Some of My Favorite Sketch Plugins6 min read

Sketch Plugins

Sketch & I have a love-hate relationship for a long time. One of the main reason I love sketch is its ‘pluggability’ (Able to plug things in). This is one of the reasons for sketch being so light, simple and yet functional. I hated sketch mostly for its availability (available on Macs only).

N.B: I have plans for writing about Sketch & me, Just don’t know when.

Rantings Aside. Lets Start with the plugins that I love.

1. Runner

Sketch Runner

Literally the first thing I do after installing Sketch. Runner is a sketch supercharger. Runner offers a spotlight like functionality inside sketch with the added benefits of installing & managing plugins. However, while there are other plugin management tools like Sketch Toolbox & Sketchpacks I love runner the most.

Also for your peace of mind, Runner is used by big companies like Google, Amazon, airbnb. (Source)

2. Craft

Craft is sort of the “Swiss Army Knife” for Designers, developed by Invision. It has five sub-plugins built in.

  • Stock – Mainly for stock images, Provides image for unsplash & Other (premium) resources. Also, a local folder with a series of images can be provided. The image(s) is filled within the selected shape(s).
  • Freehand – Collaboration tool. Amazing, but I don’t use it much.
  • Prototype – Works inside sketch. Can be previewed in the invasion app only. I don’t use it much after the Sketchapp’s built-in Prototyping system.
  • Data – Stop working with Lorem ipsum. Get some real data by this. You can even insert your own JSON API inside this.
  • Duplicate – My most frequently used feature. Duplicates the selected layer/group/symbol.
    (Pro-tip: Create a symbol consisting of a text layer filled with data and stock. Create Duplicates of them to see the magic! )
  • Sync – For uploading & syncing with Invision. I started to use Gallery & Sketch’s Built-in cloud for syncing & things. So, I don’t use this anymore.

3. Artboard-Tools

Artboard tools

Handy plug-in for managing & interacting with artboards & stuff. Sketch doesn’t provide much functionality for navigating/organizing artboards. The built-in shortcuts and naming conventions are really handy for me. Besides grouping, The zoom artboard to fit feature is amazing (Select an artboard & press cmd+4).

4. Material gallery

Relatively new handy Sketch plugin from Google, which offers you 2 things –

  • Theme Editor – An Amazing Design System (or subsystem creator) which gives you base design system for your brand based on material design principle. You also can customize things like colors, type, corner rounding etc inside the plugin. Also, the created file is just a sketch library. So you can customize things to your wildest extent. The only feature that I want is able to define gradient as color. However, since the Created file is big so Mac sometimes lags while opening the file.
  • Gallery – Sort of your regular design, feedback & dev-spec Repository. Offers lots of paid functionality(in other apps) for free but still in early stage. So features like prototyping, Categorizing artboards, Assets export is still missing. Also, the dev-export(Pixel measurement) doesn’t play well with nested symbols.

5. Sketch-Measure

Sketch Measure

Ever heard of Zeplin? It’s just like that. But the files are at your hand & it’s free. If you didn’t hear about Zeplin. Don’t worry bud, I got you covered-

Sketch Measure lets you create developer friendly spec which is highly customizable & amazing. Also, Assets which are marked as exportable are exported in the desired size. (Zeplin Also Does That but it’s in online & it’s a paid service)

However, I like sketch measure more because it offers you way more customizability & things which Zeplin doesn’t offer, that too for free. I would’ve moved to material gallery, but that doesn’t have much functionality & no asset export yet.

6. Symbol Organizer

Symbol-Organizer

If you have OCD of Seeing Symbol Page Organized, This is a great plugin to do so. By default, sketch sends you symbols horizontally. This plugin lets you use “/” as an indicator(“Yeah! those, which you used for your insertion convenience) of sorting them vertically/horizontally. It Also offers automatic titling to the categories.

However, Don’t start to organize things when you have a blank canvas. Create a design first (where you can see there is a system going on). As soon as you can see the system start using symbols.

There are 2 more handy plugins for better symbol organization.

  1. Merge Duplicate Symbols – Relatively new plugin. Lets you find & replace the duplicate symbols by its name. Also offers you a sleek interface to see which one is used how much on the document, so that you can decide which symbol you wanna replace by the identical copy.
  2. Sort Me – Lets you sort layers as per your wish.

6.Sketch Iconfont

Sketch-Iconfont

One of my most used plugins for quick needs of icons. This one lets you easily insert/manage icons from icon from icon fonts. Has a free font bundle with it which includes popular fonts like font-awesome, material community icons, simple line icons(wink, wink ;)I have some contributions in it), Ionicons & Anticons. However, you can make & export custom font bundle by yourself. More information can be found at their github page

7. More plugins

I also use these ones regularly. But these ones fall into something like “Honorable Mentions”

  1. Clipboard Fill – Low-key plugin. Lets you copy-paste images as shape fills.
  2. Font Packer – Handy tool for developer handoff. Packs & Collects the font used in sketch file.
  3. Map Generator – As the time of writing this article, I work with a location service company named dingi. So, Generating a map is essential for me. Might be useful to you.
  4. Rename It – Lets you batch rename files. I mostly use it for renaming layers while I move them to Principle for interaction design (More on that might come in a later article).
  5. Select Similar Layers – This one comes in handy for those who are searching for the missing Adobe Illustrator feature. Lets you select similar layers by fill color, border color, border thickness, font & size, name, blending mode, opacity & much more.
  6. Sketch-Icons – Not to confuse with Sketch Iconfont, this one lets you create and organize icon library, which makes it easier to work with icons & icon colors in sketch much easier. ( More on that icon workflow is coming in another article soon)

That ends my most used plugins list as of this writing. Don’t forget to let me know in the comments/response if you find any plugin handy but not appeared in my list. Also If this list can help you improve your workflow a bit my effort on writing this article will be successful. Thanks.

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