Figma – Hiding side panels and toolbar

If users want a distraction-free view that helps them focus on the designs alone, Figma allows hiding the side panels and toolbar. 

It can be achieved using a keyboard shortcut (Command + \ in Mac and Windows + \ in Windows). The same shortcut can be used to bring back the panels and toolbar.

Many users, including PMs, use this shortcut, but sometimes the outcome they expect is different.

  • When a PM reviews the designs, they might also expect the ability to add comments.
  •  When the PM wants to follow the designer to understand the designs better, the PM might want to track the designer’s cursor movements.

In both these cases, the PM depends on the toolbar to achieve the end action. But with the shortcut mentioned above, Figma hides everything on the screen while keeping the designs alone.

Some might say it’s as simple as using the same shortcut (Command + \) to bring back the toolbar and using the letter C on the keyboard to add a comment. Fair enough. But the ability to follow a person’s cursor movements still involves a manual click, which can only be done with the toolbar. There’s no keyboard shortcut to track a person’s cursor movements.

Another disadvantage is the lack of Share and Present options when the panels and toolbar are hidden.

My take:

It would be great to show the avatars (to follow), allow the ability to add comments, and permit presenting and sharing the designs when the user hides the panels and toolbar using the keyboard shortcut.

By showing these options upfront, users are less distracted and can get their job done faster.

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