This week I went on with the course on Svelte. Things are getting interesting and I have decided to test my knowledge by creating an extension for Google Chrome. I chose my old Motivational Quotes Plugin and tried to do it all over again.


The purpose of the extension is trivial: a motivational sentence appear every time we open the Construct 3 editor. I also want it to appear in an html element integrated into the editor and to be able to change the sentence by choosing another random one.

I’ve never created a Chrome extension. So I started from studying the official examples and a article. I then put the information together.

First I downloaded a Svelte template:

npx degit sveltejs/template chrome-extension
cd chrome-extension
npm install

The project has 2 main folders: src and public. src is where I will actually write the code. The code will be then compiled and saved in public/build. Then, at the end of it all, I’ll take the content from public, compress it, and upload it as a Chrome extension.

The first thing to do is to create the manifest.json file inside the public folder:

  "name": "Motivational Quotes",
  "description": "Get and create motivational quotes",
  "version": "0.1.0",
  "manifest_version": 3

I decided to split the extension into two parts

  1. the popup section where to insert an html page to be displayed when I click on the extension icon
  2. the motivational section to hack the Construct 3 editor and insert a window with the motivational quote

I start by adding an entry to the manifest.json:

  "action": {
    "default_popup": "popup.html",

and rename the public/index.html file to public/popup.html.

Then I create the src/popup/Popup.svelte file with the template to show in the popup window of the extension:

<div class="popup">
  <div class="item title center">
    <h3>Motivational Quotes</h3>
  <div class="item info center">
    <p><em>Shows a motivational quote when you launch Construct 3.</em></p>
  <div class="item info">

I also add a few styles to make it look more beautiful. You can see it on the project repository (el3um4s/svelte-motivational-quotes-for-c3).

To complete the popup, all that remains is to update the src/App.svelte file:

	import Popup from "./popup/Popup.svelte";


  width: 256px;
  height: auto;
  font-size: medium;
  padding: 0px;
  margin: 0px;
  background-color: #F4ECE1;
  color: #1F1B0F;
  position: absolute;
  height: auto;

In this case I have also reported the style because I am interested in pointing out the need to use :global(selector) to modify the whole window. After importing the extension we can see something like this:


So far the simple part. But to get something similar to my goal I had to modify the manifest.json file by adding:

  "permissions": [
  "content_scripts": [
      "matches": ["*://*"],
      "css": ["/build/motivational.css"],
      "js": ["/build/motivational.js"]

I need permissions to ask Chrome to give me permissions to change the active tab of the browser and to execute javascript commands. content_scripts indicates which files js and css will need the extension. Finally, matches indicates which web pages I want to be able to intervene on.

In theory, all that remains is to write the code in motivational.js and we are good to go. But it’s not that simple. Because SvelteJS compiles everything into bundle.js and bundle.css. I need to configure Rollup via the rollup.config.js file:

export default [
    // input: 'src/main.js',
    // ...
		input: "src/motivational.js",
		output: {
			sourcemap: true,
			format: "iife",
			name: "motivational",
			file: "public/build/motivational.js"
		plugins: [
				compilerOptions: {
					dev: !production
				output: 'motivational.css'
				browser: true,
				dedupe: ['svelte']
			!production && serve(),
			!production && livereload('public'),
			production && terser()
		watch: {
			clearScreen: false

This way I can force motivational.js to be compiled as a separate file. But what should I write in motivational.js?

import Motivational from './motivational/Motivational.svelte';

const motivational = new Motivational({
	target: document.body

export default motivational;

When the extension notices that it is in the Construct 3 editor tab it executes the contents of the /build/motivational.js file. And this file is nothing more than the result of the Svelte compiler: it inserts the Motivational component into the document.body. Even if said in a convoluted way, it is nothing more and nothing less than the normal functioning of Svelte.

So I switch to src/motivational/Motivational.svelte:

    import { onMount } from "svelte";
    import importQuotes from "./importQuotes.js";

    import Pane from "./Pane.svelte";

<Pane {id} {isVisible} on:newQuote={onNewQuote}>
  <span slot="title">{title}</span>
  <span slot="quote">{quote}</span>
  <span slot="author">{author}</span>

This is a classic Svelte file. There is one thing to note: the Pane component is made up of some tags taken from the editor page:


Why did I choose this path? To take advantage of the integrated style sheet management in C3. This way I don’t have to recreate the CSS style of each element. And above all I can easily get a component that integrates with the various themes of the editor.


To generate the random sentences I used a very simple function:

import words from "./words.js";

export default async function importQuotes(url) {
  try {
    const quotes =  await fetch(url);
    const response = await quotes.json();
    const listQuotes = response.quotes;
    return listQuotes; 
  } catch (error) {
    const listQuotes = words.motivationalQuotes;
    return listQuotes; 

Compared to the original plugin I have chosen to import the list of phrases directly from the GitHub repository (../motivational-quotes/default.json). In theory this should allow me to add new phrases without having to recompile and load the extension again.

Creating, or rather, recreating this plugin was very interesting. Both because I have noticed how my skill has grown over time and because I am really appreciating Svelte very much. But I am not completely satisfied with the result. There is a limit, I think insurmountable: a Chrome extension cannot directly access the content of a C3 project. It would be interesting, for example, to be able to use this technique to enhance the editor. On GitHub there is an interesting repository by Quentin Goinaud (aka Armaldio) and Ossama Jouini (aka Skymen): Refined C3. I’m curious to see what will come out of it.

Creare, o meglio, ricreare questo plugin è stato molto interessante. Sia perché ho potuto notare come nel tempo la mia abilità è cresciuta sia perché sto davvero apprezzando molto Svelte. Ma non sono completamente soddisfatto del risultato. C’è un limite, credo insormontabile: un’estensione Chrome non può accedere direttamente al contenuto di un progetto C3. Sarebbe interessante, per esempio, poter usare questa tecnica per potenziare l’editor. Su GitHub c’è un repository interessante di Quentin Goinaud (aka Armaldio) e di Ossama Jouini (aka Skymen): Refined C3. Sono curioso di vedere cosa ne uscirà fuori.

From my side, I believe the next attempt will be to test the possibility of recreating this plugin (or another) directly with the official Construct 3 SDK and Svelte.

That’s all, for the moment. I obviously uploaded the complete project to GitHub.