"Return to instance" shortcut for Figma links

Hi!

My team exclusively uses Figma as the source-of-truth for implementation across various verticals: product, design engineering… We heavily rely on deeplinks to cross-reference other relevant files, flows, screens or resources to make the hand-off files easier to navigate for engineers.

Our problem is, after clicking a link that leads to another frame in the same file, there’s no way to go back to the previous page: People need to manually navigate the file hierarchy and sections organisation to retrace their steps. Easy when you’re the person who came up with all these flows and know the file org by heart, but hard for anyone else. :sweat_smile:

A floating action similar to the “Return to instance” button we have when shortcutting to a master component would be ideal. A keyboard shortcut to do that would be good enough. Any thoughts here?

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If you are working with local components where all the components and instances are within one file you have this neat “return to instance” snackbar at the bottom.

If you are using external libraries like I’m doing all the time, you don’t have this option.
I think it would be handy and more consistent if we could also have this feature across different files.

Yeah, not a big dealbreaker since you just need to change the tab but with lots of open tabs a nackbar would be even better.

I was inspired by this idea:
https://forum.figma.com/t/after-click-on-the-link-to-the-frame-and-move-viewport-to-the-frame-there-should-be-a-button-back/29190

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You have a really cool feature - after click on “Go to Main Component” there is a bubble option on the bottom of the viewport “Return to instance”.
I use cross-linking system in the file. It could be good if user will see the similar button when he click on the link to the Frame in the same Figma file)

+1

I think it’s the same suggestion like:

https://forum.figma.com/t/return-to-instance-like-behaviour-for-figma-links/25391

Should I delete my idea and vote for that one? Or it’s not a problem to have 2 similar requests?

A moderator could decide to do so. I just wanted to “connect” both ideas so votes are not split up while we all are requesting the same :slight_smile:

Btw: You inspired me to share a similar idea:
https://forum.figma.com/t/return-to-instance-option-across-files/29240

I use links inside my Figma design files to help people get around and across Pages.

But for people who don’t know the file well, getting back can be tricky.

It would be very useful if Figma provided a “Return to source link” option for links that opened within the same Figma file, that worked in the same way as the existing “Return to instance” function does.

Click a link to go somewhere in the file, and then just click to get back.

Super-useful - and probably not hard to implement?

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Would be amazing to have a keyboard shortcut for ‘Return To Instance’.

Long term solution:

  • Add as macOS menu item. We would then be able to create our own shortcut for it
  • Add as official native Figma keyboard shortcut

Unfortunately this is not there yet. I did find a workaround that can speed up your workflow by quite a bit though!

Workaround:

(For this example it does require that your Figma application window is sized somewhat similar in every session)

  • Download BetterTouchTool (paid app)
  • Create a new keyboard shortcut for Figma
  • Set the Trigger shortcut to your liking

Then as the output:

  1. Save Current Mouse Position
  2. Move Cursor to new mouse position, based on Bottom Center of Active Window (move cursor to the location of the Return To Instance button)
  3. Left Click
  4. Restore Saved Mouse Position

Other possibilities

This tool works so well that you do not even see the mouse changing position. It really feels like a normal keyboard shortcut and it has saved me so much time.

  • Similarly I created a shortcut to quickly jump to follow/view profile of another designer in the same file.
  • Also BTT allows you to create or reconfigure keyboard shortcuts for menu entries that for some reason are ignored when setting them in the regular Keyboard Shortcuts settings in System Preferences.

Game changer for me, until Figma allows for more solid support and flexibility for custom keyboard shortcuts. Give it a try.

01 return to instance

My settings in BTT (make sure to adjust to settings that match your particular screen):

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Thanks for the feedback, @Namson!

We’ve merged it with similar feature requests from the past to hopefully better gauge interest from the community.

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@dvaliao Does the mean someone is working on a more elegant way to navigate between master components and instances — a completely different approach which could solve this an many more issues would be a back button/keyboard shortcut to navigate back – and forth.

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Shortcut to “Return to instance” would be really useful same way as shortcut to “GO to main component” which was already solved in this forum. Hopefully they add it as well…

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That’s awesome. I have searched for a while. BBT seems a good solution on it.

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The latest version of BTT has a solid solution for this that works on any screen and Figma window size.

What works for me is setting the Mouse Position in BTT to:

  • Bottom Left of Active Window (which is the Figma window)
  • X axis: 50 % (to end up in the middle)
  • Y axis: 50 px (to end up 50 px up from the bottom, right in the middle of the button)

Background: Move mouse: "Relative to: bottom center of active window" - #7 by patrickplaggenborg - Feature Requests - BetterTouchTool Community

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Would love to see this happen. We’ve had developers asking for this too. It’s easy as designer to return to previous selection but not for developers. It seems like the “Return to instance” button bar could be used the same way as is used currently when going to a main component.

Unless you link within a page you can press CTRL+Z so it goes back to previous Page. But yeah, I really want this feature too Return to source link :heart_eyes:

I dont see a reason why this shouldn’t be included at least in the Menu bar, we could work with custom shortcuts. Please Figma!