Libraries, an in-depth look

Sketch Libraries is by far one of my favorite features of the year. This is something that I really wanted back when I was a hardcore Adobe Fireworks user.

One thing that has me really puzzled about external libraries is the best practice for adding more symbol content to existing libraries. I could be(and hope that I am) missing this functionality.

To explain my struggles I will describe my current workflow. I start with my primary sketch file — for clarity lets call this file eCommerce.sketch. Traditionally I would have all my symbols for this file in the symbols page of this file. Now I am storing my libraries on Dropbox and I have a broken and my symbol libraries into, UI.sketch, icons.sketch and colors.sketch.

Here is where I struggle — while working I realize I need to make a new icon. Traditionally I would draw the icon then save it as a symbol. Easy enough. Now when I need to add the new icon I don’t see a way to add this new symbol to my icons.sketch file other than creating it to my e-commerce page, copy/cut the symbol then opening up icons.sketch then pasting it, then updating my icon.sketch to refresh the document to even see my newly placed icon. Then re-insert the icon from my icon.sketch library. BTW — when I cut the original it turns the symbol that is in my eCommerce.sketch document into a group folder. So now not only do I have to place the new version in the exact spot as the previous, I now have to go to the folders to clean out not one object, but all the objects and the group folder that Sketch created.

Seems like there is a better way or that I am missing something.

So here is my workaround. If I need to make an icon, I now open up the icons.sketch file. Here is another problem though. For best practice do I create the icon in the symbols page (really the only page that is getting used) or do I create another page to create my icon then save to the symbols page? When I have attempted to create the symbol directly in the symbols page, I get duplicates of my new symbol. Basically making me think that I need to add a second page to all my external library files just for making my symbols.

I hope this makes sense and I hope there is a workflow that I am missing that will help me create a symbol in my primary document (eCommerce.sketch) and then choose the sketch file that my new symbol will ultimately need to live in (i.e. icons.sketch).

Any insights on this would be greatly appreciated because I have yet to see any documentation or demonstrations that explain adding a symbol to an existing external library sketch file.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.