Sync Figma Variables with Figma API

Variables in Figma serve as an integral part of achieving consistent and efficient design. Acting like variables in programming, they can include properties like colors, typography, grid styles, measurements, etc. Also, Figma provides the versatility of syncing these variables with your codebase, leading to high-level consistency for design and development teams.

Let’s look into the process of employing and syncing Figma variables using the Figma API:

Step 1: Define Your Variables

Under the ‘local variables’ section in Figma, you have the ability to define your variables. This process entails naming your variable and setting its valued properties. You’re also able to categorize the variables via groups and collections. 

For example:


Step 2: Utilize Your Variables

Use your defined variables across your design instead of manually feeding all the properties. Upon selecting a style that should match a predefined variable, simply select it from the style palette.

Step 3: Sync Variables using Figma API

It’s time to leverage the power of the Figma API to sync these variables with your codebase. The Figma API provides endpoints to retrieve the styles defined in your files. By using a GET request to ‘/v1/files/:file_key/variables/local’, you can retrieve the relevant variable names. Although Figma API is currently only available in the Enterprise tier, there are also some plugin alternatives without access to higher tiers. However, it is a manual process rather than having the ability to automate API calls via code. 

The following snippet shows how you could sync your variables:

let options = {
  method: "GET",
  url: `${fileKey}/styles`,
  headers: { "X-Figma-Token": yourFigmaToken },

request(options, function (error, response, body) {
  if (error) throw new Error(error);
  let styles = JSON.parse(body).meta.styles;
  // Sync the style variables to your codebase here

In this call, fileKey identifies your Figma file and yourFigmaToken represents your personal access token from Figma.

In sum, the capability to sync Figma variables via Figma API allows any project to keep design and development on the same page easily. Happy designing and coding!


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