Posts Tagged ‘adobe’

Announcing Merge Text Extension for Adobe Illustrator (Ajar Productions)

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

[Editor’s note: Dealing with broken text (common in PDF files) can be dastardly. There are a couple existing scripts out there, but few combine and preserve the font styling information at the same time. This new script does that with options. I’m curious how this new script from Ajar Productions installs into Illustrator using the Adobe Extension Manager, usually just for the old Macromedia products but not in all CS4 apps? The Flash version is also appealing.]

Republished from Ajar Productions. First seen at Mordy’s Real World Illustrator blog.

Following the release of [Ajar's] Combine Textfields extension for Flash, [they] put together a similar extension for Adobe Illustrator. This extension installs a script that will merge text (including text on a path) into one text object, while retaining the style attributes of the individual pieces, including character styles as well as paragraph styles (if the separator includes a return character).

Anyone who’s tried to edit text from a PDF opened in Illustrator knows how frustrating it can be to make simple text edits when the text is broken up. This extension reduces that headache.

Special thanks to David Van Brink for posting the Omino Dialog Maker. His time-saving code was used to produce the dialog box in this extension.

Download Options

Installation Instructions

JSX or JS file:

  1. Place the MergeText_AI.jsx (or MergeText_AI_CS.js) into the Scripts directory within your Illustrator application directory:

Windows > C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator {version}\Presets\en_US\Scripts
Mac OS X > Applications/Adobe Illustrator {version}/Presets/Scripts

Note: In CS4, the directory path will include a region directory (e.g. Adobe Illustrator CS4/Presets/en_US/Scripts).

MXP file (CS4 only):

  1. Double-click on the mxp file to install using Adobe Extension Manager.


In Adobe Illustrator, select the text the you want to merge together and go to File > Scripts > MergeText_AI. If you’re using Illustrator CS3 or CS4, you will be prompted with a dialog box where you can choose your sorting orientation and a custom separator. If you’re using a version earlier than CS3, you will not be prompted with a dialog; the script will run using the default settings sorting topmost, then leftmost, with a separator of “[><]“. You can then run a Find and Replace and replace the separator with the characters of your choice.

Get better color online through Flash Player 10 (Adobe)

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

[Editor's note: Turn sRGB color management on in Flash! Adobe's purchase of Macromedia keeps producing better results.]

Republished from Adobe blog. First seen at Ajar Productions blog.

Support for color management is in Web browsers is rare (only Safari supports it by default, and the IE team is apparently missing in action).  Color management thus can’t be counted on from browsers, and images display differently in different browsers. Flash Player, on the other hand, is ubiquitous, consistent, and reliable–and now in Flash Player 10 it offers basic color management support.  It’ll take a little while for the new FP10 to proliferate, but this is a huge step forward.  Color mgmt. in Flash will finally put an end to colors shifting when you move from PS to Flash.

Here’s the punchline:

You just need to put a small snippet of ActionScript 3 code in the Flash file.

  1. Chose or create an ActionScript 3 Flash file.
  2. Open the Actions window (Window/Actions).
  3. Type “stage.colorCorrection = ColorCorrection.ON;” in the Script window.
  4. Save the file.

You’re all set.

Note: Using this ActionScript enables an sRGB –> monitor color transform in the Flash Player. You should convert image files to the sRGB color space in Photoshop before publishing to Flash.

Continue reading at . . .

Color Expert for the iPhone (Code-Line)

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

[Editor’s note: I helped Matheau at Code Line beta test his Color Expert app for the iPhone and I’m pleased to see it’s getting good press (over at MacFormat it is the iPhone app of the month for Dec 2008). Think of Color Expert as Adobe kuler for the iPhone but with the mobile ability to start color color schemes based on the world arround you. Point the iPhone’s camera, tap the image, and walla! A whole new custom color wheel scheme, which can be emailed back to your computer in swatch file format directly importable into Adobe desktop apps. Or shared and modifed with your client at a job site. Color Expert still needs better support for CMYK and ability to snap to RGB and CMYK color library, not just Pantone. And I really like Mordy’s idea about shaking Color Expert to come up with new color schemes ;) But the app works well and unlike any other tool for the iPhone and at the introductory price of $9.99 is a steal. And the 1.1 update addressing some of my gripes will of course be free.]

Republished from

Also see Mordy Golding’s review and other apps listed in Designer Work Plan’s must have 20 iPhone apps for designers.

Color Expert contains powerful tools to help artists and designers identify, translate, capture and showcase color.

Designers know inspiration can come anywhere at anytime. Just look around. Some of the best ideas are waiting for you in the real world away from the studio. Now with Color Expert, you’ll have the tools to capture the moment, the moment a color captures you.


Look down. See the color of that Pomegranate in your cart? Go get it. It’d be perfect for the project you’ve been working on. Whip out Color Expert and it tells you that shade is PANTONE® solid coated PANTONE 220 C. The interactive color wheel then finds the perfect color schemes and palettes to match. Now, email that color scheme to your friends or clients. But, you might not want to tell them you’re still in the check-out line.

Whether designing, decorating or accessorizing, Color Expert is indispensable for anyone working with color. Anywhere. Anytime.

Click here for more information in iTunes. $9.99 for now.

Color Expert’s exclusive “snap & tap” technology. Just snap a photo and let your finger select that perfect color. From your eyes to the screen. Powerful, interactive color wheel with multiple color schemes including Monochromatic, Analogous, Complementary, Split Complementary and Triadic.

Quickly search through PANTONE® solid coated, PANTONE® solid uncoated, PANTONE® Goe™ coated, PANTONE® Goe™ uncoated, Web Safe Colors, HTML Colors.

Email your palette ideas to friends, colleagues and clients. Color Expert provides a rich, HTML based email you can send from your iPhone or iPod touch.

Want to track Adobe Flash? Now you can! (Google)

Monday, November 24th, 2008

[Editor's note: Google releases AS3 classes and components for Flash and Flex IDEs to allow easy and professional tracking within SWF files at the same level of service as the earlier Javascript based tracking code base for normal HTML pages. Better understand how your Flash movies are actually used.]

Republished from, original 17 Nov. 2008.

Image of Analytics Flash Visual Component in Flash CS3

Today, at the Adobe MAX Conference in San Francisco, in a joint collaboration with our friends at Adobe and a few ace third party developers, we announced a simplified solution for tracking Flash content for everyone, called Google Analytics Tracking For Adobe Flash.

Working at Google over the past couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with with many of our top clients to implement Google Analytics, who have found the power to identify and analyze trends on their web sites highly useful. But, one of the most common implementation challenges has been tracking Flash content on their pages. In the past, Flash tracking was not provided out of the box, and every implementation had to be customized. Moreover, there was a lack of standards, and new developers who tracked Flash had to create their own processes to get it working. With this launch, tracking your Flash content has never been simpler.

What It’s All About
This feature is a translation of the current Google Analytics tracking code into the ActionScript 3 programming language that dramatically simplifies the ability to track Flash, Flex and AS3 content. This new Flash tracking code provides all the rich features of the current JavaScript-based version, including campaign, pageview and event tracking and can be used to track Flash content such as embedded videos, branded microsites and distributed widgets, such as online games.

Now it’s simple for Flash content developers to answer questions like:

  • How many people have watched my video?
  • Are we developing the right creative that attracts new users?
  • How effective is my content at getting people to take action?
Recently, we talked with Matthew McNeely, VP of Engineering at Sprout, a company that helps advertisers design rich media content, about how Sprout has used the code to track distributed content across MySpace and iGoogle:

Supported Platforms
We know there are many levels of experience in the Flash/Flex community so we tried to make it easy for both non-technical designers as well as seasoned ActionScript programmers to take full advantage of this Google Analytics Tracking For Flash. We’ve provided tracking libraries for both Flash and Flex which can be downloaded as a ZIP file here. The libraries include:

  • Flash visual component
  • Flash AS3 library
  • Flex MXML component
  • Flex AS3 library

And you can learn more about how to use them through this developer documentation.

Open Development
At the same time, we know that things change quickly online, and developers might want to review and improve the code. So we’re providing our entire AS3 code base under the Apache 2 License as Open Source, available here.

For me, this is one of the most exciting aspects of this project. If you are a developer and want to improve the code’s functionality, you can contribute to the code base. Or, if you are a company that is running a content platform, such as Sprout mentioned above, you can seamlessly integrate the Flash tracking codebase into your existing architecture.

So while many features get launched at the end of their development cycle, we see this as just the beginning.

And A Special Thanks
This feature has been an open collaboration of a number of very talented people across the globe. We’d like to personally thank our amazing third party developers Zwetan Kjukov and Marc Alcaraz who’ve spent countless hours developing the code base. We’d also like to thank Matt Chotin, Puneet Goel, Rani Kumar and Ajit Gosavi from Adobe who helped us also overcome the obstacles of migrating to an all-AS3 environment.

So please visit the project page to learn more:

We look forward to hearing success stories about how you’ve implemented Google Analytics Tracking For Adobe Flash!

Create Calendars Automatically in Illustrator (Kelso)

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

[Editor’s note: I have updated my Calendar script to version 5 on 17 February 2009. Magicien de calendrier, Kalender-Zauberer, Mago del calendario, 日历巫术师, カレンダーの魔法使い, Чудодей календара.

Get version 5 and read more about the changes and see new templates.

WARNING! The information below is OUT OF DATE! ]

[Editor's note: Revised to add example 2009 Ai CS2 format files for download on 4 Dec. 2008.]

ai cs3 logoI was asked recently if I could automate the creation of calendars in Adobe Illustrator. It turns out there are a couple script for accomplishing this in InDesign (best is from sselberg), but only pre-built templates for Illustrator. If you need a new year, you’d have to search for a new template, which is lame. New script to the rescue! Thanks go to Joyce for this suggestion.

No, the script does not create the above calendar. Check out

Download version 3 of Calendar Script (33k). You will need version CS3 or CS4 of Illustrator.

Examples below for 2009.
Download Adobe Illustrator CS2 version of 2009 calendar. Use the script to build out the rest of the months.
12-up mini
| January.

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

View video demonstration of script (click to play, 9.3 megs):

There are several sizes of calendars:

  1. Wall calendar, large format boxed dates, 1 month fits on a page, sequential pages.
  2. Page calendar, 12 months fit on a letter sized page.
  3. Mini calendar, 12 months small enough to fit on a business card.
  4. Mini 1 month calendar that fits in a date square in a wall calendar.

Couple problems:

  1. Illustrator lacks tables, so we have to rely on tabs and other text-only options. If you want tables, use the InDesign script mentioned above.
  2. Start week on Monday or Sunday?
  3. Track holidays?
  4. JavaScript doesn’t track leap years for February days in month?!


  1. Create single month, full year, or range of months / years.
  2. Editable text
  3. Stylize via script font family, style, size, etc and change later via character style
  4. Option to put 6th week in 5th week line for wall-calendar style
  5. Multiple size defaults
  6. Multiple size calendars in single Illustrator document
  7. Have a GUI graphic user interface

Future Work:

  1. Use of tab stops. Now you have to redefine the paragraph style for the dayTabs.
  2. Colorize weekends, holidays
  3. Support holidays (absolute and relative)
  4. Moon phase icons?
  5. Draw day grid for wall-calendar size
  6. The • buttons for month and year are not working. They should take you to the current month / year.

Shockwave Player for Mac (Adobe)

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

[Editor’s note: Back in 2000 I received 1st place in the interactive division, NACIS Student Web Mapping contest with my Annual Precipitation in California. This project was completed in my Advanced Cartography class at Humboldt State using Macromedia Director, the raster predecessor to Flash. Adobe has just released an update for their player web plugin that allows me to walk down memory lane on my Intel Mac.]

Republished from Adobe (1 | 2).

Download Shockwave Player 11 for Mac 10.4 and Windows.

Over 480 million Internet-enabled desktops have installed Adobe Shockwave Player in mature markets around the world. These people now have access to some of the best the Web has to offer – including dazzling 3D games and entertainment, interactive product demonstrations, and online learning applications. Shockwave Player displays Web content that has been created by Adobe (Macromedia) Director.

ActionScript 2.0 to AS3 Migration Guide (

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Here’s another handy reference for transitioning from AS2 to AS3 from This follows up to my earlier post from Flashcoder (which had good info but a lot of broken links).

Official Adobe AS 2.0 Migration Guide . . .

ArcGIS 9.3 Now Exports Geo PDF Maps (ESRI)

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Adobe® Acrobat® and Adobe Reader® version 9 support a new version of PDF that allows for encoding of map coordinate system and georeference information inside the PDF file.

[Update 2010 August 13: To make this work in ArcMap 9.3 you need to apply the ArcGIS (Desktop, Engine, Server) 9.3 Map Export Patch. That installs two DLLs that allow the Export Map Georeference Information checkbox. Without that, you’re maps might have layers, but no coordinate system.]

This news release was in the summer 2008 issue (read) of the Arc user magazine but it came up last week at NACIS. Why is this better than other PDF solutions like TerraGo? It is completely free to both the cartographer and map reader and requires basic Adobe Acrobat (no plugins to download). ESRI and Adobe collaborated for a year on these PDF geospatial capabilities enhancements.

It works on both Mac and PC while other solutions are PC only. It is not full featured, though feature attributes and coordinates are accessible in Acrobat. But nifty tidbit: with Acrobat Pro you can import supplementary geo data into an existing geo PDF, even if it is in a different projection, and it will overlay onto the map. Might turn out to be a quick and dirty reprojection trick for those without ArcMap.

Most information below directly from ESRI promotional material.

ArcGIS 9.3 has new and improved functionality for exporting maps to Adobe PDF including map layers and location information for end users with Adobe Acrobat 9 or Reader 9 software. These enhancements are available as a freely downloadable patch for ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Server, and ArcGIS Engine. This patch enables ArcGIS Desktop, Engine, and Server applications to export georeferenced PDF files.

When a georeferenced PDF is opened in a compatible viewer, such as Adobe Reader 9, the user can access geospatial functions like coordinate readout and find XY.  This patch enables ArcGIS Desktop, Engine, and Server applications to export georeferenced PDF files.

Check out this video demonstration from ESRI TV:

Getting Illustrator Map Symbols into ArcMap (ESRI)

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

A friend recently asked me if it was possible to get the same custom map symbols he is using in the Adobe Illustrator design package into his ESRI ArcMap project. I recommended saving them out as EMF (Windows Meta File format) which are readable in ArcMap. Newer version of Adobe Illustrator save this format on both the Mac and PC (early Mac versions didn’t).

ESRI has two official workflow recommendations in their Mapping Center “Ask a Cartographer” section, both which involve EMF export. Kudos to Charlie and Aileen at ESRI for making the Mapping Center helpful:

1. Convert EPS symbols into a ESRI style (view at

Q: I have symbols that are right now in EPS format and I would like to create a style with them. What is the best way to proceed ?

Mapping Center Answer:

There are two potential workflows:

  1. If the EPS files are multi-color use a graphics software package to export them to .EMF files that you can make picture marker symbols from.  I’t important to set the artboard for each EPS file to match the extent of the graphics in order to get a good result.  This will work for single color EPS artwork as well.

2. Getting Illustrator-made symbols into ArcMap (view at

Q: I would like to take symbols/icons that I created in Illustrator then export them into ArcMap for use in map production. If this question is already answered, could you direct me to that resource?

Mapping Center Answer:

You should export each of your Illy symbols/icons to a .EMF file and those can be used to create Picture Marker Symbols in ArcMap.  Our help topic on Creating Marker Symbols explains how to create picture markers from EMF files; it’s the next to the last procedure in that topic.

  • In many cases we copy EPS artwork into a font editing software package and create a TrueType font.  We do that because we’ve developed the in-house expertise to do so and that had a bit of a learning curve.  However, if you want to create representation marker symbols you can dispense with the refined aspects of that workflow because it is possible to create representation markers from font-based markers, but not with EMF files.  Once the artwork is converted to a representation marker it is easier to edit any remaining qualities of the graphic in the representation marker editor.
  • Continuing Illustrator CS4 Coverage (Mordy Golding+)

    Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

    [Editor’s note: Mordy Golding has comprehensive coverage of what Illustrator CS4 means for you. Mordy used to work at Adobe and is still dialed in. He also has video tutorials showing off these features over at Layers magazine has additional coverage showing off the artboards (multiple pages) in action. As I mentioned yesterday, come to Missoula and learn more from the Adobe reps who will be at the NACIS PCD session. If you have not updated since CS2, this is your upgrade.

    My top improvements:

    1. Text on Path now fixed like in pre-CS. Have beautiful map labels, again!
    2. Appearance panel more like Freehand: edit attributes directly instead of in 5 different panels!
    3. Isolation Mode works on most objects.
    4. Multiple “artboards” or pages; more flexible but also vexing.

    Now for the longer feature summary…]

    Republished in vastly abbreviated form in part from Real World Illustrator. Posted there Sept. 22, 2008.


    Multiple Artboards. The number one feature request of all time, multiple artboards have finally arrived in Illustrator. Notice the phrase is multiple artboards, not multiple pages.

    Blob Brush. Illustrator sports a new brush, named “Blob”. Based on the Calligraphic brush, the Blob brush is pressure sensitive, allowing you to draw expressive artwork with variable thick and thins.


    Common Adobe User Interface. Illustrator CS3 featured a new user interface, but apparently it was just a stepping stone to get to what is now truly a common user interface for Adobe applications.

    Gradients. There are several major enhancements to gradients in this release. At the top of the list is a long-time request – transparency support. Each gradient stop now has an opacity slider (similar to the Alpha value in Flash).

    Clipping Masks. One of the biggest complaints about the masking features in Illustrator has been that when artwork is clipped, you can still select that artwork—even if it isn’t visible. In Illustrator CS4, masked artwork is now truly hidden—from view and from your selection tool. However, this new functionality is only in place for clipping masks, not for layer clipping masks.

    Appearance panel 1. A long-standing feature request has been to add eyeballs to the Appearance panel, to allow users to hide or show effects without having to necessarily delete them.

    Appearance panel 2. You can now edit and apply attributes and effects directly through the Appearance panel. That means you can change fill and stroke colors, change stroke weights and dashes, add and edit effects, and more, all directly from the Appearance panel. [Ed: Even when the objects only share 1 common attribute, that attribute will be shown and editable.]

    Graphic Styles. Two key enhancements here: Graphic Styles can now be added, in a non-destructive way, to objects. Meaning you can now cumulatively apply multiple graphic styles, and each one is simply added to the graphic, rather than replacing the existing attributes. In addition, graphic styles can be created “headless”, meaning a style can contain just an effect and no fill or stroke attributes.


    Smart Guides. Remember back when Smart Guides was introduced? Remember how quickly you turned them off? In the past, Smart Guides were more of a nuisance than otherwise. That’s changed now. Smart Guides are more refined.

    Snapping Behavior. This is a big little thing that no one will talk about. When Smart Guides are turned on, Illustrator has the ability to snap OBJECTS to each other.

    Isolation Mode. [Ed: CS4 allows almost any object to be isolated with a double click. Truly amazing!]

    Alignment. Defining key objects is now simple and clear, and small modifications to the align functions make errors appear less frequently. Basically, the Align functions are now much easier to understand and use.

    Bleed. Yes, you read that correctly. In addition to multiple artboard support, you can also specify bleed for your documents.

    Pathfinder. Now, in CS4, applying a shape mode with Pathfinder creates an expanded shape, and you need to use the Option (Alt) key to create a live compound shape.

    Text on Path Issues. Cartographers complained bitterly since Illustrator CS was released that text on a path looked horrible. Kerning and typesetting along a path got a significant downgrade when the new text engine appeared. Now, in CS4, text on a path looks great.

    Improved tablet support.

    Drag Images from Web Browser directly into Document.

    Filter Menu. The Filter menu is now gone. Anything that used to be in that menu has either been moved out or relocated [ed- and been made a live effect].

    Enhanced TIFF file format support.

    Offset path fixed. Illustrator CS3 “featured” a well-documented issue with the Offset Path command, where extra anchor points were unnecessarily added. This issue is fixed in CS4.


    Separation Preview.

    Color Blindness Proofing. [Ed-like Color Oracle but real time in Illustrator. I still need to compare results.]

    FXG Support. I’ll talk a lot more about this in the coming days, but FXG (Flex Exchange Graphic) is a new file format that can be used with Adobe’s much-anticipated Thermo application.

    Gesture Support. [Ed-on newer Apple laptops.]

    New Templates and Content. First, the templates have been updated to take advantage of multiple artboards. Also, Adobe has commissioned some GREAT artists who have not only created sample files, but who have also included PDF documents showing HOW they created the sample files.

    Online Services. Three specific things come to CS4: Connect Now is a service that allows you to share your screen with others, and is basically a Lite version of Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro. Kuler, Adobe’s community built around color. Finally, each CS4 application now features a Search field directly in the user interface, allowing you to search Adobe’s help files, but more importantly, other articles on the web as well. Adobe actually licensed Google technology for this, and you can almost think of it as Google for Adobe products.

    Continue reading the much more indepth review over at Real World Illustrator . . .