I do a lot of UI/UX design in Illustrator. Often, I find myself needing to create different screens with slightly different elements (e.g. an open hamburger menu/a modal. something like below). I've been resorting to simply copying the whole artboard with all elements, however drawback is that it doesn't update if I change the first screen, and creates a ton of duplicate items. What's the best solution for this?

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1 Answer 1



Create your first screen, and drag the art to the Symbols Panel. -- Or drag the individual elements to the symbols panel. Symbols act sort of like "master elements". You can then edit the symbol once, and see all other instances update.

More about symbols here: https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/symbols.html

  • Or then you can link to other ai files but yes essentially this.
    – joojaa
    Mar 27, 2017 at 6:22
  • Ok, not sure here. How would you do the same thing in InDesign?
    – Lucian
    Mar 27, 2017 at 6:33
  • @Lucian you can link other indesign files into one file
    – joojaa
    Mar 27, 2017 at 6:44
  • True @joojaa Symbols just remove the dependency on tracking additional external files.
    – Scott
    Mar 27, 2017 at 13:46
  • @scott yes but files may be easier across assets, and they can be generated outside illustrator. Win some lose some.
    – joojaa
    Mar 27, 2017 at 14:55

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