Where’s that Sketch symbol?

Alexander Miller
3 min readMar 10, 2020


“Im fairly certain that I created an icon for Safari in Sketch before, but where on earth is it” (or which sketch file is it in — to be more precise)? 😳

Finding text based documents on your computer has pretty much been solved on a mac you can use finder and search for any word or phrase contained in the document. However when it comes to searching for images thats a bit harder.

For Sketch projects I always use a library preferably shared between myself and other designers via Abstract.

Great but this does not solve my question ‘where is the thing I designed before’, I haven't saved every object I have ever created individually and given it a title in the filename to recognise it by and its unrealistic to do so?

I could create a giant symbol library with everything in it but this is also unrealistic and would probably create more challenges than is solves.

I could find a plugin for sketch that publishes my work to a searchable library — I don't think it exists today ill have to google it.

NB Libraries and libraries

Since a library in sketch is a specific thing I need to use a different term to describe my library of all my sketch files and images (sketch symbol finder) — confusion avoidance

My Draft Solution:

It would be two parts, a plugin to sketch that extracts all of the symbols and a copy of the artboard and saves them to a location on the computer or cloud and then tags them by the original project name the symbol name and the date created. There would then need to be an interface to be able to browse all of the items see fig.1

There would be a separate application the ‘Sketch symbol finder’ where you could see you history of what you created. you would be able to search by date project name or main colours used in the image, perhaps even specific hex colour.

As you can see above the screen layout would be similar in layout and function to a photo gallery app tithe a few extra features such as: the artboard would be on the left and the individual symbols on the right (recognition over recall).

You would be able to click on the image and either get a link to the file or the svg code for the image to be able to past into your sketch.

Is this a problem you have experienced? How do you get around this? or is there no good solution to this currently. Please leave comments :-)



Alexander Miller

I’m a UX Designer with a background in Business Process Analysis. A Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt, Agile coach & ScrumMaster. Im a big fan of self organising teams.