Linked alternate layouts without creating symbols?

Here’s the scenario I’m working with:

  • Laying out a multi page website (desktop and mobile)
  • Certain pages have alternate section options, such as:
    ** Text block carousels (I’m not here to get into good UX right now please)
    ** Pop-ups

The client I’m working with requires each of these options to be fully laid out and visible instead of simply making the pop-up or just showing a small visual of how all the quotes look in layout. All this to say, this means I have to copy/paste the same layout into a new artboard again and again. And when a change gets made to the parent layout, I have to recopy and repaste to the child layouts and to mobile every single time. (And with the pop-ups, I have to lock the pop-up layers and then change the text underneath every single time.)

Leading me to the question, without making a symbol of every single page in the website, is there a way to make a parent layout where I can change out a few sections in child layouts just to show the visual without having to keep like 20 pages updated manually at a time? Hopefully this makes sense, due to the nature of the work I do I cannot share any visuals of what I am working on but I’m happy to try to clarify further.

Hi there @jkap welcome to the Forum :smiley:

Thanks for sharing this. Artboard templates can help here, but if you want to push changes from a parent layout to existing copies of it, symbols are the best way.

You can create symbols that contain the different sections of a page and come up with a reduced list to handle different types of pages, for example: homepage, product list, product page, contact form and so on and hide or show the sections you need

These symbols can contain groups and you can add Smart Layout to them to handle resizing and use them in your mobile layouts. Using groups is one way to avoid creating symbols and still use Smart Layout. If you want to use this feature, just remember to activate it in Sketch → Experimental Features

On the other hand, Artboard Templates help you avoid creating symbols; you won’t be able to push updates to existing copies of the master template when you change it, but they speed up the process of laying out different pages and adapting them to the content you need.

I hope this helps

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Thanks for the reply! That sounds like what I was thinking but I hadn’t heard of artboard templates before, I’ll definitely look into incorporating those in the future thank you!

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You can use the "Create Link Layer " function of the 『automate』 plug-in.

Note: Excessive use will affect performance