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JSON Schemas for the Sketch file format
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Sketch File Format

JSON Schemas for the Sketch file format


🚧 This project is a work in progress, and we don't recommend you base production code on it for the time being. Raise an issue with any questions or suggestions

The objective is to craft a set of schemas that strictly adhere to the Draft 7 JSON Schema spec, and describe as closely as possible the shape of Sketch file JSON, as it appears on disk.

Tooling is used to check the correctness of the schemas against the public spec, and additionally confirm that the schemas are able to successfully validate real Sketch documents.

In order to aid maintainability the schema is split up into multiple reusable sub-schema in separate files, and combined in a build step. Yaml is used to improve readability of the schemas, introduce the possibility of leaving comments etc.

The schema Yaml files in this repo are hand-editable but tooling can be used to improve the developer experience. Node, yarn and VS Code are required to make the most of the tooling in this repo, although this sort of developer environment is purely optional.

Sketch document version mapping

Currently Sketch documents declare both their document version and app version. These schemas are related to the document version only. This value can change less frequently than the Sketch desktop app version but will increment everytime there's any change to the Sketch file format.

Conceptually this file format spec sits upstream of Sketch. This means we will endeavour to release a new version of this spec before or closely following the version of Sketch that supports it. A future goal is that this file format spec is incorporated into our internal processes, strengthening the relationship between this spec and our products that implement it.

The table below indicates the relationship between file format versions and the document version.

Sketch file format Sketch document version
1.*.* 119 Sketch 55.2 - 57.1
2.*.* 120 Sketch 58
3.*.* 121 Sketch 59 - 61

Related projects

Use cases

  • Documents the file format over time
  • Validate programmatically generated Sketch documents
  • Use as a source for deriving types and schemas for code that works with representations of Sketch documents (see sketch-file-format-ts)



Add the npm module using npm or yarn

npm install @sketch-hq/sketch-file-format
import schemas from '@sketch-hq/sketch-file-format'

The shape of the schemas object above is illustrated by the following type definition (see the schema table below for explanations):

type Schemas = {
  version: number // Supported Sketch document version
  document: JSONSchema7
  fileFormat: JSONSchema7
  meta: JSONSchema7
  page: JSONSchema7
  user: JSONSchema7


Built schemas are available to download directly over HTTP from unpkg.

From source

  1. Check you have modern versions of Yarn and Node installed
  2. Check out the repo
  3. Run yarn to setup the dependencies
  4. Run yarn build to generate the schemas into the dist folder

Other platforms

Other platforms and package managers can be supported in future, if you have any requests please open an issue.


Schema Description Yaml entrypoint Built schema
File Format Schema for a Sketch file that has been unzipped and its entries parsed into a single object, with page references replaced with concrete page objects schema/file-format.schema.yaml dist/file-format.schema.json
Document Schema for the document JSON entry in a Sketch ZIP file schema/document.schema.yaml dist/document.schema.json
Page Schema for the page JSON entries in a Sketch ZIP file schema/layers/page.schema.yaml dist/page.schema.json
Meta Schema for the meta JSON entry in a Sketch ZIP file schema/meta.schema.yaml dist/meta.schema.json
User Schema for the user JSON entry in a Sketch ZIP file schema/user.schema.yaml dist/user.schema.json

Check the changelog for more information.


The version of these file format schemas will follow semver, remaining independent of the Sketch version.

  • Major version bump The schemas fail to validate a document that was previously considered valid by prior versions. A change in Sketch document version will mean a major bump too, since document version is currently declared as a constant in the schemas
  • Minor version bump While any document version change results in a major bump we're unlikely to see many backwards compatible new features and an associated minor version bump. This may change in future though as we normalise the relationship between this spec and other Sketch products, in which case we'll be able to make better use of the full semver semantics
  • Patch version bump Bug fixes, documentation improvements or trivial changes that don't affect the semantics of the schemas

This repo enforces use of semantic conventional commits to automate semver changes and changelog generation, so please think carefully about your commit types when you make a contribution.


Script Description
yarn build Builds distributable schema into the dist folder
yarn validate Checks the schema for correctness against the Draft 7 meta-schema
yarn watch Runs yarn validate whenever a Yaml file changes in the schema/ folder
yarn integration-test Uses the built schemas to validate real Sketch files, false negatives are treated as test failures
yarn test Unit tests (not implemented yet)
yarn format-check Checks the repo with Prettier
yarn release Tags the repo and updates the changelog and semver automatically based on commit history. You'll still need to push the changes and yarn publish manually afterwards

Processing during build

While the build output is valid JSON Schema, the Yaml source files are not. They include a number of approaches to aid maintainability, listed below.

Abstract schemas

Abstract schemas are a device to aid DRYness in the Yaml source. They are processed out of the final build output by the assemble function.

Additional properties

The additionalProperties keyword is used by JSON Schema to define whether an object allows arbitrary extra properties on itself beyond those explicitly listed. According to the spec it defaults to true, but in order to increase strictness we set it to false on every object schema in the output, unless already present.

Required properties

The required keyword is used by JSON Schema to list object properties that must be present in order for it to be considered valid. Again, in order to increase strictness we automatically set every object property as required. If a property is genuinely optional, then it can be listed in the non-standard optional keyword, which is processed out of the build output.

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