How to use Abstract:

  1. Create a Branch.
  2. Commit your changes. 👈 You are here.
  3. Request a design review.
  4. Merge your Branch to Master.

Each time you arrive at a decision while designing, commit your changes. A Commit is like a bookmark: you’re marking a point you can return to if needed. If you change your mind about a decision, you can restore a Project’s Master back to any previous Commit and try again. We recommend committing several times a day to best document your team’s decision-making and iteration process.

💡Abstract tip: Committing your changes does not affect Master. You’ll request a design review before you merge any changes to Master.


How to commit changes on a Branch

To commit your changes:

  1. Create a Branch in the Abstract desktop app.
    • Note: If you don’t open your Sketch file via the Abstract app, your work is not backed up in Abstract and you can’t commit changes.
  2. Make changes to your Sketch file(s).
  3. At the bottom of your Sketch window, click Commit Changes.
    • Note: If you’re not seeing the Commit button, make sure you opened your Sketch file via the Abstract desktop app. If you’re still not seeing the Commit button, click File > Save in Sketch. Saving should trigger the Commit button to show up.
  4. Summarize your changes in the Commit comment.
    • Commit comments are visible to your team. They act as a reminder of what was changed if you ever need to restore a previous Commit.

The edits you made in your Branch are now visible to the rest of your Project team. You’ll find a record of your Commit in the Commit History.

What’s the difference between saving and committing?

Saving makes a local copy of your changes on your computer. Committing saves your changes to Abstract.

If you save without committing, your Sketch files are not backed up in Abstract. You must commit changes before your team will be able to see them.

How to discard changes without committing

To trash changes you’ve made on a Branch without committing:

  1. Save your changes in Sketch by clicking File > Save.
  2. At the bottom of your Sketch window, click Commit Changes.
  3. Click MORE OPTIONS.
  4. In the pop-up window, click DISCARD next to any changes you’d like to delete.
  5. Click DISCARD.

⚠️ Caution: Discarded changes aren't recoverable.


How to view Commit History

In the Commit History, you can review every Commit that has ever been merged to Master in a given Project.

To view a Project’s Commit History:

  1. Open the Abstract desktop app.
  2. Select a Project.
  3. Select Branches from the left side pane.
  4. Click the ARCHIVED tab at the top.
  5. Select the Commit you’d like to view.

You can see the Commit comments and what changed in each merged Branch.

Why am I seeing unexpected changes when I commit?

Sometimes when you commit, you may see way more changes being committed than you expected. This can happen for several reasons:

Reason #1: Another plugin changed the metadata on your file. Abstract relies on metadata to identify changes, so when your files’ metadata changes you’ll see changed artboards. To figure out which plugin has changed the metadata on your files, you can toggle them on / off:

  1. In Sketch, click the Plugins menu.
  2. Select Manage Plugins.
  3. Uncheck plugins to toggle them OFF.

If you still need help, send a bug report to Support.

💡 Abstract tip: The Sketch plugins Runner and Anima commonly cause this problem, so try turning those off first!

Reason #2: You updated to a new version of Sketch. Updating to a new version of Sketch often impacts the metadata on your files. Files with updated metadata will show as changed.

Reason #3: You changed a Symbol. If you change a Library Symbol, every artboard where that Symbol is used will show as changed. You can tell whether an artboard was changed or just a Symbol by the color of the icon in the Commit flow. A blue icon indicates an artboard has changed. A grey icon indicates a Symbol has changed.


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