Request details

InDesign Workflow – linked files in XD

For the design I use InDesign as InDesign is much more powerful as XD. I export my Designs as PNG and import those PNGs in XD to create linked artboards for customer presentations.

It would be very much needed to have extern links (as in InDesign) pointing to those PNGs. Each time I update my Design in InDesign and export automated all PNGs all screens in XD would also be updated. I conceptualize webprojects with more than 200+ screens and this would speed up prototyping tremendously.

Anyway XD rules – really like it – just miss this killer feature!

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Anonymous shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

Okay, so I’m trying to understand here. By looking up documentation, I see that you can place images in your file and link them to an image on your file system, so not embedding them in the file. (I’m assuming you’re not talking about inserting links to images on the Internet via URLs.) When the document opens, it loads up the image and places it in. In some apps, updating the file on the file system will update the image automatically without any intervention, and in other apps, changing it on the file system won’t update until you either manually refresh or relaunch the app.

This scenario is what I was defining as “dynamic linking.” Smart Objects (as I’m defining them in my head) are elements that are in a CC file format (like Photoshop or Illustrator). Am I misunderstanding your request for external links?




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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I like to place and link SVG files in my projects like it's currently done in Photoshop.

    One possible use case is a external folder with Icons, that you want to use in your projects. If an icon gets updated in that folder, I don't want to update the icons in all of my layouts manually.

    Also this enables SVG files to get reused in multiple projects (like different interfaces sharing the same icon library).

  • Dan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Just reiterating on behalf of the guys below - we aren't talking about smart objects.

  • Dan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I had another ticket which was merged with this one, and I guess it's the same thing technically, but I need linked files for a different reason. For web layouts, XD gets slow and ponderous. Gotta lighten the load and make the folder structure do the heavy lifting. If possible.

  • Dan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    XD files get very large / unwieldy very fast (okay, I'm working with 1366 web prototypes, and working on a new mac mini, so yes, fine, it's not a desk rocket) - one of my files with a mere 20 screens is like 166mb (yes, my images are saved at the right size and optimised for web)! That's mad for what is meant to be fast prototyping.

    Can we have a similar folder structure set up like in indesign where the images are just linked? As an option so the files themselves don't take a million years to save...

    In general loving it. Just slowing me down a lot every 5 mins :/

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would like to be able to update multiple images on various art boards with 1 relink feature.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes! This is so basic. Even PS does this now, why not XD? Would make replacing outdated placed images/files not necessary. Get rid of tedious low hanging fruit please.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes, please!!!

    Link to external files
    If external files are changed all linked content gets updated automatically

  • Miguel Ventura commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It will be very usefull if it have the same feature as Indesign to import linked images and psd files.

  • Achilles commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would like the option to place an image as a link to an external file, which would allow one to make changes to the image in photoshop and have the link in XD update to reflect the latest status of the file.
    This would also allow for the actual xd file to be lighter, as the image info can be kept externally to the file itself.

  • Max commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Would love to be able to update images within XD similar to the way InDesign does. Rather than having to re-import your photo, have an update button when XD notices a change has been made to the photo

  • Sebastian de Mel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    When you use PNG's or other asset files, it would be useful if the assets automatically reloaded (or UI button to reload them, both better) when the asset file changes.

    Example use-case:
    You make an export from tool X of a dialog and use it in XD. Then you decide to remove the shadow that effects the images size. You re-export the asset in tool X.

    Currently you need to remove the asset and reposition the new one.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Instead of importing files into XD it would be nice to link to external files. If the external file receives an update, XD will automatically update the linked object in the design.

    Same as InDesign handels links.


  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    By the way, your repeated misplacement of this feature request ist put to a request also dealing with smart objects – a completely different approach

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Again, Elaine!

    This has nothing to do with dynamic linking. I am talking about external links – such as it is handled in InDesign. External Links folder, live update! etc. Please check how this is realized in InDesign and let this post exist in its own right! It would really be a killer feature!

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