Sketch Plugins I Can’t Live Without

Ryan Stephen
Feb 11, 2018 · 5 min read

I am a geek when it comes to plugins and add-ons. New Sketch plugins pretty much come out daily but there are a few that I just can’t do without.

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Sketch Runner

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Nested plugin menus will never slow me down again.

I put off using this for ages because I didn’t really understand how it would fit in my design flow. Search for stuff? I’ll just click around, thanks. I was an idiot. It is lightning fast and will change how you interact with the Sketch interface. Plugins like Content Generator’s nested submenus used to annoy me but now I go straight to the action I want.

Runner works so well that it convinced me to start using Alfred to interact with my computer. I will never go back.

Midnight Theme

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Midnight adds a much needed layer of personalization and additional functionality.

What. a. gem. Midnight is an interface theme that will not only save your eyes from burning out but it will also excite you every time you open Sketch. My favorite part is having pink toolbar icons. There are also productivity enhancements like the ability to change the layer selection color, color tags for layers, and line guides for grouped items. These little UI upgrades have helped me keep my layer names clean for export (no emojis - use color tags).

It does cost $8 but I put it in my top 3 best purchases for Sketch. The team seems to push updates pretty fast so I am excited to see where they take it next.

Paddy

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There is no additional step (i.e. Relabel) after you change content using Paddy — it’s automatic.

There have been many workarounds for dealing with dynamic buttons but I have never been satisfied having to do additional steps after making a change. Why can’t it just work like CSS!?

Paddy is a new plugin that works exactly the way I expect it should work — I change some content and it updates automatically. To me, it’s better than Relabel method because it works with symbol overrides and I can apply it to something like a modal with ease. Buttons with icons are also a breeze. Think of it as a lite version of Stacks.

Update: Mind. Blown. You can automatically space grouped objects and align them with simple layer name rules. Checkout the video below by @pablostanley for a more in-depth look at how magical this plugin is. @DavidWilliames is a genius.

Chart

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If you get excited about charts then you are going to love this.

I hate designing charts — until now. It’s never been easier to pull data in from a spreadsheet create a visually stunning chart. I use the plugin as a starting point and then customize the chart’s visuals as needed.

I can pump out a Dashboard faster than the marketing team can say “We actually don’t need that level of detail, but thanks”.

Split Shape

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Slice and dice with Split Shape plugin.

Most people probably use Grids or Craft for this although I have found that the Split Shape plugin works great for me. I create a parent shape with the total dimensions I want (parent div) and then split it into columns/rows for gridded content using gutter/margin input for separation. I don’t have to think about the math.

Fitter

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I use this all the time because I’m a lazy hotkey king and don’t want to draw shapes manually. CTL⌥+H (height), CTL⌥+W (width), and CTL⌥+F (Full Art board). It’s that easy. Also, you can set margins for shape size based on the art board dimensions.

Butter

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Oh boy, that nav needs some Butter!

I love me some Butter. Native Sketch controls can’t help much with a vertical nav menu that is out of order by a few pixels so I use Butter to tidy up what would normally take way too many clicks.

Butter can also do spacing distribution so I don’t need to have the Distribute plugin around anymore. Butter is kinda redundant if you are using the Paddy plugin but I still keep it around quickly butting up objects.

Sketch Guides

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This interface is beautifully simple. I will create a shape for my margins then move it to the edges of the art board and let the plugin make guides all around it. Saves me tons of time and works exactly how I want it to.

Clipboard Fill

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I don’t know what I would do without this guy. No more saving photos to my desktop and filling shapes. Copy image > CTL⌥+V and done!

Swatches

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Swatches has really helped me focus because I don’t spend half a day playing with color values. I’ll jump into a library, grab what I need, and then I’m out.

Bonus: Little Ipsum

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Exactly the amount of filler text I need.

I know there are plugins with content generators (Craft, etc) but my main problem has always been that they don’t have fine grain controls for how much copy I want. Little Ipsum is my go-to when I need filler text of a certain amount and it is just as fast as using any plugin (probably faster).

Design + Sketch

The best collection of articles, tips, tutorials, and…

Ryan Stephen

Written by

VP Design @ Trinity Apparel. UX/UI. Product Design. Photography. Startups.

Design + Sketch

The best collection of articles, tips, tutorials, and stories on designing and prototyping with Sketch and beyond

Ryan Stephen

Written by

VP Design @ Trinity Apparel. UX/UI. Product Design. Photography. Startups.

Design + Sketch

The best collection of articles, tips, tutorials, and stories on designing and prototyping with Sketch and beyond

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