I’m a designer and creative web developer from Budapest, Hungary. I’ve been using Penpot for ca. two months as my primary tool for presentation, and UI design, on Linux. I’m quite amazed by Penpot, and really happy that it exists. I tought it might be a good idea to do a comprehensive list of bugs, and improvement- and feature ideas until I’m really into it (to maybe improve it further).
I’m also a Figma user, which I tell to put my feedback into context (and that some points might be trivial).
- When moving a file from one platform to another (e.g. from Penpot to an Elestio instance), custom fonts don’t work on the target platform, even though they’re installed on both. On the target platform they’re displayed as ‘Font deleted’, and have to be explicitly reconfigured (either on a per element basis, or in Assets).
- When moving a file from one team to another, editing text in the file within the new team sometimes doesn’t work. The entered new text only gets displayed while editing, but when exiting the text box, changes don’t get rendered. It seems like a caching issue, as deleting browser cache resolves the problem. Similar bug to the above (custom fonts missing when installed) might also be present sometimes, when moving not platforms, but teams.
- Component instances, that were resized, sometimes get reset to their original size. It doesn’t happen consistently: only happens in some cases, and only to some (not all) overriden components.
- Resizing artboards sometimes also resizes contained elements. Think of a website screen design’s section, or similar. It can be prevented by grouping and locking the problematic element before the artboard-resize action (as a temporary workaround).
- In the numeric input fields, calculations (e.g. +/-) only work right on the first artboard, with zero offset.
Improvements and new features
- Comments numbering grows indefinitely. Let’s say that you add comment number 4, and then change your mind, and delete it. The next comment you add will receive number 5, instead of 4. I think comments shouldn’t necessarily have number ids at all, but if they do, this behaviour is confusing or not nice within a team setup (randomly missing numbers in a comments list etc.).
- Comments can’t be repositioned. Moving comments would open up a lot of possibilities, especially when working in a team setup. Let’s say that the design or layout changes, which currently renders existing comments useless, and hard to maintain.
- Component overrides should work on a per attribute, and not a per element basis. For example, when you change a button component’s text label, the text object gets entirely detached from the main component. It would be much more useful to only detach the component attribute, or content, that actually got changed (like in Figma, for reference).
- Images should be much more easy to manage. An option to change an image to another one would probably be the most important improvement. (It takes a lot of time to resize or reposition images e.g. in a list setup.) When changing or replacing an image, the new image could take up the height (or width) of the original image.
- Images placement in bulk would also be a nice addition: similarily how it works in Figma. Because of the different way how Penpot manages images and masking, it might be challanging I assume.
- Object (or Layer) names shouldn’t have numbers at all. When creating a new object,
-ngets appended to object names. It only is useful in case of Pages and Artboards, but totally messes up your Layers panel – especially if you consistently arrange your layers (e.g. left to right on the design - top to bottom on the Layers panel; a convention that many teams use). For reference, it also works like this in Figma, but there’re plugins to clean it up. It’s worth checking Corel Vector, that does this much better in my oppinion (and maybe nothing else).
- Duplicated objects would be better to be appanded to selection in the Layers panel, instead of prepended. (Overlap issues could be managed e.g. by a custom offset setting for duplicated items, if important). It might be the standard behaviour in similar apps, but an option to change it would be nice.
- Editing longer texts (above ca. 1.000 characters) has a slow performance: edits sometimes lag on a per character basis.
- Auto layout would of course be a nice addition, but I like how Penpot keeps it simple with Groups only (and not Groups and Frames). So that if Auto layout could somehow be implemented without introducing a new object type, that would be great (and easier to add into old designs)!
I hope this list is appropriate here: let me know if it’d be better elsewhere. I might add some points later. (I know bug reports are handled on GitHub: let me know if I should rather move the above list there, maybe item by item.)
I also hope it helps improving Penpot, and thank you for this great product!