A Library is a type of Sketch file with Symbols, Text Styles, and Layer Styles that can be shared. You can share a Library across an Organization’s Projects by linking it or you can use a Library to keep a single Project consistent. With Libraries, you can:

  • Centrally manage Symbols, Text Styles, and Layer Styles across Projects
  • Track changes made to each Symbol
  • Improve Sketch and Abstract performance by organizing Symbols into smaller, individual files

You can create a new Sketch library or import an existing one.

How to create a new Sketch Library

To create a Sketch Library:

  1. Open the Abstract desktop app.
  2. Select the Project where you’d like to create a Library.
    • If you’ll be sharing this Library across Projects, you may want to create a dedicated Project for the Library and link your Project to it. If you won’t be using the Library across multiple Projects, you can create the Library right inside the Project.
  3. Select Master from the left side pane.
    • It’s also possible to create a Library directly in one of your Branches. You can't link to / from Branch Libraries until they are merged to Master.
  4. Select the FILES tab at the top.
  5. Click ADD FILE.
  6. Click Create Sketch File as Library….
  7. Name and create your new Library file.

The Sketch icon for the new Library will turn from orange to pink. Abstract also records the change as a Commit.

library_gems.png


Note: If your Library file does not contain any Symbols, the Library won’t appear in Sketch.

How to add an existing Sketch Library

Before you import a Sketch Library, consider consolidating and categorizing your team’s Symbols. We've seen teams successfully separate Library Symbols into platform-specific assets, branding, and UI assets files.

To import a Sketch Library:

  1. Open the Abstract desktop app.
  2. Select the Project where you’d like to create a Library.
    • If you’ll be sharing this Library across Projects, you may want to create a dedicated Project for the Library and link your Project to it. If you won’t be using the Library across multiple Projects, you can import the Library right inside the Project.
  3. Select Master from the left side pane.
    • It’s also possible to create a Library directly in one of your Branches. You can't link to / from Branch Libraries until they are merged to Master.
  4. Select the FILES tab at the top.
  5. Click ADD FILE.
  6. Select Import Sketch File as Library….
  7. Name and create your new Library file.

import_sketch_file_as_library.png

Note: Once you import a Library, you’ll need to clean up the Symbols in the Library.

How to clean up Symbols in a Library

After you import a Library to a Project, you’ll need to replace the Library Symbols to make sure that they are using Abstract Library Symbols and not Symbols from a local Library.

You can replace the Symbols manually. Or, you can redirect the Symbols using a third-party plug-in like Symbol Swapper or Library Symbol Replacer to speed up the process.

To manually replace a Symbol:

  1. Navigate to the Library you imported in the Abstract desktop app.
  2. Select the Library.
  3. Click EDIT IN SKETCH.
  4. In Sketch, select a Symbol.
  5. Open the INSERT menu.
  6. From the SYMBOLS section, select the corresponding Symbol to the one you selected in step 7.

Continue replacing Symbols one-by-one until they've all been updated.

How to convert an existing Sketch file to a Library

If you already added a Sketch file to your Project that you’d like to use as a Library, you can convert it.

To use an existing Sketch file as a Library:

  1. Open the Abstract desktop app.
  2. Select the Project where you’d like to create a Library.
  3. Select Branches from the left side pane.
  4. Select the Branch with the Sketch file you’d like to convert.
  5. Right-click the file name.
  6. Select Use as Library....

The Sketch icon for the new Library will turn from orange to pink. Abstract also records the change as a Commit.

How to link a Sketch Library to another Project

To use a Library across multiple Projects, you’ll link it to another Project. Remember that any changes to a Linked Library will impact all Projects using that Library.

To link a Library to a Project:

  1. Once you’ve created or imported a Sketch Library, select your Organization name in the top left corner.
  2. Select the Project where you’d like to link the Library.
  3. Click Master from the left side pane.
  4. Click ADD FILE.
  5. Select Link Library....
  6. Follow the prompts to choose the Library you’d like to link.

It may take a few minutes for the Symbols to appear in Sketch. You’ll need to merge to Master any changes you make to a Linked Library before the changes will appear in linked Projects.

Note for Business / Enterprise customers: If you link a Library that lives in a Private Project to another Project, members of the newly linked Project will have access to the Library even though the Library lives in a Private Project. Members will not have access to the Private Project itself.

How to update your Sketch Library

If someone makes a change to a Library, you’ll be notified that an update is available in Sketch. To update, click the Library Update Available alert in Sketch and follow the prompts. If you're not seeing this alert and you know an update is available, press CMD + S to prompt any updates.

library_update_available.png

How to stop using a Sketch file as a Library

If you ever want to stop using a file as a Library file, follow the steps to convert a Sketch file to a Library and uncheck Use as Library….

Advanced Library setup

  • How to set up your Design System [coming soon!]

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