Linked Objects / Images
Option to link objects (or generate smart objects) when pasted from a PSD or AI source to maintain a reference.
This would provide a simple method for single or multiple object updates (beyond the CC Design Libraries integration)—saving time and ensuring all objects are the most current.
Example: Revision to a microphone icon via Illustrator, which is used across 20 artboards
RE your comments.
I discovered my previous estimation that images size and position could not be independently modified once inside a mask to be untrue so I jumped the gun complaining about this. My bad. Although I don't recall seeing this documented I discovered it by accident.
Linked images absolutely this is the way not only indesign but html works as well. It also allows you to have common assets throughout the layout where appropriate.
With respect to placement, this goes to something I would like to see program wide which is setting css properities and having the artboards render those properties accurately. Most especially sizing and positioning with percentage based values, as well as things all the basic css properities like padding, margins etc...
I am a designer and developer so I see it from both sides and XD is still too limited in it's vision as far I can see. Everything is still pretty much arbitrary position according to pixel values which is not how responsive design is best achieved in development.
At this point while I am seeing things in XD I really like, (repeating fields are cool, the artboard workspace is great), I am not seeing anything dramatically new otherwise for layout and design, it still works pretty much like indesign with a different UI but is not nearly as powerful.
A truly great UI/website design tool should bridge the gap as much as possible between designers and developers by having them work on the same page as much as possible. Right now in my estimation XD is still just a design tool that creates pretty pictures and leaves developers with the burden of having to start from scratch.
Any update to when this feature will be coming? Option to link objects from a PSD or AI source to maintain a single updateable reference. Come on Adobe XD team...hard time understanding why this is not a priority feature update.
To me, XD is perfect in addition to create Prototypes from Indesign. I export PNG artboards which I import in XD. Unfortunately I have to repeat this tidious (if there are many artboards) process. It would be incredibly helpful if XD could link external PNGS and update automatically those when the PNGs change. This would boost up prototyping very much because I want to stay in InDesign for all its great features. That would be much more helpful than replicating its font setup possibilities in XD for example.
Chris Mackie commented
I think linking asset groups from within XD would also be a great addition
yes--anything symbolic would be helpful, so a reused asset or group of assets could be changed once
I have been using adobe XD for a little more then 3 weeks and overall, I really enjoy the program especially the prototyping feature!
However there are a few features that would be of great improvement, one being a feature where we link imported files, images like AI. It's frustrating when some graphics and images need to be reimported every time once there updated. A layers panel and more character options for line-height etc.
Thanks and great job!
Carl Durocher commented
I totally agree.
I totally agree. I need this
To respond to Peter's question.
I've had a chance to return to look at XD and my comments are basically the same.
As Peter says"If you drag an image file onto a shape, it will automatically be masked by the shape (and it will stay in proportion if the shape is later resized)."
The current behaviour of mask/image is locked to an equivalent to background image cover centre or perhaps a maxwidth maxheight 100% with overflow hidden on an <img>. This is only one of a number of potential ways an image might be presented in a web or app.
There's no flexibility here, the only way I can see to represent any other form of presentation would be to precisely size the image/ or image ratio to appear on the artboard the way I want it. This does not necessarily represent the way the problem would be solved in development or the assets prepared for development.
Picture boxes in indesign allow me complete control to place an image any way I want relative to it's container as well as providing me the ability to snap the image to the box or the box to image proportionally if thats what I choose.
CSS allows much the same control so long as you know how to do it, XD DOES NOT which is very disappointing since XD is supposed to be made for designing to what will be a css based workflow in development.
Anastasia Chetvertukhina commented
Agree. Dynamic linking of all types of assets is crucial for workflow.
And I prefer avoid using Libraries for that because it would only add one more leg to process (=more hassle).
Edgard Abboud commented
XD don't automatically updates the LINKS on the artboards when they are modified in other softwares. illustrator and indesign updates the links automatically. its frustrating to RE-drag-drop-adjust-resize if a design element is updated, especially when i am working with tons of artboards.
Karen Beal commented
Echo all the comments, can't wait for XD to get some more of these essential features. As a seasoned Adobe User I find it so much more intuitive to use than Sketch, and I know if you can bring in all the best bits of Indesign, Illustrator and the ease of layers in Photoshop it's going to be amazing. Updating object states across pages is a must.
link assets to external Files
including adobe applications (indd, psd etc.)
but also external Formats such as JPG, GIF
I think the comment below from Anonymous says it all. InDesign's picture boxes are way more flexible and, useful and usable than masked images. A massive part of UI design is all about layout and iteration, so the more flexible the layout application is for the user the better. Talking a leaf (or several leaves) from InDesign would serve XD well.
The fundamental difference between picture and text boxes(layout boxes) in indesign and masks is that layout boxes are containers that hold the content which is externally referenced.
This is what makes layout programs like indesign so efficient both the layout container and the content inside can be modified indpendantly ie scaled rotated moved etc...
In addition indesign's tools for fitting content to containers and fitting containers to content and positioning content within containers are similar to background positioning options in css not to mention the fact that html/css reference external content just like indesign making the way indesign functions more inline with digital design.
It might sound like a minor difference the way masks versus layout boxes work buts it's not. Layout boxes that hold the content provide huge gains in productivity and flexibility over masking based solutions.
App design and web design at the core, is layout design, and you need the fundamentals of a great layout program as a starting point for this product to really work. Indesign is the best layout program on the planet, what is lacks is a workspace adapted to digital design like XDs artboards concept and a toolset based on css not print values.
What is the planned timing for Linked Objects via Illustrator?
Without a single source for a repeated element across multiple artboards, XD is time consuming to update. I can't really use XD till you get this feature implemented.
Wick van den Belt commented
I am totally on this idea!
When you're changing a menu or footer element, that is used on all pages, it can be quite some work to implement even a little change.
I love using 'linked smart objects' in Photoshop, as this does exactly what I need when dealing with clients.
("I just want to see what it looks like if the shopping cart icon is slightly bigger.... on ALL pages please" and "What if we change all text in the menu to lower-case instead of uppercase" "The boss likes it on the homepage, but would love to see that change to all the pages to see if it really works")
Masking with shape is ridiculous, layout and picture boxes like indesign, quarkxpress. It's essential I guarantee I will never use this program with them.
Indesign does this best, if you could match its link panel you'll be onto a winner.
Stephan Grot commented
I agree with most of these comments. In the short time playing with this the biggest parts of my wish list would be to have:
-A full libraries panel or some way to directly link assets, symbols, and objects so changes can be made and updated across platforms in a single place.
-A simple layers panel.
-A way to create and organize text and graphic styles.
This interface is so close to Sketch might as go all the way right ;)
Great tool though! the prototyping function is almost too easy! Nice work.