Installing and Distributing Adobe XD Plugins

Whether you’re a developer who has just coded your first XD plugin, an XD user, or an IT admin, you might be wondering how to distribute the plugin to your teammates. In this article you’ll learn six ways you can install XD plugins. The method you use will depend on your situation and your workflows.

① The XD Plugin Manager: Installations for one

You’re probably already familiar with the Plugin Manager. It’s the most common way to install plugins. It’s built into XD and lets you discover and manage plugins.

To discover plugins, launch the Adobe XD app on your computer. (If you haven’t got it, why not? It’s free!) With Adobe XD running, you can find add-ons from the Welcome screen, shown below.

From the XD welcome screen, hover over the image you want to use and then click on the “install” button.

Alternatively, from the main app menu, go to the Plugins Menu and choose Discover Plugins…

Or from the main app menu, go to the Plugins menu and choose Discover Plugins…
The Plugin Manager in XD lets you discover and easily install plugins.

Then click on the Install button.

The Plugin Manager is very convenient, but you’re not limited to using it to distribute plugins.

② Installation for teams using private plugins

What if you want to distribute your plugin for private use? You can share it with your team by packaging it as an .xdx fil and sending the file directly through whatever means you prefer.

All your coworkers will need to do is double click the .xdx file to install it for Adobe XD.

③ Distribution on your own site or favorite service

We haven’t limited plugin developers to distribution through the Plugin Manager. You can also distribute elsewhere online.

You can host .xdx files anywhere, whether it’s on your own website or using tools like DropBox or Gumroad.

That said, please tell end users to take care. Unlike plugins found in the Plugin Manager, directly distributed XD plugins do not go through our integrations review process. Just like anything you get online, only install files from a trusted source to ensure the plugin is legitimate and not potentially malicious.

④ Installations for enterprise and teams

Does your organization use Creative Cloud for Enterprise or Creative Cloud for teams? If so, you can package and distribute XD plugins the same way you would distribute .zxp files for other Adobe apps.

If you aren’t an Enterprise or Teams admin, you can ask your admin or IT team to read this article. Have them check out our previous article on packaging and distribution for all the details on managed deployment and self service.

If you’re not sure if your company or school is an Enterprise customer, one way to tell is if you sign in to the Creative Cloud desktop app using the “Sign in with an Enterprise ID” option. If you never sign in at all, you might be using serialized deployment, which is a bit different. In either case, you can email Enterprise Customer Support to find out who your Enterprise admin is.

⑤ ExMan command

If you’re comfortable with the command line, you might try distributing .xdx files the same way you may already distribute .zxp files, by using Adobe’s Extension Manager command line tool.

Where to find the ExMan Command tool

⑥ Third-party extension managers

If none of the distribution methods above sound appealing, you could try a third-party solution like Anastasiy’s Extension Manager, which supports XD plugins in addition to .zxp files.

Anastasiy’s Extension Manager

Start sharing and distributing

What are you waiting for? It’s time to start installing XD plugins for your coworkers, teammates, employees, or yourself. Let us know which method you prefer in the comments. If you get stuck, ask us for help in the XD developer forums.