Nothing is more frustrating than the process of making sure everything is correctly aligned within a screen design. OK, there is something more frustrating: Having to change a screen that you have only just perfectly aligned and then having to re-align everything to fit around the change.
With Antetype these frustrations do not exist.
Antetype has an advanced automatic layout system that re-calculates the layout of the elements in a design immediately or even “on-the-fly”. When adding, removing or rearranging items the design flows around the changes making or removing space as required.
N.B. Click on the image to see the animation at the correct scale.
To utilise Automatic Layout designers just need to include some rules within their designs about how elements should behave when a layout is calculated. These rules are simple but when combined together enable Antetype to make complex layout decisions without requiring any input from the designer.
Antetype’s layout rules mostly rely on the chosen hierarchy of each screen, but also use properties from each element in the hierarchy.
Read on to find out more about how Antetype can end nudging for you – while you are reading why not start a download of our free 30 day trial in the background.
A design built in Antetype is more than just shapes arranged in layers on a canvas. An Antetype document consists of a number of screens. Each screen then has a number of design elements arranged in a hierarchy which is similar to the HTML DOM.
Nesting the design elements in a hierarchy allows Antetype to infer the relationships between design elements, using this information when calculating layout changes.
Element D is a container element with A,B & C nested inside element D.
In addition to an elements place in the hierarchy, the following properties are also used to automatically calculate layout changes.
Element D horizontally lays out nested elements A, B & C.
Changing the layout mode of D to vertical results in a new layout of A, B & C.
Fixed size elements
A, B & C all have fixed sizes as the container D changes size.
B is now set to stretch horizontally to into the space created as D increases in size.
When the text inside the element changes, then the size of the element adapts to the text. This applies to all content, such as nested elements, within a container.
B has a maximum width of 60px, when B no longer stretches
B now has a minimum width of 60px, when B no longer reduces in size
All elements have a margin set between them and other elements in the same container or from the sides of a container element (D in this case).
In the images above A,B and C all have margins of 3px on each side.
All elements have a padding between their sides and any content (nested elements or text).
In all the images above D has a padding of 17px.
Putting it all together
For the sake of simplicity the examples above focus on changes in the horizontal direction, but the same is possible vertically too. It is even possible (and typical) to combine different rules both horizontally and vertically in elements.
As containers are combined and different rules added, designs become more complex in how they respond to changes. In the animated example below many rules are being used to control how the design reacts to the changes as element K is resized.
Here is quick explanation of the layout rules used:
- The main container (K) uses a vertical layout, within K there are 3 nested containers (D,G & J) all the nested containers stretch to the width of K.
- Container D should be familiar from the above example with B stretching to fill space.
- Container G is stretching vertically to fill the space created as K expands.
- Elements E & F are stretching both horizontally and vertically.
- Container J is no different from D except that it contains only a single element J
Re-arranging on-the-fly without nudging
Making changes to the layout of an Antetype design is easy because nothing has to be manually nudged as a result of the changes. This makes experimentation much quicker.
In this example all the elements in the screen automatically re-arrange as element C is dragged around the design. When C is eventually nested inside container J and next to H the design fully re-calculates the layout.
This post is part of a series of posts about how Antetype helps reduce the tedious work, read more about No More Pixel Pushing.
You can download a free 30 day trial of Antetype from our website.
With the announcement of new iPhone sizes from Apple yesterday, let’s just have a quick look at how quickly an Antetype design can be adapted for the two new phone sizes and even in the landscape orientation.
Below are the steps needed to adapt the design to any screen size, but in this case we will show the examples for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
1.Open the iOS 7 – Phone Settings Template
Press ⌘+N to Open the Template Chooser, then select the iOS7 – Phone Category and choose the Settings template
2. iPhone 5 / 5S / 5C sized template – 320 x 568
3. Set the screen to the iPhone 6 dimensions (375 x 667)
N.B. The screen should be selected when you open the file – if not the wrong cell will be changed.
This now shows the extra area of the new iPhone 6, but the content is still sized for an iPhone 5
4. Select the Settings object
Open the Screen Inspector (⌥⌘1) and select the Settings cell from the list (1)
5. Open the Size Editor
Note the size of the Settings object is set to Manual Width and Height resizing
6. Change the resizing to Stretch
This means the Settings cell will now stretch to the size of the screen
7. Select the screen again
Make sure the screen from the upper list is selected (1) and nothing is selected in the lower list (2)
8. The content now stretches to take up the entire screen.
9. Change the size to match an iPhone 6 Plus (414 x 736)
The content again stretches to the size of the iPhone 6 Plus
10. Check out the content for an iPhone 6 Plus in Landscape (736 x 414)
Again just change the size of the screen to match
We are proud to announce the release of Antetype 1.6.1.
The release is a simultaneous release for the standalone version and the app store version.
Minor bug fix
There was a minor bug which occurred when some files were upgraded to the new format used in 1.6.
Antetype OS X Viewer also updated
The OS X Antetype Viewer that is available in the Mac App Store has now also been updated and released.
You can find the full release notes for Antetype 1.6.1 on our support site
We need your stories
We are starting work on a big promotional push for Antetype and we need your help.
We know you have great stories about Antetype has helped you:
- how you no longer have to spend time in Photoshop nudging things around because of the Antetype layout system
how stretch and shrink sizing have saved you time adapting designs to new requirements
how you can now edit designs live in meetings to quickly iterate and therefore turn things around in shorter times and reduce the number of meetings
how implementations more thoroughly match your intentions because developers have better understood what your designs mean
how you found your lost cat using Antetype and discovered Eldorado the lost city of gold….. ok maybe not
We need you to spread the word about how our layouts, widgets, breakpoints and specifications have made you more efficient and improved your working life – would you do that for us?
Here is how you can help:
- tweet about us – recommend Antetype to your followers
refer people to great examples at cotype.antetype.com on twitter or Facebook or elsewhere
mention us on Facebook
post about Antetype on LinkedIn
vote for us on our alternative.to page
Publish a blog post about the benefits of Antetype and how it has made your working life better
contact us about writing a case study on your usage of Antetype
list Antetype as a skill on LinkedIn
write a how to article about how to do certain things in Antetype
blog about Anteype best practices
attend a local user group for UX designers and present Antetype (we can support you in this with licence giveaways)
create a video tutorial for Lynda.com
or any other ways you can think of to spread the word about Antetype
If you can do one or two or even three of the things on this list then we will give you a thank you shout out tweet and mention you on Facebook too – and even mention you in a follow up post on this blog – please offer any links for us to use.
If you can do 4 or more of these things then we will dispatch to you one of our exclusive Antetype T-shirts, just give us an address and tell us your size!
If the T-shirt doesn’t grab you then please contact us and we will find some other useful reward for you.
If you create a how-to or tutorial video for us then we will sort out an even better prize for you – just get in contact with us.
So please help us get Antetype promoted, remember the more users we have the more sustainable Antetype is and the more features we can add in the future.
We are proud to announce the release of Antetype 1.6.
The focus of the development of Antetype 1.6 has been performance improvements and bug fixes, you can find out more details in the release notes.
The release is a simultaneous release for the standalone version and the app store version.
Package file format
The biggest change in this release is the move to a package based file format. This change matches those made by many other apps in recent years and has been essential for the sandboxed version of Antetype to work correctly.
The change to a package based format will also allow to introduce further performance changes in the future will be added slowly in future updates.
Updated iOS Antetype Viewer
The iOS Antetype Viewer has also been updated to take advantage of the latest changes made to Antetype – please update from the iOS app store.
OS X Viewer App
waiting for Apple released
The OS X Antetype Viewer that is available in the Mac App Store
has not yet passed the Apple review we expect this to be available at the end of this week in the App Store has now also been updated and released.
OS X 10.7 support
With Antetype 1.6.0 we sadly have had to drop support for OS X 10.7. The cost of maintenance for 10.7 was becoming prohibitive especially when 95% of our users are using 10.8 or 10.9.
You can find the full release notes for Antetype 1.6 on our support site
UPDATED 21:20: OS X Antetype Viewer – latest update released to Mac App Store
Today we are launching a new free viewer app for Antetype that is available in the Mac App Store.
Open in Mac App Store
As you might expect the viewer is only able to view files, running permanently in presentation mode, either In-Place or Full Screen.
The UI consists of a deliberately simple toolbar chosen so that it does not distract from your designs. If required the toolbar can also be hidden removing even more distraction from your designs.
We created the viewer to make it easier to share your atype files with non-Antetype users. There are now 3 ways to share designs made in Antetype:
- Export to Web Viewer – distribute via email to any platform
- Export to iOS Viewer – share to iOS via Dropbox or iTunes sync
- Open atype file in OS X Viewer – distribute to any OS X user
Any OS X without Antetype installed will now be taken to the Antetype Viewer in the Mac App Store when opening an atype file making it the process of distributing Antetype files even easier for OS X users.
If you’ve been visiting our web site today, you might have noticed, that we changed our support site to a new platform.
For about one year, we’ve been using our old portal in combination with Get Satisfaction as our discussion forum. But new pricing options for Get Satisfaction and better possibilities for tracking issues led us to a new service provider – Freshdesk.
This new platform allows us to provide an integrated solution for help files, forum discussions, tips & tricks and issue tracking. It also copes with some shortcomings of the previous solutions, e.g. attachment of files, etc.
We would like to encourage all new discussions to happen on support.antetype.com. Please note that our forum on Get Satisfaction will remain online as a reference but we will no longer take part in the discussions over there.
On our new support site, you are able to search not only within the discussions of the forum, but also within the help and FAQ sections.
Currently you have the following options to get in contact with us via the support forum:
Comments made that include @antetype on twitter or comments made on our facebook profile are also tracked in our support system so there are many ways that you can contact us and know that we will get back to you.
Please tell us what you think of this approach and use the site to help us improve Antetype and our support.
We have discovered a serious bug in version 1.5.1 of Antetype that can result in changes to your older files being overwritten when you use the Save As function to duplicate a file.
In the scenario below both the original document and the new document will have the changes saved.
To reproduce this problem:
- Open an existing document
- Make a change to part of the document
- Use Save As to create a new version of the document
- Original document is not changed
- New “Save As” document has the changes
- Both original and “Save As” document contain the changes.
Version 1.5.2 has been released yesterday to address this problem.
App Store Users
For those users with a copy from the App Store you will have to wait unto a week for the issue to pass through the App Store approval process.
We have discovered a problem with the Antetype Viewer for iOS when linking the application with a dropbox account.
If you are using a 64 bit device such as an iPad Air or iPhone 5S – the dropbox application gives an error when trying to authorise access to dropbox.
This was previously not a problem when we tested on these devices but seems to recently have been introduced by Dropbox. Logic suggests this problem has been caused by a change on the Dropbox servers, but the only solution we have from Dropbox requires us to use a newer version of the Dropbox SDK.
Using the latest Dropbox SDK we have found does fix the problem and we have today submitted version 1.5.2 of the iOS Viewer to the App Store, which includes this fix.
We can currently suggest no other workarounds for iOS users with a 64 bit device, please be patient for the next week or so while we wait for Apple to approve this new version.
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We are pleased to announce that Antetype Viewer for iOS is finally out of beta and is now available in the iOS App Store. This follows last weeks announcement of Antetype in the Mac App Store.
Find it in the iOS App Store now .
What does it do?
The Antetype viewer for iOS allows you to load and review iosatype files to see and feel how a prototype runs on iOS.
You can export an iosatype from Antetype using the export button on the toolbar.
To access the iosatype file on your phone simply add the file to a folder in dropbox and then from the Antetype Viewer for iOS you can open the file and click through the screens and test the interactions.
If you prefer you can also transfer files using iTunes if you connect you iOS device to your computer. For more information please read our support article
The performance can be a bit slow on older iOS devices but on devices less than two years old the performance is reasonable.
Feedback and questions welcome as always!
The above image shows our xKicker app working in the Antetype Viewer for iOS. The xKicker prototype is included by default in the viewer and you can download the antetype file for this app
from our community pages if you want to edit the file or change anything.