I have a Sketch file within which there are multiple artboards. Each artboard details a screen of a web app UI I’m designing. There are many symbols/styles used across the artboards.

I want to try out different colour schemes in the design of the UI so I’ve created a new document and pasted various artboards in.


For the first artboard I pasted in, I made changes to colours throughout the UI. However, whenever I paste a new artboard (from the original Sketch file) all the styles I’ve created in the new document are overwritten by styles/symbols coming from the original document.


How can I copy-and-paste a Sketch artboard into a different Sketch document without overwriting the symbols or styles that have been changed in that document?

  • This may not help with your current project but for later projects you may want to look at this suite of plugins for Sketch by Invision. They are free. One benefit is the "Prototype" plugin allow you to keep a centralized location for styles and patterns and allows you to reuse and sync with other sketch files for better consistency across a project: invisionapp.com/craft Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 15:24

4 Answers 4


There's no perfect solution for this but my guess is the easiest way is to do this:

  1. Duplicate artboard in original file
  2. Detach all elements from symbol
  3. Copy/paste artboard into new file
  4. Change elements as needed

I assume you'll be fiddling with the colors in some screens, not a whole bunch of them. If you need to repeat the same change multiple times you could always create another symbol under a different name. This way you would have to update the file as you change the original but since it's just for color prototyping I wouldn't worry too much about small changes.


It's not perfect, but you could try to export the artboards as PDF and reimport them in the other document. You would lose the artboards, but keep all the graphics. A little bit of fiddling will fix that of course.

  • but that would actually mean he loses all symbols and styles on the imported artboard.
    – spiral
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 9:47

I haven't actually tried these, but there's a couple of plugins that might help:

Merge duplicate symbols sketch plugin lets you merge all symbols with the same name, choosing which one to keep and replacing all instances with that one.

Remove duplicate styles plugin seems to do the same for text styles, though I don't know if it actually lets you choose which one to pick.


I think this has been changed in previous updates but maybe this is helpfull for others: When you paste an artboard from a source document into your working document, sketch recognizes objects that have the same styles attached. If the same style had different settings in the source document, after pasting into the working document, the style of pasted objects would show a * after the style name, signifying that the style from the current working document is still assigned to the pasted object, but it has been altered (in the source document). You can then choose "reset layer style" or "reset text style" to revert the style back to the settings of that style in the working document.

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