Here in Innovatika we love to explore new possibilities. Both – for our client and for ourselves as well. Digital solutions are our bread and butter. And as a UI designer I’m always curious about software plugins.
Over the last few years, Sketch has become an industry leader in terms of UI (and sometimes even UX) design. Many companies switch to this software exclusively, and not without reason. However, nowadays, new solutions for designers are popping up like crazy, and every one of them has at least one “exclusive” selling feature that Sketch doesn’t have…
But do you know what Sketch does have? PLUGINS!
Very often, when you find a feature lacking in the “vanilla” version of Sketch, you can just search the web for a while and add this feature to your favourite program using some kind of add-on. With this in mind, I’ve decided to create a small compilation of my plugins of choice to possibly show you a solution to a problem you’ve been struggling with… or maybe even a solution to a problem you didn’t know was a problem at all.
This list is organised by level of “difficulty” in order to help you determine for yourself what sections you want to skip (because you are such a pro and I’m very proud of you) and what sections you want to read more carefully (maybe because you are a beginner designer in the world of Sketch and, if that’s the case, I’m even more proud of you… You have earned a cookie 🍪).
Please keep in mind that this article and the information included are entirely subjective. Ready? So let’s GO!
🏃♂️ Sketch Runner
Perform Sketch actions quicker with your keyboard. Launch, search and execute. Designing becomes a breeze.
This is the first plugin on the list for a very good reason. With it, you can install all of the other plugins, navigate between artboards, search for symbols, shared styles and even menus.
P.S.: There is a newer version of the Sketch Runner than the one that I’m showing here. However, I have decided to stick to the old one because I don’t particularly like a few of the UX decisions in the newer versions. 😛
🔀 Bunch Text Change
Have you ever realized that some pesky little text in your design reads “Moree” instead of “More” and it is like that on tens of artboards?
If so, fear no more, for Bunch Text Change is here.
With this plugin, you will be able to select all text layers and change the content of those text values at once. Nothing more, nothing less. V
〽️ Golden Line Height
Optimize your typography using the power of math.
This plugin allows you to adjust the line parameter of your text fields with one click. It uses mathematical calculations from lorenzwoehr.com
No more crowded lines! V
⌨️ Keyboard Resize
Natively, Sketch allows you to easily resize objects with a keyboard by 1px or 10px (by default, but you can change this value in Settings). However, there is a catch… you can only do this in two directions – right or bottom.
This plugin fixes this and adds a bunch of shortcuts for resizing in any way you like, all without taking your hands off the keyboard. V
💠 Symbol Organiser
Ever had a mess in your symbols? Now you can clean it up in one click!
Symbol Organiser allows you to segregate your precious symbols in categories, align them neatly to the grid and even swipe them from other pages to the main Symbols page. V
A bit more work required here and there
Here, you can find plugins that may be a tad trickier to use. But, if you can get the hang of it, the payoff can be tremendous!
✅ Sketch Icons
Import a whole set of icons to your project, all at once. And create a dynamic icon library in less than 5 minutes.
With all the talk in the industry about Design Systems, you are going to need an excellent tool to manage your icon library, right?
Sketch Icons can take any number of icons and convert them to previously selected presets! It makes sizes, colors, alignment and paddings uniform across the chosen group and can even apply a shared style to the layer in order to simplify changing the colour of the icons in instances of symbols.V
🏷 Rename It
Keep your Sketch files organized and batch rename layers and artboards.
This is one of the best plugins in terms of organizing your layer list. It allows you to batch change the names of any layer/artboard/symbol, which is extremely helpful when dealing with larger files.
This plugin even allows you to use Regular Expressions (or RegEx, in short) to do things like rename layers in numerical sequence or with the name of a pattern group. But fret not, the developers of this plugin don’t force you to learn a whole new formal language to do so (if you want to use some of the more advanced plugins described below, you just might want to do this 😛 ). There are lots of very useful predefined buttons that will allow you to do crazy things and explore this plugin nearly to the fullest.Video Player
🔲 Auto Layout from AnimaApp
Breathe life into your design! Create responsive and interactive high-fidelity prototypes, all inside Sketch.
While AnimaApp has many useful features as a whole, I will be focusing only on Auto Layout, which is my favourite and one of the most useful plugins out there! With it, you can create responsive buttons, cards and sections; even whole pages and artboards!
Stack allows you to… well, stack a bunch of objects in relation to one another. For example, you can create a gallery where, no matter how you resize objects, they will always be separated by 24px.
Padding, on the other hand, allows you to automatically resize the bottom-most layer to the size of the content above it. This is a great feature for creating buttons or even cards that react to what you put inside them.
And the best part? All of these options work together like a charm… and you can even use them inside of symbols!Video Player
Your coffee is already cold, have a new one ☕
First, I’d like to thank you for your time and for reading so far (have a new coffee to go with the cookie you earned earlier 🎉).
I believe that, in order to be a good digital designer, you should have a very refined toolbox that doesn’t limit your workflow in any way and doesn’t force you to waste precious time (and money) looking for half-assed solutions ad-hoc.
I hope that this article will help you in creating such a toolbox. 🙂