For Developers

Handoff's provides a command line interface, and a javascript interface for fetching tokens from Figma, transforming those tokens for the needs of each project, and shipping those tokens wherever they are needed. This section will walk you through integrating Handoff into your existing developer toolchain.

This doc assumes you've created a Figma file and published the library for that Figma file. If you haven't, please run through the Quick Start.

The Handoff development toolchain is built on an Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) model. This dev quickstart will get you up to speed on how to fetch tokens with the CLI tool and run the built in transformations. You will then have a set of tokens you can integrate into your project.

Once you have the basics export working, you can read further on custom transformations and integrating tokens.

Developer Quick Start

You can quickly fetch tokens from a Figma project. You'll need the following

  • Access to a Figma File with a published library
  • A Figma developer token
  • Node 16+

To see all the CLI options avaliable to you type `handoff-app help` or view the CLI Reference page

Install and Fetch Tokens

Start by installing the handoff CLI.

Install Handoff, and fetch tokens
1npm install -g handoff-app 2mkdir handoff-project 3cd handoff-project 4handoff-app fetch

Handoff will ask for a developer key. You can generate this key by logging in to Figma.

Provide your developer key
1Starting Handoff Figma data pipeline. Checking for environment and config. 2 3Figma developer access token not found. You can supply it as an environment 4variable or .env file at DEV_ACCESS_TOKEN. Use these instructions to generate 5them 6 7Figma Developer Key: {Enter your Development Key}

Handoff will ask for the Figma File ID you want to get.

Provide your File ID
1Figma project id not found. You can supply it as an environment variable or .env 2file at FIGMA_PROJECT_ID. You can find this by looking at the url of your Figma 3file. If the url is 4your id would be IGYfyraLDa0BpVXkxHY2tE 5 6Figma Project Id: {Enter your File Id}

Handoff will ask if you want to save these secrets to a local env. If you do make sure you don't commit them to your repo, since they contain important Figma secrets.

Do you want to store these creds
1You supplied at least one required variable. We can write these variables to a local env 2file for you to make it easier to run the pipeline in the future. 3 4Write environment variables to .env file? (y/n):

If everything is correct, you will see the following

Fetch Output
1An .env file was created in the root of your project. Since these are sensitive 2variables, please do not commit this file. 3 4Starting Figma data extraction. 5Alert exported: 11 6Button exported: 45 7... 8Icons exported: 24 9Logo exported: 2 10Preview template styles built 11Figma pipeline complete: 8 requests

You should see a folder created called exported in the root of your directory. This folder contains all of the exported tokens, along with the transformations and integration tools. You can now integrate these artifacts into your project.

View Documentation

Handoff will generate a static documentation website with all the tokens. You can launch that by running -

Start documentation website locally
1handoff-app start 2- event compiled client and server successfully in 112 ms (18 modules) 3- wait compiling... 4- event compiled client and server successfully in 74 ms (18 modules) 5> Ready on http://localhost:3000

If you point a browser to http://localhost:3000 you'll see this -

Sample documentation site

This site is fully customizable. Our documentation on customization will help you customize your site.

Exported Artifacts

By default, Handoff exports all of the artifacts to a directory called exported in the current working root. You can customize the export directory by setting the HANDOFF_EXPORT_PATH in the env for the CLI or javascript.

When the fetch runs, it will create a folder named with the Figma file id. This allows you to easily import tokens from multiple Figma files in the same execution and keep them separate by source Figma files.

The following artifacts are exported to /exported/{figma_file_id} automatically when you run the fetch

tokens.jsonThis is the master data file, with a json representation of all the tokens in their raw, untransformed form. This object has strong typings, so you can use it in your javascript runners.
changelog.jsonA file that tracks the changes of figma tokens between each run. Useful for checking for changes, or rendering a visualization of changes
handoff.state.jsonA state object tracker that will cache important data between executions to speed up future executions
tokens-map.jsonA json array of every exported in the correct scss/css format
preview.jsonA json containing rendered html of your components for every component you've provided markup for
logos.zipA zip file of all the logos published from the Figma File
icons.zipA zip file of all the icons, as SVG, published from the Figma File
tokensA directory containing all the transformed tokens. This is where you will find CSS, SCSS and style dictionary files. See the full list below
integrationIf you have the toolchain set up to publish an frontend integration, the integration will be here. You can write a custom integration for your frontend framework, and have it automatically get compiled and tested against the new tokens

The tokens folder contains all of the transformations exported by the platform

cssTokens as CSS variables, grouped by component or foundation
sassTokens as SASS variables in scss files, grouped by component or foundation
typesSCSS map files that list all the Figma props for each component. Use these to loop over types, states, themes, brands to build scss projects.
sdThe tokens compiled down for the AWS style dictionary standard. These files are also compatible with the W3C Style Dictionary proposed standard
mapsSimple JSON map objects listing all of the tokens as key value pairs, where the key is the token name, and the value is the CSS compatible value


To implement a custom transformer, you'll need to write a bit of Javascript rather than using the CLI tool. A full treatment of the Handoff Javascript usage can be found on the Javascript Usage page.

A simple transformer implementation is scripted below. This example will hook into the process, search through the colors, and generate a simple JSON file with colors as an array of name/value objects.

Simple Example of a custom transformer
1// Import handoff 2import Handoff from "handoff-app"; 3// Initialize handoff 4const handoff = new Handoff(); 5// Hook into the extract process, and return a file object that will be 6// Saved to the exported directory 7handoff.postIntegration( 8 // Documentation Object has the full tokens json structure 9 // Hook return is an array of files that will get written out 10 (documentationObject: DocumentationObject, data: HookReturn[]) => { 11 // Here we loop over the foundational colors 12 const colors = => { 13 // And create a simple object map 14 return { 15 name:, 16 value: color.value, 17 }; 18 }); 19 // Then we push the object map out to a colors.json 20 data.push({ 21 filename: "colors.json", 22 // Note that we convert the object to a pretty string before we write 23 data: JSON.stringify(colors, null, 2), 24 }); 25 return data; 26 } 27); 28// Now we execute the fetch 29handoff.fetch();

This should give you an idea of how you can generate almost any file type from Documentation object.

What's Next

Once you have the CLI up and running, you can do a couple of things -