Sketch Plugins, Baby!

A look at a couple plugins we've been using a lot of these days

At Collective Idea we use Sketch for wireframing and UI design. That’s not all we use though. One of our designers breaks down his current favorite plugins.

Craft by InVision Labs

I once used this religiously for all manner of things– adding dummy content, repeating elements, and the like. These days, its main use is for syncing InVision prototypes. There are a number of features that have saved my ass on multiple occasions, however. The ability to quickly spin up a shared remote whiteboard should not be underestimated and Freehand (a new-ish addition to the InVision family) gives you just that. All you have to do is click the button in the Craft panel, add the emails of the people you’d like to share it with, and off you go.

Collective Idea - craft-example.gif

/Runner

So… let’s get something straight. Managing plugins is kind of a nightmare. Sketch itself has made great strides on this front, but it doesn’t get easier than /Runner. All you need to do is launch /Runner (using the ⌘-“ key command), type install, then hit tab, and search for a plug-in. Double-click the one you’d like to install and you’re done.

If that’s all /Runner did, it would still be cool. BUT IT DOES SO MANY OTHER THINGS. Inserting a symbol? It can do that. Navigating to a page or art board? It can do that, too. Oh, and if you want to run another plugin, you bet your ass it can do that too! I love /Runner. If it was a human-person it would wear a leather jacket and not sweat no matter how hot it was outside. It’s that cool.

Collective Idea - runner-example.gif

Butter

What is Butter? Aside from the main ingredient in literally everything I eat, it’s going to be your new best friend. Have you ever wanted to align the edges of shapes or elements without having to drag and move each one hoping that Sketch’s fickle snap-to operation kicks in at the right moment? Sure. We all have. But what about spacing evenly by a set value? You know you’ve wanted to. Don’t lie. Stop lying to me and yourself about wanting to evenly space things out in your documents. It’s time to accept the truth and use Butter which is the easiest way to do either of those things (and a few more, but you’ll just have to use it to find out what those are ~wink~).

Collective Idea - butter-example.gif

Rename It

If you’re anything like me, layer management is not your strongest skill. Bordering on fireable offense, really (not really…). Rename It solves all your problems and makes you look like an attractive superhero in the process. It of course easily handles renaming layers and art boards. However, what if you have to do several at a time? Oh yeah. It can do that. In the dialog there are a litany of options from numbering to lettering as well as reusing the current layer name. No more “Rectangle 12 copy 1 copy”.

Collective Idea - RenameIt-Example.gif

Alright, so what are some plugins that you use? I know I didn’t list all the tremendously cool ones here. Drop a comment to let me know what plugins I’m missing out on.

Photo of Patrick O'Dell

Patrick joins Collective Idea with an eye toward the future of interfaces and a goal to create solutions that are intuitive, thoughtful, and engaging.

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