With the latest version of Adobe XD you can easily share and consume not only components or what was formerly known as symbols but colors and character styles as well, in just a few easy steps. This can be incredibly handy if you're sharing out a brand kit with your team or just simply wanting a way to reuse design elements of your own from project to project. Let me show you what I mean.
I'm here on Adobe XD and I have opened a document that I've created it has all of the design elements that I use with a particular client, including colors, character styles, and components. The first thing I want to do is come in and extract the assets that I'd like to be able to reuse on different projects. I've already gone in and defined each of my individual components and they've been added into the Asset panel as a component. I want to now come in and add colors and character styles. So my first artboard here has all of the colors I tend to like to use with this client. I'll select it and then in the Assets panel, I'll click on the colors plus sign which brings over those colors. Next I want to come in and grab some character styles. I'll do that by selecting the artboard that has all of the styles that I'm using and hitting the plus sign in the character style section. So I now have colors character styles and then all of the components.
The next step is I want to save this out as a cloud document so that it's available to me whenever I build out a new project. To do that, I'm just going to pull down under file and go to Save As and then the save as dialog rather than saving to my local machine, I'll save it up to the Creative Cloud. I'll go ahead and give it a proper name here and I'll hit the Save button. Now that that's been uploaded to the cloud I no longer need to keep it open. I can go ahead and close it out and I'm ready to come in and start a new project.
So for that I'll come in and just create a new design here. I'll quickly come in and just add an artboard that I'd like to work with and I'll give it a nice dark fill. The next thing I want to do is come in in bring in those assets that I saved to the cloud. What you'll notice is here in the Assets panel on the left there's a nice big blue button that says Link Assets and notice I have no colors, character styles, or components at this moment. When I click that button, I'm now presented with a dialog that allows me to select from any of the cloud documents that I've created or any that have been shared with me from some of my colleagues. Let's say, in the cloud documents section here, I'm going to go ahead and select that travel design element source document and open it up. What you'll notice is XD went and it imported all of the colors character styles and components here within my Assets panel. I can now come in and start to drag them onto the canvas if I were building out my interface design. I'll grab just a bit of a range of options, that's kind of a big one there, move these guys out of the way, and I'll bring a couple more elements, let's say some radio buttons and… let's see, a checkbox. So if, as I'm working, I realize that something's wrong with one of the components or I want to change a font or a color, I can do that really easily now.
If I come to any one component and click on it in the right menu, I have the ability to edit the master in the source document. When I come in and select thatm XD is going to go to the cloud to find that source document, automatically open it for me on the design canvas, and select the master component that I'm trying to edit. IIf I want to zoom in on to that master component, I can always hit command or Control + 3 to zoom in more tightly. Once I've come in and made any edits that I'd like, I can step back out and I can continue to make a variety of other changes to any of the other components in the design. Let's say I want to come in and make a dramatic change and change out these green colors that I'm using. I'll come in here and the Assets panel and edit them, and let's change it kind of dramatically, so I can make my point here. I'm going to change it to a beautiful shade of pink. One more edit it and we'll take pink and go towards the darker side so I can see here. Now I have the new colors and they're being applied to many of the components that I designed in my original system. One of the beauties of a cloud doc is that it automatically is saving in the background there, so I don't even need to save the changes that I've made. I can just close out this document and go back to my working project. I can quickly see any of the linked assets that have changed in that master document. So notice I can roll over individual instances here in the panel to see the change. It will show me that change there on the desktop if the component is there. If not, I'll just get a quick preview here in the Assets panel. I'm free to come in and accept any of those individual changes or just accept them all in bulk by hitting this Update button towards the bottom. I'll go ahead and hit that Update button and quickly you can see that the colors have changed for many of my components. If I find I'd like to add additional linked assets from another cloud source document, I can always hit the plus sign here towards the top of the Assets panel to browse for that file.
Well that's about it for this quick introduction with the linked assets improvements in XD. I think you can see how seamlessly you can integrate the linked assets feature into your everyday work. I encourage you to give it a try.
Components are great, but what if you want to share components across Adobe XD cloud documents? Well, Linked assets are the answer. With linked assets in Adobe XD, components, colors, and character styles can be shared between XD cloud documents, simply by linking the documents together. To do this, ensure your XD file is saved as a cloud documents. Next from the file you're working in, at the top of the assets panel, click on the + button to select the Adobe XD cloud documents you just created, containing the assets to be linked. Once selected, XD will import the assets from the cloud documents and link the assets to your working Adobe XD document.