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Use Symbols to turn any element and its child element into a reusable component.

This video features an old UI. Updated version coming soon!

Use Symbols to manage recurring layouts and content more efficiently across your site. 

Symbols allow you to turn elements and their child elements into a reusable layout — update and edit Symbols in a single place to avoid revising each recurring layout individually. 

Symbols can be used in 2 main ways:

  1. Identical content per instance. Create identical copies of recurring layouts that have the exact same content, like nav bars, footers, and sign-up forms. Edit them in one place and see those changes impact every instance of that Symbol.
  2. Unique content per instance. Create content overrides fields for text, images, or videos in a Symbol to reuse Symbol layouts while giving each Symbol instance unique content.
In this lesson
  1. Create a Symbol
  2. Define override fields
  3. Use a Symbol
  4. Edit a Symbol
  5. Unlink a Symbol

Create a Symbol

You can create a Symbol from any element or group of elements in your site, except for the body element. 

To create a Symbol:

  1. Select the element you want to turn into a Symbol
  2. Right-click and select Create Symbol
  3. Give the Symbol a name and press Create Symbol

Once you've created a Symbol, you’ll be placed in the main mode of the Symbol. All changes in the main mode will update across all instances of that symbol. You can enter main mode on any instance by double clicking (see Editing the main Symbol).

Shortcut keys

You can also create a new Symbol by pressing the shortcut keys on your keyboard: Command  + Shift + A (on Mac) or Control + Shift + A (on Windows). This will create a Symbol from whatever element you have selected.

Define override fields

NOTE: If you’re creating a Symbol that will have the exact same content in each instance (like nav bars, footers, and some forms) you don’t need to create override fields for that Symbol.

Override fields let you define specific elements within a Symbol that can be overridden with unique content on a Symbol instance. This is great for recurring layout patterns whose structure should be uniform, but that have unique content in each instance. (Read more about Symbol overrides in our announcement blog post.)

Select the element you want to make overridable, then create an override field in the element’s settings.

To create an override field: 

  1. Double-click to enter main edit mode for the Symbol
  2. Select the element you want to create an override field for
  3. Click the purple dot icon in the Settings panel to create a field for this element
  4. Give it a name based on the function in the design

Alternate approach: create a field first then connect it to an element in the Symbol.

You can also create an override field while editing the main Symbol directly from the settings panel and connect those fields to elements within a Symbol.

Eligible element types for override fields

You can create overrides for the following types of elements:

  • Text fields (e.g. paragraphs, headers)
  • Image elements
  • Video elements
  • Links (buttons, link blocks)
  • Rich text elements

Future support for style overrides is under development.

Use a Symbol

Access Symbols from the Symbols panel. (Shortcut: Hit Shift + A to open directly to your Symbols.)

Once you’ve created a Symbol, you can reuse it anywhere in your site. 

  1. Open the Symbol panel
  2. Click and drag the desired Symbol to any page in your site
  3. Drop the Symbol instance directly on the canvas or in the Navigator for more precision

When you select an instance of a Symbol, you’ll see it highlighted and outlined in green. Click the Style panel to see how many times that Symbol appears in your site.

You can also add Symbols onto the canvas using Quick find with Command + E (on Mac) or Control  + E (on Windows). Learn how to use quick find.

Nest Symbols

You can nest Symbols within other Symbols to build and maintain complex layouts more easily and efficiently. Nesting Symbols inside one another means you can make a button a Symbol and have the navigation, hero section, and feature cards also be Symbols. 

This allows you to independently update each Symbol in one place and see those changes impact every other instance.

To nest Symbols:

  1. Double-click the Symbol in which you want to place another Symbol
  2. Click to open the Symbols panel (or use the keyboard shortcut Shift + A)
  3. Drag a Symbol from the panel into the selected Symbol, and release

You can also create a Symbol from a parent element that already contains a Symbol. 

Link nested Symbol fields to parent Symbol

When you nest a Symbol with override fields within another Symbol, you’ll see a prompt to link that nested Symbol’s fields to the parent Symbol. This allows you to set overrides for the field within the nested Symbol from the parent Symbol instances.

A nested Symbol’s settings modal window is shown.

To link a nested Symbol to a parent Symbol:

  1. Select the nested Symbol whose override fields you want to link to its parent Symbol
  2. Click the “purple dot” icon to create and link the field to an override field in the parent Symbol
  3. Give it a name based on the field linking to the parent Symbol (e.g., “card-button”)
The purple dot icon in a nested Symbol’s settings modal window has been clicked to show options to link the nested Symbol to its parent Symbol.

Apply content overrides to Symbol instances

Apply content overrides to individual Symbol instances in the settings panel.

To apply content overrides for elements in a given Symbol instance:

  1. Click on that instance
  2. Edit the content for each override field from the Symbol’s settings panel
  3. Open the settings modal for that Symbol by clicking the "cog" icon on that Symbol instance. 

To revert an override to the default content of that Symbol, click the Instance overrides label (e.g., “Card heading”, “Card paragraph”, etc.) to reset all your overrides at once.

Click any of the Instance overrides labels to pull up the option to revert to default content. In this example the “Card heading” and “Card paragraph” labels are highlighted.

Edit a Symbol

Editing the main Symbol

To edit a Symbol, double-click on an instance or select it and press enter. Once you enter edit mode, you are making changes to the main Symbol.

Double-click to edit the main Symbol. In the main Symbol view, you’ll see the default values for your override fields.

Edits to the main Symbol will affect every Symbol instance (unless that Symbol instance has a content override applied to a specific element). 

You can change the structure and element order of all Symbol instances at once from the main Symbol.

Edits to the main Symbol affect each instance, unless specifically overridden in a Symbol instance.

Delete and reconnect elements to override fields

Connect elements to existing overridden fields and each instance will remember and apply previously set overrides.

If you delete an element from the main Symbol, each corresponding element in other instances will also be deleted (even if they’ve been overridden with unique content). You can add new elements to the main Symbol and reconnect them to existing override fields, and each instance will remember and apply the overrides previously set.

Exit the main Symbol

Once you’re done editing a Symbol:

  1. Click Back to instance in the top left corner 
  2. Click outside the Symbol on the canvas 
  3. Or hit Escape on your keyboard

Once you're out of the main Symbol, you’ll be editing that specific Symbol instance.

Edit Symbols in the Editor

If you’ve invited Collaborators to update your site’s content in the Editor, any changes they make to Symbol elements that are consistent across all instances will apply to all other instances. If they edit an element within a Symbol that is tied to an override field, edits to that Symbol instance’s element will only apply to that Symbol instance.

Rename a Symbol

To rename a Symbol: 

  1. Open the Symbol panel 
  2. Click the pencil icon next to the Symbol 

To rename a Symbol using Quickfind: 

  1. Hover over a Symbol instance in the search result 
  2. Click the edit icon

Delete a Symbol

To delete a Symbol completely:

  1. Remove all instances of the Symbol from the site
  2. Open the Symbols panel
  3. Click the pencil icon
  4. Delete

Unlink a Symbol

To unlink a Symbol and make changes to it independently:

  1. Right-click the Symbol label 
  2. Choose unlink from Symbol 
  3. Or (if the element is hard to select) right-click the element in the Navigator

Once unlinked, editing a linked instance of that Symbol will not change the unlinked instance.

Good to know: If the Editing Main Symbol overlaps the content you're trying to edit, double-clicking the bar will move it to the top of the Designer.

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