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Keep reading for alternative workflows with Atom or VSCode text editors. Both are free and open source and provide many built in features and packages to customize your workflow. Good news! There is a version for both Atom and VSCode keep reading. It essentially replaces the Process Palette workflow above Yay!
By default, it contains a key command setup for After Effects so you will need to do the following to setup a key command for Illustrator. Add the following key binding for Adobe Illustrator. This one replaces the default AE keybinding. If you want to keep it, just use a different keybinding. Now you can run scripts with the specified key command as before. If you don’t have Illustrator open it will automatically launch it. This second extension will ensure syntax highlighting and that you don’t get unnecessary errors when running a.
Load a new. Similarily you could run other Adobe applications the same way. If you would like to customize the key command to be the same as Atom or different than the default, follow the remaining steps. Search for adobeScriptRunner. Add the following keybinding for Adobe Illustrator:. This guide is written with the intention of providing an entry point into learning how to write scripts for use in Adobe Illustrator CC.
I suggest reading through them in the following order to grasp fundamental concepts and to learn which references are relevant to the task at hand. For older versions check. If you are interested in a more modern approach to working with the documentation and have some experience working with Node. It’s a great alternative for building your own searchable reference documentation from the ExtendScript API. In general, you want to Setup Atom one time and make a new Illustrator document. It is possible to generate new documents using the app.
We will cover more of this method later. At this point you should have an empty document in Illustrator with 1 empty layer and a project folder to store scripts in. The most basic scripts consist of drawing paths and shapes on layers within a document. To do this there needs to be a reference to an active document and at least one layer within the document. The code below provides a boilerplate to get a reference to the active document and the first and only layer in the document.
Any code entered in a script following these references will have access to the doc or layer objects. Preprocessor directives are a way to include external scripts. At a basic level, the first line of a script might have a directive as show below. This directive includes any code written in the file lib. Why use this? Over time your code might get complex, making it hard to read. Using additional files will allow you to modularize, simplify, reuse, and streamline your code.
For the moment we won’t worry about preprocessor directives. We will make use of them later in the guide. This example will insert the text “Hello World” at the position 0,0 in the artboard.
The position that an object is inserted into the artboard is dependent on the artboard coordinates. When you make a new document using the Illustrator New Document window, the artboard will default to a position of 0,0.
This is not always the case when generating an artboard using a script. We will explore why this is next. Create an Illustrator file with mm as the default units. Set the document size to mm x mm and RGB Color. As mentioned previously, its really nice to be able to see the grid while learning about positioning and inserting objects to the artboard.
Run the code using Process Palette to see the result in Illustrator. The text was placed in the top left corner at 0,0. I have not found a solution for printing debug messages to the console in Atom yet. To make use of it, you can have the ExtendScript Toolkit open next to Atom. In many cases, it’s probably much easier to reference a documentation system such as Documentation for the ExtendScript API by Yearbook. This section describes the examples contained in the scripts folder. The best way to learn the API is to work through these examples starting from the top.
This example assumes there is an active document open in Illustrator. It gets a reference to the document, the first layer in the document, then adds a textFrameItem to the textFrames collection. A reference to the textFrameItem added is then positioned at 0,0 and given the contents of “Hello World”. Assuming the document was created from the new file menu, it will have an origin of the top left, meaning both the world coordinates and artboard coordinates will align.
As such, the text should be drawn in the top left corner. This example creates a new document with a width of pt and height of pt and adds a pointTextItem to the textFrames collection. Points are the default unit in Illustrator. Before adding the text object we shift the ruler origin for the document such that the origin is in the top left. This is different from when we create a document using the standard new file menu. In two previous examples, you may notice the location of the text inserted is at or near the bottom of the artboard.
This is because when generating a new document with a script, Illustrator will default to the bottom left as the origin instead of the top left. This example makes use of the DocumentPreset function to setup a new document. This allows you to customize things like the document title, width, height, and colorspace. It also allows you to make use of built in Illustrator presets for documents which I rarely find myself using. This example builds on the previous one and includes a scaling factor to change the document units from Points to Millimeters.
I find the easiest way to deal with unit conversion is to just multiply or divide by the scaling factor. In this case its 2. The document units are also specified in the docPreset as Millimeters.
This example covers the basics of drawing and styling primitive shapes such as rectangles, rounded rectangles, ellipses, lines, and closed paths. It also introduces a preprocessor directive to include some helper functions for working with color. This example covers how to programmatically save files in a different formats and for different versions of Illustrator.
This example demonstrates a way to simplify the document creation process. It makes it easy to define a width, height, and units for a new document in one line. This example demonstrates how to include a single “library” file called main. This example demonstrates how to work with layers. It creates a document, several layers, then adds primitives to the layers. If you find this tutorial useful in your work, please consider donating via PayPal.
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