets will look in your design before you choose to license them for production.
Editing and arranging images
Working with your images once they’re within Adobe XD is quick and easy. If you’ve pasted or dragged your image to the canvas or artboard you can manipulate it like you would any rectangle or vector shape. Resize, rotate, add a border, shadow or reduce the opacity.
Not happy with how an image is cropped? Simply press enter (or double click the image) with the image selected to enter the mask editing mode, where you can resize the image to change how it is cropped. If you drag your image onto a shape, this masking happens automatically and always maintains the image’s aspect ratio, regardless of the shape it fills.
Learn more about masking images and vector shapes.
Flipping & rotating images
Images can be flipped horizontally or vertically, as well as rotated in a full circle. With the image selected, the top right of the inspect panel will show a rotation control, as well as horizontal and vertical flip controls. Flip controls can also be accessed via the Object menu (Object > Transform) and rotation controls can be accessed on the canvas by hovering just outside of one of the four corners of the object.
Robust editing in Photoshop
Adobe XD provides streamlined tools to manipulate your images quickly. For advanced edits and filtering, right click your image and select “Edit in Photoshop” to open the linked image in Photoshop and perform your edits. Upon saving that Photoshop file, you will see the image update immediately in Adobe XD.
Images and graphics can bring life to your design and Adobe XD brings efficiency to working with images. From simple borders to advanced image editing in Photoshop, images will look stunning in your designs.