Archive for the ‘Site update’ Category

Information Aesthetics Blog

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

I’ve added the Infosthetics blog to my blog roll in the right sidebar.

With the tagline: Form Follows Data – Data Visualization and Visual Communication there are sure to be informative and beautiful reads. Check it out.

Keep Up-To-Date With My Scripts

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

I have added an announcement email list to my site. If you would like to stay informed of changes to any of my scripts or be alerted if I release new scripts, please fill out the following form:




Name:
 
E-mail:
 
How did you hear about my scripts?
(eg, Search engine, friend, cartotalk, etc.)
What scripts are most useful?
(eg, Find and Replace Graphics)
Have a script idea?

 


Script: Find and Replace Graphics version 2

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

ai cs3 logoToday’s script installment is Find and Replace Graphics version 2.

Download script (13k file size).

Please give this script a whirl. Email me with bugs or feature enhancements.

find and replace graphics version 2 demo movie screenshot

Watch a movie demo of the script with voiceover! (2.2 mb)

Important Enhancements:

  1. The find-replace objects now remain on their original layer. No more error alerts about locked layers.
  2. The find-replace object are now in the same z-stacking (object stacking) order as the original.
  3. "Replacing" master object is now deleted once it has replaced all the find objects. Turn this off by changing line 43: var deleteReplaceWithObj = false;
  4. Centered, non-scaled XY placement is default.
  5. If non-proportional scaling is desired change line 37 to: var scaledObject = true;

Future Work:

  1. Proportional scaling in X, Y, or weighted XY that is still centered on the original object’s center point.

To install new scripts you need to:

  • Quit Illustrator
  • Copy the files into the Illustrator application folder’s “Presets” » “Scripts” subfolder
  • After restarting Illustrator you can find the scripts in the menu “File” » “Scripts”;
  • TIP: You can create subfolders in the scripts folder to organize your scripts

Script: Make Point Type version 3

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

ai cs3 logoToday’s script installment is Make Point Type version 3. Version 2 was never released widely.

Download script (10k file size).

Please give this script a whirl. Email me with bugs or feature enhancements.

make point type demo movie image

Watch a movie demo of the script with voiceover! (2.1 mb)

Important Enhancements:

  1. The text objects now remains on their parent layer that it was found in. No more error alerts about locked layers.
  2. The type is EXACTLY in the same X-Y position it was as area type. No more small jump in Y layout.
  3. Rotated type is fully supported, even upside down type (must be a rectangular area).
  4. Type on a path now reflects the original XY position and the former curve is approximated with rotation.
  5. Type on a path conversion can be turned on by changing line 19 to true: var convertPathType = true;

Continuing Issues:

  1. In some rare cases the type will be flipped 180° (upside down).

To install new scripts you need to:

  • Quit Illustrator
  • Copy the files into the Illustrator application folder’s “Presets” » “Scripts” subfolder
  • After restarting Illustrator you can find the scripts in the menu “File” » “Scripts”;
  • TIP: You can create subfolders in the scripts folder to organize your scripts

Script: Fit Text Frame to Content (Depth)

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

ai cs3 logoThis week will be focused on scripts. I have an entire page devoted to those I have created and promote a few others that I find useful to my day-to-day design and cartography work in Adobe Illustrator (go there), especially as a former Freehand user. These scripts extend Adobe Illustrator’s basic functionality thru a cross-platform JavaScript language.

I’ve updated my fitting script (today’s post) and Make Point Type, Find and Replace Graphics, and will unveil my Tag Cloud generating script.

Fit Text Frame to Content (Depth)

Version 2 Beta 1

Important Enhancements:

  1. The text object now remains on it’s parent layer in the same z-stacking order that it was found in. No more error alerts about locked layers.
  2. Expands the text box to fit overset type (before it only shrank the text box)
  3. Option to set how much “extra” buffer to include at the bottom of the box when it is fitted (measured in decimal lines automatically proportional to the type size)
  4. More intelligent about examining rectangular text boxes only (rotated text boxes still need attention)

Download script (3k file size). Installation instructions here.

Please give this script a whirl. Email me with bugs or feature enhancements.

Who Are You All? Thanks for Reading!

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

The reception to my Toni Mair photo essay blog post continues to blow my mind. The first day it was up on March 11th my site got 17,000 page views (7,500 unique) with 97% of those being just for that blog post! If you haven’t seen it already, check it out here.  Since then it’s gotten nearly 30,000 hits, the bulk of which come from a link-sharing site called stumbleupon.com. Hot damn! Another popular post has been about the Carbon Atlas featuring Dorling cartograms.

I started my blog at the end of November just to ramble about this and that and mostly just keep track of things that interest me; like an annotated bookmark list (complete with a tag cloud). Since then my blog has hosted visitors from 123 countries on all the continents and every state in the union. 75% of you are on Windows but 75% are using Firefox and not Internet Explorer. Only 2% are on dialup. Source: Google Analytics.

My Adobe Illustrator automation page featuring Javascript Extend scripts that I’ve either written or promote continues to get good traffic. Readers there stay on that page three times longer than the blog so they must be finding this more technical, time saving information useful, too.

I have a followup to the Toni Mair piece planned next month so please stayed tuned :) 

Tag Clouds – Add one to your blog

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

tag thumbPlease note I have added a tag cloud to my blog in the sidebar at right. The “cloud” is made of all the tags (keywords) and categories I’ve classified my posts here with the last 4 months. The words and phrases are sized according to frequency. So the bigger and darker a tag is, the more posts on that topic. This practice has been around awhile on the net and it’s useful to cross reference and dig deeper (click on one of the tags to do this). You can see at a glance that I mostly talk about maps, design, and promote stuff ’round the net I like. Have WordPress? Install the Configurable Tag Cloud Version 4.1 plugin.

We’ve started publishing tag clouds in The Washington Post starting in December 2007 with the series examining the candidates running for president on both the republican and democrat tickets. Here’s Mitt Romney’s cloud:

tag cloud romney

We did this again for George W. Bush’s final State of the Union address in January:

tag cloud state of the union speach bush

For Valentines day we lead the Weekend section with a large heart shaped cloud in February:

tag cloud valentines day love

“Find and Replace” JavaScript Bug Workaround

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

My most popular script for Adobe Illustrator is “Find and Replace Graphics”. This script is useful if you have generic path objects that you need to switch to another shape, or replace with a proper symbol. Most of the time this script works but occasionally it errors out saying a group cannot be moved, the end.

findreplacebefore.pngfindreplacecentered.png

If you are getting this error, you can either (a) unlock the top-most layer in your document and try again, or (b) copy and paste the subject objects into a new document, run the script there, and then copy-paste them back to your original document.

The bug is related to the fact the script is rather dumb about layer detection. In fact, you’ll notice it moves all your objects off their original layer and onto the bottom-most layer in the document.

A forthcoming update will fix this underlying object-layer problem, and the locked-layer bug.

New site, new look

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

In October, I attended the annual NACIS map conference in St. Louis, MO and demonstrated how Adobe Illustrator can be automated via JavaScripting. This can be especially useful for those needing to expand Illustrator’s default capabilities or make Illustrator behave more like the venerable Freehand (may it rest in peace). I created this website to host that presentation, and to capture some of my other projects. Last week Mordy Golding at his Real World Illustrator blog promoted my site and wow, traffic is up. So here’s a new look for a more integrated site.