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Branches Release Notes

October 28, 2021
Updated Slack Integration for Notebooks

The updated Slack integration for Abstract Notebooks automatically shares notifications for notebook reviews to one or more of your Slack channels of choice, and unfurls Notebook links pasted into Slack.

February 17, 2021
Abstract Notebooks, now available in limited preview

We have built a major new product: Notebooks, with built in data and insights on the work, and integrations into other design and development tools. This release is a public preview, and we are rolling out to waitlisted users over the next several weeks. 

Notebooks is a new designer-specific platform where cross-functional teams can gather requirements, review designs, and continuously measure what works, all in one thoughtfully-built space. 

What’s included in today’s release:

  • A beautiful, rich text editor to capture context around any design effort. Fully supports Markdown syntax, emojis, and GIFs.
  • A new Figma plugin, which integrates directly with Notebooks.
  • ~Add and arrange designs directly from Figma into beautiful presentations that display your work and the context behind it. Any design elements can be added: individual components, frames, or entire pages. 
  • ~Access all your Notebooks from within Figma, and publish any frames or components you’ve worked on in one click.
  • ~Update all your work in Notebooks in a single click, without leaving Figma or having to rearrange or recreate presentations of your work for review.
  • Drag and drop image support for most image file formats and GIFs
  • Rich comment threads for both text and images help you capture feedback on specific elements within a Notebook.
  • Invite important stakeholders to review your work, and get structured feedback in the form of approvals and change requests. 
  • ~Create unlimited review requests per Notebook, which is helpful for designs that need multiple rounds of review, or different feedback from different audiences.
  • ~Close a review once you’ve gotten all the feedback needed to get back to work.
  • ~Use the built-in notification system to automate the review process so that you don’t have to remind reviewers for their feedback. 
  • Set a range of statuses for a Notebook, which helps your collaborators know where you are in the design process across a project.
  • A new, bi-directional GitHub integration connects design and development work together in a Notebook.
  • ~See the status and other relevant information about GitHub Issues and Pull Requests in a related Notebook.
  • ~Notebook links unfurl to show the Notebook name and project over in GitHub.
  • Insights surfaces actions taking place across Notebooks; helping you keep track of the work your teams are doing. It includes:
  • ~An attention block that tells you which Notebooks might need a review decision, a nudge, or are being reworked.
  • ~Top-level counts that display Notebooks and reviews being opened and closed over the past 7 days.
  • ~An overview of the spread of activity across busy Notebooks and contributors, helping you understand what’s working well and where there might be blocks.  
  • ~A deeper look at the range of contributions your team is making, from creating and updating content to feedback and reviews
  • Organize your Notebooks into unlimited projects, which represent major work streams or products in your organization.
  • New users will see a brief onboarding experience when viewing Notebooks for the first time, to learn about how Notebooks work for design teams and their peers in engineering and product management.
February 9, 2022

Fixed a crash scenario when saving files from sketch.

February 3, 2022

We've fixed an issue that prevents users using older sketch versions from importing or updating some sketch documents if they are created with recent versions of sketch.

January 13, 2022

We've fixed an issue that prevents users from opening documents with plugin versions 256 and earlier using Sketch 82 beta.

January 6, 2022

We've fixed an issue related to our Sketch plugin that currently blocks some users from using Abstract with Sketch version 81.1.

December 14, 2021

We've added the ability for users to export all active projects in their Branches organizations at once, rather than exporting each project individually.

September 2, 2021

We've fixed an issue related to our Sketch plugin that currently blocks users from using Abstract with Sketch version 76. This fix also makes using Sketch + Abstract more performant, as we are no longer generating unneeded previews when using the plugin.

August 23, 2021


  • All members now load in the desktop app when viewed.
  • The changes button is now always operable.
  • Fixed some help article links so people are routed to the right place.

August 9, 2021

Bug Fixes

  • Resolved an issue relating to opening and exporting Sketch files for customers who use both Sketch and XD.
August 4, 2021
Branches trials

We've added the ability to start a trial of our Branches product directly from our website

July 26, 2021

We have shipped a new major version of our Branches desktop app (v98) with a number of performance and usability improvements including:

Performance Improvements:

  • Stability and performance of Branches Sketch plugin while opening and saving Sketch documents
  • Branches Sketch plugin (Reduced in size by about 1MB)

Usability Improvements:

  • When a file is uploaded to Sketch Workspace, closed, then reopened, Branches users have to upload the file to Sketch Workspace as a new file instead of being able to update the already existing instance. This workflow is not ideal so we have updated our Sketch plugin to reallocate with the appropriate Sketch file.
  • Correct timing dependent commit condition that resulted in the loss of recent commits.
  • Remove the Open Quick Commit button from Branches app as it opens an old commit, Quick Commit happens over in the Sketch plugin.

April 6, 2021


  • Contributors can now leave multi-line commit messages!


  • Some odd interactions between the Sketch editing file and the .abstractBackup file that may have prevented committing work on a branch have been resolved.
  • Resolved an uncommon bug that caused Sketch to crash when committing.
  • Abstract and the Gallery Sketch plugin are more compatible now.
  • When using Safari, on hover in preview and Collections layers, the overlay controls no longer remain visible after hovering.
  • Projects once again correctly sort by with the “recently updated” option.
  • Organizations owners are now able to leave the organization when other org admins exist via the Personal Settings menu.
  • The notifications window should now close as expected after clicking on a notification.