Open untracked vs. creating a branch

When you attempt to open a Sketch or Adobe XD file through Abstract anywhere other than your own current branch, you’ll be asked whether you want to open untracked or create a branch.

Versions-Open-Untracked.png

What is an untracked file?

In Abstract, a branch is where you can safely explore and edit designs on your own working copy of the main branch. This is where all of your work and progress is tracked while it is ongoing and how past work is recorded for later reference. Abstract does this tracking every time you commit; whatever changes you make in the files in your branch are tracked as part of the project history when you make a commit.

Opening a file untracked means that you want to have access to view the file in the design tool, but you are telling Abstract that you do not want to commit any changes you may make. Opening files untracked is primarily used for viewing files since you cannot save any changes back to Abstract this way.

When to open a file untracked

  • To view a file on the main branch without creating a new branch.
  • To view a file on another person's branch without creating your own child branch.
  • To view a file on a previous commit of the main branch, someone else's branch, or your own branch.
  • To view a file on your current commit of a branch without accidentally adding new changes.
  • To open a file on any branch, including the main branch, or to open a previous commit in order to copy and paste elements from that file into a different file.

Opening untracked

If you make any changes to the file after selecting OPEN UNTRACKED, your changes cannot be committed to Abstract.

To open a file untracked on the main branch:

  1. Open the Abstract desktop app.
  2. Select the project whose files you want to view.

  3. Select Main from the left side pane.

  4. Select the Files tab at the top of the page.
  5. Select the file that you want to view and click Edit in Sketch.
  6. In the modal, select Open Untracked.

To open a file untracked on a previous commit of a branch, including the main branch:

Versions_Commits_Open-Untracked.png

  1. Open the Abstract desktop app.
  2. Select the project whose files you want to view.

  3. Select Main or any branch from the left side pane.

  4. Select the Commits tab at the top of the page.
  5. Select the commit that you want to view in the commit panel.
  6. In the file preview area, scroll to the file you want to view and click Open Untracked to the right of the file name.

Creating a branch

If you plan on making changes to the file or want to use the file to start your own work, you will want to create a branch instead of opening untracked.

When opening a file from the main branch, select CREATE A BRANCH in the modal. Then, follow these branching instructions.

When opening a file from a branch or a commit, create a child branch.