Nov 4th 2019

Top 7 Figma plugins for improving your design workflow

Author profileJan Mráz

Introduction

Figma, the platform that forced even the most conservative designers to switch from Sketch, Invision or AdobeXD, is here with new improvements. Until recently, plugins were something that we really missed in Figma in comparison with other platforms. In the last few months, Figma has launched many updates such as GIF import or Smart Selection, so we expected that plugins in Figma would finally be introduced in the near future. Now it has almost been three month since the release and there are over 150 available plugins, so I have collected the 7 most useful plugins that will enable you to make your designs much better and faster than ever before.

First of all, how can we access these long-awaited plugins? It's easy! Open your desktop or web version of Figma, go to the “Plugins“ tab on the left panel, find your favorite one, click on the “Install” button, and that's it! You don't need to go through any long and annoying installation process to add the plugins to your system. Let’s take a look at the following list of my favourite plugins.

1# Autoflow by Coinbase

No more manual flow drawing is needed. Just select two objects, run the Autoflow plugin, and a line will be drawn instantly. Don't forget to use ctrl + alt + P (⌥ + ⌘ + P on Mac) to run the last plugin and make flow maps as fast as possible.

2# Figmotion by Liam Martens

Animations are something that I really missed in Figma. Up to now there was no way to make animations. You always needed separate software like Adobe After Effect, Protopie, Principle, etc., but now we have Figmotion. This plugin makes animations more manageable to developers directly in Figma and there is also the option to export animations such as CSS and JSON, or render into mp4, gif, or WebM. Figmotion is a very simple and intuitive tool, so it is perfect for learning animation as well.

3# Mapsicle by Chris Arvin

With Mapsicle it is possible to easily find a specific location anywhere in the world using an interactive Mapbox map. For the perfect shot you can use zoom level, pitch, and rotation, and set the style fitting to your design from six basic options.

4# Skewdat by Unfold

A very simple tool to skew any shapes. Just select an object, run the Skewdat plugin, and choose between horizontal and vertical skew. With Skewdat it is also possible to edit multiple objects at once. It’s such a useful tool for mock-up designing, isn't it?

5# Chart by Pavel Kuligin

Chart, one of my most favourite plugins, makes data visualisation easier than ever before. This plugin has no problem with copy-paste data from editors like Excel, Numbers, Google Sheets live, remote JSON, local CSV, or simply generating random data. It allows you to show data in 13 different graphs like pie, donut, steam or bar charts. After generating a chart you can easily edit the colors and sizes of each part.

6# Lorem ipsum by David Williames

Everybody knows it. Lorem ipsum, placeholder text without meaningful content, is commonly used when texts aren’t quite done yet. The Lorem ipsum plugin by David Williames allows you to generate random text directly in Figma. For me this is a big time-saver. Just select the text layer, run Lorem ipsum, and set a number of words, sentences, or paragraphs, or auto-generate the right amount of words to perfectly fill the text frame. It is also possible to choose to start with or without the classic sentence „Lorem ipsum…“.

7# Unsplash by Unsplash

The best for last?! Unsplash is the platform with easy-access, royalty-free images available, which currently has over 55k installs in Figma. Easily find random, high-resolution images or search for specific topics for personal and commercial use, wait a second and insert the shot into your design.

Summary

All in all, the Figma plugins give users new ways to make the design process much more efficient. The fact that everybody can develop their own plugins makes Figma a flexible and composable software for the modern designer. Now we don't have to wait for new features; we can just create it ourselves. I'm really excited about how Figma is evolving and I'm looking forward to every new plugin to come.

I hope you enjoyed my short article on the Top 7 Figma plugins that I use on a daily basis. Are there any game-changing plugins that you use and that I didn't mention here?

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