Intro to the Designer

Learn your way around the Webflow Designer.

This video features an old UI. Updated version coming soon!
This video features an old UI. Updated version coming soon!

In this lesson:

  1. Accessing the Designer
  2. Anatomy of the Designer
  3. Multiple-user collaboration
  4. Why the Designer is an online app

The Webflow 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, and more. 

In the Designer you can visually manipulate HTML content, set CSS properties, and create interactions without writing JavaScript. As you build your website, the Designer creates clean, semantic, web-ready code.

Accessing the Designer

There are 3 ways to access the Webflow Designer:

  1. From the Dashboard by clicking your project thumbnail
  2. From Project settings by clicking Designer in the upper toolbar of the project
  3. From the Editor by clicking the Menu button at the lower left corner of the Editor and choosing Designer

Designer requirements: supported browsers

The Webflow Designer is an online app that works best on the latest version of Chrome (55+) or Safari (10.1+). It also works on the browsers like Vivaldi and Brave.

Due to technical issues with Firefox (a known bug with scrollbars), we are unable to fully support Firefox yet. That said, you can use Webflow on any browser. If you run into issues using Webflow on experimental browsers, please report your issue under the experimental browsers category on the Webflow Forum.

Designer requirements: supported screen resolutions

The Designer requires a monitor or laptop that has a screen width of at least 1268px. This requirement is the sum of the left sidebar, the Designer canvas, and the right sidebar.

Anatomy of the Designer

The Designer consists of the main canvas and a set of toolbars and panels. Following is an overview of:

The left toolbar

The left toolbar provides a set of links and tools that allow you to structure your web project. The icons at the top of the left toolbar hide away many of the Designer panels:

  • Main menu
  • Add elements panel
  • Navigator
  • Pages panel
  • CMS panel
  • Ecommerce panel
  • Assets panel
  • Settings panel
  • Canvas view toggles
  • Help settings
Main menu — Webflow logo

When you click the Webflow icon, you'll see a menu which allows you to navigate to the Dashboard, the Editor, or the Project settings of the currently open project.

Add elements panel — shortcut: A

This opens the Add panel from where you can add elements from the Elements panel or symbols from the Symbols panel.

Navigator — shortcut: Z

Shows the hierarchy of every element on the page you are currently on. Here, you can visually interact with these elements. Learn more about the Navigator.

Pages panel — shortcut: P

This opens the Pages Panel where we can organize and manage page settings. Learn more about the Pages panel.

CMS panel

It opens the CMS Collections panel where you can create and modify Collections and Collection items.

Ecommerce panel

It opens the Ecommerce panel where you can create and modify products and product categories. Here, you'll also see the orders that you've received. Learn more about the Ecommerce panel.

Assets panel

It opens the Assets panel. From here, you can upload and organize assets you use or link to in your project. Learn more about the Assets panel.

Settings panel

It opens the settings panel where you can set up various settings such as search settings and Ecommerce settings.

Canvas view toggles

The icons stacked at the bottom of the left toolbar provide some canvas view and help settings. The canvas view settings are presented in first 4 icons:

  • Hide element edges — toggles the outline of elements that appear on the canvas when you hover over them
  • Hide empty elements — toggles elements that have no content such as empty div blocks and containers
  • Show/hide guide overlays — toggles vertical guide lines
  • 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

Help settings provide you with tools to make using the Designer easier.

The Help & feedback modal in the Webflow Designer
Help & feedback in the Webflow Designer
  • 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 Canvas

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:

Page indicator

Shows which page you are currently on. And when you click this indicator, it opens the Pages Panel.

Page indicator

Toggles between the preview and design mode of the Designer, allowing you to see how your project will look when published.

Preview toggle
Breakpoints buttons

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.

Export code 

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.

From here, you can also invite collaborators and allow them to edit the content of your site.


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:

  1. Style panel (S)
  2. Element settings panel (D)
  3. Style manager (G)
  4. 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.

Multiple-user collaboration

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.
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