Workspace basics

The Workspace is where you create designs. You have an infinite canvas in where you can directly work but you also have the ability to create pages and artboards that will help you to create exportable components.

The viewport

Surrounded by panels, header and toolbars, in the middle of the workspace, you can find the viewport. The viewport is the design area of a file page. It is practically infinite. If what you need is a frame with specific, limited dimensions, you can create an artboard.

the viewport

Navigate the viewport

Press space while moving your mouse to navigate the viewport. If you are using a trackpad you can do two finger scrolling.

You can also use the scrollbars, which are specially useful for those who love using graphic tablets.

navigate the viewport

The menu

There's a main menu at the workspace where you will find groups with all the actions that you can do at file level. Export, view and edit options and preferences among them.

workspace menu

Zoom

To zoom in and out hold Ctrl (or if using macOS) and use the scroll wheel on your mouse. You also have a bunch of useful shortcuts for the most common zoom levels that you can find at the zoom menu in the navigation bar.

All zoom shortcuts →

zoom menu

Dynamic alignment

While moving objects at the viewport Penpot will show alignment guides for the edges and the center of the layers at sight. Dynamic alignment also snaps the object that is being moved to those guides to help you align to the center of the edges of other objects.

Dynamic alignment

If there are more than two objects nearby and you drag one of them Penpot will show their distance to help you distribute them equally.

Dynamic alignment

Rulers

Penpot has rulers that measure in pixels. Soon there will be guides that can be dragged from the rulers.

rulers

Snap to grid

Objects automatically snap to the nearest point of a visible grid. This option can be disabled anytime from the main menu.

snap to grid

Snap to pixel

Objects automatically snap to the pixel grid. If you need a different kind of precision like working at subpixel level using measures with decimals you can disable this option . This option can be disabled anytime from the main menu.

snap to pixel

Nudge amount

Set your desired distance to move objects using the keyboard. This is a must if you’re working with grids (if you’re not, you should ;)), being able to adjust the movement to your baseline grid (8px? 5px?) is a huge timesaver that will improve your quality of life while designing.

nudge amount

Shortcuts panel

Shortcuts boost your productivity but are not easy to find and learn. A handy panel at your workspace will help you with that.

Display the shortcuts panel at the workspace by clicking on the shortcuts button at the bottom of the left toolbar or using the shortcut ?

Categories and a filter will help you to find the shortcut you need.

Shortcuts panel