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
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.
Karen Beal commented
agree with Chris and other here – function similar to Indesign would be amazing
Yes agree with other commenters here - a real links panel (like indesign if poss), and ability to link files to PSD or AI files is a MUST if adobe XD is to be better than Sketch.
Agree, I would hate for it to be limited solely to the Libraries panel. It would be great to have this inside the app itself so that If I need to update a Nav element I can do it in one place.
Harmen Struiksma commented
Not just Libraries please. I loved the fact that you can link files in Illustrator or Indesign.
Alexandr Viniychuk commented
Hi Peter, Joan.
That's a great start and in addition to that I'd like to share my desirable flow scenario:
- you create a button (let's say a filled rectangle and a text)
- convert it to the "smart object"
- you select a text and because it's a text inside the smart object you can see a new checkbox – "independent" text
- you copy that button to a new place from your library or by simple copy-paste
- you can change the text inside that 2nd button, and it will be changed only there
(at the same time, if you change style of the text – it should be replicated automatically to other instances)
In theory, it's possible to make the style of any object "detachable" from the smart object. It doesn't have to be a lot. Not all properties. Color & opacity will do the job for 95% cases.
p.s. Thank you so much for doing this great tool!
Import/paste pictures into boxes like in InDesign instead of having to import them and then mask them
CC libraries COULD solve the problem...but working with a lot of assets, the library can get very crowded. That would call for a more structured libraries-panel