The Designer allows you to build your site structure, design the look and feel, add content, interactions, animations, and custom code to create fully functioning websites, landing pages, prototypes, presentations, etc.
Accessing the Designer
You can access the Webflow Designer in one of 3 ways:
From the dashboard — by clicking your project thumbnail
From the project settings — by clicking the Designer button in the upper toolbar of the project
From the Editor— by clicking the menu button at the lower left corner of the Editor and choosing Designer
Enable/disable x-ray mode — toggles a grayscale wireframe look of your page
These allow you to view the structure of your layout in various settings allowing for better structuring or viewing your layout. For example, the guide overlays guide you to create a consistent design so your elements are stacked and positioned evenly throughout the site.
Help settings provide you with tools to make using the Designer easier.
Keyboard shortcuts — shows the keyboard shortcuts that help you speed up your design workflow in the Designer. You can also see these shortcuts by pressing Shift + /.
The major area in the Designer is the Canvas. It's where you can interact with the page in real-time. You can select elements, move them around, and edit content right on the page. Learn more about the Canvas.
The top bar
The top bar provides another set of view settings as well as some useful tools to save, publish and even export your site. Starting from the left-hand side, right next to the menu button, and moving to the right, you have the following set of tools:
Shows which page you are currently on. And when you click this indicator, it opens the Pages Panel.
Toggles between the preview and design mode of the Designer, allowing you to see how your project will look when published.
Located in the middle of the top bar, these icons allow you to switch between different breakpoints to see and edit the design of your project on these breakpoints. Learn more about breakpoints.
Undo and Redo
Allow you to undo or redo actions you took in the Designer like applying a style or deleting an element.
Shows you when your work is being saved – indicated with gray ellipses (…). and when your work is saved – indicated with a green checkmark. Your work in the Designer is saved automatically. You can manually save your project by pressing CMD+S in Mac or CTRL +S in Windows. Clicking this icon will not save your project.
Allows you to export the code of the current project, which is prepared and downloadable in a zip file. Learn more.
This option allows you to enable and share a preview link to the current page of the Designer with your friends or the Webflow community and staff when you need advice or design help. This link opens up the Designer in read-only mode and allows anyone with access to see and manipulate the layout and design of the project. Changes cannot be made to your project when it's opened in read-only mode. It’s only used for troubleshooting and exploration purposes.
Allows you to choose your publish destination and publish your changes instantly to either your subdomain and/or your custom domain. Learn more.
The bottom navigation breadcrumb bar
The button bar shows you the hierarchy of the selected element. You can see where it’s located, inside which other parent elements, You can even select any parent element by clicking on its label in this breadcrumb bar.
The right panels
The third major section — the panels on the right, give you extremely granular control over your elements.
Here you have 4 major panels:
The Style Panel (S)
The Element Settings Panel (D)
The Style Manager (G)
The Interactions Panel (H)
Style Panel — shortcut: S
Gives you access to all CSS properties available for the select element. You can simply enter these values in their appropriate fields and see the style applied to your elements on the canvas instantly. Learn more.
Element Settings Panel — shortcut: D
Gives you access to various settings available for the select element.
Style Manager — shortcut: G
Displays a complete list of classes, combo classes, and tags you've created or edited in your project. It's a quick way to rename or even clean up any style that aren’t being used anymore. Learn more.
Interactions Panel — shortcut: H
Allows you to create interactions and apply them to the selected element. Learn more.
If you're on a team plan, it's not possible for multiple people to access the same Webflow project in the Designer at the same time.
The Editor, on the other hand, allows multiple people to edit static and dynamic content at the same time. A person can also work in the Designer even as many people work in the Editor at the same time. If two people are editing the same content at the same time, the last edits "win," so you'll still want to coordinate editing times with your teammates.
Why the Designer is an online app
The Webflow Designer is an online app/hosted program because we believe that web design tools should let you design in the browser and immediately see the results. Here are a few more reasons why Webflow is a hosted program rather than a downloadable program:
What you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) — in Webflow, everything you're doing has a direct effect on the HTML and CSS of your website. So what you see in Webflow is always what you see when you publish your site.
Pushing updates and improvements is fast — as a hosted app, we can develop, test, and push new features and bug fixes to our servers in minutes. That way, everyone is always running the latest and greatest version of Webflow.
True collaboration — with web design workflows becoming more collaborative, having an online platform makes it easier for entire teams to access and edit a website.
There are many other reasons — from hosting in the cloud to having dead-simple form handling to building tools that evolve with bleeding-edge web technologies — the benefits only become more clear as time goes by. We think you’ll agree.
Can I Use ?
Data on support for the feature across the major browsers from caniuse.com.