Symbol Instance Locator Plugin doesn't work since Sketch 96

The Symbol Instance Locator plugin unfortunately seems to have stopped working since Sketch version 96 (at least for me). I select a symbol as usual and want to use the plugin to show where instances are used in my Sketch document. The plug-in window appears, but remains without content or results (even after minutes of waiting).

Is there any alternative (other plugin or using Sketch’s on-board tools) to detect instances of symbols?

@sonburn Could you possibly help?

Hey @Xhaust

Sorry to hear the Symbol Instance Locator plugin stopped working. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with that. Maybe the plugin developer can or others in the community can provide alternatives?

I found that Ashung’s Automate plugin fortunately gives me a similar option. As is so often the case, this plugin is the saviour in a feature emergency. I dread the day when a Sketch update makes this plugin incompatible too.

But regardless, I believe that tracking down instances of a symbol is a frequent requirement of my work, not just mine, and so I would classify this as a feature request.


So, a couple things are going on…

  1. An issue that has existed now for a couple releases is Symbol Instance Locator is slow if you have a large document with many symbol instances. This plugin looks through ALL instances in your document to look for any case where the symbol you are looking for could be applied as an override, and a couple releases ago many new override types were added that makes this a slower operation now. I am researching ways to speed up this process (the code is already filtering overrides by type though, so it’s already pretty targeted), but I will likely just have to do a better job of conveying progress (and that the plugin is still working and that Sketch is not hung/crashed). I am also looking into a way of splitting up this operation, showing standalone matches first, allowing the override operation to continue in the background, but this is going to require some significant changes.

  2. The new issue is due to some change to the process for rendering an image of the symbol instance, which is then displayed in the list of matches. It looks like this affects a number of other plugins using the same code, as well as Automate’s… notice that Automate › Symbols › Find and Replace Symbol doesn’t work now either. Also be aware that Automate’s “Select All Instances of Symbol” doesn’t find occurrences of the instance applied as an override, so it’s not as comprehensive. I am looking into how to fix the image rendering, but I might end up having to remove the image from the list of matches for the short term to at least make the plugin operational again.

One last comment, plugin development in Sketch is pretty time consuming any more, due to out-dated documentation and changes happening behind the scenes without plugin developer awareness. This is going to happen more frequently unfortunately. Appreciate your patience, and apologies for the inconvenience.


Thank you @sonburn for working on a solution to the problem.

Hi Christian,
I have the same problem. Did you find the solution?

Yes. Kind of. Automate Plugin does the Job:

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