Nice pic by Dmitri Popov

FORMR PLUGIN FOR SKETCH.APP

Sometimes while working with Sketch we face situations where we need to maintain simple proportions of layers and artboards.

By simple proportions I mean 1:2, 2:3 and the like. Sometimes it could be more technical, say, widescreen ratio of 16:9, etc. So it could be handy to have a tool to apply this ratios.

A couple of weeks ago I’ve developed Formr plugin for Sketch that does just that: applies simple ratios to working elements. It took me two or three days to write code and another day to make videos, screenshots and finally create a simplistic landing page with Readymag.

It was truly an MVP product: it could do only one thing and had a very limited list of available ratios.

I’ve recently added new functionality and shipped second version of Formr. New, updated Formr can extract proportions from layer names, which, I hope, will save you couple of mouse clicks.

How to use

Installation via Sketch Toolbox

Install plugin either via Sketch Toolbox (neat!) or manually by downloading zip and double-clicking .sketchplugin file inside.

You can also use custom proportions by adding ::RATIO to the layer/artboard name where “RATIO” can be any simple fraction and than pressing ctrl+alt+shift+e. For example, adding ::1/2 to a 100×100 layer name and calling the plugin gets you 50×100 layer dimensions.

A screencast showing some features in action

Formr supports layers, artboards, and multiple selection. It also works with latest versions of Sketch (3.8+ at the time of writing).

Helpful links and tools

  1. Console.app for debugging. It’s mind-boggling at first, but after some time it comes quite naturally. Here’s a great article by Ale Muñoz. Functionality of built-in plugin sandbox might be sufficient until your plugin structure grows and you won’t be able to debug it.
  2. Developer section on Sketch official website gives you a quick start. Some parts are badly structured and can be confusing in my opinion. While working on a plugin I had a constant feeling that Sketch plugins API is poorly documented, but, again, I may be wrong.
  3. Tutorial on building plugins by Yari D’areglia.
  4. I strongly recommend taking a look at the source code of some well-established plugins. Measure or Magic Mirror for instance.
  5. Check out this series by Magic Mirror’s author, James Tang.
Based on a photo by Sandra Starke