Work with Creative Cloud Libraries in XD

Looking for information on using Creative Cloud Libraries to create and share design systems in XD? You're in the right place!

Creative Cloud Libraries help your team to centrally manage and distribute design and brand systems assets at scale.

Start by curating your sticker sheet with a set of components and styles that constitute design and brand system in an XD cloud document; when ready to share those reusable assets with your broader team, publish your sticker sheet cloud document as a library and invite your teams, with the right set of permissions.

Once your team accept the library invitations, they can reuse assets from that library and be in sync with any future library updates.

Why use Creative Cloud Libraries?

Meet Natalia, owner of a design library


"As the owner of a design library, I want to publish my design assets and components to a library and invite others to consume the design system library."

Meet Pedro, consumer of a design library


"As the consumer of a design library, I want to seamlessly reuse the shared assets from the library and be notified when Natalia modifies them."

Sounds familiar? If you want to publish all assets and components to a library and invite others to consume your design systems from XD, look no further! 

Before you proceed

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Be familiar with these concepts in XD:

Publish and share libraries

To build and distribute a design system through libraries, start first by curating your design system assets (colors, character styles and components) in the Document Assets panel.

Once you have defined your design system assets, follow the steps below to publish those assets as a library and to share them with your team to reuse them consistently across all your Adobe XD projects and other creative cloud applications.

Publish a library

Publish a library

Navigate to the Libraries panel. Click   icon in the toolbar to launch the Document assets view. 

Click Publish as a library icon  to launch the Library manager. From the Library manager, click Publish to create a new library with the assets defined in the Document Assets panel.

Share a library

share a library
Share a library from the Library Manager

  • Select Share to invite to distribute the library with your team.
  • Set Can Edit for team members that you’re collaborating with and would like to allow them to modify the library content, and Can View to consume a read-only version of the library. 

Once you have invited your team members, they are prompted to accept the library invitation through an email or their Creative Cloud Desktop application.

Best practices

  • If you want your library collaborators to have access to the published source cloud document, ensure to invite them to the cloud document. 

  • If you have multiple team members responsible to maintain and update the published library, ensure to invite them to your cloud document and to the published library with Can Edit permissions.

Things to watch out for

  • When you publish a library for the first time, depending on its size, might take few minutes to publish. You can track the progress of the library publishing through the progress indicator in the library manager. 
  • When you first accept the library invitation, it might take few minutes to sync the library. Click the cloud icon in your Creative Cloud Desktop application to check the library sync status. Once the library is fully synced, you can access it from Adobe XD as well as other Creative Cloud applications.

Consume libraries

Now that you published and shared the library, your team members who have accepted the library invite can start using assets from this library in XD and in other Creative Cloud applications.  

The Libraries panel displays all the libraries that you’re following. Once you click the library that you would like to use assets from, the panel view changes to show all the content from that library.

View a shared library

browse a library

Click + to open the Library Manager or use Browse Libraries

Consume assets from a shared library

view library

From the Library manager, you can view or toggle the libraries you would like to use assets from.

Apply colors or character styles

apply color and character style

You can apply colors or character styles to objects or components on canvas, and drag components to canvas that become linked assets.

 View linked assets in your document

Linked assets in your document

Navigate to the Document Assets panel view that shows all the local and linked assets used from one or multiple libraries.

Update published libraries

Once you publish a library from an XD cloud document and modify the assets in your source cloud document, XD notifies you about changes made since you last published the library in the following ways:

  • Blue badge on the publish icon  on the Document Assets panel indicates an update is ready to be published.
  • An in-app message after you make changes to a published library to ease the process of updating the library. 

When you are ready to publish updates to your library, use any of these options:

  • Click Update now in the in-app messaging that notifies you that an update is ready to be published.
  • Cliick Publish   in the Document Assets panel to open the Library manager. From there, click  Update to update your library and notify your team of those updates.

In-app update

Update a library

Click the Update now button in the in-app message that notifies that an update is ready to be published.

Update through the Library manager

Update library

Click the publish icon  to display the Library manager. Click Update to push the latest updates to your team.

Preview and accept library updates

What happens when you update and publish libraries? Your fellow designers using those updated linked assets in their design projects receive the following notifications:

Library panel view: A blue badge  next to Document Assets indicating the number of updates that are pending in your document.

Document Assets panel view: A blue badge  on the linked assets that are pending updates as well as the Update all button at the bottom of the panel.

Preview updates from Document Assets panel or the design canvas

Preview updates from document assets panel

Hover over the blue update icon  on linked colors, character styles and components.

 Update all linked colors, character styles, and components within the document

Update changes in the library

Click the blue update icon or click Update All at the bottom of the Document Assets panel. 

Filter assets

As your libraries grow in size with a large number of assets to manage, XD makes it easy for you to find your assets quickly using filter and search features from the Document Assets view.

Adobe XD provides these three filtering mechanisms to narrow down the assets that you would like to use in your project:

  • Asset type: filter by assets types (colors, character styles, or components) that you would like to see. Filter results shows both local and linked assets.
  • Local assets: If you want to use only the local document assets, select the local assets filter.
  • Linked assets source: If you have linked assets from multiple cloud documents or libraries and you want to use assets from a specific source,  select the desired library or linked source document from the filter.
search assets in a library
Filter assets

Search assets in Document Assets panel

From the Libraries panel or the Document Assets panel view, enter the search term to search for assets in your document or across all your active libraries. XD displays the search results depending on the defined search scope that you have set whether Document Assets or All libraries.

Convert linked assets to local assets

To experiment and change certain styles or properties for a linked component without impacting others who are using those linked assets in their documents, you can convert your linked assets to local assets.

  1. From the Document Assets panel, select the asset.
  2. Right-click the linked asset and select Make Local.

Things to watch out for

  • If you convert a linked asset to a local asset, you no longer receive notifications to changes made to that linked asset in the library. Other XD documents with those linked assets will continue to receive updates.

  • Make Local works for when you use an asset from a library, or copy/paste a linked component across documents, or when you have a broken linked asset.

Convert linked assets to local assets
Convert linked assets to local assets

Unpublish libraries

If you decided that you no longer need the library, you could unpublish the library from the library manager. At this point, linked assets that were previously used from this library in your documents will become broken links (show broken link icon) indicated by the red badge. You could choose to either delete those broken assets or convert them to local assets.

Things to watch out for

  • If you unpublish a library and later republish it, the broken linked assets from that library will not be relinked to that library again.

Consume assets from libraries created in Creative Cloud applications

XD makes it easy for you and your teams to use assets created in different Creative Cloud applications like Photoshop and Illustrator. Whether you created an inspirational library with a collection of graphics, or Adobe Stock images, or a library with a collection of reusable colors and character styles that are not linked to a source document, you can reuse those assets in Adobe XD.

consume assets in xd

consume assets in xd

When you drag graphics from libraries to your designs, they become linked graphics indicated by the badge. Any modifications made to that linked graphic in Photoshop or Illustrator will automatically update all linked graphic instances in your design. To unlink a linked graphic, click the link badge or use the context menu to unlink it. 

To create a similar library in XD with a collection of colors, character styles, or graphics that are not linked to your document, click Create new in the Libraries manager. From there you could add colors, character styles, or graphics to your library and will be able to reuse them across your Creative Cloud applications.

Things to watch out for

  • You can only add components to libraries by publishing your document as a library.
  •  You cannot edit colors or character styles in your libraries.
  • When adding 3D transform graphics to a library, the 3D transformation is lost.

Best practices

  • For more control on pushing library asset updates, allowing your team to preview and accept those updates, and ensuring your team is in sync with the latest changes, we recommend publishing a library from a document as outlined in this article.

Learn more

Watch this video to learn how to work with libraries in XD.

Viewing time: 6 minutes.

What's next?

We've got you started on how to publish and share libraries, take a step forward and learn how to share design specs with your developers so that they can inspect your designs.

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