Symbols placed in file but can't get to the original

This issue happens on my Mac running macOS Monterey 12.7.2 (21G1974) (I sadly cannot upgrade due to company systems not working on more recent macOS)

I am having a strange issue with some symbols in my design system file which I can view and place in various pages. I need to edit some of the artboard names, but when I click on the ‘Edit in Library’ link, it is taking me to the design system file, but not to the actual symbols.

I have also gone through every single page on my design system file, and typed the beginning of the name of these symbole (Form / Components) but cannot find these anywhere.

I have also searched for these on our Sketch workspace, but cannot see these, although I can find very similar symbols, with different names.

I am attaching a screenshot of the path for these symbols, when adding them to other files. They seem to be ghost symbols as I think I have renamed them a long time ago, but they still appear with their old names.

Has anyone experienced anything similar and is able to help?

Hi @Stan, welcome to the Forum

Thanks for sharing this very well detailed report. After reading it I think this can be caused by one of these two things:

  1. The original symbol was deleted in the source library
  2. The original symbol was renamed in the source library

If this library is installed as a document library and the source symbol was renamed or deleted that would explain why you can insert new instances (if I understood correctly) but you can’t edit the source.

Since your library is a Workspace library you can restore the missing symbol:

  • browse through previous library versions
  • find a version that has the missing symbol
  • download a copy of that version, open it and copy the symbol source to the latest version of your library
  • save the library
  • sync the library components. Instances should link automatically to the source you restored

If the problem persists, can you enable Support Access and share the library Workspace link please? I hope this helps.

Hi Jorge,

Thank you very much for your reply, this is much appreciated. I think as you said, the original symbols have been renamed, so I would expect this to be reflected, which it is, but the old symbols still show.

I think this has been going on for some time, so going back through versions might be a bit of a tall order. but I’ll give it a go when I have the time.

Thank you for getting back to me.

Hey Stan, thanks for the update!

You can also make the symbol local, and then copy and paste the source in the library. This will get you the name and symbol source you want, but you’ll need a plugin to reconnect the instances to the new pasted symbol source. Symbol Swapper can help with this process.

Let me know how it goes and if you need us to take a look at the file, we’ll gladly do so