updated on 05 August 2022 | reading time: 4 minutes

Organizing your designs


Symbols can help you maintain a consistent design and easily implement wide-scale changes.

Every symbol is made of a master, which is the original symbol, and instances, which are the clones.

To make a new symbol, select one or more objects and go to Modify > Symbol > Create Symbol, alternatively, you can use Create symbol command in the context menu or in the main toolbar . A dialog appears allowing you to name the symbol by typing a name and pressing OK. The selection is now converted to a master symbol.

Symbols can be created in the Symbol panel using the  icon.

By default, the symbol master shows a label with its name on the canvas. You can change this under the View  > Canvas > Show Symbol Labels or inside the drop-down in the toolbar.

Symbols have a purple bounding box on the canvas and display purple text and icons in the Layers panel.

Every copy of a symbol become its instance. The instance inherits all the properties of the original master symbol and is updated automatically if the master is changed.


The real power of symbols lies in the ability of instances to have a set of different properties and selectively get updates from the master symbol.

Once a property of a symbol instance is changed, it loses the link to the master, but all other properties are synced as normal. That way you have great flexibility to make variations of the symbol without losing connection to the master. In the following example, the text content and the background of the button symbol are changed in instances, but all other properties are still connected and synced.

You can reset all overrides and set the symbol instance to its original state.

To reset instance use Context menu > Reset Instance or Menu > Modify > Symbol > Reset Instance. Alternatively, you can hover over the instance name in the Layers panel and click the Reset icon .

Symbols panel

The Symbols panel, the rightmost tab in the left sidebar, lets you manage all your symbols.

To find a master symbol on canvas, click its thumbnail in the panel. Corel Vector fits the symbol in the viewport.

Double-clicking a symbol thumbnail selects the symbol master and all its instances.
Note: This zooms to the master symbol only, the same as a single click.

To make a new symbol, select objects on the canvas and click the “plus” (+) button.

To place an instance of the symbol on the canvas, drag the thumbnail in the viewport.

To delete a symbol, select its thumbnail and press the delete (trash bin) button.

Warning: If you delete a symbol, all of its instances in the document are also deleted.

Instance properties in Inspector

Finding the master

With any instance selected, use the Instance drop-down in the Inspector panel to select the master. The master symbol is displayed, even if it is on another page.


Detaching a symbol instance breaks the link of that particular instance with its master and converts it to a regular group.

To detach the instance, select an instance in the Inspector pane, and choose Detaching Symbol Instance from the Instance drop-down.

Swap symbol

In the Instance drop-down, you can also swap one symbol instance with another symbol instance. The new symbol instance is placed at the same coordinates as the original instance,


Tip: You can use a blank page to collect your master symbols and use only instances inside your actual designs. That way you can’t unintentionally change the master, and all repeating elements can be found in one place for later use.


Transforming symbols

The rotation or movement of an entire master symbol does not affect its instances. However, the rotation or movement of elements within a master symbol does affect its instances. Scaling a symbol scales its instances that are not already scaled.


All elements of the symbol can be anchored to the symbols bounding box. See more on anchoring here.

Deleting symbols

Deleting the master symbol deletes it from the canvas, but the symbol is still available in the Symbols panel and can be inserted again.

When a master symbol is removed from the canvas, all of its instances will be temporally detached until it is placed back on the canvas.