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Matt Richards
Matt Richards Updated
closed thread

Exportable Assets from Sketch

We have used Craft to sync our Invision project with a Sketch file. All of the symbols in our Sketch file have been made exportable, but they do not come across as downloadable assets in Invision. This appears to be true for vector and raster symbols. 

An Invision support rep had us copy all of the artwork and symbols to a new Sketch file claiming this would resolve the problem, but it has not. Response times from support have been very long, so we figured we'd ask here to see if anyone else has dealt with this. 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Sean Kinney
InVision ambassador Sean Kinney , ambassador

We're sorry you're disappointed with the response times you've received, Matt! We do strive to respond as quickly as possible, but your ticket was being worked by a member of our Level 2 team who is based out of Australia and the timezone mismatch lead to a delayed response over their weekend. That's not acceptable and we'll be reviewing our processes and policies to see how we can do better, and also handing your issue off to someone closer to your timezone so we can minimize delays. Please keep an eye out for an update in your original ticket and please accept my apologies for the trouble.

Matt Richards
InVision ambassador Matt Richards , ambassador

Thanks for the update and the willingness to improve. 

For the benefit of the community, what I've learned is that while our symbols were made exportable on the symbols page in Sketch, we actually have to go to every symbol instance on every artboard on every page and make each instance exportable in order for the assets to be available for download in Invision.

That's a big waste of time on our end, and moreover it totally defeats the atomic principle behind symbols in Sketch.

This seems like a big oversight. I hope that Craft will be updated to address this. 
Perhaps you can keep this card updated with the status on that? 
Sean Kinney
InVision ambassador Sean Kinney , ambassador

Thanks for closing the loop, Matt. We definitely get your use-case and understand why you'd prefer it work that way given how symbols function in Sketch.

At this time though Inspect and Craft Sync work at the screen level. That is to say when you export a screen via Craft Sync we generate data for Inspect for just layers on the corresponding artboard and only make available downloadable assets found on that particular artboard. We don't currently check to see if the asset is marked for export on another artboard, page, or on the Symbols page. Apologies for the disappointment there.

If we do decide to update how Craft Sync and Inspect work to address this use-case we'd be happy to let you and anyone else who reaches out know when the issue is resolved.

Matt Richards
InVision ambassador Matt Richards , ambassador


To think of Invision as only working at the "screen level" and to ignore everything that comes before those resulting screens is short sighted, limits the products effectiveness and ultimately flies in the face of how Sketch works.

As I am sure you already know, symbols are one of the basic organizational principles in Sketch. They are intended to promote standardization and reduce the repetitive work associated with individually managing multiple instances of the same asset. As your product currently stands, all of the work that a Sketch user has done to build their symbols and use them predictably across their Pages and Artboards is thrown away once they adopt Invision.

That seems silly, right?

Sean Kinney
InVision ambassador Sean Kinney , ambassador

Thanks for so passionately arguing for your use-case, Matt! It's appreciated and we'll be sure to share your points with our Product team.

Matt Richards
InVision ambassador Matt Richards , ambassador

That's a disappointing response. I'd hoped that you would have addressed the actual issue at hand, or at the very least responded directly to my message. To treat this as one "use-case" is to intentionally diminish the significance of this oversight in hopes that it gets brushed off. I was excited about Invision and the possibilities that it opened up for our design and engineering workflows. It's honestly disappointing to see how this has been handled. 

Seeing as you won't directly address the issue at hand, I have a question about the solution your team has proposed (which I asked via email but have yet to get a response to). I've been instructed to go to every instance of every symbol on every artboard on every page and mark each one individually as exportable. How do I do this for nested symbols? If symbol-a is within symbol-b (a common practice in a well formed Sketch workflow), how can I set symbol-a to be exportable and thereby a downloadable asset in Invision? 

Sean Kinney
InVision ambassador Sean Kinney , ambassador

My apologies that you weren't happy with the response, Matt. Though I understand you're disappointed, we can't more directly address the actual issue at hand today because any solution would require designing and developing a solution. Our Product team has been actively discussing your feedback and I can assure you we do understand your points and we aren't at all giving you the brush off. We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to argue your points and appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns.

As for your question, only the parent symbol can be marked as exportable today. You cannot mark a child/nested symbol for export at this time. Our apologies, but this is another limitation of our current approach that our Product team is also discussing but it is not possible today.

Matt Richards
InVision ambassador Matt Richards , ambassador

Tony Van Groningen
InVision ambassador Tony Van Groningen , ambassador

I just ran into the exact same problem as Matt and agree with pretty much everything he said. It seems SO obvious that would be such a workflow boost if InVision could detect the exportable assets on the Symbols page in Sketch. I have a huge multiscreen prototype with many nested symbols in it, which is Sketch best practice. The workaround that the InVision team suggested is the exact opposite of efficient - I would have to detach and ungroup all of my symbols in my Sketch file (defeating the purpose of Symbols entirely) and then independently make them all exportable across all 60+ artboards, just so InVision could detect the assets? No thanks, guess I will just "do it by hand" from Sketch. It's really disappointing that InVision isn't an all in one production handoff solution though - my team has been advocating hard for InVision with the engineers at work and this will not help our cause at all.

If you can fix this, you will make a lot of UI designers really, really happy. It might be hard to build but it is a serious problem in your product for design teams. 

Elizabeth Brookshire
InVision ambassador Elizabeth Brookshire , ambassador

Thanks for weighing in on this feature request, Tony! Sorry to hear about how much of an impact this limitation has on your team and design teams in general. While we don't have an immediate way to resolve this, our Product team is aware of this request and I'll be opening a ticket to make sure your voice is heard. Keep an eye out for a separate message from us to track your interest. 

InVision ambassador Hunter , ambassador

I also agree that this needs to be addressed. 

In the meantime, the workaround solution that I have come up with that works well for me is that I create an additional page in my sketch document called Symbol Export, and then I place one instance of each of the symbols in there. At that point it doesnt matter as much if they are nested or whatever, because I just place them all on a single page, generally in a grid like pattern. Once the symbol instances are all placed, I go down the line and cmd+shift+e (a hotkey I set up to create exportable pieces) on each of the instances, and then I export that entire page to my invision project. 

I once tried to just sync the symbols page to the Invision project... Bad Bad idea, I had like 200 symbols and because invision imports each artboard as a separate page... Well lets just say I had 200 separate screens, each with one single icon uploaded to my invision project :) 

Elizabeth Brookshire
InVision ambassador Elizabeth Brookshire , ambassador

Welcome, Hunter! Thanks for adding this workaround and offering your feedback. I'm opening a ticket so we can inform our Product team that you're also interested in this. Thanks!

If anyone else is interested in this, please do let us know so that we can track your interest and let you know if we release an update that addresses this.