When you have layout applied to either a group or symbol instance, they both have the same icon in the layers panel (the only difference being the icon color). I have found on a few occasions where, when I have one of those layers selected, it’s hard to tell if it’s a symbol or a group. I feel like if there was a slight difference in the icon for a symbol that has layout applied then it would be much easier to tell.
Right now I have to deselect that layer, check the color of the icon to see if it’s the symbol instance color, then select it again.
What are some scenarios where being able to tell one from the other via the Layer List comes into play for you?
The main one that I’m noticing is when I have a group of nested symbols with some sort of smart layout applied.
So the structure would be something like this:
Symbol Source Artboard [parent]
– Group with vertical smart layout [group]
---- Symbol with vertical smart layout [nested 1]
---- Another symbol with vertical smart layout [nested 2]
- I have an instance of the [parent] symbol, and I want to hide [nested 1] and [nested 2] symbol.
- If I click on [parent] then press enter, it’ll highlight [group 1]. I’ll press delete but nothing happens.
- If I look at the layer list, I can’t tell if [group] is actually a symbol or a just a group with smart layout applied. So I have to click off of it (so it’s not highlighted), then I’ll see that is the text and icon are gray, so I’ll know it’s just a group and not a symbol.
- At this point I’ll know that I need to hit return one more time to get to the actual symbols.
This could be taken care of it group was a symbol, but I think this is just a simplified scenario. I have some fairly complex symbols that are a mix of nested symbols and groups which can make it difficult to know if I can quickly show or hide something based on the symbol alone.
The main issue is that at a quick glance I can’t tell if a highlighted layer is a symbol with smart layout or just a group with smart layout because I need two separate things to tell: Icon + Color. If the color is removed because all highlighted layers have the same symbol and text color, then I can only rely on the icon… but the icon is the same for a symbol and group with smart layout applied.
Granted, it’s a small issue because I just highlight something else to check the color, but it does still cause a distraction.