Share your Sketch Templates folder across your design team with Dropbox and a Symlink.

Christopher Deane
4 min readOct 14, 2016

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If you Google the phrase “Sketch template folder on dropbox” you’ll find a handful of links referring to something called a Symlink. After I learnt how to create one manually in Terminal, I wondered if there was an easier way. There is and it’s called SymbolicLinker.

The idea is to create a Symlink of a Templates folder that we’ll create in Dropbox, then tell Sketch that this is it’s own Templates folder. Doing this allowed my design team at Mobiddiction to find and update our project templates in one place.

5 Steps to Glory

Let’s look at the 5 steps it takes to set this up.

1. Install SymbolicLinker

This is a small service that adds a contextual menu in your Finder that makes Symlinks for you, you can download it here. Open it and select “SymbolicLinker.service”.

2. Create a Templates folder in Dropbox

This step assumes that you’ve installed the Dropbox Desktop Application, are logged into your Dropbox account and are able to access it’s files from Finder. Once you’ve done this, create the folder you want to place your Sketch templates in.

I created a folder called _Templates in the root of the synced Dropbox Account, then added a Sketch folder and gave it it’s own folder called Templates.

3. Create a Symlink of the Templates folder

Control+click or Right-click on the Template folder at the end of the above path and select: Services/Make Symbolic Link.

This will create a Symlink of the Templates folder.

4. Replace Sketch’s template folder with the SymLink

Open Sketch and select: File/New From Template/Reveal in Finder.

This will open Sketch’s Template folder which is hidden by default in ~/Library/Application Support/com.bohemiancoding.sketch3/Templates/.

Copy, drag or move the Symlink you created in Dropbox called Templates symlink into the above directory (then delete it from Dropbox if you like), rename Sketch’s current Templates folder to Templates.BAK then rename the Symlink to Templates. You should now see this:

Sketch’s Templates folder is now referencing Dropbox’s Templates folder. Any Sketch file you want to become a template can now be placed there.

5. Place your UI Kits in the Dropbox Templates folder

We have a UI Kit that we use to design Mobiconnect (Mobiddiction’s enterprise grade customer engagement platform) called Mobiconnect — UI Kit Master.sketch. We put this in a Mobiconnect folder inside the Dropbox Templates folder, let it sync then opened Sketch. This is what we saw:

Hopefully, you’ll see something like this too.

The templates you’ve placed there now open in a new Sketch file and is ready to create another section of your project.

Congratulations

Once you’ve repeated this process with everyone in your design team they’ll:

  • Have access to all of the Sketch templates your design team uses.
  • Be able to edit those templates and have their changes synced to everyone else in the team.
  • Feel like a hero when it all works.

Good luck!

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Christopher Deane

Creating Scale Design System. Design System Lead at Macquarie Bank. Loving Husband, Awesome Dad.