Posts Tagged ‘script’

James Talmage’s Great Illustrator Scripts

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

[Editor's note: James has some great scripts that bring Freehand functionality into Illustrator. Ones I like are a better "replace with symbol" script than mine or John's. Another draws legend boxes for each color used in the artwork. Two others add the ability to deselect paths that were only partially selected, or to select the unselected portions of paths is awesome. Thanks John vdH!]

Republished from James Talmage’s site.
View all of Jame’s scripts.

You’re a graphics person, right? Conventional wisdom says you’re a decidedly right-brained person. You use Illustrator to draw things, not to mess with cryptic code.

Maybe. But even if you’re the kind of Illustrator user who steers away from rulers, snaps, and numerically-entered values, and instead dives right for the Paintbrush, Symbol Sprayer, and Warp Tool, you still use Illustrator to get graphic things done and to use its features and commands. Scripting enhances both of those things.

Automation
Let’s face it: Repetition gets old, fast. It’s long been said that necessity is the mother of invention. I tend to think most cool inventions are the offspring of that cranky old couple, Laziness and Boredom. Some of the scripts in this collection arose from the shamelessly selfish desire to end the repetitious tedium of certain tasks.

But isn’t automation what Illustrator Actions are for? Well, yes. But Illustrator’s Actions Palette lets you create mere “macros.” With Actions, you can record and play back a series of most operations that you would normally perform by using the tools and commands that are directly accessible in Illustrator’s user interface. But scripts allow you to do more.

New Functionality
If little Invention was borne of daddy Laziness and mommy Boredom, he’s also been at least baby-sat by cousin Curiousity. Many of the scripts shared here were self-inflicted experiments, inspired by comments, complaints, and double-dog-dares in the Illustrator User-to-User Forums where I often hang out for recreation.

Scripting can enable you poke around a bit “under the hood” of Illustrator’s user interface, and manipulate many things from which the normal interface isolates you. For example, did you know that…

  • An Illustrator file has an internal list referred to as the “inkList” which determines the color separation plates?
  • A path can be designated closed or open, regardless of whether the whole path or just a part of it is selected?
  • You don’t have to settle for merely defining an ellipse in terms of the height and width settings of the Ellipse Tool’s dialog; you can define it like a technical illustrator often wants to: in terms of size and angle?

So it’s about more than merely automating repetitive tasks. It’s also about doing things which can’t be done with the normal feature set. Scripting effectively lets you add your own new “features” to Illustrator. All it takes is an ulterior motive, a little experimentation, and a bit of creativity. See? You don’t have to turn off the right side of your brain, after all.

Which Scripts of James’ Nathaniel Recommends:

  • Cleanup Scripts (zip | html)
  • JET_FixRegColorFromFH.jsx
    When opening a FreeHand file, Illustrator fails to assign AI’s [Registration] swatch to paths and text having FreeHand’s Registration swatch. Instead, it imports FH’s Registration swatch as a process swatch.
  • JET_RemoveSegmentsShorterThan.jsx
    Reduces the number of anchorpoints on selected paths, according to a minimum specified by the user. Removes from each selected PathItem, segments shorter than the measure entered by the user. Useful for certain types of path simplification and cleanup chores, as in imported DXF files.
  • JET_RemoveShortSegment.jsx
    General path simplification. Allows the user to specify the minimum number of segments to be retained. This script removes the shortest segment from each selected PathItem that has more than the number of segments entered by the user.
  • JET_RemoveShortSegmentsUntil.jsx
    General path simplification. Allows the user to specify the number of segments to be left for each path. This script repeatedly removes the shortest segment from each selected PathItem until the number of segments is no more than the number entered by the user.
  • Draw Scripts (zip | html)
  • JET_Centroid.jsx
    Finds the centroid (center of gravity) of selected triangles and other straight-sided multigon paths and draws a user-defined circle at that location. To use, make a selection which includes normal paths. Then call the script.

  • JET_ReplaceWithSymbol.jsx
    Replaces selected items with Instances of a Symbol from the Symbols Panel. The desired Symbol can be defined by its index number (its number of occurrance in the Panel). The document must have at least one Symbol defined. Simply select some objects. Then run the script.


  • Label Scripts (zip | html)
    JET_X_SwatchesLegend.jsx
    Creates a series of labeled squares at the bottom left of the Artboard, each filled with one Swatch in the Swatches Panel. Useful for adding a “color legend” on pages of identity graphics, to specify colors. For each named Swatch in the Swatches Palette, the script draws a square filled with the Swatch color, and creates beside it a PointType object containing the name of the Swatch. The text labels are filled with Registration color. A prompt allows the user to set the desired size of the squares (in points). The label text size is 1/3 the size of the squares.

  • Path Scripts (zip | html)
    (Various scripts)
    The batch of scripts I call PathScripts are those which manipulate paths, anchorPoints and handles. Most of these are my cheezy workarounds for features which FreeHand users take for granted, but which Illustrator still lacks.
  • Selection Scripts (zip | html)
    It’s no secret that Illustrator’s path/point/handle selection interface is just about the most cumbersome of all. In fact, only the most devoted Illustrator-only users deny it. These scripts are mere workarounds for some of the awkward selection chores; but they do make life a little easier in a few common situations.
  • JET_SelectSameLength2ptPaths.jsx
    Selects paths in the document which have 2 points and are the same length as the currently selected 2-point path. Purpose: to select the individual dashes of dashed lines which commonly come into AI from converted DXF files. Useful for removing “hidden lines” from such files.

  • JET_MarqueeDeselectPartials.jsx
    RWhen making marquee selections in Illustrator, all objects crossed or touched by the selection marquee are selected. Unlike most other drawing programs, Illustrator does not provide a Contact Sensitive toggle setting to cause marquee selection to select only objects which are fully enclosed by the marquee. This script deselects paths in the current selection which are only partially selected.

  • JET_MarqueeSelectRest.jsx
    When making marquee selections in Illustrator, all objects crossed or touched by the selection marquee are selected. Unlike most other drawing programs, Illustrator does not provide a Contact Sensitive toggle setting to cause marquee selection to select only objects which are fully enclosed by the marquee. This script finds paths in the current selection which are only partially selected, and adds their unselected points to the selection.
  • Transform scripts (zip | html)
    Transformation Scripts is another category for which I anticipate hacking out additional scripts. One can imagine a wide range of re-iterative transformation routines, applicable at the object/path/points/handles level beyond those already in Illustrtor’s feature set.
  • JET_StackTopToBottom.jsx
    This script re-stacks the selected objects according to their vertical positions, top to bottom. After running the script, the selected object positioned highest on the page will be rearmost; the one lowest on the page will be frontmost. This is mainly useful for correcting the stacking order of individual PointType textFrames in imported CAD drawings before concatenating them into a single AreaType textFrame, as in a parts list.

Illustrator Script: Gimmie an Eye! (Wundes)

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

John Wundes has a new script for Adobe Illustrator called “Gimmie an Eye!”, useful for the artists among us. It creates eyes with random characteristics for color, shape, and iris. Each eye is grouped, and both eyes are grouped together. No manual settings are available. If you don’t like the output, just make another set until you find something you like. 

Download JSX. View HTML page for script.

To install and use new scripts you have 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

Illustrator Script: SelectPathsBySize.jsx (Wundes)

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

[Editor's note: John Wundes has updated his Select Path Items script for Illustrator. It still needs the ability to select by number of path points (see my script for that: page, download), but it has other very nice options, including a GUI exposing all the settings. Good job, John!]

Republished from John Wundes’s js4ai blog (1 | 2).

Download script (download page).

Updates in version 3

  • Rebuilt the processing engine from scratch, and now it is much faster.
  • There is also now a floating text field that updates as pathItems are processed in real time. This way, it still may take a long time to finish, but at least you have a very rudimentary progress bar to let you know that the system hasn’t taken a dump on you.
  • It also tells you when it’s complete, and reports the total processing time.

Updates in version 2

  • More Selections: Rebuilt interface to select objects based on Size, Area, Width, or by Height.
  • Exact Same Size: Added “Exact” option to the “less than” and “more than” radio-buttons (Thanks to Nathaniel for that suggestion)
  • Default Selection: If one object is selected, starts threshold at that size. (Also thanks to Nathaniel’s input…)
  • Added Tool Tips: If you mouse-over the dialog elements, you now get helpful tooltips. (Now I just need someone to help me translate them into other languages…)

Create Calendars Automatically in Illustrator: Version 5 (Kelso)

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

[Editor's note: I have updated my Calendar script to version 5. It now automatically formats the text with tab stops, date box grid, and art placeholders. Tooltips help explain the options and the script will automatically create a document if one is not open. Over 25 new features, updates, and bug fixes. Screenshots and native Illustrator template files included at end of post.

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.]

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.

NOTE: The script is free to download and use. There is no license fee for publication of calendars based on the script. I reserve the right in the future to start charging a fee for the script. But this version is free.

Download version 5 of Calendar Script (100 k).

To install new scripts you need to:

  • Download the binary file using “Save as”. The file contents look like gobly-gook.
  • Quit Illustrator
  • Copy the file 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

NOTE: You will need version CS3 or CS4 of Illustrator. If you have CS or CS2, get a trial version of CS4 from Adobe. Also see posts about version 3 and version 4 of the Calendar script.

New features and bug fixes in version 5:

NEW FEATUES

  1. NEW: Tab stops supported!!! Date numbers are automatically spaced over the correct distance :) Big thanks go to N at Adobe Developer Support on this one.
  2. NEW No longer requires an open document, one will be created for you in the right page size if necessary.
  3. NEW “help” tooltips on all the wizard options (thanks John!). Tooltips are only in English now, other languages in future update.
  4. NEW Wall calendar style has grid of date boxes.
  5. NEW Wall, page, and compact calendar styles has art hole (for placement of photos, etc).
  6. NEW starting month and starting and ending year now relative to the current date (was always Jan 2009)
  7. NEW if 12-up type calendar selected, the current year’s 12 months are auto enabled
  8. NEW mini Page calendar type for making the mini calendars
  9. NEW mini Wall calendar type for making the mini calendars
  10. NEW Tabloid calendar type for big wall calendars for each month with big big numbers
  11. NEW mini Tabloid calendar type for making the mini calendars
  12. NEW Compact calendar type for calendars that are suitable for newspaper

UPDATED FEATURES

  1. UPDATE: Existing templates updated with tab stops, text sizes, other formatting
  2. UPDATE mini “business card” type calendar uses underlining for the day header, removed trailing tab, and adjusted gutter width
  3. UPDATE Page calendar type now based on letter page size with big numbers
  4. UPDATE Wall calendar type now based on tabloid page size with date numbers in corner of grid cells
  5. UPDATE Wall calendar type now auto-shrinks the text frame if a month has a short number of weeks.

BUG FIXES

  1. BUG FIX: Month lines now auto-centered
  2. BUG FIX: Leading space in month name line removed
  3. BUG FIX: Fail on selected text if it is point or path. Now creates new text frame at the same location.
  4. BUG FIX: Changing calendar size / style now sets the right day header abbreviation (shorten, letter)
  5. BUG FIX: Change of character format from month header to date in calendar page function (remove underlining)
  6. BUG: Page 12-up style calendar now the same size and style as a Page 1-up but with extra months (had been compact like). Expand or link the text frame to see additional content that is hidden at first.
  7. BUG: Abbreviation for “Jan” lacked the . period (thanks John).
  8. BUG: Custom language did not show the current settings for English (default) to edit. Now it does (disabled Holiday for now).
  9. BUG: Canceling “custom language” dialog now returns to previous language preset, not English.
  10. BUG: Enabling multi-month calendars via check box now works after choosing a single month calendar preset.
Version 6 Plans
  • Holidays and lunar phases are still not supported. Please stay tuned for version 6. What types of holidays do you want to see supported? Do you need iCal support?
  • Add multi-lingual tooltips. Refine translation of main interface for supported languages.
  • Automatically create and position the before-month and after-month mini-calendars.
  • Timeline calendar format (three linear, sequential rows of year, month, and dates)
  • Sports (game day) calendar format with support via “holiday” interface
  • Option to flowing multiple month calendars to new text blocks (via artboards in CS4+)
  • Orientation option when dealing with multiple months text blocks (horizontal, vertical, grid)
  • Any other suggestions? I’ll take a couple month breather and then return to this project.
Screenshots showing English, German, and Chinese interfaces. Also the custom language settings dialog.

There are several sizes of calendars:

  1. Tabloid calendar with larger date numbers grid (no boxes) on tabloid size 2/3rds of page.
  2. Tabloid mini 1 month that fits below the main calendar in 1/6th of tabloid size page (prior month, next month).
  3. Wall calendar with smaller dates in box grid (boxed dates) on tabloid size half-page with room for half page of art (horizontal / landscape 8.5 x 11 inch page).
  4. Wall mini 1 month calendar that fits in a date square in a wall calendar (prior month, next month).
  5. Page calendar, larger dates fill grid (no boxes) on 8.5 x 11 inch page.
  6. Page calendar, larger dates fill grid (no boxes) – 12 months at a time option.
  7. Page mini calendar, calendar that fits in a date square in a page calendar (prior month, next month).
  8. Compact calendar, 12 months small enough to fit on a single 8.5 x 11 inch page with artwork.
  9. Mini calendar, 12 months small enough to fit on a business card.

All calendars are Multi-lingual. Languages include English, Deutsch, Español, Français, 中文, 日本語, русский язык, and custom. This affects both the graphical dialog for creating the calendars and the month and day words in the calendar itself when it is created.

NOTE: While character and paragraph styles are created for each style of calendar (you can have multiple calendar types in one document), there is an error with Adobe Illustrator where you do not actually see this script-created styles until you either (a) save the document – thanks JC, or (b) switch back to the document from another (open or new) document.

SCREENSHOTS
Tabloid (1 month on tabloid 11 x 17 inch page – with artwork)
Download native Illustrator file.
Wall (1 month on tabloid 11 x 17 inch page – horizontal 8.5 x 11 inch – with artwork)
Download native Illustrator file.
Page (1 month on portrait 8.5 x 11 inch page with artwork)
Download native Illustrator file.
Compact (12 months on portrait 8.5 x 11 inch page)
Download native Illustrator file.
Mini (business card)
Download native Illustrator file.

Create Calendars Automatically in Illustrator: Version 4 (Kelso)

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

[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: I have updated my Calendar script to version 4. I now support multiple languages and fixed a few bugs. New video helps users set up tabs and change character styles. 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.]

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.

Download version 4 of Calendar Script (71k).

NOTE: You will need version CS3 or CS4 of Illustrator. If you have CS or CS2, get a trial version of CS4 from Adobe. Also see post about version 3 of the Calendar script.

New features and bug fixes in version 4:

  1. Multi-lingual: Languages added for English, Deutsch, Español, Français, 中文, 日本語’, русский язык, and custom. This affects both the graphical dialog for creating the calendars and the month and day words in the calendar itself when it is created.
  2. No longer need to have text frame selected, one will be created for you. If a text frame IS selected, it will be used.
  3. Added ability to easily stylize weekend (Saturday and Sunday) dates numbers (eg gray or red).
  4. Equal row spacing between months checkbox now works.
  5. Buttons for current year and month now work.
I’m waiting on Adobe to let me know how to do the tab stops. In the meantime I’ve created a better video showing how to set these manually yourself (below) and change the character styles after the calendar is created.
Holidays and lunar phases are still not supported. Please stay tuned for version 5.
Screenshots showing English, German, and Chinese interfaces. Also the custom language settings dialog.

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

There are several sizes of calendars:

  1. Wall calendar with smaller dates in box grid (you add the boxes).
  2. Wall mini 1 month calendar that fits in a date square in a wall calendar (prior month, next month).
  3. Page calendar, larger dates fill grid (no boxes).
  4. Page calendar, larger dates fill grid (no boxes) – 12 months at a time option.
  5. Mini calendar, 12 months small enough to fit on a business card.
Screenshots
Traditional wall calendar with boxed dates and mini calendars for prior and next month, room above for a photo or illustration (January 2009). You make your own grid and the two wall mini months. Download editable Illustrator file.
Page calendar where dates fill entire box (no lines). You make your own wall mini calendars. Download editable Illustrator file.
Mini 12 month calendar sized to fit on business card with all 12 months of the year (shown larger than life below). Download editable Illustrator file.

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

How to Script in Adobe Illustrator (Adobe)

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

[Editor's note: I get asked frequently how to get into automating Illustrator via scripting. My favorite language is JavaScript (it's cross platform) but there is also AppleScript (Mac) and Visual Basic (PC). A listing of all my scripts is here, including my recent script for creating calendars. Adobe does a good job of getting you started with several introductory and intermediate manuals. Plus they even offer a free toolkit application for writing the JavaScripts. The new scripting guides for CS4 are up on Adobe's site, including how to use Flash panel inside Illustrator to make more interesting graphical user interfaces (or hit testing). There's new information on using TabStops in there over CS3 and documentation on how to script the new Artboards feature. Give it a try!]

Republished from Adobe.com.

ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR CS4 SCRIPTING

A script is a series of commands that tells Illustrator to perform one or more tasks. Adobe Illustrator CS4 supports scripts written in AppleScript, JavaScript or VBScript. Sample scripts are included in the Adobe Illustrator CS4 installer and get installed with the product. The latest available scripting documentation is provided below:

SAMPLES

Adobe Illustrator CS3 FlashPanel Sample

The FlashPanel sample for Adobe Illustrator CS3 shows how to script Illustrator from Flash using ScriptUI’s FlashPlayer control. The sample illustrates how rich user interfaces created by Flash authoring tools such as Adobe Flex Builder 2 can interact with Illustrator’s scripting object model.

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 thumbcalendar.com.

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?!

Objectives:

  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.

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

Wordle – Beautiful Tag Clouds

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

wordle example 2

From the official website:

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

[Editor's note: This awesome tool from Jonathan Feinberg, a researcher at IBM, displays tag clouds the "right" way by packing the words into the interstitial space between tags and rotating tags from the horizontal baseline. Johnathan uses simple bounding box logic to accomplish this. I will look into adding this to my Adobe Illustrator script (and perhaps bound the tags into a user-defined shape like a heart for Valentine's day).

If you look at the HTML tag cloud that is generated for my blog at the right sidebar you'll see a bunch of text on the same horizontal baselines. That type of tag cloud wastes a lot of space by not packing the words closer together. If there is a big word with small words on 1 line, there is a lot of wasted white space around the smaller words on that line. Fast but not pretty. And only horizontal. Up until now packed tag clouds have taken tedious hand-placement by an artist.

Now Wordle, a web Java applet will do that for you. The tag clouds can be saved as vector PDF by printing to that format in your web browser. This will generate a vector-outlined version of the tags (outlined fonts, not editable type) and in rich-black RGB color space so make sure to convert and clean-up in CMYK before publishing! There is no restriction on publishing the tag clouds for profit or otherwise. Seen on infosthetics.com.]

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.