Change default variable mode?

I’ve set up a large table of variables with different modes. These have all been connected to hundreds of components. Unfortunately, I’m just now realizing that my default mode (aka, first column of variable table) actually needs to be another mode in my table.

Really want a way to drag and drop the variable columns so that I can set a new default mode…

Any ideas? Thanks!


Need “Moda Health + Delta Dental” to be positioned in first column, so that this mode becomes new default.

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I also didn’t see a way to move those columns, but this would be a solid feature to add.

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I built a plugin to save & reuse variables between your Figma files and it could help you to reorder the modes too.

Waiting for Figma to build it natively, it might already help you
The plugin is freemium and here is the small tutorial I did and the youtube link

(Not needed but It also helps you to copy prototypes interactions to new files link)


If you need a free alternative, you could try to use https://www.figma.com/community/plugin/1256972111705530093/export-import-variables

  1. You can export your variables in JSON
  2. Update them manually
  3. Reimport them

However it does not handle the links if variables are not in the same collections

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Btw this discussion is linked to this one:

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Just realized there’s a “non-official” (hack) way to accomplish this:

  1. Duplicate the left-most mode column (new duplicate shows up on far right).
  2. Delete the original left-most mode column.
  3. Repeat this process until the mode you want to be default is the left-most column.

Only issue is if you aren’t on an Enterprise plan and you have four modes (max) created already…

3 Likes

Your solution is simply genius and it’s so sad Figma doesn’t just have an option to pick that. The problem is that I just tested this solution and Figma doesn’t allow me to change to any of the modes for the entire :thinking: Any idea why this may be happening?

Hi Boris
If your files contain linked objects or libraries making use of the Variables, you have to update and publish the main components first. Then it should work.

We need this! Is there any feature request open for votes?

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Hi there! I came across a new plugin that’s specifically for reordering modes, its called Reorder Variable Modes. You can drag’n drop them in the order you want, specially useful for setting a default mode (first column) after you’ve created several others.