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Working with Freehand in InVision V7

This article provides answers for InVision V7. If you’re on InVision V6, read this article instead. Not sure which version you're using? Find out now.

Freehand in InVision lets you rapidly capture feedback throughout the product design process in a real-time, flexible, and collaborative way. You spend less time exporting work into presentable formats and more time creating meaningful experiences for users in collaboration with your team. Like prototypes and boards, Freehand lets anyone on your team join, from anywhere, on any device to weigh in on your concepts and designs.

Stay up to date on the most recent Freehand enhancements by following our Freehand Release Notes.

Guided Video Tour

To get more familiar with Freehand, we also recommend taking a guided video tour, led by one of our experienced InVision product experts:

Creating a Freehand document

To create a freehand in InVision V7:

  1. Sign in to your InVision V7 account.
  2. Click the + Create button, and then click Freehand.
  3. In the Create new freehand dialog, enter a name, and then click the Create button.
  4. Select a template, or click Blank to create an empty freehand.
    invision-v7-create-freehand.gif
You can also create freehands from prototype screens. To learn more, check out this article: InVision V7: Can I add prototype screens to a Freehand document?

Freehand templates

Starting with a well-designed, completely editable template can save considerable time for any of these popular Freehand use cases. Each template includes pre-built stickers (or other building blocks) you can copy & paste as needed to quickly build a custom freehand:

  • Brainstorm: Generate free-form ideas together with your team.
  • Wireframe: Build your wireframes in no time—well, less time—with our pre-built UI elements.
  • Diagram: Get a jump start on diagrams and flowcharts with our pre-built arrows and objects.
  • Retrospective: Use this template to collect stakeholders' thoughts on a recent project, sprint, or other initiative.
  • Standup: Perfect for daily or weekly standup meetings, this template is designed to let teams share updates in a simple, straightforward format.
  • Icebreaker: Get to know one another better or simply get the creative thoughts flowing with fun and easy icebreaker games.

Navigating a Freehand document

To navigate through your freehand, place two fingers on your trackpad while you scroll in any direction. Alternatively, click the Pan icon (invision-freehand-pan-canvas-icon.png) or hold the Spacebar while you click and drag to pan the canvas.

Using Freehand tools

At the top of the canvas, you'll see the More menu icon (•••), the Change color icon (invision-cloud-v7-freehand-change-color-icon.png), and the Present icon (invision-freehand-present-icon.png).

More menu

Clicking the More menu icon (•••) in Freehand opens a dropdown menu with these options:

  • Version history: Click this option to revert to a previous version of the freehand document you're working in.
  • Export to image: Click this option to export the entire freehand document as a still image—complete with sticky notes.
  • Create new Freehand: Click this option to create a new freehand document from scratch, without needing to first leave the freehand you were working in.

Change color

Click the pencil color (invision-cloud-v7-freehand-change-color-icon.png) to select a different color for the next drawing, text object, or shape you add. This will also change the color of your Freehand, which shows other active collaborators where your mouse is located: freehand-collaborator-icon.png

Present

Click the Present icon (invision-freehand-present-icon.png) to present the freehand to your fellow collaborators from your perspective.

Toolbar

To the left of the canvas, you'll notice the Freehand toolbar. Use this table for a quick overview of each tool, and learn more about each tool below.

Icon

Tool Name

Shortcut

Description

invision-freehand-pointer-tool.png

Pointer

V or 1

Select objects to edit, resize, or move.

invision-freehand-pencil-tool.png

Pencil

P or 2

Draw any shape on the canvas.

If the Eraser tool is selected, you'll need to click the Eraser icon again and select the Pencil tool.

invision-freehand-eraser-tool.png

Eraser

E

Erase entire objects by dragging the eraser over them.

To use, click the Pencil tool and select the Eraser tool.

invision-cloud-v7-freehand-text.png

Text

T or 3

Enter text on the canvas.

invision-cloud-v7-freehand-shape-tool.png

Shape

S or 4

Quickly draw basic shapes: squares, circles, or lines

invision-cloud-v7-freehand-image.png

Image

I or 5

Upload images directly to the canvas.

invision-freehand-sticky-note-tool.png Sticky Note N or 6

Add color-coded notes anywhere on the canvas.

 

Pointer tool

The pointer tool (invision-freehand-pointer-tool.png)lets you choose any number of shapes or objects to move by dragging and dropping on the freehand canvas. Any object or group of objects selected can be scaled up or down.

As you use the pointer tool to select various types of objects, you'll see additional fine-tuning tools appear at the top of the canvas (as shown in their respective "Additional tools" tables below).

Pencil tool

The pencil tool (invision-freehand-pencil-tool.png) lets you draw on your canvas. Hovering over the pencil tool while it's selected will display 3 different opacity options. Click your desired opacity to begin drawing.

For clean circles or squares, hold down the Option key while you draw. To draw straight lines, hold Shift while you click and drag (if using a Windows machine, hold Alt instead).

On mobile, create a clean square, circle, or line by holding down for 2 seconds after you’ve finished drawing the rough shape. You should notice the drawing turn into a clean shape.

When you select a drawing, a menu appears at the top of the page. Use this menu to switch colors, add a fill, and change outline opacity.

With a pencil-drawn object selected, you'll see additional tools at the top of the canvas:

Icon

Purpose

Related Shortcuts

Description

invision-freehand-color-dropdown.png

Color

  • Shape fill: ⌘E

Select your color, opacity, and whether to fill the object.

invision-freehand-line-width.png

Line Weight

  • Thin: ⌥1
  • Medium: ⌥2
  • Thick: ⌥3

Select one of 3 line-weight options.

invision-freehand-lines-start-end-points.png

Line Caps

  • Change Start: ,
  • Change End: .
  • Remove Start: ⇧,
  • Remove End: ⇧.

Select one of 4 caps for both the start-point and end-point of your line:

invision-freehand-line-no-caps.png invision-freehand-line-start-arrow.png invision-freehand-line-start-circle.png invision-freehand-line-start-bar.png
invision-freehand-line-no-caps.png invision-freehand-line-end-arrow.png invision-freehand-line-end-circle.png invision-freehand-line-end-bar.png

 

Text tool

The text tool (invision-cloud-v7-freehand-text.png) allows you to enter text on your canvas. Once you select the text tool, click anywhere on your canvas and begin typing.

When you select a text field, an editor appears at the top of the page. Use the editor to change properties like color, bold, italics, highlight, and alignment.

Switch to the pointer tool to resize your text or drag it to a different point on the canvas. Use the text tool to leave feedback on individual screens, flows, or specific features. Pressing Shift + Enter creates a line break.

With a text box selected, you'll see the following tools:

Icon

Purpose

Related Shortcuts

Description

invision-freehand-convert-to-text.png

Text or
Note

N/A 

Convert a text box to a sticky note or vice versa.

invision-freehand-color-dropdown.png

Color

N/A 

Select your color, opacity, and whether to fill the object.

invision-freehand-text-bold.png

Bold

⌘B

Toggle bold text on (pink) or off.

invision-freehand-text-italic.png

Italic

⌘I

Toggle italic text on (pink) or off.

invision-freehand-text-highlight.png

Highlight

⌘E

Toggle highlighted text on (pink) or off.

invision-freehand-text-left.png

Left Align

⌘ ⇧ L

Left align your text.

invision-freehand-text-center.png

Center Align

⌘ ⇧ C

Center your text.

invision-freehand-text-right.png

Right Align

⌘ ⇧ R

Right align your text.

 

Shape tool

Use the shape tool (invision-cloud-v7-freehand-shape-tool.png) to quickly draw basic shapes. Hover over the shape tool to pick the rectangle, oval, or straight line. To create a perfect square, circle, or angled line, hold Shift while using the shape tool.

With a shape selected, you'll see the following tools:

Icon

Purpose

Related Shortcuts

Description

invision-freehand-color-dropdown.png

Color

  • Shape fill: ⌘E

Select your color, opacity, and whether to fill the object.

invision-freehand-line-width.png

Line Weight

  • Thin: ⌥1
  • Medium: ⌥2
  • Thick: ⌥3

Select one of 3 line-weight options.

invision-freehand-lines-start-end-points.png

Line Caps

  • Change Start: ,
  • Change End: .
  • Remove Start: ⇧,
  • Remove End: ⇧.

Select one of 4 caps for both the start-point and end-point of your line:

invision-freehand-line-no-caps.png invision-freehand-line-start-arrow.png invision-freehand-line-start-circle.png invision-freehand-line-start-bar.png
invision-freehand-line-no-caps.png invision-freehand-line-end-arrow.png invision-freehand-line-end-circle.png invision-freehand-line-end-bar.png


Image tool

The image tool (invision-cloud-v7-freehand-image.png) lets you upload images directly to the canvas. Once you upload an image, switch to the pointer tool to resize your image or drag it to a different point on the canvas.

When you drop an image over something drawn with the pencil tool, the image will automatically be placed behind the drawing.

Sticky Note tool

Use the sticky note tool (invision-freehand-sticky-note-tool.png) to add notes anywhere on the canvas. With a sticky note selected, you can change its color, adjust its width, and add and format text. 

With a sticky note selected, you'll see the following tools:

Icon

Purpose

Related Shortcuts

Description

invision-freehand-convert-to-sticky-note.png

Text or
Note

 

Convert a text box to a sticky note or vice versa.

invision-freehand-color-dropdown.png

Color

 

Select your color, opacity, and whether to fill the object.

invision-freehand-text-bold.png

Bold

⌘B

Toggle bold text on (pink) or off.

invision-freehand-text-italic.png

Italic

⌘I

Toggle italic text on (pink) or off.

invision-freehand-text-highlight.png

Highlight

⌘E

Toggle highlighted text on (pink) or off.

invision-freehand-text-left.png

Left Align

⌘ ⇧ L

Left align your text.

invision-freehand-text-center.png

Center Align

⌘ ⇧ C

Center your text.

invision-freehand-text-right.png

Right Align

⌘ ⇧ R

Right align your text.


Using your Freehand keyboard shortcuts

At the bottom right of your freehand project, you'll notice a keyboard icon (invision-v7-freehand-keyboard-icon.png). To expand a list of shortcut keys for Freehand, click the icon.

invision-cloud-v7-freehand-shortcuts.gif

Getting help with Freehand

Located in the bottom-right corner of your freehand is a help icon (invision-cloud-v7-freehand-help-icon.png). Click the icon to reveal a few different options:

  • Review the Freehand Guide: Watch an introductory video or read up on using Freehand.
  • See what's new: Check out the latest release notes for Freehand.
  • Send feedback: Reach out to us directly with any feedback for Freehand.

Renaming a freehand

To rename a freehand:

  1. Open the freehand.
  2. In the upper-left corner, hover over the current name until the mouse pointer changes to a cursor, and click the name.
  3. Edit the name, and then press Enter.

Exiting a freehand

To exit your freehand and return to all your documents, navigate to the top-left corner and click the InVision (v7-freehand-invision-icon.png) icon. Any changes you made to your freehand will save automatically.

Sharing a freehand

Inviting others to join your freehand takes just a moment, and there are two ways to share:

  • Add people to your freehand
  • Share a document link to the freehand

Invite people

To invite people to a document:

  1. Open the freehand and, at the top right, click the Share button.
  2. In the To: field, enter the name of the person you want to invite.
    If you want to add someone who isn't yet a member of your team, enter their email address.
  3. To the right of the To: field, click the drop-down and select Can edit or Can review.
  4. Click the Invite button.
share-freehand.gif

Share a document link

Document links are the main URLs for prototypes, boards, and freehands.

To share a document link to your freehand:

  1. While viewing the Freehand, navigate to the top-right corner and click Share.
  2. To the right of Copy Link, click Settings.
  3. Under Who can Open this Document?, choose an option:
    • Anyone with the link
    • Members of [your team] with the link
    • People invited
  4. Under What can they do?, choose between:
    • Edit, draw and view
    • View only
  5. Click Save.
  6. To the left of the Settings link, click Copy Link.

You can now send that link to anyone you want to join your freehand.

invision-cloud-v7-freehand-share-document-link.gif

Presenting a freehand

Presenting a freehand allows others to see the project from your perspective. If you are presenting, anyone currently viewing the freehand will follow the actions you take.

To start a presentation, go to the top of the page and click the present icon (invision-freehand-present-icon.png). To stop presenting, click the stop icon (invision-cloud-v7-freehand-stop-presenting-icon.png).

You can independently follow a specific collaborator's actions by navigating to the top-right corner of the page and clicking their avatar. To stop following a collaborator, click their avatar again. Click the present icon to take over as presenter at any time.

invision-freehand-follow-individuals-actions.gif

Deleting a freehand

If you choose to delete a prototype or other document, you cannot restore it—nor can InVision restore it on your behalf. Please proceed with caution.

If you're the person who originally created a freehand, you can delete it at any time.

To delete a freehand in InVision V7:

  1. Open the Documents page (or the space that stores the document you want to delete).
  2. Hover over the document thumbnail to reveal and click the More menu icon (invision-cloud-v7-document-thumbnail-more-icon.png) in the lower-right corner, and then click Delete.
  3. On the confirmation screen, click the Delete button.
invision-v7-delete-freehand.gif

Currently, only the original creator of a InVision V7 freehand has the ability delete it; therefore, even if they've transferred the freehand to a new owner, only the creator will see a Delete option after clicking the More menu.

Using Freehand on tablets and mobile devices

If you're trying to view or use Freehand on a tablet, please see our information about Freehand for the InVision iOS app or about Freehand for the InVision Android app.


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