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Is there any way to create some sort of component or a "smart" group in illustrator? One that when duplicated can be cahanged and all its other copies will change as well?

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Yes.

Look at Symbols in Illustrator

A symbol is an art object that you can reuse in a document. For example, if you create a symbol from a flower, you can then add instances of that symbol multiple times to your artwork without actually adding the complex art multiple times. Each symbol instance is linked to the symbol in the Symbols panel or to a symbols library. Using symbols can save you time and greatly reduce file size.

Symbols also provide excellent support for SWF and SVG export. When you export to Flash, you can set the symbol type to MovieClip. Once in Flash, you can choose another type if necessary. You can also specify 9‑slice scaling in Illustrator so that the symbols scale appropriately when used for user interface components.

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  • A little additional info: The basic instructions are to drag your artwork "block" to the symbols panel (this creates the symbol), and then drag it out of the panel or copy/paste it for all additional instances of the symbol. To edit all instances, just double-click any of the instances of the symbol. – apex May 28 '15 at 16:19

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