Posts Tagged ‘plugin’

A Magic Wand for Selecting Text in Adobe Illustrator (KELSO)

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Warning, contains spoilers for my NACIS Practicle Cartography Day presentation in Missoula, Montana. Countdown: less than 10 days!

I have been developing a plugin / script for Adobe Illustrator to make it easier to select type in Illustrator by  attributes like font family, style, size, and fill color. I hope to release this as a commercial plugin for designers and cartographers first quarter 2009. If you would like to beta test this plugin for me, please send me an email at nathaniel@kelsocartography.com.

What is this tool and why would you use it?

  1. A magic wand for clicking on text and selecting like-styled text
  2. A non-modal eye dropper tool for copying font attributes and pasting them onto other text objects without directly eye dropping (like Freehand’s copy and past attributes).
  3. Menu items for Select > Type > Same font, same style, same size, same font color, overprinting, etc
  4. A pro version of the Find Fonts dialog already in Illustrator that does find / replacing in locked and hidden layers, or only in the active layer, sublayer, or window view.

Developing the plugin has taken a lot longer than I expected to implement all the basic and advanced features but I am now 90% complete with the script version, which is over 8,000 lines of code or a 300 page book! Once I return from vacation in October, I will start working on the plugin version which will entail completely translating the script from JavaScript into C in XCode on the Mac and Visual Studio on the PC.

Turning the script into a plugin will bring several benefits:

  • Speed: much faster execution
  • Work with 1,000s of type objects / characters, not 100s
  • Menu items that can be assigned keyboard shortcuts
  • Can be recorded with Actions for automating routine tasks
  • New tool: magic wand for text and non-modal eyedropper for text font appearances

Example uses:

  • Selection:
    • Find all other type objects with same font – View video
    • Find all other type objects with same type size – View video
    • Find all other type objects with same character fill color
  • Applying / creating character styles:
    • Cartographer: ArcMap text imported to Illustrator >> have plugin apply matching style or create new styles that match each of the implicate styles
    • Designer: Quickly comp out a design and select all matching text with certain font attributes with the new Text magic wand tool and make them styles. Great for deadline projects.
  • Find and Replace fonts on hidden and locked layers

Demonstration videos:

Selecting by Font Color – Basic
Including exactly the same color, pattern, swatch, same color mode, by character and by object.
View video – 7.8 megs

Selecting by Font Color – Advanced
Including selecting type object NOT a color and overprints, replacing with knockout.
View video – 17.2 megs

Changing Alignment and Registration of Type
Includes limiting to just point, area, or line type objects
View video – 11.0 megs

Why Change the Registration for Point Type?
To scale type size when it is registered to a townspot or other graphic element.
View video – 1.1 meg

Finding Scope
Limit your selection to active layer, sublayer, current view, selection, artboard/page, and document.
View video – 20 megs

Finding by Text Content
Find all type that has the “River” or “Road” or “Street” in it and then change those text range’s attributes. Options include Is, Starts, Ends, and more.
View video – 13.5 megs

Replacing by Text Contents
With exact phrase or add to the end or beginning of the matched text.
View video – 9.3 megs

Simplified Interface
This dialog is similar to what’d you see for the planned “magic wand” for type tool settings. Thanks to Tom for this suggestion!
View video
– 7.6 megs

A Magic Wand for Selecting Text in Adobe Illustrator

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

find and replace fonts screenshot b8

I’ll be showing off my new script / plugin (here, in beta testing) for Adobe Illustrator this Tuesday in DC at the MiniMax conference (June 17th at 8PM ET) at the Lafayette Room at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Washington. I hope to release this as a commercial plugin for designers and cartographers this summer.

What is this tool and why would you use it?

  1. A magic wand for clicking on text and selecting like-styled text
  2. A non-modal eye dropper tool for copying font attributes and pasting them onto other text objects without directly eye dropping (like Freehand’s copy and past attributes).
  3. Menu items for Select > Type > Same font, same style, same size, same font color, overprinting, etc
  4. A pro version of the Find Fonts dialog already in Illustrator that does find / replacing in locked and hidden layers.

Example uses:

  • Selection:
    • Find all other type objects with same font
    • Find all other type objects with same type size
    • Find all other type objects with same character fill color
  • Applying / creating character styles:
    • Cartographer: ArcMap text imported to Illustrator >> have plugin apply matching style or create new styles that match each of the implicate styles
    • Designer: Quickly comp out a design and select all matching text with certain font attributes with the new Text magic wand tool and make them styles. Great for deadline projects.
  • Find and Replace fonts on hidden and locked layers

I have some videos that show the tool in action here.

MiniMAX 8 is a series of 15 minute tutorials provided by some of the best experts in the web, print, broadcast and interactive design and development community in the Greater Washington DC and Capitol Region area and across North America. Expect to see sessions on ColdFusion, Flash, After Effects, AIR, Flex, Photoshop, Dreamweaver as well as other Adobe related applications mixed in for good pleasure. Attendance is free but preregistration is required.

Phantasm CS – Script for Exporting Separations to PDF

Monday, May 12th, 2008

phantasm cs logoI programmed up a little script for Nick over at Astute Graphics that works with his Phantasm CS Illustrator plugin.

(From Nick’s site) PhantasmSepsPDF allows users to quickly and easily generate pre-separated PDF files. By using the PDF layers feature, these files allow users of even the free Adobe Acrobat Reader (download here) to view any combination of inks used in a document. There are many options to customize the script (open it with a text editor).

By using this approach, the following benefits may be gained:

  • The script is free and is very simply to operate; a few clicks and you’re there!
  • It is possible to provide customers with artwork where they may view any combination of ink used in the document (separations) without the need for Adobe Acrobat.
  • By default, Adobe Acrobat and the free Reader version do not display overprints correctly. Pre-separated artwork using Phantasm CS Studio removes this issue, ensuring that your customer will see all technical aspects correctly.
  • The output mimics final printed output very well. Transparencies are flattened where necessary, but leaving as many vector objects in-tact as possible, allowing zooming-in on detail.
  • The original artwork is not immediately accessible, further securing your ownership.

Continue reading and download the script . . .