How to open a Figma file: a beginners guide

Are you new to Figma and looking to learn how to open a Figma file? Look no further. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of opening a Figma file step by step.

Whether you’re a designer who has just discovered Figma or a client who wants to collaborate on a Figma-based project, this article is for you. By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to open a Figma file and be ready to dive into the world of Figma design.

Understanding Figma File Types

Before we dive into the process of opening a Figma file, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the file types commonly used in Figma. Figma has its own proprietary file format known as .fig, which can only be opened within the Figma application. However, Figma also supports other file types, including Sketch files (.sketch), image files (PNG, JPG, HEIC, GIF), and vector files (SVG).

Knowing which file types are supported in Figma will help you navigate the opening process more effectively.

Opening a Figma File

There are two primary methods for opening a Figma file: using the file importer and dragging and dropping files into Figma. Let’s explore each method in detail.

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Method 1: Using the File Importer

The file importer in Figma allows you to choose and import local files from your computer into the Figma file browser. Follow these steps to open a file using the file importer:

βœ…Step one: Open the Figma file browser and click on the import file button located at the top right corner of the file browser.

Figma screenshot

βœ…Step two: Select the Figma file (.fig), Sketch file (.sketch), or image file (PNG, JPG, GIF) you want to import.

Figma screenshot

βœ…Step three: Once the file is uploaded, click “Done” on the file importer modal box.

Figma screenshot

Note: In this step, the process may take a few minutes. Many factors are involved, such as the type of file imported, the speed of your internet service, among others.

βœ…Step four: You can now preview your imported file in the file browser.

Figma screenshot

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Method 2: Drag and Drop Files

Another way to open a Figma file is by dragging and dropping files directly into the Figma file browser or editor. Follow these steps to open a file using drag and drop:

βœ…Step one: Open the Figma file browser

Figma screenshot

βœ…Step two: Select the Figma file (.fig), Sketch file (.sketch), or image file (PNG, JPG, GIF) you want to open.

Figma screenshot

βœ…Step three: Drag and drop the file into the file browser or editor. Once the file is uploaded, click “Done” on the file importer modal box.

Figma screenshot

Note: You can also drag and drop vector files (SVG) or image files (PNG, JPG, HEIC, GIF) into the file editor to create a new Figma file.

Opening Sketch Files in Figma

If you have Sketch files that you want to open in Figma, the process is similar to opening a Figma file. You can use either the file importer or drag and drop method. Here’s how to open Sketch files in Figma:

Method 1: Using the File Importer

  • Open the Figma file browser.
  • Click on the import file button.
  • Select the Sketch file (.sketch) you want to import.
  • Once the file is uploaded, click “Done” on the file importer modal box.
  • You can now preview your imported Sketch file in the file browser.

Method 2: Drag and Drop Files

  • Open the Figma file browser.
  • Select the Sketch file (.sketch) you want to open.
  • Drag and drop the file into the file browser or editor.
  • Once the file is uploaded, click “Done” on the file importer modal box.
  • You can now access your Sketch file in Figma.

Opening PSD Files in Figma

Figma does not support opening Photoshop (.psd) files directly. However, you can convert PSD files to Sketch files and open them in Figma. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Convert the PSD file to a Sketch file using a tool like Adobe XD or other PSD to Sketch converters.
  • Once you have the Sketch file, follow the earlier steps to open it in Figma.

Opening Multiple Files in Figma

Sometimes, you may need to work with multiple Figma files simultaneously. Figma allows you to open multiple files in separate windows, making it easier to compare, copy, and paste elements between them. Here’s how you can open multiple Figma files:

Desktop Version

βœ…Step one: Open the Figma desktop app

Figma screenshot

βœ…Step two: Open two Figma files in the file browser.

Figma screenshot

βœ…Step three: Select the tab of the file you want to preview in a new window and drag the selected tab out of the file browser to create a new window.

Figma screenshot

Note: You can now view two Figma files side by side or on separate monitors.

Browser Version

βœ…Step one: Open Figma in your browser and log in.

Figma screenshot

βœ…Step two: Open two Figma files

Figma screenshot

βœ…Step three: Select the tab of the file you want to preview in a new window and drag the selected tab out of the file browser to create a new window.

Figma screenshot

Note: You can now view multiple Figma files in separate browser windows.

Troubleshooting File Upload Issues

If you’re experiencing difficulties uploading files to Figma, there are a few common issues to consider:

404 Page

If you encounter a 404 page when opening a file link, it may be because you don’t have access to the file or the file has been deleted. Ensure you’re logged in with the correct account, and check your deleted files to see if the file is there. If all else fails, reach out to the file owner for assistance.

Memory Limit Alert

Each browser has a memory limit, and if your file exceeds that limit, you may be unable to open or edit it. Close any unnecessary tabs or applications to free up memory and try again.

Slow Internet Speed

Large files can take longer to upload to Figma, especially if you have a slow internet connection. Be patient and allow the file to fully upload before attempting to open or edit it. Consider optimizing your file size or upgrading your internet connection if this issue persists.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve learned how to open a Figma file in various formats, including Figma files, Sketch files, and image files. You’ve also discovered workarounds for opening XD and PSD files in Figma. Additionally, you now know how to open multiple Figma files in separate windows and troubleshoot common file upload issues. Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to dive into the world of Figma design and collaborate seamlessly with your team or clients. Happy designing!

If you have any further questions or need assistance with other Figma-related topics, feel free to reach out. We’re here to help you on your Figma journey.

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