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How to create paths

This sample demonstrates how to create path objects in XD. The path objects are used to construct a pie chart.


Development Steps#

Info Complete code for this plugin can be found on GitHub.

1. Create plugin scaffold#

First, edit the manifest file for the plugin you created in our Quick Start Tutorial.

Replace the uiEntryPoints field of the manifest with the following:

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1"uiEntryPoints": [
2 {
3 "type": "menu",
4 "label": "Create Pie Chart",
5 "commandId": "createPieChartCommand"
6 }

If you're curious about what each entry means, see the manifest documentation, where you can also learn about all manifest requirements for a plugin to be published in the XD Plugin Manager.

Then, update your main.js file, mapping the manifest's commandId to a handler function.

Replace the content of your main.js file with the following code:

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1function createPieChartCommand(selection) {
2 // The body of this function is added later
5module.exports = {
6 commands: {
7 createPieChartCommand,
8 },

The remaining steps in this tutorial describe additional edits to the main.js file.

2. Require in XD API dependencies#

For this tutorial, we just need access to two XD scenegraph classes.

Add the following lines to the top of your main.js file:

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1// Add this to the top of your main.js file
2const { Path, Color } = require("scenegraph");

Now the Path and Color classes are required in and ready to be used.

3. Create helper functions#

Calculate a point on a circle#

Since our plugin will create a pie chart, this helper function will be used to return an x,y coordinates of each wedge in the pie chart. The function accepts radius and angle as parameters and use them to calculate the coordinates of a point on a circle at a given angle on the perimeter of the circle.

Add the lines of code below to your file:

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1function pointOnCircle(radius, angle) {
2 const radians = (angle * 2 * Math.PI) / 360;
3 const xcoord = radius * Math.cos(radians);
4 const ycoord = radius * Math.sin(radians);
5 return xcoord + "," + ycoord;

This is just straight-up JavaScript; there's nothing specific to XD plugin APIs to cover here.

We won't cover the math in depth, here's an overview what this helper function does:

  • The angle is expressed in degrees. It must be converted to radians before passing it to the sine and cosine functions. More info: Math.cos, Math.sin
  • The function will return the coordinates as a string in the x,y format, which will be used to be inserted to the path data, which also has to be a string
Add a single pie wedge to the scenegraph#

Our plugin will also need to be able to add a single pie wedge to the scenegraph.

Add the lines of code below to your file. Each of the numbered comments are explained below the code:

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1function createWedge(selection, radius, startAngle, endAngle, color) {
2 // [1]
3 const startPt = pointOnCircle(radius, startAngle);
4 const endPt = pointOnCircle(radius, endAngle);
5 const pathData = `M0,0 L${startPt} A${radius},${radius},0,0,1,${endPt} L0,0`; // [2]
6 const wedge = new Path(); // [3]
7 wedge.pathData = pathData; // [4]
8 wedge.fill = new Color(color); // [5]
9 wedge.translation = { x: radius, y: radius }; // [6]
10 selection.insertionParent.addChild(wedge); // [7]
  1. This function accepts five arguments:
    1. The current selection in the scene graph (selection)
    2. The pie chart radius (chartRadius)
    3. The start radian of the wedge (startAngle)
    4. The end radian of the wedge (endAngle)
    5. The color of the wedge (color)
  2. Based on these arguments, pathData is constructed. The pen is moved to the origin, a line is drawn to the first point on the edge of the circle, an arc is drawn to the second point on the edge of the circle, and then a line is drawn back to the origin. For more information on how to create path data, please refer to Paths
  3. Create a new instance of Path
  4. Set pathData
  5. Set the color of the path object
  6. Move the path object down and to the right by radius units. As a result, the pie chart will appear with its top left corner positioned at 0,0
  7. Insert the path object into the currently-selected artboard

4. Create the main function#

In this step, we'll build out the main function, createLinesHandlerFunction, that we added in the first step.

This function creates four wedges:

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1function createPieChartCommand(selection) {
2 createWedge(selection, 100, 0, 90, "red");
3 createWedge(selection, 100, 90, 135, "blue");
4 createWedge(selection, 100, 135, 225, "yellow");
5 createWedge(selection, 100, 225, 360, "purple");

Note that the end angle of each wedge matches the start angle of the next wedge. As a result, the wedges fit together to create a complete pie chart!

5. Run the plugin#

Ater saving all your changes, reload the plugin in XD and run it. The result should be similar to the following:

Created pie chart

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