Work with document assets in Adobe XD

Looking for information on how to manage document assets in XD? You're in the right place!

Document Assets in the Libraries panel is the central location from where you can create, manage, and share colors, character styles, components, and audio assets used in your design projects.

document assets

Why use document assets?

Meet Richard, a design lead responsible for standardizing the creation and usage of design assets in cloud-based systems. He is training himself to manage colors, character styles, components, or audio assets across design systems.

 

  • He is looking for information on how to create and manage assets in XD.

 

  • He needs help to create an asset management system in XD.

Read on to learn how we can introduce him to Document Assets in XD and help him get started.

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Before you proceed

Be familiar with these concepts in XD:

Add document assets

To start curating your design styles and components from your Document Assets panel, click Libraries  on the toolbar , or press Cmd + Shift + Y (on Mac) or Ctrl + Shift + Y (on Windows), then click Document Assets .
Once you are in the Document Assets panel, follow these steps to add colors, character styles, components, or audio that you want to reuse across your document or publish later as part of your library. 

Add colors

Add colors

  • Click the + icon to add Colors and gradients. XD extracts the fill and border colors text layers, color and sub-range styles associated with the selected objects.

Add character styles

Add assets character

  • Click the + icon to add Character Styles. XD extracts all the styles associated with the text layer including any sub-range styling.

Add components

Add assets components

  • Click the + icon to convert  a selection into a component. When you create a component on canvas, XD automatically adds it to the Document Assets.

Add audio

Add assets audio

  • Audio files added to a prototype in the Properties inspector in Prototype mode automatically show up within the Document Assets.

Things to watch out for

  • You cannot add colors from shadows to Document Assets.
  • You cannot group character styles with common properties. 
  • You can delete audio files only from the Document Assets.

  • You can add audio files from the Property inspector in Prototype mode.
  • You cannot rename or reorder audio files.
  • Audio files are not linked when linking to a cloud document. 

Best Practices

  • Use the list view in the Document Assets.
    to rename and sort the assets to match your organizational needs. The  grid view is optimized to reuse assets given the larger thumbnails and assets renditions.
  • For a preflight check, select all the artboards in your document to extract every color and character style used in the document.

Apply and reuse document assets

Now that you can view the added assets from the Document Assets, select an object or a group of objects on the artboard, and click on the color or character style to apply it to the selection.

To use one or multiple components in your design, select them in the Document Assets panel and drag them to canvas. Instances of those components will be created on canvas.

Follow these steps to reuse color, character styles, or components: 

Reuse color

Reuse color

  1. Select an object or a text layer and click on the color swatch to apply it as a fill color, or
  2. Multi-select an object and apply a color or gradient to the selection, or
  3. Right-click a color swatch from Document Assets and select Apply border color to apply it as a border color or copy the hex value for reuse.

Reuse character styles

Reuse character styles

  1. Select a text layer or a part of the text and click on the character style to apply it.
  2. Multi-select an object and apply a character style across a selection.

Reuse components

Reuse Components

  1. Drag and drop the component from the Document Assets to the canvas.
  2. Multi-select the object and drag multiple components on canvas.
  3. When dragging a component, you can hover over another component instance to swap it. 

Best Practices

  • For a consistent usage, once you have saved your colors and character styles, ensure to apply colors and character styles from the Document Assets to the selected objects.

Edit document assets

Once you have added and reused your assets, you can edit them from the Document Assets to make global changes across your document. This provides a streamlined way to modify your color and character styles across the document. 

Follow these steps to edit document assets:

Edit colors

Edit color

  • Right-click on a color swatch and select Edit to modify the color value across the document. 
  • All objects on canvas using that color updates in real-time. This is a great way to preview a color change at scale and make edits.

Edit character styles

Edit character

  • Right-click on a character style and select Edit to modify that style across the document. 
  • All text layers on canvas using that style are updated in real-time.

Edit components

Edit component

  • Right-click the component on canvas or in the Document Assets panel and select Edit Main Component to highlight the main component on canvas or recreate if deleted.
  • Any changes made to the Main component  are propagated to other component instances.

 

Things to watch out for 

  • When editing a color or character style used across multiple objects (>100), the changes may take time to propagate from the panel to all the objects on the canvas.

Best Practices

  • To determine the impact of the edit on your design, Use Highlight on Canvas option before you edit the assets from the Document Assets.
  • To edit colors in character styles, change the color value and then the global color value to preserve the character styles.
  • If you update a linked color or a linked character style, only the objects with linked colors or character styles applied to are updated.

Manage and organize document assets

To view and reorder assets, switch between theGrid and  List view in Document Assets.

  • Grid view: optimized to display thumbnails, you can visually identify the assets.
  • List view: optimized for organization, you can  view the names of all the assets and reorder them.

You can add, reuse, and edit assets in both views and use Search to search for assets or filter the panel to a specific category. 

After you add and reuse assets from the Document Assets, you can also organize and manage assets. 

Delete, highlight, and rename assets

delete and highlight

  • Right-click and select Delete to delete a color, character style, component, or audio from the Document Assets. When you delete a component from the panel, instances are ungrouped as regular objects on the canvas.
  • Right-click and select Highlight on Canvas to find all the objects that use specific color or character style or instances of a specific component. Select any object or component instances on canvas and leverage the context menu to reveal that color, character style, or component in the Document Assets.
  • Right-click to rename or switch over to the  list view and rename all your assets.

Hover over assets

Hover assets

Hover over asset thumbnails to reveal the following information: 

  • Colors: displays the hex value or the custom color name. 
  • Gradients: displays the gradient value stops. For character styles, additional text properties are not revealed in the thumbnail such as line-height are displayed. 
  • Components: displays the number of instances of that component on the canvas.

View assets

View assets

In the  list view, view the names of all the assets within each category.

Reorder assets

Reorder assets

In the  list view, drag to reorder assets within each category.

Things to watch out for

  • When working with  list view, you cannot see a large preview of the Component.
  • Reorder assets to group them across various categories. 

Best Practices

  • The filters in Document Assets allow you to filter and view only a specific category or source of assets.
  • Unsure about how a change will impact your design? Use Highlight on Canvas to view instances of that asset across your document.
  • To identify unused components, select all objects on canvas, right-click, select Reveal Component in Assets and drag the highlighted components to the top of the list.
  • When you hover over a:
    • Gradient, the tooltip displays the start and end value of the gradient. A ‘-’ between the values indicate a gradient with 2 stops and a ‘...’ between the values indicates a gradient with multiple color stops.
    • Component, the tooltip displays the number of instances of that component on canvas.
  • When renaming assets in the list view, use TAB to rename the next asset in the list view. and SHIFT+TAB to go in the reverse direction.

Share and publish assets

Now that you have created all your reusable colors, character styles, and components in your document assets, learn how to use Creative Cloud Libraries to publish and share your design system assets with the rest of your team.

Learn more

To learn more about working with Assets, watch this video:

What's next?

We've got you started on how to work with assets and libraries in XD. Take a step forward and learn how to use Libraries to share your assets, components, and designs systems or migrate your existing XD cloud document to Libraries.

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