Migrate your design systems to Creative Cloud Libraries

Work with linked assets

The linked asset workflow that allows you to reuse colors, character styles, and components across local and cloud documents will be supported until September 2021. We encourage you to migrate your existing design system to a Creative Cloud Library before September 2021. Creative Cloud Libraries is the recommended workflow for teams to build their design systems.  As we continue to add more capabilities to libraries, we will no longer support the linked asset workflows in XD.

Changes starting September 2021

  • You will no longer be able to link cloud documents to reuse assets. 
  • Existing local and cloud documents that have linked assets will no longer propagate updates when edits are made to assets. 
  • Copying and pasting a Component that is not published to a library will result in an unlinked copy of the component. 
  • Creative Cloud libraries will be the only way to publish and share linked assets across documents in XD.

Why should I migrate to Creative Cloud Libraries?

We introduced the ability to link assets across documents to enable reuse of components while keeping changes in sync across documents. However, design systems are much more than just Components. It consists of different types of assets organized in a way that makes it easy for everyone on the team to use and contribute back to. As design systems mature, teams grow and complexity of projects increases, teams need a more robust solution to help build consistent experiences at scale.

To help teams with this goal, we introduced Creative Cloud Libraries in XD. Using Libraries, you can build design systems that allow you to share more than just components.   

  • A flexible system for all your assets - Libraries allow you to curate and share colors, character styles, components and other assets that constitute your design system. 

  • Easily publish and share your design system from your document which is the single source of truth.  

  • View and edit permissions on the library ensure the right team members can use and contribute back to the design system.  

  • Access your assets across different Creative Cloud tools like Photoshop and Illustrator. 

  • Generate a design system package from a Library that enables developers to get contextual code snippets in Visual Studio code. 

  • Coming soon - Organize and nest your assets with groups to ensure the right hierarchy and  structure.

  • In addition to the above, we are working on improved permission for teams, documentation and new asset types in Libraries.

Features

Linked Assets

Creative Cloud Library

Linked components across documents.

Supported

Supported

Linked colors and character styles are supported for linked assets.

Supported

Supported

Linked audio files and other asset types.

Not Supported

Supported

Invite users with view and edit permissions to a design system.

Not Supported

Supported

Publish a design system publicly for anyone to make a copy or use.

Not Supported

Supported

Gating updates when publishing changes to a library.

Not Supported

Supported

Organize your design system with groups and tokens.

Not Supported

Supported

Bridge design to development with design token and code hinting.

Not Supported

Supported

Create a library that can be shared with a team.

Not Supported

Supported

Reuse assets from other Creative Cloud apps like Photoshop and Illustrator.

Not Supported

Supported

Resources

How do I migrate my linked assets to Creative Cloud Libraries? 

You can migrate your existing linked assets to Creative Cloud Libraries in a couple of steps. Before you start the migration process, it is important to ensure that you inform your team about this so that they don’t make edits to the source document or the consuming documents during this period. Migrating your design system should only take a couple of minutes.

  1. Save your source document as a cloud document.

    If the source document for your linked assets is a local document, you need to save it as a cloud document. You can only publish a library from a cloud document. If your source document is already a cloud document, skip to step 2.

  2. Prepare your document to publish a library

    Before publishing a library, ensure that the cloud document doesn’t contain copies of components from another local or cloud document. If it does, make sure to either convert them to a local component or remove them before publishing a library. This will ensure that the library published contains assets from a single document instead of referencing multiple documents.

  3. Access the Library manager

    From the document assets panel, click the Publish icon to open the library manager. From here, you can publish your design system as well as push updates when you make edits to the document and want to update the library.

  4. Publish your library

    Click the Publish button to create a library that contains all your documents assets containing the document’s assets like colors, character styles, components and audio files. 

    publish library
    Navigate from Document Assets panel and publish from the Library Manager

    Depending on the number of assets, publishing the library the first time might take a few minutes. The progress indicator in the library manager will indicate when the library has finished publishing. Make sure no other editors are actively updating the document while it's being published as a library.

  5. Invite other to use and contribute to the library

    Once the library is published, you can invite users using their email address with either view permission or edit permission. Make sure to invite anyone who was previously using linked assets from this document.

    User with view permissions

    If you invite a user with view permissions, they can use this library to reuse the assets. They can’t make changes to the library. 

    User with edit permissions

    If you invite a user with edit permissions, they can use and make edits to the library. In order to make edits to a library, a user must have edit access to the library and the cloud document. Make sure to invite the user to the cloud document to edit.

  6. Accept the invite to the Library

    Users invited to the library in the previous step will be notified through an email or in Creative Cloud desktop about the Library. Once they accept the invitation, they can access the library from XD. It is essential that any user who was previously using linked assets from this document to accept the invitation to the library else the assets will show up with a broken link that’s represented with a red badge. Once you accept the invitation, it will take a couple of minutes for the library to sync and show up for the first time. When a user accepts the invitation, all the linked assets should automatically be relinked to the new library.

  7.  Test your design system

    An easy way to check if you have successfully migrated your linked assets to a library, is by opening any document that contains these linked assets. If the user of that document has accepted the invitation to that library, the linked assets should now be referencing the new library. If it's not then it will show up with a red badge which indicates it is broken. 

    Next, ask any user with edit permissions to the library to make a change and publish an update to the library. If other users see an update in their library panel, it indicates you’ve successfully set up your design system with Libraries.

Migrate your Linked Assets to Creative Cloud Libraries (Video)

Here is a step-by-step video walkthrough to help migrate your existing linked assets to Creative Cloud Libraries.

Why do my assets show up with a red badge?

If your assets have a red badge, it indicates that the link is broken. You can follow the steps below to resolve this:

  • Ensure the owner of the library (previously the source document for the linked assets) has invited you to use the new library. 

  • Ensure you have accepted the invitation to the library. Once you accept the invite, the links should automatically resolve and your assets should be linked to the library. Check for the invite in your email or Creative Cloud desktop app.

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