I have an illustrator file where I design my icons, each on an artboard, and then export the result as svg files.

I have another file for doing mockups of screens, where I would need to use the svg icons I designed. I can of course copy paste those, but I would have to update them manually whenever I change the design of one of my svg icons.

I'm looking for a way so that I can just link to an svg file, and when this file gets updated, it'll be automatically changed in my mockup ai file.

I could only do it with images, but I wasn't able to do that with svgs.

2 Answers 2


Inside the Export for Screens dialog in the list on the bottom-right corner, start with the first row being an SVG format and then add one more "scale" row - but instead of SVG add a PDF format which will disable the scale input anyway. Now you can export both SVGs and PDFs of all your artboards in one action. Then just use the SVGs for your web icons but use the PDFs for your screen mockups. If you need to update just one or a few icons, you can select just the artboards you want and perform the Export for Screens to still output both PDF and SVGs just for them. Export for Screens Multiple formats

  • Awesome! Thank you. Exported some PDF docs and used them, AI detects when those linked files change and reload them. Perfect.
    – mrahhal
    Mar 7, 2019 at 16:41

Place as linked is disabled when one tries to place SVGs. But AIs and PDFs can be linked. Try them. You do not lose anything, if the files are made in Illustrator and you place them to Illustrator. Only be sure that the crop size is allways the same. If the size of the linked artwork varies, be sure you crop to the media size and keep it same.

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