Coastal Media Brand

3 min read

From the perspective of UX/UI design, the significance of leveraging components in Figma cannot be overstated. These powerful tools serve as catalysts for elevating the caliber of our projects, bestowing upon us the ability to establish a standardized framework.

By harnessing the potential of Figma’s components, we embark on a journey toward optimal efficiency and impeccable consistency in our creative endeavors. These versatile building blocks allow us to fashion reusable templates for various objects and elements, empowering us to seamlessly replicate and iterate upon our design solutions.

The integration of Figma’s components within our workflow paves the way for a harmonious fusion of uniformity and innovation, ensuring that our designs resonate with both precision and creativity.

What’s the difference between a Figma component and instance?

Component vs InstanceComponent vs Instance

To use a component, we can simply duplicate it or call it from the left sidebar: Assets > Local Components. An instance will be displayed in our workspace, easily identifiable by the diamond-shaped icon in the left sidebar, under the Layers section. Meanwhile, the main components are marked by four solid diamonds:

Button Main ComponentsButton Main Components

Instances cannot be modified entirely as they are subordinate to the main component. For this reason, it may sometimes be necessary to detach the connection between our instance and the main component in order to apply all the modifications that our main component does not allow us to make.

Methods for undoing components and instances

Method 1: Detach an instance

To detach an instance, simply follow these steps:

  1. Select the instance to detach
  2. Click on Instance Options, located in the right sidebar
  3. Click on Detach Instance:

Detach InstanceDetach Instance

Method 2: Detach an instance

Or you can simply select the instance > right-click > Detach Instance:

Detach Instance 2Detach Instance 2

Keyboard shortcut for detaching an instance

Alternatively, you can simply click the following key combination, which may vary depending on the device: Ctrl or Cmd + Alt + B.

Once you’ve done that, the connection between the instance and the main component will be interrupted. We can see that the disconnection has occurred because its selection rectangle will change from purple to blue, and its identifying icon () will disappear from the layers section:

Detached InstanceDetached Instance

Principal component recovery through instance

It is not so unlikely to accidentally delete a main component, but fortunately, this situation can be easily remedied as follows: Select one of the instances connected to the deleted main component and press the button located on the right sidebar > Restore Component:

Restoring ComponentRestoring Component

Once the button is pressed, the main component will be automatically retrieved and placed back into your project.

Changing an instance of a component in nested components

Making changes to an instance of a component that contains nested components requires careful attention because it is important to understand from the beginning which nested instances within it will be modified and which ones will not:

Nested ComponentNested Component

In the following case, we have a card containing a series of components (1. Primary Button, 2. Secondary Button, and 3. Avatar). If we want to modify the following instance without completely disconnecting it from its main component, and instead only modify one of the instances within it, we will not disconnect the entire instance.

Instead, we will select one of the nested instances within it and perform the same procedure as seen in the previous pages to Detach Instance. This way, we can modify the content of the card while leaving it unchanged, as it will always be subordinate to its main component.

Cancel modification on an instance

In the event that we need to modify an instance and decide to restore its original characteristics, we simply need to perform a recovery action:

Edited InstanceEdited Instance

To perform the recovery action, we will need to: Select our instance > Instance Options > Reset all changes:

Reset All ChangesReset All Changes

In this way, our instance will return to its original appearance. Note that in the dropdown menu of the instance options, in addition to the Reset all changes action, another set of actions appears. These actions represent the changes that have been applied to the instance and that we can choose to reset.

How to undo one or more components

There are several plugins in Figma that allow you to perform what is called Undo Component, which will enable us to undo one or more groups of components (variants) without the need for too many steps:

3 Button Variants3 Button Variants

The plugin to be activated is the following:


Once activated, all we need to do is select the group of components, open the plugin panel, and activate the following plugin: Detach Component. Automatically, all the components will be detached.


As you can see, there’s more than one way to undo a component — you have several choices. Hopefully this guide saves you from any pesky situations where you’re stuck with components you don’t want or need.

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