DEPRECATED: Symbols are now part of Sketch 3.
Sketch Symbols is a plug-in for Sketch that lets you mimic basic Smart Objects / Symbols functionality by automatically syncing changes between layer groups named in a particular way. As an added bonus, you can mark certain text layers in your symbols as dynamic and have their styles replicated, but not their content.
- Download the plugin.
- Double-click the file
Symbols/. Sketch should open automatically and tell you that a new plugin was installed.
You should see the Sync Symbol entry under the Plugins menu now.
Create a layer group for your symbol. (
Cmd + G)
Add ": symbol-name" to its name to mark it as a symbol. E.g.: "signup button : button-default".
Copy the same symbol to other parts of your document. You can change the name before the colon to whatever you like. E.g.: "ok button : button-default".
Make changes to any of the copies of the symbol you've created. With the symbol or one of its layers still selected, press
Cmd + Eto sync these changes with other instances of the symbol.
Bonus Tip: Open Preferences and under Layers uncheck "Append 'Copy' after duplicated layers", so you don't need to tweak the symbol name after you duplicate it.
Dynamic Text Layers
$ in front of the name of any text layer inside a symbol to mark
it as dynamic. When you sync changes between symbols, dynamic text layers will
not be replaced. Their styles, including font size, family and line height will be updated, but their content will remain
intact. This lets you define a single symbol for a button, for example, but use
different copy for each instance of that button.
Changing the Default Keyboard Shortcut
Open Sketch's plugins folder. You can do that easily by choosing Custom Script from the Plugins menu, then click the gear icon and choose "Open Plugins Folder".
Open the file "Sync Symbols.sketchplugin" in your favorite text editor.
The shortcut is on the first line:
// Syncs all instances of a symbol tagged with ": symbol-name" (cmd e)
Change it to whatever you like (ctrl shift s, for example), and you
should be good to go. The following modifiers are all valid:
control ctrl alt option cmd command shift.
Updating the Plugin
Right now there's no automated way to update plugins. You'll have to replace the plugin files manually.
- Download the latest version of the plugin.
- Open Sketch's plugins folder. You can do that easily by choosing Custom Script from the Plugins menu, then click the gear icon and choose "Open Plugins Folder".
- Replace the file
Sync Symbol.sketchpluginwith its new version from the archive you downloaded.
You don't need to restart Sketch. It will pick up the changes automatically.
Issues and Questions
The MIT License (MIT)
Copyright (c) 2013 Tisho Georgiev
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
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