Docs 2 Design

Collaborate on XD text content with your stakeholders

Docs 2 Design (D2D) is a plugin for Adobe XD that enables collaboration on text content with your stakeholders and wordsmiths, using their familiar tools–Excel, Word, plain text editors, Google Sheets, etc.

D2D connects the world of ordinary documents to XD. It’s the ultimate tool for sending XD content out for translation or localization, or for managing content corrections and suggestions from your team.

D2d works by extracting your XD document text to standard editing environments, and then updating it in place, back in your XD document, once it’s been edited. It gives you a lot of control over–and insight into–this process. But, at heart, it’s also very simple to use.

For example, the following is an annotated quick walk-through of D2D being used for a translation task. You can see how a few, simple steps are all that’s needed for the job.

Expand the video above to view in full screen.

Manage your content in XD

D2D provides a simple “content management system” inside your XD documents, enabling you to manage proposed copy edits, translations, etc., entirely in XD.

You define “variants” (languages, in a translation/localization project), export and update those variants as a whole. Once the variants/localizations are in place, you can switch among them fluidly to see how they affect your designs. And you can each see text items’s variants all at once, and edit any variant in place.

Or, for example, you can set up variants–one for each team member–, export those to a shared file, and have each person make their suggestions and edits in their own “space.” Once each person is done, you can update your document with just their proposed changes, or you can bring in all the proposed changes at once. (And keep doing that until everyone’s happy.)

Your collaborators edit in context

When you export the artboards you’re working with, D2D provides renditions of each artboard next to the text to be edited (in formats where that’s possible, like spreadsheets), including text call-outs. So your team members and stakeholders can see exactly what they’re editing, in context, without wondering exactly how and where the content is being used.

Your collaborators can edit together

If you extract to a spreadsheet on a shared file on such cloud file system providers as Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, etc., your collaborators can edit your text content simultaneously, using the native facilities of those providers.

At some point, we’ll add direct Google Docs support, but, meanwhile, you can still edit collaboratively with these cloud file system providers.

Own your content

Unlike web-based services, D2D is a one-time licensed plugin for XD (with a generously-capable free version) that extracts and and updates snapshot content on your local and shared file systems (and eventually online with Google Docs). All content remains entirely in your hands at all times.

Connects to other software

D2d can also extract to, and update artboard text content from machine-readable formats like JSON and CSV, for connection to other kinds of software. This enables using D2D as part of a larger custom workflow suite.

X-ray vision into the process

As important as extracting, updating, and managing content are, since you can’t actually see what’s going out and coming back in all at once, D2D provides a solid set of “X-rays,” as we call them–a way of seeing what’s going on: which artboards and texts items changed at the last update, which artboards and texts changed at the last variant switch, which text items have variants (and which don’t), etc.

With this information, you can focus on the document elements that need your attention at each point.

Early feedback

This plugin saves a lot of design time and works perfectly with our teams. — James Davison, GeniusGroup

More information

See the user guide for complete coverage of Docs 2 Design operation, including an initial “quick start” to get you going.

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