Also check out my Plugins page for Adobe Illustrator automation.
Last update: 17 February 2009
I work for the Washington Post newspaper as a cartographer creating maps for daily publication. The two popular desktop graphics applications for mapping are Macromedia Freehand and Adode Illustrator. With Adobe's purchase of the former last year (primarily for Macromedia's Flash interactive content platform) Freehand has been end-of-lifed in favor of Illustrator. Perhaps some of Freehand's more powerful features will make it into CS4, but until then I've hacked together some scripts to ease the transition. I also link to a few other useful scripts and plugins for cartographers below.
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If you would like to stay informed of changes to any of my scripts or be alerted if I release new scripts:
Feb. 17, 2009
New versions of:
Calendar Wizard v5 (blog post) (download 100k) Over 25 new featues, updates, and bug fixes.
When downloading the script, right click on the "download" link above and choose "Save as..."
Then follow the installation steps below.
Flash-based GUI interface for Scripts in Illustrator CS3 Beta demonstration of three of John's scripts for registering point type without moving the text. Can be expanded to any script.
Install both the JSX and the SWF into your Scripts folder and run the JSX. It will launch the SWF as a panel / palette in Illustrator (with the buttons as shown at left). Click one of the buttons, the correct script runs. Mac support beta. Windows support alpha.
Swiss Institute of Cartography - Mapping specific plugins
Rick Johnson Graffix – Concatenate - Join paths ala Freehand
Phantasm CS - Color Adjustment, Rich Black to Pure Black, Remove White Overprints
Worker 72a - White overprint, collect for output, zoom to selected
Hot Door CadTools
Hot Door MultiPage
MaPublisher - Importing raw GIS data into Illustrator, psuedo GIS operations and database
What Wolfgang Reszel says you should know about scripts:
Only Illustrator 10 and above can be automated with scripts;
There are three types of scripting-languages for Illustrator and the other Adobe products:
AppleScript (Mac only),
VisualBasic (PC only); and
To install new scripts you have to:
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
Plugins are a 4th type of extended feature set but are platform specific (Mac/PC) and sometimes only work for a specific version of Illustrator. They are installed in your Illustrator > Plugins folder.
Calendar Wizard - Version 5 Download (100k) View blog post.
Last updated 17 Feb. 2009.
Choose "Save as..." when right clicking on the "download" link above. Follow the installation steps above.
Create five types of calendars in Illustrator including page, wall, tabloid, compact, and mini business card sizes. Multilingual support is provided for English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Japanese.
Text is live and includes character styles and tab stops for customization. Date box grid, and art placeholders are included on some templates. 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 in version 5. Screenshots and native Illustrator template files included at the blog post.
Find and Replace Graphics
Imitates the functionality found in Freehand's Find & Replace by Path shape panel. Move your "replace" path object to the top of the stacking order (Object > Arrange > Bring to Front). Select all the "find" objects. The topmost object is copied to the location of the other selected objects. There are two varients that either center the new object in the old object's position or scale it to "transform to fit original". They are really the same script with a toggled flag setting.
This script is especially useful to turn generic path objects (say from the GIS) into proper Illustrator "Symbols" or to swap out one set of generic path objects for another.
This script has been updated to version 2 (below). Version 1 is still available and available.
Illustrator is now able to import Freehand files but it does so by putting the imported text into annoying text boxes that do not auto expand to fit new content.
This script works on horizontal and rotated text boxes turning them into point type. The script also works with type on a path. The script ignores non-text objects in the selection (you can "select all" and run the script without problem).
Will close all filled paths if no selection or just the selected paths. A dialog reports how many were modified. Useful if the GIS does not close the polygons and/or you want to have an inset stroke in Illustrator (which requires closed paths).