Global color replacement in Sketch

Clark Wimberly

Lemme set the stage: you’ve got an app designed in Sketch. Dozens of pages, even more artboards. Launch is approaching. During an all-hands meeting, the boss decides he wants the blue (used on every single screen) to “pop more.”

At least he didn’t ask to make the logo bigger.

Sketch gives a few really solid ways to make sweeping changes across an entire file, like Symbols, Text Styles, and Layer Styles.

There’s only one problem: those things need to be set up before the big change can take place. Even then, you’re left changing a bunch of different symbols and styles, hoping you don’t miss anything.

Wouldn’t it be easier if you could simply replace every single instance of that under-popping blue in one shot? Fills, borders, icons, part of a symbol, not part of a symbol— everything.

Meet Craft- a time-saving design robot from the future

Craft is a collection of tools from InVision Labs. A recent update brought us Styles, a powerful new tool for managing and updating style guides right inside your Sketch document.

With a single click, Styles will build out a living style guide on a new page inside your Sketch document. At the top of your new style guide is your document’s color palette, featuring every single color used inside your document (including that offensively dull blue).

To change every single instance of a color in one shot, simply change the color of the swatch inside your new style guide, then open the Styles panel and click the Sync Styles button.

Taking a flat blue and changing it to a blue that pops!

That’s it. With that single change, your entire document will update. It’s so much quicker than the old way that you can use your extra hour to go grab a coffee (just don’t tell your boss).

While Styles does so much more than colors, that’s what we’re talking about today. If you’re like “pffft, colors” go watch this video to see what else it can handle. Seriously, go watch it.

Bonus points: combining multiple colors

In the old days of manually changing colors, sometimes I’d miss some elements, leaving multiple shades of blue scattered throughout the file. Not only is this inconsistent, your developer might not know which blue is the true blue.

When you generate a style guide, every single color will be included. If you notice 4 shades of blue, Styles makes fixing them a total snap.

Simply select the offending blues in your style guide and use the eyedropper to match them to the your correct blue. Click Sync Styles and watch as the imposter blues are shown the door.

Seek and destroy: removing an accidental shade of blue

It works because Styles is smart enough to know when things are duplicates, combining like colors (and fonts, and text styles, and symbols) into a single instance, ready for consistent use.

To give Craft a try, simply head over to the InVision Labs site to download. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s evolving.

Clark Wimberly

Written by

I try to make things that are awesome.

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