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Johan Ronsse
22 Oct 2019

Getting productive by using the right Figma plugins

Figma launched their plugins functionality in the beginning of August. Now that some time has passed and I’ve had the chance to try a few plugins I figured I would share my favorite plugins with the design community.

My favorites are the ones that save you time, the ones that automate things for you so you can focus on the real design work.

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First of all, when Figma plugins were launched I tried my hand at a plugin myself. I wanted to split lines of text automatically. I made a quick plugin called TextCutter which was surprisingly easy. It took about two hours. Now, my efforts to make a plugin were eclipsed by a much better plugin the next day with similar functionality.

This is the one I’ve been using the most actually. It’s called Nisa Text Splitter. It offers functionality to split 1 layer with multiple lines of text into single lines – and multiple layers . My plugin does the same, but this one does much more. It can also sort layers by their contents, remove duplicates, join text etc. I’ve actually only used the splitting functionality but I am happy someone else is maintaining something that I need in a better way.

Let’s talk about another plugin, which is called Google Sheets Sync. This plugin allows you to take data from a public Google sheet and transport it into your designs. To use it you simply use a # in your layer names, which references the column name used in your Google Sheet. For example #name . The plugin will populate your Figma-based tables with data from a spreadsheet.

This is super powerful if you are trying to have accurate data in your mockups and beats the old manual way hands down. Now, you don’t always want to set up spreadsheet to manipulate some text. That can be a bit heavy-handed. That is where Retextifier comes in. If you want to quickly manipulate text, by pasting in text from another source (e.g. just some plain text), this plugin will help you to do so. Instead of painstakingly clicking from one layer to the next and entering text one by one, you can select a set of layers and copy/paste all of your text in one go.

A plugin that I use all the time is called Button Resizer. It simply sets buttons to their minimum width automatically. You need to have your constraints setup in the right manner, but after this, autosizing buttons is a breeze.

Another plugin that has I’ve been using a lot since I found it is Send to Components Page . You know when you make a new component, you feel like you should put it properly on the components page but at the same time you also want to continue designing? Simply invoke the “Send to components page” command and the component will move to an artboard on the Components page where all components can land, waiting to be sorted in a later phase. This keeps you in the flow while designing.

What are your favorite Figma plugins? Share them in the comments!

Johan Ronsse

About the author: Johan Ronsse is an interface designer who is trying to find the balance between aesthetics and usability. He tweets as @wolfr_2.

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