Mastering Figma Components: A Practical Guide

May 2, 2023Eugenia Sorgetti

Now that you have a solid understanding of Figma components and their benefits, it's time to dive into the practical aspects of working with these powerful design tools. In this article, we will walk you through the entire process of creating, customizing, and collaborating with Figma components, providing you with a comprehensive guide to mastering these essential design elements. From designing your base components and managing variants to working with instances and nested components, we will cover everything you need to know to effectively work with Figma components. By the end of this article, you'll be well-prepared to unleash the power of Figma components in your projects and create more efficient and consistent design systems.

How to Create a Figma Component

Designing Your Base Component

The first step in creating a Figma component is designing the base component, which serves as the foundation for all instances of that component. Start by designing the element you want to convert into a component, considering aspects such as layout, colors, typography, and any other relevant design properties.

Converting a Design Element into a Component

Once your design element is ready, it's time to convert it into a Figma component. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Select the design element or group of elements that you want to convert into a component.
  2. Right-click on the selected elements, and choose "Create Component" from the context menu. Alternatively, you can click the "Create Component" icon in the top right corner of the Figma interface or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Alt + K on Windows, Cmd + Opt + K on Mac).

Your new component will be created, and its icon will change to indicate that it's now a component.

Organizing Components in a Library

To keep your Figma components organized and easily accessible, it's essential to create a component library. This can be done by creating a dedicated Figma file that contains all your components, organized into pages or frames based on categories, such as buttons, icons, or typography.

To add a component to your library:

  1. Open your component library file and navigate to the appropriate page or frame.
  2. Copy the component from your working file, and paste it into the library file.
  3. Give the component a descriptive name that clearly communicates its purpose.
  4. Once you've built your component library, you can share it with your team members, ensuring everyone has access to the same design elements and maintaining consistency across projects.
Figma: Build your own team library

Variants and Component Properties

What are Variants?

Variants are different states or configurations of a Figma component that share common properties. They enable you to create multiple versions of a component, such as buttons with different colors or text styles, without cluttering your component library with separate components for each variation.

Creating and Managing Variants

To create and manage variants, follow these steps:

  1. Select the component you want to create variants for.
  2. In the Properties panel, click the "+" button next to "Variants."
  3. Design the new variant, making changes to properties like color, size, or text.
  4. In the Properties panel, define the properties you want to differentiate the variants. For example, you might create properties for "Color" or "Size."
  5. Give each variant a value for the defined properties, such as "Blue" or "Large."
  6. To manage your variants, simply select the component and use the Properties panel to add, remove, or edit variants as needed.
Component variants in Figma

Component Properties and Customization

Component properties allow you to customize instances of a component without altering the master component. This includes properties like color, size, and text, which can be easily overridden on a per-instance basis. By leveraging component properties, you can create more flexible and adaptable design systems.

Component properties

Working with Instances

Creating Instances from Components

To create an instance from a component, simply drag the component from the Assets panel onto your design canvas. Instances are linked to their respective master components, so any changes to the master component will be reflected in all instances.

Editing and Updating Instances

Instances can be edited just like regular design elements, with changes only affecting the specific instance being edited. However, if you update the master component, all instances will automatically receive the update, ensuring consistency across your designs.

To update an instance manually, right-click on the instance and select "Reset All Changes". This will revert the instance to its original state, as defined by the master component.

Overriding Properties in Instances

Instances allow you to override specific properties, like color or text, without affecting the master component or other instances. To override a property, simply select the instance and make your desired changes in the Properties panel. Overridden properties will be highlighted, indicating that they differ from the master component.

Master Components and Nested Components

The Concept of Master Components

In Figma, master components are the original versions of components from which instances are created. They serve as the source of truth for all instances, and any changes made to the master component will automatically propagate to its instances, ensuring consistency across designs.

Creating and Managing Nested Components

Nested components are components that are placed within other components, allowing you to create more complex design systems while still maintaining reusability and consistency. To create a nested component, follow these steps:

  1. Create the components you want to nest.
  2. Drag and drop the desired component into another component.
  3. Adjust the positioning and properties of the nested component as needed.
  4. To manage nested components, simply select the parent component and make changes as required. The nested components will update accordingly.
Nested components in Figma

Best Practices for Nesting Components

When working with nested components, keep the following best practices in mind:

  1. Limit the level of nesting to avoid complexity and improve performance.
  2. Use descriptive naming conventions for both parent and nested components.
  3. Organize nested components logically in your component library.
  4. By following these best practices, you can create efficient and organized design systems with nested components.


Throughout this article, we've covered the practical aspects of creating, customizing, and collaborating with Figma components, equipping you with the knowledge and skills needed to master these versatile design tools. By applying the tips, best practices, and techniques shared in this guide, you'll be able to build efficient and consistent design systems that streamline your workflow and enhance collaboration with your team. As you continue to work with Figma components, remember to experiment with different approaches and always seek ways to optimize your design process. With a strong grasp of Figma components, you're now well-prepared to tackle even the most complex design projects with confidence and ease.

Check out our other articles on designing and creating user-friendly products. Learn about the benefits of a design system, how to document it effectively and whether Figma is the best tool for design systems. Discover why designing for accessibility is essential, and how to conduct user testing with Figma to improve your design. Expand your knowledge and skills with our informative articles!

Eugenia Sorgetti

Eugenia Sorgetti

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