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Plugins are coming to Figma

Jonas Sicking
Jonas Sicking, Figma Software Engineer

Today, we're introducing the beta for Figma plugins, and we’re calling all builders to apply to be among the first creators.

This is the next step in our journey of opening up the Figma platform. A year ago, we launched the HTTP-based Figma API, which customers can use to export Figma data to other tools. Since then, it’s been amazing to see the workflows people have developed. The Volvo Car Mobility team built custom Slack commands to export Figma icons into documents. Microsoft automatically pushes design file updates to their development environment. GitHub is now updating and distributing their SVG icon library, Octicons, more effectively.

We also saw a powerhouse team of designers and developers—Jackie Chui, Ahmad Al Haddad, and Mirko Santangelo—create a space for Figma users to share functionality built with our APIs.

We’ve been inspired by what our customers have created on top of our platform thus far. And we know many of you have dreams to do much more, like developing (and using!) plugins to further hone your design process.

That said, we’ve seen the challenges plugins can introduce to a design platform. We wanted to be thoughtful in how we open up our plugin APIs so builders have confidence in our platform’s stability and security.

For example, developers should never have to worry about their Figma plugins breaking, even when we ship new features and updates. That’s why we’ve explicitly designed our APIs for third parties to use, rather than just opening up our internal APIs. As many of you know, internal APIs tend to change, which results in extra work for 3rd party developers (they have to update their software for each platform release) and a bad experience for users (they have to worry about their favorite plugins breaking).

We wanted to make sure we did things right. When embarking on this project, we established a few principles to guide us:

  • Plugins should be easy and intuitive to use for any designer.
  • If you can build a website, you should be able to make a plugin.
  • People should be able to author plugins with popular programming languages.
  • Plugins should not be detrimental to the performance and user experience of Figma.
  • Figma should fully support and maintain all APIs that plugins rely on.

These principles will hopefully ensure plugins feel core to our product, for both developers and the end-users.

So if you know basic HTML and JavaScript, we invite you to apply to join our plugins beta.

What can you do in the beta?

You can build plugins that speed up your design workflow. For example, you could automate repetitive tasks or bring real data into your files. You’ll also be able to share the plugins you develop with folks on your team.

Who should sign up for the beta?

If you have a plugin idea and the ability to build a website, consider applying to the beta! Since our platform is web-based, you’ll find it easy to build and maintain Figma plugins.

Can anyone join the beta?

We can only allow a select number of users into the beta at this time, but we plan to open plugins to everyone soon. We’ll be prioritizing access based on what you want to build. Our goal is to enable a broad group of beta users to stress test and shape our APIs with a variety of plugin ideas.

How to sign up for the beta

Apply for the beta here.

Can’t wait to see what you all have in store for us.

P.S. If you can’t or don’t want to code, hang on tight. You’ll be able to access and use these community-powered plugins soon.

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