XD 20 Updates for Plugin Developers: Plugins Panel, New APIs, and More

Steve Kwak
Jun 18 · 4 min read

As always, we are excited to announce updates for XD plugin developers with this month’s release of Adobe XD. In XD 20, there are several important changes that developers need to know about and a few new APIs:

  • Plugins Panel

These new capabilities will dramatically improve the experience of discovering, accessing, and working with plugins in XD. Let’s get into the details!

The Plugins Panel

The Plugins Panel is a new panel on the left side of XD where a user can access and interact with plugins directly. The panel will display a list of a user’s currently installed plugins and, for any plugins with additional options available, a submenu that a user can expand. Users can also click the “+” icon in the top-right of the panel to launch the Plugin Manager and install new plugins.

If a user has no installed plugins, an image will appear in the panel prompting the user to explore the Plugin Manager to find plugins.

The addition of the Plugins Panel will get us ready for new types of plugins in XD 21: panel-based plugins. We will describe panel plugins in detail in our XD 21 release post. Here is a quick sneak peek:

Note: this is a sample design created by Adobe

Menu item naming enforcement

As of XD 20, we have changed how XD interprets the manifest. Note that this change does not require you to make any changes to your manifest file.

Here is a list of changes of how XD interprets your manifest:

  • If a plugin has a single top-level menu entry, regardless of whether it’s a command or submenu (i.e. in your manifest, uiEntryPoints array length is 1), the plugin’s name is always used as the menu item label. This means that the label field is ignored in this scenario and XD prints a warning to the developer console to let you know.

This menu item naming enforcement was implemented based on user feedback in order to improve the plugin experience. Let us know if you have any further feedback or suggestions.

24px icon requirement

Since May 21st, we have required a 24px icon in your .xdx when you upload your plugin to the I/O Developer Console. This was in preparation for upcoming Adobe XD releases.

The icon size requirement does not impact plugins that are already shipping in the XD Plugin Manager. However, the next time you go to update your plugin (or the first time you ship a plugin), be sure to provide a 24px icon (the I/O Console will remind you if you forget) in your manifest.

New superscript and subscript APIs

Finally, XD 20 adds some new text manipulation features such as superscript and subscript. All these new text formats can be set with the APIs.

// Let's assume what user has selected is a text node
const text = selection.items[0];
text.textScript = "superscript";
// Let's assume what user has selected is a text node
const text = selection.items[0];
text.textScript = "subscript";

Refer to the documentation on adobexdplatform.com.


These new APIs are already available in the latest version of XD, so make sure to update XD to the latest version. Here are some useful links for exploring these new APIs:

Hope this gives you a good summary of what plugin API changes you can expect in this new release. Leave comments below if you have any questions, or feel free to chat with us in the XD Developer Forum!

Adobe Tech Blog

News, updates, and thoughts related to Adobe, developers, and technology.

Steve Kwak

Written by

Partner Success Engineer at Adobe

Adobe Tech Blog

News, updates, and thoughts related to Adobe, developers, and technology.