Question: Starting a large scale application design in Sketch. What articles, tips or videos do you have for effectively using symbols?

6 years ago from , Partner at Emerson Stone

As a shop, we've used Sketch for years, but have never been too reliant on symbols. In older versions of Sketch, they weren't as useful but we want to change that for this project. I'm looking for any advice, tips, articles or videos on best ways to think about symbols for large projects and reuse as many components/styles as possible.

Not sure if possible with the current version of Sketch, but I'd love if a base file of colors and fonts and affect all the way out to interface components.

Thanks so much for the help.


  • Jeff Szpak, 6 years ago

    Check out anything from the guys at UX Power Tools. By far the best use of Sketch symbols that I've seen. They have a ton of great articles on their Medium channel too.

    2 points
    • Andy Stone, 6 years ago

      Oh man, that system looks great. I just bought both of their templates so we can dig around and understand how everything was structured. Thanks for the tip!

      1 point
      • Jeff Szpak, 6 years ago

        No problem - you won't regret it!

        1 point
      • Jon MooreJon Moore, 6 years ago

        Chiming in to say hello! Thanks for the referral and kind words, Jeff.

        Let me know if you have any questions, Andy! More than happy to help. We're very responsive over email and Twitter DM. Hit us up!

        1 point
    • Noelle StranskyNoelle Stransky, 6 years ago

      Love the UX power tools guys but I've ran into a bunch of problems using symbols in sketch. Unsure what I'm doing wrong in my setup.

      • When I copy a nested symbol button from one sketch file to another only about half the nested layers come with.
      • Invision's content plugin only fills into text fields, not into symbols. So I ultimately paused on using symbols for now.

      Would appreciate any advice from nested symbol wizards.

      0 points
      • Jon MooreJon Moore, 6 years ago

        Hey Noelle!

        Wanted to jump in and give you some help.

        • UXPT is best used as the base template of your file. I wouldn't recommend copying symbols FROM UX Power Tools into another file. Think of it more like your fire starter for new projects. That being said, Sketch is actively working on a new Shared Libraries feature which will allow you to use symbols from external Sketch files. This will support what you're trying to do :)
        • The content plugin does not work with [all of] our symbols because they are so deeply nested. Some of them work and you'll see a popup allowing you to choose which layer you want to replace. It's an efficiency tradeoff, though I'm hopeful that there will be better nested symbol support in the future.

        Hope that helps! Jon

        0 points