A few questions about XD plugins development

I am a UX professional with a frontend/backend development background and I’m thinking of developing XD plugins in order to overcome current limitations in Adobe XD itself.

I’ve consulted this forum and I’m concerned about a few things:

  1. Is this forum a reliable source of help? (many posts are left without replies and replies are quite late it seems)
  2. Are there other places (apart from StackOverflow) where I could get significant help?
  3. Is this possible to make a living solely on AdobeXD plugins development?
  4. What are the main difficulties one usually faces when developing XD plugins?


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Hi there!

I’ll try my best to answer these questions as quickly as possible.

the short answer to this is that it is as good as it’s going to get (which then already answers question number two). It is, first and foremost, a community forum. Since, however, the XD plug-in development community is a relatively small one, answers can, unfortunately, take some time.

People from Adobe, such as myself, also try to do our best to answer any unanswered questions, but things can fall under the radar, unfortunately.

There are some other places, but I would recommend starting here. There are also frequent events like the office hours event that Amanda posted about recently, here, which I can recommend if you can’t get answers to your questions elsewhere (since there, it can’t slip under our radar).

To answer your question: I would consider it to be reliable in the sense that if somebody knows an answer, they will usually post it. But when you compare it to bigger technologies, the amount of developers who could possibly know a solution is smaller.

there are developers who do. I would, however, recommend not focusing only on XD. It is a pretty niche market, and thus, while it becomes easier to find a product that nobody has thought about yet, it is a challenge to establish yourself to such a degree that you can make a living off of it. But it’s definitely possible.

Adobe XD has a concept called the edit context. This means that plug-ins are only allowed to edit the document in places surrounding your current selection. For more details about this, please refer to https://developer.adobe.com/xd/uxp/develop/plugin-development/xd-concepts/edit-context/.

This, then, means that plug-ins that would need to edit the entire document are somewhere between impossible and very hard to achieve. Personally, I haven’t ever run into any issues with the edit context, but it can collide with some plug-in ideas.

I hope this helps,
please feel free to ask any questions you have,

1 Like

Hi Pablo, thanks a lot for your kind answer.
I thought a reply would never arrive but I understand why now thanks to your explanation.
Sure, a very small community of developers makes it hard to produces timely support. I totally understand. Community members are busy with their own stuff and they aren’t obligated to help their peers either.
What I kind of disagree though, is the stance of Adobe itself.
I mean, the company did make the strategical move to create a plugins development tool and a marketplace. And from what I understand as well, there are lots of non-vanilla-javascript quirks/rules at work when developing Adobe XD plugins. So, IMHO it’s Adobe’s duty to make sure developers who use its service get help as fast as possible, which, simply from looking at the lack of timely replies at questions on this forum, isn’t happening at all. Other posts here suggest many Adobe employees have quit the project and that internal resources are now scarce. To be honest with you, this gives the impression that Adobe doesn’t believe in XD anymore and that it’s bound to be abandoned in some not too distant future. This is why I’m totally hesitating now on developing plugins for this product despite the fact that there are obvious needs of plugins for fixing various pain points that Adobe XD teams won’t work on (since it has been there for many years, just look at the bugfixes/features requests forums).