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What happens to instances of library symbols when deleting the source symbol?

February 15, 2019 at 1:15pm

What happens to instances of library symbols when deleting the source symbol?

February 15, 2019 at 1:15pm

We are building our design system and have libraries for colors, mixins, buttons etc. but now we have made some new button symbols that should be used instead of the old ones. They are build differently and the new symbols are easier to manage etc.

So as i mentioned in the title, what happens to instances of the symbol when the original gets deleted? Will the designs that use the removed symbol, still be unchanged and keep their overrides? Will the button become a local/unlinked symbol within the document instead?

For now i just renamed the old symbols by adding "STOP-USING" in front of it... until i'm absolutely sure that the designs will not get messed up.

So anyone tried something similar before?


February 15, 2019 at 10:32pm

Sketch has a backup for every library symbol used in a file, stored in that file. We call these "virtual symbols". When you delete the source symbol, Sketch will just stop updating that virtual symbol, and start using that. Up till that point this symbol wasn't visible anywhere in the document, but once the source is gone, Sketch will put it on the Symbols page.

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February 16, 2019 at 9:06pm

Thanks, then it will probably be ok if I delete the symbols from the library and merge my branch :)

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