Increase the speed and productivity of your design workflow with reusable components

Components are reusable design elements that speed up your workflow and keep your designs consistent.

The main advantage of using components is that you can edit multiple instances of an element at once. For example, if you need to make a change to a button that appears in several places in your design, you can update the button component and the change will apply to all its instances:

Component basics

These are the basic terms related to components and their functions:

  • Main component. The original layer that you convert into a component.

  • Component instance. You create a component instance any time you duplicate a main component. When you edit a main component, the changes apply to all of its instances at once.

  • Override. When you modify an instance, you create an override. The main component won’t be affected, and if you edit it later, the changes won’t apply to instances with overrides.

  • Component page. A dedicated document page used for storing main components. Lunacy adds it automatically when you create a component.

  • Component state. Components from the same category or subcategory are called component states. They define the different styles for one component.

  • Nested components. You can nest several components in a more complex component. This gives you the most freedom and flexibility in editing your designs, and it’s an even more powerful feature when coupled with nested auto layouts.

Creating components

To create a component:

  1. Select the layer you want to convert into a component.
  2. Click + in the Component section of the right panel or press Ctrl + Alt + K / ⌘ + ⌥ + K.

You can also select a layer and click in the context toolbar at the top of the canvas or select the Create component option on the context menu.

Layers vs. Frames

When you create a component from a layer or layer group, Lunacy automatically frames it and transfers it to a separate Components page where it’s stored as a main component. An instance of the newly created component remains on the canvas.

If you create a component out of a frame, it will stay on the canvas as a main component, which you can then copy to create instances.

The difference is shown here:

Find out more about component pages.

Components and instances in the Layer list

Main components are bold and colored pink () in the Layer list, and there’s a component symbol () in front of their name.

Component instance names aren’t bold but have the instance symbol () and the same pink color. When they’re selected, their properties and options appear in the Component section of the right panel.

Reusing components

All the components in your document appear in the Components tab in the left panel.

To add a component instance to the canvas, drag it from the left panel to where you want to place it:

Right-click a component in the left panel to bring up the context menu with these options:

  • Rename component
  • Edit component
  • Delete component
  • Duplicate component
  • Group
  • Expand all
  • Collapse all

Note: If you used any components from built-in or manually created UI kits, they will also appear in the Components tab.

Managing components

Main component properties

When you select a main component, the Component section in the right panel displays these properties:

Component type

Select one of the presets to organize your components by type.

Note: This setting currently has no visible effect. It’s reserved for future use in upcoming releases.

Resizing behavior

Choose whether to adjust the content of the component when it’s resized.

Color picker, opacity, and visibility

Set the component’s background color and show/hide it by pressing the / icons.

Include background in export

Include/exclude the component’s background when exporting it.

Include in instances

Include/exclude the component’s background in its instances.

Components page

You can use Components page that Lunacy generates automatically to store all of your main components. Alternatively, you can turn any page into a Components page:

  1. Right-click the page in the Page list.
  2. Select Set as Components Page.

Note: If you set one of your pages as a Components page, make sure its primary purpose is to store components. You’ll avoid confusion, and it will be easier to organize all of your design elements.

Component states

You can create several states for a component and switch between them as needed in the right panel.

To create a component state:

  1. Select a component instance.
  2. Click + in the Component section of the right panel or press Ctrl + Alt + P / ⌘ + ⌥ + P.
  3. Adjust your component for the new state and name it.
  4. Click on any empty area on the canvas.

A new component will appear near the default main component, defining the new component state.

Lunacy also changes the name of components when you create new states, automatically placing them into categories. You can edit categories anytime in the Components tab.

New component states for a distinct component will be displayed in the right panel as you select the component’s instances.

To switch through component states:

  1. Select a component instance.
  2. Choose the new component state in the right panel.

Note: Switching component states doesn’t affect overrides. This means that if you change the component state for an instance with overrides, the overrides you created will stay unchanged.

Organizing components

As your document grows along with the number of components in it, you’ll probably want to organize them so you can quickly find the necessary component when you need it.

This is how componenet categories and subcategories appear in the Components tab:

They also appear in the Component state dropdown menu in the right panel.

You can manually place your components in categories in the left panel (the Group option on the context menu) or use / in component names, like this:

Category name / Subcategory name /Component name.

Here’s an example with just the category name and component name:

Still, the quickest way to categorize your components is to create component states.

Deleting components

Delete main components from the Components tab (using the context menu) or the Components page (simply delete the component frame).

When you delete a component, all of its instances turn into frames.

Editing components

You can edit a main component:

  • In the Component editor.
  • Directly in the Components page.

Making edits in the Component editor

  1. Select a component instance and press Enter or choose Edit component in the context menu.
  2. The main component will appear over the selected instance, while the rest of the canvas will be dimmed. The contents of the component will appear in the Layer list.
  3. Edit the component.
  4. Click on the context toolbar, click anywhere over the dimmed area, or press Esc to exit the component editor.

Making edits in the Components page

  1. Right-click on an instance and select Go to Main Component in the right panel or manually switch to the Components page.
  2. Edit the required component.
  3. Once you’re done:
    • If you used the Go to Main Component option, click the Back to instance button at the top left corner of the canvas.
    • If you manually opened the Components page, simply switch back to the previous page to continue working with the document.

Swapping components

Use the Components tab or the right panel swap between instances from entirely different components. Simply select an instance you want to replace and use one of the following methods.

Method 1:

  1. Go to the Components tab.
  2. Find the required component and click next to it:

Method 2:

  1. Open the component state menu in the Component section of the right panel.
  2. Select the required category and component state.

Managing instances

We already covered how to create component instances to the canvas from the Components tab. You can also duplicate or copy/paste instances directly onto the canvas.

With a main component or instance selected:

  • Press Ctrl + D or Ctrl + C → Ctrl + V.
  • Hold down Alt, then drag to place an instance on the canvas.

Component instance properties

For a component instance, the Component section in the right panel will look like this:

Component state menu

A dropdown menu displaying the current state of the component. When open, it shows all other components and UI kits available in the document.

If you didn’t create any component states, this property will read Default State.

Component states

Select one of the presets to organize your components by type. Changing this for a component instance will affect its main component and vice versa.

Detach from component

Detach the instance from its main component or press Ctrl + Alt + D / ⌘ + ⌥ + B.

Reset instance size

If you resized the instance, click this button to revert it to the size of the main component.

Go to main component

Redirects you to the instance’s main component.

Component type

See the corresponding main component property.

Once you modify an instance, the button appears in this section, indicating that the instance has an override:

Click it to reset the override and revert the instance back to the style of the main component.

Creating overrides

To reiterate, an override is any edit you make to a component instance. Let’s go over them in detail.

Click next to the title of a component instance in the Layer list to expand its contents. You can modify all the layers inside it to apply the changes to this component instance only, creating an override:

Some basic overrides you can make are changes to layer color, text, or image content.

Below, we have a simple example of a card component consisted of an image (an oval with an Image fill) and a labeled button. We make three types of overrides to the card, changing the button color, the button label, and the image.

You can easily reset all of these overrides by pressing in the Component section, like in the demo above.

Here’s a full list of layers and properties you can create overrides for:

  • Fills and images
  • Text content and properties
  • Layer and text styles
  • Auto layouts
  • Tints
  • Hotspots

Understanding overrides

To understand how all of them work, we’ll use more complex examples. Also, instead of making some overrides (like text and image edits) manually, we’ll use some of Lunacy’s handy time-saving features like text generation and the Avatar tool.

One of the examples we’ll use is this profile card UI:

All the components used in the layout are on the left, and their instances are nested in the profile card frame, which is a component itself.

When using complex components such as this one, you can easily change the states of the nested components, manually edit them, or modify all instances by adjusting the main component.

Fills and images

The two images in the card are easily editable. The background behind the profile photo is a simple shape with an Image fill.

To change it in an instance, you only need to click it, then select the color icon in the Fill section and choose an image:

You can do the same with the profile picture, provided it’s a circle with an Image fill. To speed up the process, we recommend using Lunacy’s Avatar tool for placeholder profile pictures: simply press Q to place a randomly generated avatar picture directly onto the canvas.

Now, when you make a component instance, a new avatar is generated automatically:

Text content and properties

You can easily change the text and/or its properties in the component instance text layers.

Use the Text section in the right panel to:

  • Change the content of the text layer.
  • Set new fonts and text colors.
  • Edit typographic properties.
  • Alter the text’s advanced settings.
Using generated texts

In the demo above, along with the avatar, nearly all of the texts changed to randomized placeholders as well. This is because most of the texts in the layout were generated by Lunacy’s text generation feature.

An extensive list of text generation options appears whenever you add a layer using the text tool (T). It creates randomized texts for your layouts so you don’t have to do the work yourself. Find out more about text generation.

So, when we were creating component instances in the demo above, new texts appeared automatically.

Layer and text styles

In the main component, we used text and color styles to design our layouts. This is a convenient feature for keeping your designs consistent and easily editable.

Simply switch styles, create new ones, or edit and delete existing styles in the Style section of the right panel:

Auto layout overrides

When you modify auto layout settings in instances, a Reset overrides button appears in the Auto layout section of the right panel:

Use it to reset only the auto layout overrides in an instance:

Press the same button in the Components section to reset all overrides in the instance, including overrides made to the auto layout. Read in more detail about auto layout overrides.

Tint overrides

A tint is a property you can add to a layer group or component instance. It’s useful for adding color to elements with semi-transparent parts or complex icons.

Tint overrides are useful for designing tabs or panels with elements that can have different states expressed through different colors.

Note: You'll need to add default tints before you can create tint overrides.

The demo below shows three instances of the same component. We applied a tint override to one of them, then moved to the main component and modified the default tint. The change applied only to the instances without the override:

When you apply an override, the button appears in the Tint section of the right panel. Use it to remove only the tint override.

Hotspot overrides

If there’s a hotspot in your layout, you can override its target frame.

None override

You can hide a nested component using the None override option.

To do this:

  1. Select a nested component.
  2. Open the component state menu in the Component section of the right panel.
  3. Choose No Component.

Lunacy will override the component with the so-called none component. Later on, you can always override the none component with any other component.

Components and auto layouts

You’ve seen how using components makes the design process faster and much easier. Adding auto layouts to the mix speeds things up even more.

Creating components with auto layout, then nesting those in larger auto layout frames makes it easy to manage complex designs and quickly update them when needed.

If any spacing or padding distances seem off or you’re still in drafting mode, using components and auto layouts is the fastest way to test different versions of your designs.

For example, there’s quite a few auto layouts in our profile card examples:

To recap, here’s a list of context menu options and shortcuts you can use to work with components, along with corresponding shortcuts, if available.

Main component options

Option Description Windows and Linux Shortcut / Menu Option MacOS Shortcut / Menu Option
Create Component Create a new component from a layer. You can also click in the context toolbar at the top of the canvas. Ctrl + Alt + K ⌘ + ⌥ + K
Convert Component to Frame Right-click a main component and select the option to convert it into a frame. All of its instances will also turn into frames. Ctrl + Shift + Y ⌘ + Shift + Y

Component instance options

Option Description Windows and Linux Shortcut / Menu Option MacOS Shortcut / Menu Option
Create New Component State Add a new state for the component. Ctrl + Alt + S ⌘ + ⌥ + S
Go to Main Component Brings you to the main component of the selected instance. To return to the instance from the main component, click the Back to instance button that appears at the top-left corner of the canvas. Ctrl + Alt + E ⌘ + ⌥ + E
Detach from Components When you detach an instance from its main component, it becomes a group. All further changes to the main component will no longer apply to the detached instance. Ctrl + Alt + D ⌘ + ⌥ + B
Detach from Library This command only applies to components from UI kits. Detached components become native to the document and appear on the Components tab and the Components page. - -
Reset Instance Size Restore the original size of any component instance. Ctrl + Alt + R ⌘ + ⌥ + R
Reset Overrides Use this command to undo all overrides and revert the instance to the style of its main component. You can also use the Reset overrides button in the Component section of the right panel. - -
Send to Component page This command only applies to main components and becomes available when a component isn’t on the dedicated Components page. - -