I know this has been brought up before but it hasn't been resolved. I want to export a bunch of images which have a transparent background but maintain the dimensions of the transparent area. I've added a background and turned off the opacity but only the visible pixels are exportable.

Sketch has the most useless documentation about it http://bohemiancoding.com/sketch/support/documentation/11-exporting/2-slices.html

I've tried converting them to slices and symbols but that doesn't work either.

2 Answers 2


Here is the solution.

For instance there are several layers we want to export with transparent background:
enter image description here

Insert Slice around layers and check Background Color in inspector view:
enter image description here

Change Alpha of this background color to zero:
enter image description here

Then you can export Slice with the desired size and voila:
enter image description here

  • 1
    You can also use an artboard instead of a slice for the same effect.
    – spiral
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 8:56
  • Thanks! Now slice function has a meaning, and a utility, for me.
    – Kurt UXD
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 9:58

Are you using a Sketch template? Like the iOS UI template?

On the Symbols page, Sketch has put a rectangle behind and around all the artboards. If you have a transparent symbol on top of this, it (for some reason) exports the rectangle with it. Disable/delete the rectangle and you can export!

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