Adobe is bringing real-time collaboration to its XD design tool

It’s Adobe Max this week, Adobe’s annual Creative Cloud event, and like every year, the company is announcing a slew of updates across its products. Sometimes these are only small tweaks and feature additions, but Adobe XD, the company’s design and prototyping tool for web and app development, is getting a number of interesting updates that are worth highlighting.

The marquee feature of the update is real-time co-editing of documents, which will surely make the lives of remote designers easier. This new co-editing feature is now in beta and allows multiple designers to work on a document together, using Adobe’s Creative Cloud backend to sync updates in real time. To make a document available for co-editing, you first must save it to the cloud and then invite teammates to work with you.

The XD team has also taken the existing sharing features in XD, which designers can use to gather feedback and deliver their assets, and collated them into a single Share mode that sits next to the existing Design and Prototype modes in the application.

“Share mode is the place to go when you need to share your work with others,” the company explains. “Here, you can create and manage shareable web links to your work, using new sharing presets to customize the sharing experience for different use cases, including design reviews, development hand-off, presentations, and user testing.”

XD is one of the few Creative Cloud applications that include a completely free mode. Users on the free mode will get access to the new co-editing feature until April 2020. All the other new sharing and collaboration tools, however, will be available without any time restrictions to free users on the XD Starter plan.

Also new in XD is enhanced support for component states, which make it easier for designers to create consistent user interfaces, hover triggers that invoke actions when you hover over an item in your design and new tools for building basic prototype interactions. There’s also a redesigned plugin manager, which now features support for more than 200 plugins like Jira Cloud, UI Faces, Stark and Arranger.