Evolving symbol edits in Sketch

I was thinking the other day about improving symbol editing in Sketch.

The drawback of the current method is that when you want to edit a symbol you are taken out of the artboard you are working on. As a result you (a) lose context and (b) lose visibility of any effects (e.g., shadows) that fall outside of that symbol’s artboard.

The only remedy is to detach the element you are working on from the symbol and make a new one after you are done editing. That’s a tedious and time consuming process, especially if you have to do this several times.

A potential solution could be something like this:

1. Select the symbol as usual

2. Start editing a symbol with the original artboard in the background

3. Edit other symbols contained within the same parent symbol

This method should preserve the ability to edit nested symbols separately from the artboard without losing context and visibility of effects. It also shouldn’t collide with having a separate page for symbols.

Perhaps the current model does something incredibly useful and I am completely missing the point. Or there is some other constraint that I am not aware of. Or maybe the guys from Sketch are cooking up something dramatically better and their present approach is just a temporary solution.

Either way, I am curious to see how it evolves over time.

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