As design teams grow within organizations coupled with the ever-increasing design surfaces, designers need to collaborate to create consistent and scalable designs. With Linked Symbols, designers can share symbols across documents and ensure that they are always up to date.
Linked Symbols allow you to create and maintain a single source of truth for UI kits, sticker sheets or style guides, and use them in other Adobe XD documents. When you modify a Linked Symbol in the source document, XD notifies documents with instances of that Linked Symbol with those updates. From there, you can preview the changes and choose to accept or reject them.
You can also move the linked symbol source and target documents to a new location or access them across multiple machines without breaking the link between them. However, ensure that the source and target documents are within the same parent folder structure.
To get started with Linked symbols on a collaborative application, follow these workflows:
|Source document||Original document with a Symbol created and saved.||Regular Symbol|
|Destination document||A secondary document which uses a Symbol from the source document.||Linked Symbol|
|Local Symbol||A Symbol that resides within the document.||Each Symbol is self-represented with a green border around the object|
A saved Symbol copied from the source document to the destination document.
Note: To paste a Linked Symbol, ensure that you have saved the Symbols in the source document.
|On canvas -|
|In the Assets panel -|
|Linked Symbol update||Notification that appears in the destination document when a Linked Symbol is updated in the source document.||On canvas and in the Assets panel|
|Broken link Symbol||A Linked Symbol that is not saved in the source document or has broken or missing links. For more information, see Resolve and relink missing symbols.||On canvas and in the Assets panel|
While you can edit the appearance properties for Linked Symbols in the source document, you can only modify the text and bitmap content for Linked Symbols instances in the destination document.
To push overrides to all instances of a Linked Symbol, right-click Linked Symbol, and select Push Overrides. The text and bitmap content of that Linked Symbol instance propagates to all other instances. You can also apply overrides to specific parts of a nested Linked Symbol.
If you want to push overrides to all documents with Linked Symbols, select the Symbol in the source document, and click Push Overrides. By doing so, the overrides of that symbol propagates to all other Linked Symbol instances in the destination documents.
You can edit Linked Symbols appearance properties from the source document. To edit a Linked Symbol in the source document:
When a Linked Symbol is updated in the source document, the destination document receives an update notification indicated by a blue badge icon in the Assets panel.
Hover the mouse over the icon in the Assets panel to:
- Preview the updates and view the last modified date and source document details before committing the changes.
- View the updated thumbnail preview on canvas in context of your designs.
While previewing linked symbol updates, objects which were in focus on the canvas are no longer highlighted. After preview, these objects are highlighted again.
If you want to accept the updates for a Linked Symbol to be applied to all instance of that Linked Symbol in the designation document:
Convert a Linked Symbol to a local symbol if you want to experiment and change the properties for a Linked Symbol without impacting its instances in other documents.
If you want to edit the appearance properties of Linked Symbol without impacting other documents with that same Linked Symbol, convert the Linked Symbol to a local Symbol. You can edit or override the properties of a local Symbol and updates made to a local Symbol is confined to its own document.
To convert a Linked Symbol to a local Symbol, right-click the Linked Symbol in the Assets panel and select Make Local Symbol.
If you convert a Linked Symbol to a local Symbol, you no longer receive notifications to changes made to the Symbol in the source document. Other XD documents with the Linked Symbol continue to receive updates.
To make style changes to a Linked Symbol instance without impacting other instances in the same document, right-click the Linked Symbol instance, and select Unlink Symbol. If changes are made to that Linked Symbol in the source document, Linked Symbol continues to receive update notifications.
To unlink a Linked Symbol instance, right-click the Linked Symbol instance, and select Unlink Symbol.
To delete instances of a Linked Symbol in the destination document, right-click the Symbol in the Assets panel, and select Delete.
To share the source document with other designers, store the source document on a file sharing service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or a shared network drive. You can invite designers to edit or consume Symbols from the source documents and receive update notifications when those documents are updated.
You can organize their source documents, rename, or move the existing Linked Symbol to another document. In such cases,
A Linked Symbol is broken
- The source XD document is moved.
- A Linked Symbol in the original document is deleted.
- The source XD document is deleted or renamed.
- The original document is
To resolve Linked Symbols with a missing link, hover on the missing link icon to learn the reason behind the broken Symbol.
For information on how to fix broken links, see Troubleshooting linked symbols in Adobe XD.
To relink Linked Symbols, click the missing