How to replace / swap symbols in Illustrator tutorial

A guide to how to replace / swap symbol instances in Adobe Illustrator CC 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc

Replace / swap Illustrator symbols

replace symbols in Illustrator swap how to
  1. Select symbol instance or instances in Illustrator artboard to be replaced

  2. Go to the symbols panel

  3. Select the replace symbol

  4. Go to the right side menu of symbols panel

  5. Replace

The first thing is that there is an instance to be swapped so there must be at least one on the current artboard or you will find that you cannot use the functionality. Select the required instances.


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You can also replace multiple instances of different presets so if you have a square preset and a circular preset then they can be replaced in seconds with a single new design from the presets panel


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Top bar : Another approach to the using the standard standalone panel is to use the top bartop bar of the application and the replace panel ... probably the quickest way to swap the designs. Select the instances you want to change and go to the top bar of the application and you will see an dropdown next to the edit and break and reset buttons - display the presets in that and select and everything will change in seconds


If you try and replace the instance where all the instances are same as the replaced then nothing will happen


Dimensions of the changed instance : If you have a large instance and a small instance and then go to the replace command in the panel or the top bar (personally the top bar is easier) you will notice on replacing the items you will suddenly see the new instance added in exact size / dimensions to the previous instances and the new replaced items will be large and small.


Sprayer tool : If you add the instances via the sprayer tool you will see a number of the instances and they can be selected as a group and then they can be replaced on mass by going to the panel menu or top bar and select the replace command with the new preset selected in the panel. So if you have a selection of sprayed oranges you can now swap with lemons or limes or raspberries etc and if you use the sprayer sizer and spinner then the newly modified instances will be set to the same dimensions and angle.


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