Editing Symbols

There are two ways you can edit a Symbol. You can edit the contents in the Symbol’s master, or you can edit individual instances with overrides.

Editing the Master

To edit a Symbol’s contents, you can double-click on an instance and it will take you straight to the master no matter its page or location in your document. If you’ve placed your master on the Symbols page, you can navigate to it manually via the page picker in the Layer List and edit its contents inside the Artboard.

Any edits you make to the Symbol’s master are immediately reflected throughout all the instances in your document. After you’ve made the desired changes, click on Return to Instance to view them.

Return to instance

When working with complex documents with repeating elements, Symbols can save you a lot of time. For example, when a Symbol contains a text layer, you can make changes to the text layer’s properties in the Symbol’s master. Or you can only update individual instances through overrides in the Inspector. We’ll review how you can do that in the section below.

If you’re working with a Symbol that’s just a text layer (or a Symbol that’s mostly a text layer), you may find it easier to click on it once to select and press Enter on your keyboard to go to its master. Double-clicking on a text layer with a Symbol will edit its Override directly on the Canvas.

Editing Instances with Overrides

Overrides allow you to give each Symbol instance unique content. When you select a Symbol instance, you can see the properties you can edit in the Inspector, where you can override nested Symbols, the contents of any text layers, images, as well as any shared text and layer styles. You can also edit Overrides for text layers in Symbol instances directly on the canvas.

As well as overriding these values, you can also edit the size, scale, blend mode, and opacity for Symbol instances independent of its master.

Editing Library Symbols

If you’re wanting to learn more about how to edit a Symbol that belongs to a Library, then please refer to the Library Symbols page.

Last modified on Sep 17, 2019

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