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Freehand

Collaborate in real-time with Freehand, InVision’s digital whiteboard. Map out user experiences, run design sprints, or create low-fidelity ideations. From anywhere, on any device, teammates can view or collaborate on a Freehand document.

Creating a freehand

To create a new Freehand document:

  1. Sign in to your InVision Cloud account and navigate to the Projects page.
  2. Near the top right of the page, click the large + button.
  3. Click Create New Freehand.
  4. Before exiting or inviting others to collaborate, navigate to the top left and click Save Draft.
    For Enterprise users, you can select which account the freehand is saved to. In the save modal, click Change and, next to the appropriate account, click Continue. You can now click Save Draft again.
  5. Enter a document name and click Save.
    If you do not save the draft before exiting, all progress will be lost, and the freehand will not be saved. This action cannot be undone.
v6-create-new-freehand.gif
You can also create freehands from prototype screens. To learn more, check out this article: Can I add prototype screens to a Freehand document?

Freehand tools

With access to a variety of tools, you can completely customize your freehand to meet your needs.

Freehand toolbar

On the left side of the browser window, you'll notice the Freehand toolbar. The following list describes each tool's function.

Icon

Shortcut

Description

v6-freehand-pointer-tool.png

V or 1

The pointer tool allows you to select, move, and resize objects on the Freehand canvas. To manipulate multiple objects at once, click and drag, creating a box around the chosen objects. Alternatively, hold Shift and click each object. 

v6-freehand-pencil-tool.png

P or 2

Draw on your canvas with the pencil tool. When you select the pencil tool, 3 different opacity options will appear. Select an opacity level to begin drawing.

To create neat circles or squares, hold down the Option key while drawing. Holding Shift while drawing will help you create straight lines at 0°, 45°, or 90°. To create a straight line at any angle, hold Shift when you click to draw, but release Shift before finishing your line.

v6-freehand-text-tool.png

T or 3

The text tool allows you to enter text on your canvas. Once you select the text tool, click anywhere on your canvas and begin typing. Switch to the pointer tool to resize your text. To create a line break, press Shift + Enter.

v6-freehand-shape-tool.png S or 4

With the shape tool, you can create rectangles, circles, or straight lines. Click the shape tool, and then select the appropriate shape (rectangle, circle, or line). Hold Shift while drawing to create perfect squares and rectangles. Holding Shift while drawing a line will lock your line to 0°, 45°, or 90°.

v6-freehand-image-tool.png

I or 5

Upload images directly to the canvas with the image tool. Once you upload an image, switch to the selector tool to resize your image. You can also drag and drop images directly onto the canvas.

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

Use the Sticky Note tool 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.

You can also change the color of your pencil or text tool. Navigate to the top right of the canvas and click the underlined pencil icon (v6-freehand-color-tool.png). Select a color and start creating.

v6-freehand-color-tool-menu.png

Editing objects

After creating objects, you can edit them using contextual menus. Select a line or a shape, and use the menu at the top of the page to change the color, add a fill, or adjust the outline opacity. Select a text layer to change its color or apply simple formatting.

v6-freehand-editing_objects.gif

Navigating the freehand

To navigate a freehand, place two fingers on your trackpad. Alternatively, hold the Spacebar while you click and drag. Zoom in or out by holding Command while scrolling, or by using the +/- controls at the bottom right of the page.

v6-freehand-navigating.gif

Additional freehand tools

For additional Freehand tools, navigate to the top right of the page and click the ••• (more) icon. A drop-down menu will appear with the following options:

  • Clear my drawings: Clear everything you’ve drawn with the pencil tool.
  • Clear everything: Clear the entire canvas.
  • Create new Freehand: Create a new Freehand document.
v6-freehand-more-menu.png

Keyboard shortcuts

To view a list of shortcuts for Freehand, navigate to the bottom right of your Freehand document and click the keyboard icon (v6-freehand-keyboard-icon.png).

v6-freehand-keyboard-shortcuts.gif

Renaming a freehand

To rename a freehand:

  1. Open the Freehand document and, at the top-left corner, click the document name.
  2. When the cursor appears, delete the old name and type the new name.
  3. Press Enter or click outside of the name field.
v6-freehand-rename.gif

Sharing a freehand

Inviting others to join your freehand is simple. To share your freehand:

  1. Navigate to the top right of your Freehand document and click the Share button.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow and set the permissions to Can edit or Can view only.
    Only the Freehand owner can edit this setting.
  3. Click Copy Link.
v6-freehand-share.gif

The share link will be copied to your clipboard. Anyone who visits the share link will be prompted to sign in to InVision Cloud or sign up for an account. They can choose to continue as a guest, but they will still be required to enter an email address.

The first person to save a freehand becomes the owner, even if that person did not originally create the freehand. Therefore, we recommend saving your freehand at least once before sharing with others.

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 presenting, at the top of the page, click the present icon (v6-freehand-present-icon.png). To stop presenting, click the stop icon (v6-freehand-stop-presenting.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.

v6-freehand-present-and-follow.gif

Exiting a freehand

To exit a freehand and return to the Projects page, go to the top left of the page and click the InVision icon (v6-freehand-invision-icon.png).

As a reminder, if you do not save your freehand before exiting, your changes will not be saved, and InVision cannot retrieve your work. Before exiting, ensure that your freehand is named and the Save Draft button no longer appears.

Freehand on mobile

Freehand is also available for your mobile device. Check out our help center for information on using Freehand with the InVision iOS App or the InVision App for Android.

Currently, Freehand is unavailable on Android unless you're part of the InVision Cloud V7 Early Access program.

Freehand for Craft and Studio

You can also create Freehand documents from Craft or Studio. To learn more, check out these topics:

Getting help with Freehand

Located in the bottom-right corner of a Freehand document is the help icon (v6-freehand-help-icon.png). Click the icon to reveal a few different options:

  • Read the Freehand Guide: Watch an introductory video or read up on tips for using Freehand.
  • See what's new: Check out the latest release notes for Freehand.
  • Send feedback: Reach out to InVision directly with any feedback for Freehand.
v6-freehand-help-menu.png

Learn something new

Getting Started Guides