Illustrator CS3 Scripting Guide

Illustrator CS3 Scripting Guide
SCRIPTING GUIDE
© 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Adobe® Illustrator® CS3 Scripting Guide for Windows® and Mac OS®.
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Contents
1
Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 6
What is scripting? ........................................................................................................................................................................... 6
Why use scripting?................................................................................................................................................................... 6
What about actions? ............................................................................................................................................................... 7
Script support in Adobe Illustrator CS3.................................................................................................................................. 7
ExtendScript features ............................................................................................................................................................. 7
ExtendScript tools.................................................................................................................................................................... 7
Script file extensions ..................................................................................................................................................................... 8
Viewing sample scripts................................................................................................................................................................. 8
Viewing the object model........................................................................................................................................................... 8
Viewing the JavaScript object model ............................................................................................................................... 8
Viewing the AppleScript object model............................................................................................................................ 9
Viewing the VBScript object model................................................................................................................................... 9
Executing scripts...........................................................................................................................................................................10
Installing scripts in the Scripts menu..............................................................................................................................10
Executing scripts from the Other Scripts menu item................................................................................................10
Startup scripts (.jsx scripts only) .......................................................................................................................................10
Application-specific startup scripts folder..............................................................................................................10
General startup scripts folder......................................................................................................................................11
Changes since earlier versions.................................................................................................................................................11
Known Issues .................................................................................................................................................................................13
2
The Illustrator Scripting Object Model .................................................................................... 15
Object naming conventions.....................................................................................................................................................15
Top-level (containing) objects.................................................................................................................................................16
Application ...............................................................................................................................................................................16
Document.................................................................................................................................................................................16
Layer ...........................................................................................................................................................................................17
The artwork tree............................................................................................................................................................................17
Art styles....................................................................................................................................................................................18
Color objects............................................................................................................................................................................18
Text objects ...................................................................................................................................................................................19
Text frames ...............................................................................................................................................................................19
Text geometry...................................................................................................................................................................19
Objects that represent text content................................................................................................................................20
Text ranges.........................................................................................................................................................................21
Text styles .................................................................................................................................................................................21
Dynamic objects and symbols ................................................................................................................................................21
Transformations............................................................................................................................................................................22
3
Scripting Illustrator ................................................................................................................... 23
Launching and quitting Illustrator from a script...............................................................................................................23
Launching and activating Illustrator...............................................................................................................................23
Quitting Illustrator .................................................................................................................................................................24
Working with objects .................................................................................................................................................................24
Getting the frontmost document or layer ....................................................................................................................24
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Contents
4
Creating new objects............................................................................................................................................................25
Collection objects ..................................................................................................................................................................25
Selected objects .....................................................................................................................................................................26
Selecting text ....................................................................................................................................................................26
Selecting art items...........................................................................................................................................................26
Referring to selected art items....................................................................................................................................26
Notes on renaming objects stored in the application’s palettes..........................................................................26
Measurement units......................................................................................................................................................................27
Em space units ........................................................................................................................................................................27
Page item positioning and dimensions ...............................................................................................................................27
Art item bounds......................................................................................................................................................................28
Paths and shapes..........................................................................................................................................................................29
User interaction levels ................................................................................................................................................................29
Printing Illustrator documents ................................................................................................................................................30
4
Scripting with JavaScript .......................................................................................................... 31
Your first Illustrator script ..........................................................................................................................................................31
Adding features to "Hello World".....................................................................................................................................32
Working with methods in JavaScript ....................................................................................................................................32
Accessing and referencing objects........................................................................................................................................33
Referencing the application object.................................................................................................................................33
Accessing objects in collections .......................................................................................................................................33
Creating new objects............................................................................................................................................................34
Working with selections ......................................................................................................................................................35
Selecting artwork objects .............................................................................................................................................35
Working with text frames ..........................................................................................................................................................35
Threaded frames ....................................................................................................................................................................35
Threaded frames make a single story object.........................................................................................................36
Creating paths and shapes .......................................................................................................................................................36
Paths ...........................................................................................................................................................................................36
Specifying a series of x-y coordinates ......................................................................................................................36
Using pathPoint objects................................................................................................................................................37
Combining path point types .......................................................................................................................................38
Shapes........................................................................................................................................................................................39
Creating a rectangle .......................................................................................................................................................39
Creating a polygon..........................................................................................................................................................39
5
Scripting with AppleScript........................................................................................................ 40
Your first Illustrator script ..........................................................................................................................................................40
Adding features to "Hello World".....................................................................................................................................41
Object references .........................................................................................................................................................................41
Obtaining objects from documents and layers ..........................................................................................................42
Creating new objects............................................................................................................................................................42
Working with selections ......................................................................................................................................................42
Selecting artwork objects .............................................................................................................................................43
Working with text frames ..........................................................................................................................................................43
Threaded frames ....................................................................................................................................................................43
Threaded frames make a single story object.........................................................................................................44
Creating paths and shapes .......................................................................................................................................................44
Paths ...........................................................................................................................................................................................44
Specifying a series of x-y coordinates ......................................................................................................................44
Using path point objects...............................................................................................................................................44
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5
Combining path point types .......................................................................................................................................45
Shapes........................................................................................................................................................................................45
write-once access ............................................................................................................................................................46
Creating a rectangle .......................................................................................................................................................46
Creating a polygon..........................................................................................................................................................46
6
Scripting with VBScript ............................................................................................................. 47
Your first Illustrator script ..........................................................................................................................................................47
Adding features to "Hello World".....................................................................................................................................48
Accessing and referencing objects........................................................................................................................................48
Obtaining objects from collections.................................................................................................................................48
Creating new objects............................................................................................................................................................49
Working with selections ......................................................................................................................................................49
Selecting artwork objects .............................................................................................................................................49
Working with text frames ..........................................................................................................................................................50
Threaded frames ....................................................................................................................................................................50
Threaded frames make a single story object.........................................................................................................50
Creating paths and shapes .......................................................................................................................................................50
Paths ...........................................................................................................................................................................................50
Specifying a series of x-y coordinates ......................................................................................................................51
Using path point objects...............................................................................................................................................51
Combining path point types .......................................................................................................................................52
Shapes........................................................................................................................................................................................52
Creating a rectangle .......................................................................................................................................................52
Creating a polygon..........................................................................................................................................................52
Working with enumeration values.........................................................................................................................................53
Index ........................................................................................................................................... 54
1
Introduction
This guide describes the scripting interface to Adobe® Illustrator® CS3. It contains the following sections:
●
This introduction, which describes scripting support in Adobe Illustrator CS3, and lists changes to the
scripting interface since the previous release.
●
“The Illustrator Scripting Object Model” on page 15, which describes the Illustrator document object
model.
●
“Scripting Illustrator” on page 23, which provides an overview of how to use scripts to program Adobe
Illustrator CS3.
●
“Scripting with JavaScript” on page 31, which provides information about scripting Illustrator using
JavaScript.
●
“Scripting with AppleScript” on page 40, which provides information about scripting Illustrator using
AppleScript.
●
“Scripting with VBScript” on page 47, which provides information about scripting Illustrator using
VBScript.
If you are new to scripting or would like basic information about scripting and how to use the different
scripting languages, see Adobe Introduction to Scripting.
What is scripting?
A script is a series of commands that tells Illustrator to perform one or more tasks. These tasks can be
simple, and affect only a single object in the current document; or complex, and affect objects in all of your
Illustrator documents. The tasks might even involve other applications, such as word processors,
spreadsheets, and database management programs.
The building blocks of scripting correspond for the most part to the Illustrator tools, menus, palettes, and
dialog boxes with which you are already an expert. If you know what you’d like Illustrator to do, you can
write a script to do it.
Why use scripting?
Graphic design is a field characterized by creativity, but aspects of the actual work are anything but
creative. In fact, you’ll probably notice that the time you spend placing and replacing images, correcting
errors in text, and preparing files for printing at an image setting service provider often reduce the time
you have available for doing creative work.
With a small investment of time and effort—perhaps no more than you’d spend training an assistant—you
can learn to write short, simple scripts that perform repetitive tasks for you. As your scripting skills grow,
you can move on to more complex scripts that work all night while you’re sleeping.
Scripting can also enhance your creativity by quickly performing tasks you might not have time to try. For
example, you could write a script to systematically create a series of objects, modifying the new objects’
position, stroke, and fill properties along the way. You could also write a script that accesses built-in
transformation matrix functions to stretch, scale and distort a series of objects. Without scripting, you’ll
likely miss out on the creative potential of such labor-intensive techniques.
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Introduction
7
What about actions?
Actions and scripts are both ways of automating repetitive tasks, but they work very differently.
●
Actions use a program’s user interface to do their work. As an action runs, menu choices are executed,
objects are selected, and recorded paths are created. Scripts do not use a program’s user interface to
perform tasks, and can execute faster than actions.
●
Actions have very limited facilities for getting and responding to information. You cannot add
conditional logic to an action. Therefore, actions cannot make decisions based on the current situation,
such as changing the stroke type of rectangles but not ellipses. Scripts are capable of getting
information and making decisions and calculations based on the information they receive from
Illustrator.
●
A script can execute an action, but actions cannot execute scripts.
Script support in Adobe Illustrator CS3
Illustrator scripting supports AppleScript and JavaScript scripts for Mac OS, or VBScript and JavaScript
scripts for Windows.
Note: Additionally, Adobe scripting-enabled applications, including Illustrator, support ExtendScript,
Adobe’s extended implementation of ECMA JavaScript. ExtendScript files are distinguished by the
.jsx extension. Giving your JavaScript files a .jsx extension allows you to take advantage of the
ExtendScript features and tools.
ExtendScript features
●
ExtendScript offers all standard JavaScript features, plus a development and debugging
environment, the ExtendScript Toolkit (ESTK). The ESTK is installed with all scriptable Adobe
applications.
●
The ESTK includes an Object Model Viewer that contains complete documentation of the
methods and properties of JavaScript objects.
Note: For information on accessing the ESTK and the Model Viewer, see “Viewing the JavaScript object
model” on page 8.
ExtendScript tools
ExtendScript also provides various tools and utilities such as:
●
A localization utility
●
Tools that allow you to combine scripts and direct them to particular applications
●
Platform-independent file and folder representation
●
Tools for building user interfaces to your scripts
●
A messaging framework that allows you to send and receive scripts and data among
scripting-enabled Adobe applications
For details of these and additional features, see the JavaScript Tools Guide.
Adobe Illustrator CS3
Scripting Guide
Introduction
8
Script file extensions
For a file to be recognized by Adobe Illustrator CS3 as a valid script file, the file must have the correct file
name extension:
Script Type
File Type
Extension
AppleScript
compiled script
OSAS file
.scpt
JavaScript
ExtendScript
text
.js
.jsx
VBScript
text
Platform
Mac OS
(none)
.vbs
Mac OS & Windows
Windows
Viewing sample scripts
Adobe provides sample scripts for many objects, properties, and methods in the Illustrator CS3 DOM. You
can view script samples in two locations:
●
In the /Scripting/Sample Scripts folder in your Illustrator CS3 installation directory
●
In the Adobe Illustrator CS3 scripting reference for your scripting language, which is located in the
/Scripting/Documentation folder in your Illustratator CS3 installation directory.
Viewing the object model
The supported scripting languages each provide a facility for viewing the scripting objects defined by
Illustrator, with reference details.
Viewing the JavaScript object model
To view the JavaScript object model for Illustrator:
1. Start the ExtendScript Toolkit (ESTK).
Note: In a default Adobe installation, the ESTK is in the following location:
●
In Mac OS:
system drive:Applications:Utilities:Adobe Utilities:
ExtendScript Toolkit 2
●
In Windows:
system drive\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Utilities\
ExtendScript Toolkit 2
2. In the ESTK, choose Help > Illustrator CS3.
Note: Several extended sample scripts are available in the /Scripting/Sample Scripts folder in
your Illustrator CS3 installation directory.
You can also view script samples and information about individual classes, objects, properties,
methods and parameters in the Adobe Illustrator CS3 JavaScript Reference, which is found in the
/Scripting/Documentation folder in your Illustrator CS3 installation directory.
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Introduction
9
Viewing the AppleScript object model
Apple provides a Script Editor with all Mac OS systems. You can use Script Editor to view the AppleScript
dictionary that describes Illustrator objects and commands.
Note: For details of how to use the Script Editor, see Script Editor Help.
1. Start Script Editor.
Note: In a default Mac OS installation, Script Editor is in Applications:AppleScript:Script Editor. If you
cannot find the Script Editor application, you must reinstall it from your Mac OS system CD.
2. Choose File > Open Dictionary. Script Editor displays an Open File dialog.
3. In the Open File dialog, find and select Illustrator, and then click OK.
Script Editor displays a list of the Illustrator objects and commands, which includes the properties and
elements associated with each object and the parameters for each command.
Note: Several extended sample scripts are available in the :Scripting:Sample Scripts folder in
your Illustrator CS3 installation directory.
You can also view script samples and information about individual classes, objects, properties,
methods and parameters in the Adobe Illustrator CS3 AppleScript Reference, which is found in the
:Scripting:Documentation folder in your Illustrator CS3 installation directory.
Viewing the VBScript object model
VBScript provides a type library that you can use to view Illustrator object properties and methods. This
procedure explains how to view the type library through any Microsoft Office program. Your VBScript
editor most likely provides access to the library. Consult your editor’s Help for information.
1. In any Microsoft Office application, choose Tools > Macro > Visual Basic Editor.
2. In the Visual Basic Editor, choose Tools > References.
3. In the dialog that appears, select the check box for Adobe Illustrator CS3 Type Library, and then click
OK.
4. Turn on the Adobe Illustrator CS3 Type Library option from the list of available references and click OK.
5. Choose View > Object Browser to display the Object Browser window.
6. Choose "Illustrator" from the list of open libraries in the top-left pull-down menu of the Object Browser
window.
Note: Several extended sample scripts are available in the /Scripting/Sample Scripts folder in
your Illustrator CS3 installation directory.
You can also view script samples and information about individual classes, objects, properties,
methods and parameters in the Adobe Illustrator CS3 VBScript Reference, which is found in the
/Scripting/Documentation folder in your Illustrator CS3 installation directory.
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Scripting Guide
Introduction
10
Executing scripts
The Illustrator interface includes a Scripts menu (File > Scripts) that provides quick and easy access to your
scripts.
●
Scripts can be listed directly as menu items that run when you select them. See “Installing scripts in the
Scripts menu” on page 10.
●
You can also navigate from the menu to any script in your file system, and then run the script. See
“Executing scripts from the Other Scripts menu item” on page 10.
You can also have JavaScript scripts with a .jsx extension start automatically when you launch the
application. For information, see “Startup scripts (.jsx scripts only)” on page 10.
Installing scripts in the Scripts menu
To include a script in the Scripts menu (File > Scripts), save the script in the Scripts folder, which is located
in the /Illustrator CS3/ Presets folder in your Illustrator CS3 installation directory. The script’s file name,
minus the file extension, appears in the Scripts menu.
Note: Scripts that you add to the Scripts folder while Illustrator is running do not appear in the Scripts
menu until the next time you launch Illustrator.
Any number of scripts can be installed in the Scripts menu. If you have a large collection of scripts, use
subfolders in the Scripts folder to help organize the scripts in the Scripts menu. Each subfolder is displayed
as a separate submenu containing the scripts in that subfolder.
Executing scripts from the Other Scripts menu item
The Other Scripts item at the end of the Scripts menu (File > Scripts > Other Scripts) allows you to execute
scripts that are not installed in the Scripts folder.
Selecting Other Scripts displays a Browse dialog, which you use to navigate to a script file. When you select
the file, the script is executed.
Note: Only files that are of one of the supported file types are displayed in the browse dialog. For
information, see “Script support in Adobe Illustrator CS3” on page 7.
Startup scripts (.jsx scripts only)
JavaScript scripts with a .jsx file extension can be installed in one of two folders so that the scripts run
automatically when you launch Illustrator and each time you run a script. The folders are:
●
An application-specific startup scripts folder, which contains scripts for Illustrator CS3
●
A general startup scripts folder, which contains scripts that run automatically when you start any
Creative Suite 3 application
Application-specific startup scripts folder
You must place application-specific startup scripts in a folder named Startup Scripts, which you
create in the Illustrator installation directory.
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Introduction
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For example, when Illustrator CS3 is installed to its default location, you would create the Startup
Scripts folder at:
●
In Windows:
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS3\Startup Scripts\
●
In Mac OS:
/Applications/Adobe Illustrator CS3/Startup Scripts/
Note: JavaScript scripts with a .jsx extension placed in the Startup Scripts folder run automatically
when:
●
The application is launched.
●
Any JavaScript file is selected from the Scripts menu (File > Scripts).
General startup scripts folder
The general startup scripts folder contains scripts that run automatically when you start any Creative
Suite 3 application. You create the folder in the following location:
●
In Windows:
Program Files/Common Files/Adobe/Startup Scripts CS3/Illustrator
●
In Mac OS:
:Library:Application Support:Adobe:Startup Scripts CS3:Illustrator
Note: If a script in the general startup folder is meant to be executed only by Illustrator, the script must
include the ExtendScript #target directive (#target illustrator) or code such as the
following:
if( BridgeTalk.appName == "illustrator" ) {
//continue executing script
}
For additional details, see the JavaScript Tools Guide.
Changes since earlier versions
The following changes have been made to the scripting object model to support features in Adobe
Illustrator CS3:
●
Create documents using the document preset object, which contains properties for color mode,
height and width, preview mode, title, and other document-defining characteristics:
●
JavaScript: app.documents.addDocument(), uses new object documentPreset;
app.startupPresetsList gives available presets; app.getPresetSettings() returns a
documentPreset object.
●
VBScript: App.Documents.AddDocument, uses new object DocumentPreset;
App.StartupPresetsList gives available presets; App.GetPresetSettings returns a
DocumentPreset object.
●
AppleScript: add document command, uses new object document preset; the startup
presets property gives available presets, get preset settings command returns a
document preset object.
●
Undo and redo operations:
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Introduction
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●
●
●
JavaScript: app.undo(), app.redo()
●
VBScript: App.Undo(), App.Redo()
●
AppleScript: undo and redo commands
Clipboard operations, previously available only in AppleScript, are supported in VBScript and
JavaScript. These methods belong to the application object but act upon the current selection:
●
JavaScript: app.cut(), app.copy(), app.paste()
●
VBScript: App.Cut, App.Copy, App.Paste
Additional control of color:
●
JavaScript: app.loadColorSettings(), which loads color settings from a specified file;
app.colorSettingsList gives available files.
●
VBScript: App.LoadColorSettings; App.ColorSettingsList gives available files.
●
AppleScript: load color settings command; the color settings property gives available
files.
New properties for raster item objects
●
JavaScript: rasterItem.overprint, rasterItem.colorizedGrayscale,
rasterItem.transparent, rasterItem.channels, rasterItem.bitsPerChannel,
rasterItem.colorants
●
VBScript: RasterItem.Overprint, RasterItem.ColorizedGrayscale,
RasterItem.Transparent, RasterItem.Channels, RasterItem.BitsPerChannel,
RasterItem.Colorants
●
AppleScript: bits per channel, channels, colorants, colorized, overprint,
transparent
●
●
●
●
●
12
Capturing clipping-area content to a raster file:
●
JavaScript: document.imageCapture(); uses new object imageCaptureOptions
●
VBScript: Document.ImageCapture; uses new object ImageCaptureOptions
●
AppleScript: image capture command, uses new object image capture options
Merging of graphic styles:
●
JavaScript: graphicStyle.mergeTo()
●
VBScript: GraphicStyle.MergeTo
●
AppleScript: merge command
Support for indicating the length (in points) of a path:
●
JavaScript: pathItem.length
●
VBScript: PathItem.Length
●
AppleScript: length of path item
XMP metadata, which names the XMP metadata packet associated with a document:
●
JavaScript: document.XMPString
●
VBScript: Document.XMPString
●
AppleScript: XMP string
Additional support of Adobe Photoshop® files:
Adobe Illustrator CS3
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Introduction
●
13
JavaScript: openOptionsPhotoshop.preserveHiddenLayers,
openOptionsPhotoshop.layerComp
●
VBScript: OpenOptionsPhotoshop.PreserveHiddenLayers,
OpenOptionsPhotoshop.LayerComp
●
●
●
●
AppleScript: properties of Photoshop options: preserve hidden layers, layer comp
New method or command for obtaining detailed PPD file information:
●
JavaScript: app.getPPDFileInfo() (also, case usage in printerInfo.pPDInfo changed to
printerInfo.PPDInfo)
●
VBScript: App.GetPPDFileInfo
●
AppleScript: get PPD info command
Additional support for exporting to Flash SWF format:
●
JavaScript: additional properties for exportOptionsFlash
●
VBScript: additional properties for ExportOptionsFlash
●
AppleScript: additional properties of Flash export options
AutoCAD support:
●
JavaScript: preferences.AutoCADFileOptions, new object AutoCADFileOptions
●
VBScript: Preferences.AutoCADFileOptions, new object AutoCADFileOptions
●
AppleScript: AutoCAD file options of Illustrator preferences, new object AutoCAD
options
●
●
Expanded support for clipping artwork when exporting to a Flash file allow you to specify whether to
clip the art object, the artboard, or the crop area:
●
JavaScript: exportOptionsGIF.artClipping (replaces
exportOptionsGIF.artBoardClipping)
●
VBScript: ExportOptionsGIF.ArtClipping (replaces
ExportOptionsGIF.ArtBoardClipping)
●
AppleScript: art clipping (replaces artboard clipping)
New tracing options property allows you to ignore white fill color.
●
JavaScript: tracingOptions.ignoreWhite
●
VBScript: TracingOptions.IgnoreWhite
●
AppleScript: ignore white
Known Issues
●
Scripts that create, save and then close a large number of Illustrator files should periodically quit and
relaunch Illustrator. The recommended maximum number of files to process before quitting and
relaunching Illustrator is:
●
In Windows: 500 files
●
In Mac OS: 1000 files
Note: For information on quitting and relaunching Illustrator, see “Launching and activating
Illustrator” on page 23 and “Quitting Illustrator” on page 24.
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Introduction
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14
The "An Illustrator error occurred: 1346458189 ("PARM")" alert may be popped when badly written
scripts are repeatedly run in Illustrator from the ExtendScript Toolkit.
Scripters need to be very careful about variable initialization and namespace conflict when pushing a
batch of Illustrator scripts over and over again for execution in Illustrator via the ExtendScript Toolkit
(ESTK) in a single Illustrator session. Each script run is executed within the same persistent ExtendScript
engine within Illustrator.
The ESTK debugger uses BridgeTalk to communicate with Illustrator. A single global, persistent
ExtendScript engine inside Illustrator handles all BridgeTalk communications. The net effect is that the
state of the ExtendScript engine is cumulative to all the scripts that ran previously. Issues with script
code that may cause this problem are:
●
Reading uninitialized variables.
●
Global namespace conflicts, such as when two globals from differents scripts are clobbering each
other.
2
The Illustrator Scripting Object Model
A good understanding of the Illustrator object model will improve your scripting abilities. The figure below
shows the containment hierarchy of the object model, starting with the application object. Note that
the layer and group item classes can contain nested objects of the same class which can, in turn,
contain additional nested objects.
Illustrator scripting object model
Note: In addition to this application-specific object model, JavaScript provides certain utility objects, such
as the File and Folder objects, which give you operating-system-independent access to the file
system. For details, see the JavaScript Tools Guide.
Object naming conventions
There is a single object model for the Illustrator scripting interface, but the actual object names vary
slightly in the different scripting languages:
●
AppleScript names are all lower case, and individual words are separated by a space. For example:
graphic style
●
VBScript names are capitalized, and additional words in the name are indicated by uppercase initial
letters. For example:
GraphicStyle
15
Adobe Illustrator CS3
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The Illustrator Scripting Object Model
●
16
JavaScript names begin with lowercase letters, and additional words in the name are indicated by
uppercase initial letters. For example:
graphicStyle
This chapter uses generic object and property names, but you can easily apply these conventions to
determine the corresponding language-specific names.
Note: In the following sections, properties and methods are displayed in italics. Object names are
displayed in courier font.
Top-level (containing) objects
Use these objects to access global information about the Illustrator application or an individual document.
Application
The properties of the application object give your script access to global values, such as:
●
User preferences, which a user sets interactively in the Illustrator application by using the
Preferences dialog (Edit > Preferences)
●
System information such as installed fonts (the text fonts property) and printers (the printer list
property)
Additionally, there are properties that provide application-specific information and higher-level
information about any open documents.
●
Application information such as the installation path, the version, and whether Illustrator is currently
visible
●
The current active document; that is, the art canvas that is currently displayed and accepting user input
●
All open documents
application object methods or commands allow your script to perform application-wide actions. For
example:
●
Open files
●
Undo and redo transactions
●
Quit Illustrator
Document
The document object, which your scripts can create or access through the application object,
represents an art canvas or loaded Illustrator file. The document object properties give you access to the
document’s content. For example:
●
The current selection, or art objects that the user has selected in the document
●
All of the contained art objects, called page items, that make up the artwork tree
●
Art objects of particular types, such as symbols and text frames
●
All of the layers, and the currently active layer
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Document properties also tell you about the state of the document itself; for example:
●
User settings for the document such as ruler units
●
Whether the document has been saved since the last alteration of content
●
The path of the associated file
The document object methods allow your scripts to act on the document. For example:
●
Save to an Illustrator file or save as the various supported file formats
●
Activate or close a document
●
Print the document; your scripts can select a printer by referencing a print options object or
reference available printers through the application object’s printer list property
Layer
The layer object provides access to the contents, or artwork tree, of a specific layer. You access the layer
object through the document object. The layer object properties provide access to, or information
about, the layer, such as:
●
Whether the layer is visible or locked
●
The layer opacity (overall transparency) and z order position (position in the stacking order)
●
Art creation preferences for the layer, such as artwork knockout and blending mode
The artwork tree
The content of an Illustrator document is called the artwork tree. Artwork is represented by the following
objects:
●
The compound path item object
●
The graph item object
●
The legacy text item object
●
The mesh item object
●
The path item object
●
The placed item object
●
The plugin item object
●
The raster item object
●
The symbol item object (See “Dynamic objects and symbols” on page 21.)
●
The text frame object
Your scripts can access and manipulate art objects through collections in the document and layer
objects. There are two types of art object collections:
●
Collection objects that correspond to each individual artwork object type, such as the graph items
object or the mesh items object.
●
The page items object, which includes art objects of all types.
Additionally, you can use the group item object to reference a grouped set of art items.
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You can create new art objects using the make command (AppleScript) or add method of an artwork item
collection object. For example, to create a new path item object:
AS
set myPathItem to make new path item in current document
JS
var myPathItem = activeDocument.pathItems.add();
VB
Set myPathItem = appRef.PathItems.Add()
Artwork collections that do not allow the creation of new objects using the make command or add
method are:
●
The graph items object
●
The mesh items object
●
The plugin items object
●
The legacy text items object
For specific information on creating objects of these types, refer to the Adobe Illustrator CS3 scripting
references.
Art styles
Your script can apply a graphic style to artwork using the graphic style object. To apply a graphic
style, you use the graphic styles property of the document object to access the apply to method of the
graphic style object.
Similarly, the brush object allows you to specify the brush to apply to artwork. You access any brush
through the brushes collection object, which is a property of the document object.
Color objects
Your script can apply a color, pattern or gradient to a path item object using the fill color or stroke color
properties.
●
Scripts can define new color swatches using the make command or add method of the swatches
object. Your script can also create a new spot color using the make command or add property of the
spots object.
●
You can define the attributes of an ink object using the ink info object, which is an ink object
property. You access ink objects through the ink list property of the document object.
The following objects allow you to create colors within defined color spaces.
●
The RGB color object, using the range 0.0 to 255.0 for the each of the three individual color values.
●
The CMYK color object, using the percentage values 0.0 through 100.0 for each of the four individual
color values.
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The grayscale color or LAB color objects, using the same range and number of values that you
use in the Illustrator application.
Text objects
When you type content in an Illustrator document, the type automatically becomes a text frame object
and, at the same time, a story object.
Note: To observe this, open a new document in Illustrator and use the horizontal text tool to type some
text, then use the vertical text tool to type some more text, and then create a rectangle and type
some text inside it. Now run the following JavaScript script:
var myDoc = app.activeDocument
alert("There are " + myDoc.textFrames.length + " text frames.")
alert("There are " + myDoc.stories.length + " stories.")
Text frames
A text frame can be one of three kinds:
●
point
●
area
●
path
To create a specific kind of text frame, you use the kind property of the text frames object in
AppleScript. However, the JavaScript and VBScript text frames objects contain specific methods for
creating area text frames and path text frames.
As in the Illustrator application, you can thread area or path text frames.
To thread existing text frames, you use the next frame or previous frame property of the text frame
object. Threaded frames make a single story object.
For information on creating or threading text frames, see the chapter for your scripting language.
Text geometry
While the three kinds of text frame have common characteristics, such as an orientation, each has
type-specific qualities, as reflected in the text frame object’s properties. For example:
●
An area text frame can have rows and columns, which you access through the row count and column
count properties.
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●
Path text has start T value and end T value properties that indicate where on the path the text begins
and ends.
●
Area and path text frames are associated with a text path object, which is specified using the text
frame object’s text path property. The text path defines the text frame’s position and its orientation
(horizontal or vertical) on the artboard (while the text frame object’s orientation property defines the
orientation of text within the text frame)
The text path property is not valid for point text, because point text position and orientation are
defined completely by the properties of the text frame itself.
Note: A text path is not the same as a path art item. Text paths are associated with path art items that
can be accessed and manipulated to modify the appearance of the associated text frame.
Objects that represent text content
Within a text frame or story, the actual text content can be accessed as any of the following objects:
●
characters
●
words
●
paragraphs
●
lines
A line object is all of the characters that fit on a single line in a text frame or story object. All text art
items have at least one line of text, defined as a line object. Text art can have multiple text lines if the text
contains hard line breaks or its characters flow to a new line because they do not fit in the width of the text
art. Text objects are accessed and identified by collections within the text frame and story objects; for
example, textFrame("My Text Frame").paragraphs or story("My Story").paragraphs.
Both text frame and story objects have insertion point and text selection properties. The text frame
object’s properties also include the defining features of the text frame, such as:
●
The frame width, height, and position
●
Whether the frame is hidden or locked
●
Whether the text is editable
Note: A line object cannot be created in a script. Your script can create character, paragraph, and
word objects.
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Text ranges
The various text objects within a text frame or story are also represented collectively by the text range
object. For example, a character is a text range with a length of 1, and a word is a text range that has a
space before it.
You can set the content of a text range object by passing a string using the contents property.
Text styles
Text style elements, such as font, capitalization, or justification, are represented by paragraph
attribute and character attribute objects. These attribute objects are properties of the
paragraph style and character style objects. The paragraph style and character style
objects have apply to and remove methods that allow your script to assign or remove attributes in a
specific paragraph, character, or text range.
You can change the display properties of a text range by applying an appropriate style or providing local
overrides of attributes at the text or paragraph levels.
●
character style objects apply to sets of one or more characters, and control character features
such as font, alignment, leading, language, and capitalization, which are all properties of the
character attribute object.
●
paragraph style objects apply to paragraphs, and control paragraph features such as first line
indent, left indent, or right indent, which are all properties of the paragraph attribute object.
Dynamic objects and symbols
By creating dynamic objects, you can create data-driven graphics. In the Illustrator application, you use the
Variables palette to create or edit variables such as graph data, linked file, text string, and visibility
variables or variables whose type is not specified. In scripting, you use the variable object to represent
this type of variable. The variable object’s kind property indicates the type of dynamic data that a
variable object holds. variable objects are document-level objects; you create them in a document
object.
Note: Do not confuse variable objects with scripting variables. For information on Illustrator variables,
dynamic objects, and data-driven graphics, refer to Illustrator Help.
Datasets, which collect variables and their associated dynamic data into a single object, are represented in
scripting by the dataset object. The dataset object provides methods with which to update and delete
dataset objects in your scripts.
In Illustrator, symbols are art items that are stored in the Symbols palette. Your scripts can create, delete,
and duplicate symbol objects. When you create symbol objects in your script, Illustrator adds them to
the Symbols palette for the target document.
A symbol item is an instance of a symbol object in a document. Each symbol item is linked to its
symbol definition, so that changing the definition of a symbol updates all instances of the symbol.
Your script can create, delete and duplicate symbol items. Symbol items are Illustrator art items and
therefore can be treated in the same way as other art items or page items. You can rotate, resize, select,
lock, hide and perform other operations on symbol items.
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Transformations
The matrix object provides access to the power of geometric transformation matrices. Transformation
matrices in Illustrator store the settings of an operation that scales, rotates or moves (translates) an object
on a page. Some advantages to using matrices are:
●
By storing transformation values in a matrix object, you can use the values over and over on different
objects in your script.
●
By concatenating rotation, translation and/or scaling matrices and applying the resulting matrix, you
can perform a large series of geometric transformations using only a single script statement.
●
You can invert matrix values.
●
You can compare the values of two matrices.
The commands or methods to create, get, invert, compare, or concatenate matrices belong to the
application object.
The command or method used to apply a matrix is the transform command, which belongs to any type of
object on which transformations can be performed.
3
Scripting Illustrator
This chapter provides an overview of how to use scripting objects to program Adobe Illustrator CS3.
Specific examples for the supported scripting languages are provided in the succeeding chapters.
Launching and quitting Illustrator from a script
Your scripts can control the activation and termination of Illustrator.
Launching and activating Illustrator
JS
Typically, you run JavaScript scripts from the application’s Scripts menu (File>Scripts) or startup folder, so
there is no need to launch Illustrator from your script.
Information on launching Illustrator in a JavaScript is beyond the scope of this guide. For information,
search for "interapplication messaging" or "JavaScript messaging framework" in the JavaScript Tools Guide.
AS
In AppleScript, you use a tell statement to target Illustrator. The activate command activates
Illustrator if it is not already active.
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
activate
end tell
VBS
In VBScript, there are several ways to create an instance of Illustrator.
●
CreateObject launches Illustrator as an invisible application if it is not already running. Note that if
Illustrator is launched as an invisible application you have to manually activate the application to make
it visible.
Set appRef = CreateObject("Illustrator.Application")
Note: If you have multiple versions of Illustrator installed on the same machine and use the
CreateObject method to obtain an application reference, using
"Illustrator.Application" creates a reference to the latest Illustrator version. To specifically
target an earlier version, use the numeric version identifier at the end of the string:
●
For Illustrator 10, use "Illustrator.Application.1"
●
For Illustrator CS, use "Illustrator.Application.2"
●
For Illustrator CS2, use "Illustrator.Application.3"
●
For Illustrator CS3, use "Illustrator.Application.4"
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Use the New operator if you have added a reference to the Illustrator type library to the project. For
example, the following line creates a new reference to the Application object:
Set appRef = New Illustrator.Application
Quitting Illustrator
JS
In JavaScript use the app.quit() method to close the application.
app.quit()
AS
In AppleScript, you use the quit command.
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
quit
end tell
VBS
In VBScript, use the Application object’s Quit method to close the application.
Set appRef = CreateObject("Illustrator.Application")
appRef.Quit
Working with objects
This section provides general information about working with objects in Illustrator.
Getting the frontmost document or layer
To refer to the selected document, you use the application object’s current document property in
AppleScript or the active document property in JavaScript or VBScript. Similarly, you can use the
document object’s current layer or active layer property to refer to the selected layer.
Note: There are other types of "active" or "current" object properties, such as active dataset or active view.
Refer to the scripting reference for your language for details.
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Creating new objects
There are a number of objects (besides the application object itself) that cannot be obtained from
containers or parent objects. Your script must create these objects directly.
The following objects must be created explicitly:
CMYK color
document preset
EPS save options
export options flash
export options GIF
export options JPEG
export options Photoshop
export options PNG8
export options PNG24
export options PS5
export options SVG
file a
folder
gradient color
gray color
Illustrator save options
ink
ink info
matrix
no color
open options
paper info
Pattern color
PDF open options
PDF open options
PDF save options
PPD file
PPD file info
print color management options
print color separation options
print coordinate options
printer
printer info
print flattener options
print font options
print job options
print options
print page marks options
print paper options
print postscript options
screen
screen spot function
RGB color
spot color
a. File and Folder objects are Adobe ExtendScript devices designed to provide platform-independent access to the
underlying file system. For information on using these objects, see the JavaScript Tools Guide.
See the chapter for your scripting language for information on creating an object explicitly.
Collection objects
Most collection objects must be obtained from a container. For example, a path items collection object
can be contained by a document object or a layer object. To obtain an object in a path items
collection, you refer to either containing object.
For example:
AS
To refer to a path items object in a document:
path item 1 in document 1
To refer to a path items object in a layer:
path item 1 in layer 1 in document 1
JS
To refer to a path items object in a document:
documents[0].pathItems[1]
To refer to a path items object in a layer:
documents[0].layers[0].pathItems[0]
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VBS
To refer to a path items object in a document:
Documents(1).PathItems(1)
To refer to a path items object in a layer:
Documents(1).Layers(1).PathItems(1)
For more examples of collection item containers, refer either to document object Elements table in the
Adobe Illustrator CS3 AppleScript Reference, or the Properties table in the Adobe Illustrator CS3 JavaScript
Reference or Adobe Illustrator CS3 VBScript Reference. Also, view a diagram of the Illustrator CS3 object
model in “The Illustrator Scripting Object Model” on page 15.
Selected objects
There are times when you want to write scripts that act upon the currently selected object or objects. For
example, you might want to apply formatting to selected text or change a selected path’s shape.
Selecting text
To select text, you use the select command or method of the text range object.
Selecting art items
You can select an art object (such as graph items, mesh items, raster items, symbol items, and so on) by
setting its selected property to true. (In AppleScript, selected is a property of the page items object.)
Referring to selected art items
To refer to all currently selected objects in a document, you use the document object’s selection property.
To work with the objects in the selection array, you must determine their type in order to know which
properties and methods or commands you can use with them. Each artwork object type has a read-only
typename property in JavaScript or VBScript that you can use to determine the object’s type. In
AppleScript, use the class property.
Notes on renaming objects stored in the application’s palettes
Several objects can be renamed; that is, their name property is writeable. The following types of objects
can be sorted alphabetically in the corresponding Illustrator palette, so if a script modifies the name of
such an object, references to that object by index can become invalid. These object types include the
following:
Brush
Gradient
Graphic Style
Pattern
Swatch
Symbol
Variable
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Measurement units
Illustrator uses points as the unit of measurement for almost all distances, where one inch is equal to 72
points. The one exception is the values for properties such as kerning, tracking, and the aki properties (used
for Japanese text composition), which use em units. (See “Em space units” on page 27.)
Illustrator uses points when communicating with your scripts regardless of the current ruler units. If
your script depends on adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing specific measurement values for units
other than points, it must perform any unit conversions needed to represent your measurements as
points.
For example, to use inches for coordinates or measurement units, you must multiply all inch values by 72
when entering the values in your script.
The following table shows the conversion formulae for various units of measurement:
Unit
Conversion formula
centimeters
28.346 points = 1 centimeter
inches
72 points = 1 inch
millimeters
2.834645 points = 1 millimeter
picas
12 points = 1 pica
Qs
0.709 point = 1 Q (1 Q equals 0.23 millimeter)
Note: JavaScript provides the UnitValue object type, which offers unit conversion utilities. For details,
see the JavaScript Tools Guide.
Em space units
Values that use em units instead of points are measured in thousandths of an em unit.
Em units are proportional to the current font size. For example, in a 6-point font, 1 em equals 6 points; in a
10-point font, 1 em equals 10 points. Similarly, a kerning value of 20 em units for a 10-point font would be
equivalent to:
(20 units x
10 points) / 1000 units/em
=
0.2 points
Page item positioning and dimensions
Illustrator uses simple two-dimensional geometry in the form of points to record the position of page
item objects in a document. Every page item object in a document has a position property that defines
a fixed point as a pair of page coordinates in the format [x, y]. The fixed point is the top left corner of the
object’s bounding box.
Note: See “The artwork tree” on page 17 for information on the types of objects that comprise the page
items collection.
A point is designated by a pair of coordinates:
●
The horizontal position x
●
The vertical position y
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Note: You can see these coordinates in the Info palette when you select or create an object in Illustrator.
The default ruler origin point (0, 0) for coordinate numbering in Illustrator is the lower left corner of the
document. (ruler origin is a property of the document object.)
●
On the horizontal axis, coordinates to the right of the ruler’s zero point are positive numbers.
●
On the vertical axis, coordinates above the zero point are positive.
The default page origin property of a document object defines the lower left corner of the printable region
of the document as a fixed point.
Additionally, each page item object has a width and height property. The maximum value allowed for
the width or height of a page item is 16348 points.
Art item bounds
Every page item object also has three properties that use fixed rectangles to describe the object’s overall
extent.
●
The geometric bounds of a page item are the rectangular dimensions of the object’s bounding box
excluding stroke width.
●
The visible bounds of a page item are the dimensions of the object including any stroke widths.
●
The control bounds define the rectangular dimensions of the object including in- and out- control
points.
The following figure illustrates these properties, using the JavaScript naming convention.
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Paths and shapes
Paths are represented in the Illustrator DOM by the path item object. Path items include all artwork that
contains paths, such as rectangles, ellipses, and polygons, as well as freeform paths.
For information on creating shapes, please see the chapter for your scripting language.
A freeform path consists of a series of path points. A path point can be specified in two ways:
●
As an array of x and y page coordinates.
●
As a path point object, which defines an anchor point and two direction points or handles that
define the path segment’s curve.
For specific details and samples, see the chapter for your scripting language.
User interaction levels
An application typically presents a dialog when it user feedback is required. This is called user interaction,
and is useful and expected when you are directly interacting with the application. However, when a script
is interacting with an application, a dialog brings the execution of the script to a halt until the dialog is
dismissed. This can be a serious problem in an automation environment where there is no one present to
deal with dialogs.
The application object contains a user interaction level property that allows you to control the level of
interaction allowed during script execution. You can suppress interaction in an automation environment,
or allow some interaction where scripts are being used in a more interactive fashion.
JS
There are two possible values for the app.userInteractionLevel property in JavaScript:
Property Value
Result
DISPLAYALERTS
Interaction is allowed
DONTDISPLAYALERTS
No interaction is allowed
VBS
There are two possible values for the UserInteractionLevel property of the Application object in
VBScript:
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Result
aiDisplayAlerts
Interaction is allowed
aiDontDisplayAlerts
No interaction is allowed
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AS
Using AppleScript, it is possible to send commands from one machine to another, so additional types of
interaction are possible. There are four possible values for the user interaction level property in
AppleScript:
Property Value
Result
never interact
No interaction is allowed.
interact with self
Interact only with scripts executed from the Scripts menu (File > Scripts).
interact with local
Interact with scripts executed on the local machine (including self).
interact with all
Interact with all scripts.
The four values allow you to control interaction based on the source of the script commands. For example,
if the application is acting as a server for remote users, it would be difficult for a remote user to dismiss a
dialog, but it would be no problem for someone sitting in front of the machine. In this case, an interaction
level of interact with local would prevent dialogs from halting remote scripts but would allow dialogs to be
presented for local scripts.
Printing Illustrator documents
Using the print options scripting feature, you can capture and automate parts of your print workflow.
Scripting exposes the full capabilities of Illustrator printing, some of which may not be accessible through
the application’s user interface.
Note: Illustrator supports at most one print session at any give time because of limitations in the current
printing architecture.
The document object’s print command or method takes a single optional parameter, which allows you to
specify a print options object.
The print options object allows you to define print settings such as PPD, PostScript options, paper
options, color management options, and so on. The print options object also has a print preset
property, which allows you to specify a preset to define your print job.
When defining the properties of a print options object, you can find out which printers, PPDs, print
presets, and other items are available by using the application object’s read-only "list" properties, such
as the printer list property, the PPD file list property, the print presets list property, and so on.
4
Scripting with JavaScript
This chapter uses script examples and explanations to help you to become familiar with Illustrator
scripting using JavaScript.
For more information
Several extended sample scripts are available in the /Scripting/Sample Scripts folder in your
Illustrator CS3 installation directory.
For information about individual classes, objects, properties, methods and parameters, as well as script
samples that demonstrate how to use many of them, refer to the Adobe Illustrator CS3 JavaScript Reference,
which is found in the /Scripting/Documentation folder in your Illustrator CS3 installation directory.
You can also use the Illustrator dictionary, which you access from the Object Model Viewer in the
ExtendScript Toolkit. For information on using the ExtendScript Toolkit and the Object Model Viewer, see
“Viewing the JavaScript object model” on page 8 or the JavaScript Tools Guide.
If you are a beginner and find that you don’t understand the concepts and terms used in this chapter, read
the Adobe Introduction to Scripting.
Your first Illustrator script
The traditional first project in any programming language is to display the message "Hello World!" In this
example, you create a new Illustrator document, then add a text frame containing this message.
1. Using any text editor (including Adobe InDesign® software or the ExtendScript Tookit), enter the
following text:
Note: For information on locating the ExtendScript Toolkit, see “Viewing the JavaScript object model”
on page 8.
//Hello World!
var myDocument = app.documents.add();
//Create a new text frame and assign it to the variable "myTextFrame"
var myTextFrame = myDocument.textFrames.add();
// Set the contents and position of the text frame
myTextFrame.position = [200,200];
myTextFrame.contents = "Hello World!"
2. To test the script, do either of the following:
●
If you are using the ExtendScript Toolkit, select Illustrator CS3 from the dropdown list in the upper
left corner and select Yes to start Illustrator, and then choose Debug> Run in the ExtendScript
Toolkit to run the script.
●
If you are using a different text editor, save the file as text only in a folder of your choice, using the
file extension .jsx, and then start Illustrator. In Illustrator, choose File>Scripts>Other Scripts, and
then navigate to and run your script file.
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Tip: To add the script to the Illustrator Scripts menu (File > Scripts), save the script in the Scripts folder. The
script will appear on the menu the next time you start Illustrator. For information, see “Installing
scripts in the Scripts menu” on page 10.
Adding features to "Hello World"
Next, let’s create a new script that makes changes to the Illustrator document you created with your first
script.
Our second script will demonstrate how to:
●
Get the active document.
●
Get the width of the active document.
●
Resize the text frame to match the document’s width.
Note: If you’ve already closed the Illustrator document, run your first script again to create a new
document before you proceed with this exercise.
1. Choose File > New in your text editor to create a new script.
2. Enter the following code:
var docRef = app.activeDocument;
var docWidth = docRef.width
var frameRef = docRef.textFrames[0]
frameRef.width = docWidth
3. Run the script.
Working with methods in JavaScript
When you work with methods that have multiple parameters, you may omit optional parameters at the
end of the parameter list, but you may not omit parameters in the middle of the list. If you do not wish to
specify a particular parameter in the middle of the list, you must insert the value undefined to use the
parameter’s default value. For example, the following definition describes the rotate() method for an
art object.
Note: In the definition, taken from the Adobe Illustrator CS3 JavaScript Reference, optional parameters are
enclosed in square brackets ([]).
rotate
(angle
[,changePositions]
[,changeFillPatterns]
[,changeFillGradients]
[,changeStrokePattern]
[,rotateAbout])
To rotate the object 30 degrees and change the fillGradients, you would use the following script
statement:
myObject.rotate(30, undefined, undefined, true);
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Note that you only need to specify undefined for the changePositions and changeFillPatterns
parameters. You do not have to specify anything for optional parameters that follow the
changeFillGradients parameter.
Accessing and referencing objects
When you write a script, you must first decide which file, or document, the script should act on. Through
the application object, the script can create a new document, open an existing document, or act on a
document that is already open.
The script can create new objects in the document, operate on objects that the user has selected, or
operate on objects in one of the object collections. The following sections illustrate various techniques for
accessing, referencing, and manipulating Illustrator objects.
Referencing the application object
To obtain a reference to a specific object, you need to navigate the containment hierarchy. However,
because all JavaScript scripts are executed from within the Illustrator application, a specific reference to
the application object is not required. For example, to assign the active document in Illustrator to the
variable frontMostDocument, you could reference the activeDocument property of the
application object as follows:
var frontMostDocument = activeDocument;
It is permissible to use the application object in a reference. To reference the application object,
you use the global variable app. The following two statements appear identical to the JavaScript engine:
var frontMostDocument = activeDocument;
var frontMostDocument = app.activeDocument;
Accessing objects in collections
All open documents, as well as the objects in a document, are collected into collection objects for the
object type. A collection object contains an array of the objects that you can access by index or by name.
The collection object takes the plural form of the object name. For example, the collection object for the
document object is the documents object.
The following script sample gets all graphic style objects in the graphic styles collection; that is, it gets
all graphic styles available to the active document:
var myStyles = app.activeDocument.graphicstyles;
All numeric collection references in JavaScript are zero-based; that is, the first object in the collection has
the index [0].
Note: As a rule, JavaScript index numbers do not shift when you add an object to a collection. However,
there is one exception: documents[0] is always the active or frontmost document.
To access the first style in graphic styles collection, you can use the variable declared in the previous script
sample, or you can use the containment hierarchy to refer to the collection:
●
Using the myStyles variable:
var firstStyle = myStyles[0];
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Using the containment hierarchy:
var firstStyle = app.activeDocument.graphicStyles[0];
The following statements assign the name "Modern" to the first graphic style in the collection. These
statements are identical; you can use them interchangeably.
myStyles[0].name = 'Modern'
firstStyle.name = 'Modern'
app.activeDocument.graphicStyles[0].name = 'Modern'
To get the total number of objects in a collection, use the length property:
alert ( myStyles.length ) ;
The index of the last graphic style in the collection would be myStyles.length-1 (-1 because the
collection starts the index count at 0 and the length property counts from 1):
var lastStyle = myStyles[ myStyles.length - 1 ];
Notice that an expression representing the index value is enclosed in square brackets ([]) as well as
quotes.
If you know the name of an object, you can access the object in the collections using the name surrounded
by square brackets. For example:
var getStyle = myStyles[’Ice Type’];
Notice that the object name is enclosed in square brackets ([]).
Each element in the collection is an object of the desired type, and you can access its properties through
the collection. To get an object’s name, for example, use the name property:
var styleName = app.activeDocument.graphicStyles[0].name;
To apply lastStyle to the first pageItem in the document, use its applyTo() method:
lastStyle.applyTo( app.activeDocument.pageItems[0] );
Creating new objects
You can use a script to create new objects. To create objects that are available from collection objects, or
containers, you use the container object’s add() method.
var myDoc = app.documents.add()
var myLayer = myDoc.layers.add()
Some object types are not available from containers. You create an object of this type by defining a
variable, and then using the new operator with an object constructor to assign an object as the value. For
example, to create a new CMYKColor object using the variable name myColor:
var myColor = new CMYKColor()
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Working with selections
When the user makes a selection in a document, the selected objects are stored in the document’s
selection property. To access all selected objects in the active document:
var selectedObjects = app.activeDocument.selection;
The selection property value can be an array of any type of art objects, depending on what types of
objects are selected. To get or manipulate the properties of the selected art items, you must retrieve the
individual items in the array. To find out an object’s type, use the typename property.
The following sample gets the first object in the array, and then displays the object’s type:
var topObject = app.activeDocument.selectedObjects[0];
alert(topObject.typename)
Note: The first object in a selection array is the selected object that was last added to the page, and not
the last object selected.
Selecting artwork objects
To select an art object, use the object’s selected property.
Working with text frames
To create a text frame of a specific type in JavaScript, you use the textFrames method whose name
corresponds to the text frame type. For example:
var rectRef = docRef.pathItems.rectangle(700, 50, 100, 100);
//use the areaText method to create the text frame
var areaTextRef = docRef.textFrames.areaText(rectRef);
Threaded frames
As in the Illustrator application, you can thread area or path text frames.
To thread existing text frames, you use the nextFrame or previousFrame property of the text frame
object.
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Note: When copying the following script to the ExtendScript ToolKit, place the value of the contents
property a single line.
var
var
var
var
var
myDoc = documents.add();
myPathItem1 = myDoc.pathItems.rectangle(244, 64, 82, 76);
myTextFrame1 = myDoc.textFrames.areaText(myPathItem1);
myPathItem2 = myDoc.pathItems.rectangle(144, 144, 42, 116);
myTextFrame2 = myDoc.textFrames.areaText(myPathItem2);
// use the nextFrame property to thread the text frames
myTextFrame1.nextFrame = myTextFrame2;
var sText = "This is two text frames linked together as one story, with text
flowing from the first to the last. This is two text frames linked
together as one story, with text flowing from the first to the last. This
is two text frames linked together as one story. ";
myTextFrame1.contents = sText;
redraw();
Threaded frames make a single story object
Threaded frames make a single story object.
To observe this, run the following JavaScript after running the script in “Threaded frames” on page 35.
var myDoc = app.activeDocument
alert("There are " + myDoc.textFrames.length + " text frames.")
alert("There are " + myDoc.stories.length + " stories.")
Creating paths and shapes
This section explains how to create items that contain paths.
Paths
To create a freeform path, you specify a series of path points, either as series of x-y coordinates or as
pathPoint objects.
●
Using x-y coordinates limits the path to straight segments only.
●
To created a curved path, you must create pathPoint objects.
Your path can consist of a combination of page coordinates and pathPoint objects.
Specifying a series of x-y coordinates
To specify a path using page coordinate pairs, you use the setEntirePath() method of the
pathItems object. The following script specifies three pair of x-y coordinates to create a path that has
three points.
var myDoc = app.activeDocument;
var myLine = myDoc.pathItems.add();
//set stroked to true so we can see the path
myLine.stroked = true;
myLine.setEntirePath([[220, 475], [375, 300], [200, 300]]);
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Using pathPoint objects
When you create a pathPoint object, you define three values for the point:
●
A fixed anchor point, which is the point on the path
●
A pair of direction points: the left direction point and the right direction point, which allow you to
control the path segment’s curve
You define each property as an array of page coordinates in the format [x, y].
●
If all three properties of a pathPoint object have the same coordinates, and the properties of the
next pathPoint in the line are equal to each other, you create a straight line segment.
●
If two or more properties in a pathPoint object hold different values, the segment connected to
the point is curved.
To create a path, or to add points to an existing path, using pathPoint objects, you create a pathItem
object and then add the path points as child objects in the pathItem.
var myDoc = app.activeDocument;
var myLine = myDoc.pathItems.add();
//set stroked to true so we can see the path
myLine.stroked = true;
var newPoint = myLine.pathPoints.add();
newPoint.anchor = [220, 475];
//giving the direction points the same value as the
//anchor point creates a straight line segment
newPoint.leftDirection = newPoint.anchor;
newPoint.rightDirection = newPoint.anchor;
newPoint.pointType = PointType.CORNER;
var newPoint1 = myLine.pathPoints.add();
newPoint1.anchor = [375, 300];
newPoint1.leftDirection = newPoint1.anchor;
newPoint1.rightDirection = newPoint1.anchor;
newPoint1.pointType = PointType.CORNER;
var newPoint2 = myLine.pathPoints.add();
newPoint2.anchor = [220, 300];
//giving the direction points different values
//than the anchor point creates a curve
newPoint2.leftDirection =[180, 260];
newPoint2.rightDirection = [240, 320];
newPoint2.pointType = PointType.CORNER;
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Combining path point types
The following script sample creates a path with three points:
var myDoc = app.activeDocument;
var myLine = myDoc.pathItems.add();
myLine.stroked = true;
myLine.setEntirePath( [[220, 475], [375, 300]]);
// Append another point to the line
var newPoint = myDoc.myLine.pathPoints.add();
newPoint.anchor = [220, 300];
newPoint.leftDirection = newPoint.anchor;
newPoint.rightDirection = newPoint.anchor;
newPoint.pointType = PointType.CORNER;
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Shapes
To create a shape, you use the pathItems method that corresponds to the shape’s name (such as ellipse,
rectangle, or polygon), and use the parameters to specify shape’s position, size, and other information such
as the number of sides in a polygon.
Tip: Remember:
●
All measurements and page coordinates are processed as points by the scripting engine. For more
information, see “Measurement units” on page 27.
●
x and y coordinates are measured from the bottom left corner of the document, as indicated in the
Info palette in the Illustrator application. For information, see “Page item positioning and
dimensions” on page 27.
Creating a rectangle
The following sample uses the textFrames object’s rectangle() method to create a rectangle with
the following properties:
●
The top of the rectangle is 2 inches (144 points) from the bottom edge of the page.
●
The left edge is 2 inches (144 points) from the left edge of the page.
●
The rectangle is 1 inch wide and 3 inches long.
var myDocument = app.documents.add()
var artLayer = myDocument.layers.add()
var rect = artLayer.pathItems.rectangle( 144, 144, 72, 216 );
Creating a polygon
The following sample uses the polygon() method to create a polygon with the following properties:
●
The center point of the object is inset is 2 inches (144 points) on the horizontal axis and 4 inches (288
points) on the vertical axis.
●
The length of the radius from the center point to each corner is 1 inch.
●
The polygon has 7 sides.
var myDocument = app.documents.add()
var artLayer = myDocument.layers.add()
var poly = artLayer.pathItems.polygon( 144, 288, 72.0, 7 );
5
Scripting with AppleScript
This chapter uses script examples and explanations to help you to become familiar with Illustrator
scripting using AppleScript.
For more information
Several extended sample scripts are available in the :Scripting:Sample Scripts folder in your
Illustrator CS3 installation directory.
For information about individual classes, objects, properties, commands and parameters, as well as script
samples that demonstrate how to use many of them, refer to the Adobe Illustrator CS3 AppleScript
Reference, which is found in the :Scripting:Documentation folder in your Illustrator CS3 installation
directory. You can also use view Illustrator CS3 dictionary from the Script Editor application. See “Viewing
the AppleScript object model” on page 9.
If you are a beginner and find that you don’t understand the concepts and terms used in this chapter, read
the Adobe Introduction to Scripting.
Your first Illustrator script
The traditional first project in any programming language is to display the message "Hello World!" In this
example, you create a new Illustrator document, then add a text frame containing this message.
1. Open Script Editor.
Note: In a default Mac OS installation, Script Editor is in Applications:AppleScript:Script
Editor. If you cannot find the Script Editor application, you must reinstall it from your Mac OS
system CD.
2. Enter the following script.
--Send the following commands to Illustrator
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
--Create a new document
set docRef to make new document
--Create a new text frame with the string "Hello World"
set textRef to make new text frame in docRef ¬
with properties {contents: "Hello World!", position:{200, 200}}
end tell
3. In the Script Editor toolbar, click Run.
Tip: To add the script to the Illustrator Scripts menu (File > Scripts), save the script in the Scripts folder. The
script will appear on the menu the next time you start Illustrator. For information, see “Installing
scripts in the Scripts menu” on page 10.
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Adding features to "Hello World"
Next, let’s create a new script that makes changes to the Illustrator document you created with your first
script.
Our second script will demonstrate how to:
●
Get the active document.
●
Get the width of the active document.
●
Resize the text frame to match the document’s width.
Note: If you’ve already closed the Illustrator document, run your first script again to create a new
document.
1. Choose File > New in Script Editor to create a new script.
2. Enter the following code:
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
-- current document is always the active document
set docRef to the current document
set docWidth to the width of docRef
-- resize the text frame to match the page width
set width of text frame 1 of docRef to docWidth
-- alternatively, one can reference the item directly, as follows:
set width of text frame 1 of current document to docWidth
end tell
3. Run the script.
Object references
In AppleScript, Illustrator returns object references by index position or name. For example, a reference to
the first path in layer 2 would be:
path item 1 of layer 2 of document 1
An object’s index position may change when other objects are created or deleted. For example, when a
new path item is created on layer 2, the new path item will become path item 1 of layer 2 of
document 1. This new object displaces our original path item, forcing the original to index position 2.
Therefore, any references made to path item 1 of layer 2 of document 1 will refer to the new
object. This method of applying index numbers assures that lowest index number refers to the object that
has been worked on most recently. Consider the following sample script.
-- Make 2 new objects and try to select both
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set newDocument to make new document
set rectPath to make new rectangle in newDocument
set starPath to make new star in newDocument
set selection of newDocument to {rectPath, starPath}
end tell
This script does not select both the rectangle and the star, as intended; instead, it selects only the star. Try
running the script with the Event Log window open to observe the references returned from Illustrator for
each of the consecutive make commands (Choose Event Log at the bottom of the Script Editor window).
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Notice that both commands return the same object reference: path item 1 of layer 1 of
document 1. Therefore, the last line resolves to:
set selection of document 1 to {path item 1 of layer 1 of document 1, ¬
path item 1 of layer 1 of document 1}
A better approach is to reference the objects by name:
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set newDocument to make new document
make new rectangle in newDocument with properties {name:"rectangle"}
make new star in newDocument with properties {name:"star"}
set selection of newDocument to ¬
{path item "rectangle" of newDocument, ¬
path item "star" of newDocument}
end tell
This example illustrates the need to uniquely identify objects in AppleScript scripts. It is recommended
that you assign names or variables to objects you need to access at a later time, as there is no guarantee
you are accessing the objects you expect when accessing them by index.
Obtaining objects from documents and layers
This script references an object as part of a document:
-- Get reference for first page item of document 1
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set pageItemRef to page item 1 of document 1
end tell
In the following script, the variable pageItemRef does not necessarily refer to the same object as in the
previous script, because this script includes a reference to a layer:
-- Get reference for first page item of layer 1 of document 1
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set pageItemRef to page item 1 of layer 1 of document 1
end tell
Creating new objects
To create a new object in AppleScript, you use the make command.
Working with selections
When the user makes a selection in a document, the selected objects are stored in the document’s
selection property. To access all selected objects in the active document:
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set myDoc to current document
set selectedObjects to selection of myDoc
end tell
Depending on what is selected, the selection property value can be an array of any type of art objects.
To get or manipulate the properties of the selected art items, you must retrieve the individual items in the
array. To find out an object’s type, use the class property.
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The following sample gets the first object in the array, and then displays the object’s type:
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set myDoc to current document
set selectedObjects to selection of myDoc
set topObject to item 1 of selectedObjects
display dialog (class of topObject)
end tell
Note: The first object in a selection array is the selected object that was last added to the page, and not
the last object selected.
Selecting artwork objects
To select an art object, use the object’s selected property.
Working with text frames
To create a text frame of a specific type in AppleScript, you use the kind property of the text frame
object.
set myRect make new rectangle in current document with properties ¬
{position:{100, 700}, height:100, width:100}
set myAreaText make new text frame in current document with properties ¬
{kind:area text,contents:"Text Frame 1"}
Threaded frames
As in the Illustrator application, you can thread area or path text frames.
To thread existing text frames, you use the next frame or previous frame property of the text
frame object.
Note: When copying the following script to your script editor, place the value of the contents property on
a single line. The long line character (¬) is not valid within a string value.
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
make new document
make new rectangle in current document with properties ¬
{position:{100, 500}, height:100, width:100}
make new text frame in current document with properties ¬
{kind:area text, text path:the result, name:"tf1", ¬
contents:"This is two text frames linked together as one story, with
text flowing from the first to the last. First frame content. "}
make new rectangle in current document with properties ¬
{position:{300, 700}, height:100, width:100}
make new text frame in current document with properties ¬
{kind:area text, text path:the result, name:"tf2", ¬
contents:"Second frame content." }
--use the next frame property to thread the frames
set next frame of text frame "tf1" of current document to ¬
text frame "tf2" of current document
redraw
end tell
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Threaded frames make a single story object
Threaded frames make a single story object.
To observe this, run the following JavaScript after running the script in “Threaded frames” on page 43.
var myDoc = app.activeDocument
alert("There are " + myDoc.textFrames.length + " text frames.")
alert("There are " + myDoc.stories.length + " stories.")
Creating paths and shapes
This section explains how to create items that contain paths.
Paths
To create line or a freeform path, you specify a series of path points, either as series of x-y coordinates or as
path point objects.
●
Using x-y coordinates limits the path to straight segments only.
●
To created a curved path, you must create path point objects.
A path can consist of a combination of page coordinates and path point objects.
Specifying a series of x-y coordinates
To specify a path using page coordinate pairs, you use the entire path property of the path items
object. The following script specifies three pair of x-y coordinates to create a path that has three points.
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set docRef to make new document
-- set stroked to true so we can see the path
set lineRef to make new path item in docRef with properties {stroked:true}
set entire path of lineRef to {{220, 475},{200, 300},{375, 300}}
end tell
Using path point objects
To create a path point object, you must define three values for the point:
●
A fixed anchor point, which is the point on the path
●
A pair of direction points: the left direction point and the right direction point, which allow you to
control the path segment’s curve
You define each property as an array of page coordinates in the format [x, y].
●
If all three properties of a path point object have the same coordinates, and the properties of the
next path point in the line are equal to each other, you create a straight line segment.
●
If two or more properties in a path point object hold different values, the segment connected to
the point is curved.
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To create a path, or to add points to an existing path, using path point objects, you create a path item
object and then add the path points as child objects in the path item.
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set docRef to make new document
-- set stroked to true so we can see the path
set lineRef to make new path item in docRef with properties {stroked:true}
--giving the direction points the same value as the
--anchor point creates a straight line segment
set newPoint to make new path point of lineRef with properties ¬
{anchor:{220, 475},left direction:{220, 475},right direction:{220, 475}¬
point type:corner}
set newPoint2 to make new path point of lineRef with properties ¬
{anchor:{375, 300},left direction:{375, 300},right direction:{375, 300}¬
point type:corner}
--giving the direction points the different values
--creates a curve
set newPoint3 to make new path point of lineRef with properties ¬
{anchor:{220, 300},left direction:{180, 260},right direction:{240, 320}¬
point type:corner}
end tell
Combining path point types
The following script sample creates a path with three points by combining the entire path property with a
path point object:
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set docRef to make new document
-- set stroked to true so we can see the path
set lineRef to make new path item in docRef with properties {stroked:true}
set entire path of lineRef to {{220, 475},{375, 300}}
set newPoint to make new path point of lineRef with properties ¬
{anchor:{220, 300},left direction:{180, 260},right direction:{240, 320}¬
point type:corner}
end tell
Shapes
To create a shape, you use the object that corresponds to the shape’s name (such as ellipse, rectangle, or
polygon), and use the object’s properties to specify shape’s position, size, and other information such as
the number of sides in a polygon.
Tip: Remember:
●
All measurements and page coordinates are processed as points by the scripting engine. For more
information, see “Measurement units” on page 27.
●
x and y coordinates are measured from the bottom left corner of the document, as indicated in the
Info palette in the Illustrator application. For information, see “Page item positioning and
dimensions” on page 27.
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write-once access
Properties for path item shapes use the access status “write-once”, which indicates that the property is
writeable only at the time the object is created. For existing path item objects, the properties are read-only
properties whose values cannot be changed.
Creating a rectangle
The following sample creates a rectangle with the following properties:
●
The top right corner of the of the rectangle is inset 4 inches (288 points) from the bottom of the page
and 5 inches (360 points) from the left edge of the page.
●
The lower left corner of the rectangle is inset 1 inch (72 points) from the left edge of the page and 2
inches (144 points) from the bottom of the page.
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set docRef to make new document
set rectRef to make new rectangle in docRef with properties ¬
{bounds:{288, 360, 72, 144}}
end tell
Creating a polygon
The following sample creates a polygon with the following properties:
●
The center point of the object is inset is 2 inches (144 points) on the horizontal axis and 4 inches (288
points) on the vertical axis.
●
The length of the radius from the center point to each corner is 1 inch.
●
The polygon has 7 sides.
tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set docRef to make new document
set pathRef to make new polygon in docRef with properties ¬
{center point:{144, 288},sides:7,radius:72.0
end tell
6
Scripting with VBScript
This chapter uses script examples and explanations to help you to become familiar with Illustrator
scripting using VBScript.
For more information
Several extended sample scripts are available in the /Scripting/Sample Scripts folder in your
Illustrator CS3 installation directory.
For information about individual classes, objects, properties, methods and parameters, as well as script
samples that demonstrate how to use many of them, refer to the Adobe Illustrator CS3 VBScript Reference,
which is found in the /Scripting/Documentation folder in your Illustrator CS3 installation directory.
You can also use view Illustrator CS3 type library from most VBScript editors or any Microsoft Office
application. For information, see “Viewing the VBScript object model” on page 9.
If you are a beginner and find that you don’t understand the concepts and terms used in this chapter, read
the Adobe Introduction to Scripting.
Your first Illustrator script
The traditional first project in any programming language is to display the message "Hello World!"
1. Start any text editor (Notepad, for example).
2. Type the following code.
Rem Hello World
Set appRef = CreateObject("Illustrator.Application")
Rem Create a new document and assign it to a variable
Set documentRef = appRef.Documents.Add
Rem Create a new text frame item and assign it to a variable
Set sampleText = documentRef.TextFrames.Add
Rem Set the contents and position of the TextFrame
sampleText.Position = Array(200, 200)
sampleText.Contents = "Hello World!"
3. Save the file as text only in a folder of your choice. Give the file the file extension .vbs.
4. To test the script, do either of the following:
●
Double-click the file.
●
Start Illustrator and choose File > Scripts > Other Scripts, and then navigate to and run your script
file.
Tip: To add the script to the Illustrator Scripts menu (File > Scripts), save the script in the Scripts folder. The
script will appear on the menu the next time you start Illustrator. For information, see “Installing
scripts in the Scripts menu” on page 10. Please note in general that, when you launch a VBScript script
from the Scripts menu, any msgBox dialogs will not display correctly.
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Adding features to "Hello World"
Next, let’s create a new script that makes changes to the Illustrator document you created with your first
script. The second script demonstrates how to:
●
Get the active document.
●
Get the width of the active document.
●
Resize the text frame item to match the document’s width.
Note: If you closed the Illustrator document without saving it, run your first script again to create a new
document.
1. Copy the following script into your text editor, and save the file.
Set appRef = CreateObject("Illustrator.Application")
'Get the active document
Set documentRef = appRef.ActiveDocument
Set sampleText = documentRef.TextFrames(1)
' Resize the TextFrame item to match the document width
sampleText.Width = documentRef.Width
sampleText.Left = 0
2. Run the script.
Accessing and referencing objects
When you write a script, you must first decide which file, or Document, the script should act on. Through
the Application object, the script can create a new document, open an existing document, or act on a
document that is already open.
The script can create new objects in the document, operate on objects that the user has selected, or
operate on objects in one of the object collections. The following sections illustrate various techniques for
accessing, referencing, and manipulating Illustrator objects.
Obtaining objects from collections
In general, to obtain a reference to a specific object, you can navigate the containment hierarchy. For
example, to use the variable myPath to store a reference to the first PathItem in the second layer of the
active document:
Set myPath = appRef.ActiveDocument.Layers(2).PathItems(1)
The following scripts demonstrate how to reference an object as part of a document.
Set documentRef = appRef.ActiveDocument
Set pageItemRef = documentRef.PageItems(1)
In the script below, the variable pageItemRef will not necessarily refer to the same object as the above
script since this script includes a reference to a layer:
Set documentRef = appRef.ActiveDocument
Set pageItemRef = documentRef.Layers(1).PageItems(1)
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Note: VBScript indexes start at 1 for object collections. However, VBScript allows you to specify whether
array indexes start at 1 or 0. For information on specifying the index start number for arrays, refer to
any VBScript textbook or tutorial.
Creating new objects
You can use a script to create new objects. To create objects that are available from collection objects, you
use the collection object’s Add method.
Set myDoc = appRef.Documents.Add()
Set myLayer = myDoc.Layers.Add()
Some collection objects do not have an Add method. You create an object of this type by defining a
variable and using the CreateObject method. For example, to create a new CMYKColor object using
the variable name newColor:
Set newColor = CreateObject ("Illustrator.CMYKColor")
Working with selections
When the user makes a selection in a document, the selected objects are stored in the document’s
selection property. To access all selected objects in the active document:
Set appRef = CreateObject ("Illustrator.Application")
Set documentRef = appRef.ActiveDocument
selectedObjects = documentRef.Selection
Depending on what is selected, the selection property value can be an array of any type of art objects. To
get or manipulate the properties of the selected art items, you must retrieve the individual items in the
array. To find out an object’s type, use the typename property.
The following sample gets the first object in the array, and then displays the object’s type:
Set appRef = CreateObject ("Illustrator.Application")
Set documentRef = appRef.ActiveDocument
selectedObjects = documentRef.Selection
Set topObject = selectedObjects(1)
MsgBox(topObject.Typename)
Note: The MsgBox method does not display a dialog when the script is run from the Illustrator Scripts
menu (File>Scripts).
Note: The first object in a selection array is the selected object that was last added to the page, and not
the last object selected.
Selecting artwork objects
To select an artwork object, use the object’s Selected property.
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50
Working with text frames
To create a text frame of a specific type in VBScript, you use the TextFrames method that corresponds to
the type of frame you want to create. For example:
Set rectRef = docRef.PathItems.Rectangle(700, 50, 100, 100)
' Use the AreaText method to create the text frame
Set areaTextRef = docRef.TextFrames.AreaText(rectRef)
Threaded frames
As in the Illustrator application, you can thread area or path text frames.
To thread existing text frames, you use the NextFrame or PreviousFrame property of the TextFrames
object.
Note: When copying the following script to a script or text editor, place the value of the Contents property
a single line. The long line continuation character (_) is not valid when enclosed in a string.
Set appRef = CreateObject("Illustrator.Application")
Set myDoc = appRef.Documents.Add
Set myPathItem1 = myDoc.PathItems.Rectangle(244, 64, 82, 76)
Set myTextFrame1 = myDoc.TextFrames.AreaText(myPathItem1)
myTextFrame1.Contents = "This is two text frames linked together as one
story, with text flowing from the first to the last."
Set myPathItem2 = myDoc.PathItems.Rectangle(144, 144, 42, 116)
Set myTextFrame2 = myDoc.TextFrames.AreaText(myPathItem2)
'Use the NextFrame property to thread the frames
myTextFrame1.NextFrame = myTextFrame2
appRef.Redraw()
Threaded frames make a single story object
Threaded frames make a single story object.
To observe this, run the following JavaScript after running the script in “Threaded frames” on page 50.
var myDoc = app.activeDocument
alert("There are " + myDoc.textFrames.length + " text frames.")
alert("There are " + myDoc.stories.length + " stories.")
Creating paths and shapes
This section explains how to create items that contain paths.
Paths
To create a freeform path, you specify a series of path points, either as series of x-y coordinates or as
PathPoint objects.
●
Using x-y coordinates limits the path to straight segments only.
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●
51
To created a curved path, you must create PathPoint objects.
Your path can consist of a combination of page coordinates and PathPoint objects.
Specifying a series of x-y coordinates
To specify a path using page coordinate pairs, you use the SetEntirePath() method of the
PathItems object. The following script specifies three pair of x-y coordinates to create a path that has
three points.
Set appRef = CreateObject ("Illustrator.Application")
Set firstPath = appRef.ActiveDocument.PathItems.Add
firstPath.Stroked = True
firstPath.SetEntirePath(Array(Array(220, 475),Array(375, 300),_
Array(200, 300)))
Using path point objects
To create a PathPoint object, you must define three values for the point:
●
A fixed anchor point, which is the point on the path
●
A pair of direction points: the left direction point and the right direction point, which allow you to
control the path segment’s curve
You define each property as an array of page coordinates in the format(Array (x,y)).
●
If all three properties of a PathPoint object have the same coordinates, and the properties of the
next PathPoint in the line are equal to each other, you create a straight line segment.
●
If two or more properties in a PathPoint object hold different values, the segment connected to
the point is curved.
To create a path, or to add points to an existing path, using PathPoint objects, you create a PathItem
object and then add the path points as child objects in the PathItem.
Set appRef = CreateObject ("Illustrator.Application")
Set firstPath = appRef.ActiveDocument.PathItems.Add
firstPath.Stroked = true
Set newPoint = firstPath.PathPoints.Add
'Using identical coordinates creates a straight segment
newPoint.Anchor = Array(75, 300)
newPoint.LeftDirection = Array(75, 300)
newPoint.RightDirection = Array(75, 300)
Set newPoint2 = firstPath.PathPoints.Add
newPoint2.Anchor = Array(175, 250)
newPoint2.LeftDirection = Array(175, 250)
newPoint2.RightDirection = Array(175, 250)
Set newPoint3 = firstPath.PathPoints.Add
'Using different coordinates creates a curve
newPoint3.Anchor = Array(275, 290)
newPoint3.LeftDirection = Array(135, 150)
newPoint3.RightDirection = Array(155, 150)
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52
Combining path point types
The following script sample creates a path with three points:
Set appRef = CreateObject("Illustrator.Application")
Set myDoc = appRef.ActiveDocument
Set myLine = myDoc.PathItems.Add
myLine.Stroked = True
myLine.SetEntirePath( Array( Array(320, 475), Array(375, 300)));
// Append another point to the line
Set newPoint = myDoc.myLine.PathPoints.Add
'Using identical coordinates creates a straight segment
newPoint.Anchor = Array(220, 300)
newPoint.LeftDirection = Array(220, 300)
newPoint.RightDirection = Array(220, 300)
Shapes
To create a shape, you use the PathItems method that corresponds to the shape’s name (such as ellipse,
rectangle, or polygon), and use parameters to specify shape’s position, size, and other characteristics such
as the number of sides in a polygon.
Tip: Remember:
●
All measurements and page coordinates are processed as points by the scripting engine. For more
information, see “Measurement units” on page 27.
●
x and y coordinates are measured from the bottom left corner of the document, as indicated in the
Info palette in the Illustrator application. For information, see “Page item positioning and
dimensions” on page 27.
Creating a rectangle
The following sample creates a rectangle with the following properties:
●
The top of the rectangle is 2 inches (144 points) from the bottom edge of the page.
●
The left edge is 2 inches (144 points) from the left edge of the page.
●
The rectangle is 1 inch wide and 2 inches long.
Set appRef = CreateObject("Illustrator.Application")
Set frontDocument = appRef.ActiveDocument
' Create a new rectangle with
' top = 400, left side = 50, width = 150, height = 100
Set newRectangle = frontDocument.PathItems.Rectangle(400,50,150,100)
Creating a polygon
The following sample creates a polygon with the following properties:
●
The center point of the object is inset 2 inches (144 points) on the horizontal axis and 4 inches (288
points) on the vertical axis.
●
The length of the radius from the center point to each corner is 1 inch.
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Scripting with VBScript
●
The polygon has 7 sides.
Set appRef = CreateObject("Illustrator.Application")
Set frontDocument = appRef.ActiveDocument
' Create a new rectangle with
' top = 400, left side = 50, width = 150, height = 100
Set newPolygon = frontDocument.PathItems.Polygon(144,288,72,7)
Working with enumeration values
Properties that use enumeration values in VBScript use a numeral rather than a text value. For example,
the Orientation property of the TextFrame object specifies whether text content is horizontal or
vertical in the text frame. The property uses the aiTextOrientation enumeration, which has two
possible values:
●
aiHorizontal
●
aiVertical
To find the numeral values of enumerations, use either of the following:
●
The object browser in your scripting editor environment. For information, see “Viewing the VBScript
object model” on page 9.
●
The Adobe Illustrator CS3 VBScript Reference, which lists the numeral values directly after the constant
value in the Enumerations chapter at the end of the book. The following example is taken from that
table:
Enumeration Type
AiTextOrientation
Values
aiHorizontal = 0
aiVertical = 1
What it means
The orientation of text in a text frame
The following sample specifies vertical text orientation:
Set appRef = CreateObject ("Illustrator.Application")
Set docRef = appRef.Documents.Add
Set textRef = docRef.TextFrames.Add
textRef.Contents = "This is some text content."
textRef.Left = 50
textRef.Top = 700
textRef.Orientation = 1
Note: Generally, it is considered good scripting practice to place the text value in a comment following
the numeral value, as in the following sample statement:
textRef.Orientation = 1 ' aiVertical
53
Index
A
H
actions, about 7
Adobe Illustrator
Plug-in Software Development Kit Function Reference 29
aki properties 27
anchor points 29
AppleScript
dictionary 9
file extensions 8
naming conventions 15
application version 23
applying styles, about 21
attributes, about 21
height, maximum value allowed 27
”Hello World” script
creating 31, 40, 47
improving 32, 41, 48
C
centimeters, conversion 27
character styles
See also fonts
about 21
clipboard, clearing before quitting 23
control bounds 28
coordinates, about 27
CS2 version changes 11, 13
D
datasets, using 21
dialogs
enabling 29
suppressing 29
dimensions, page items 27
documents
page item positioning 27
printing 30
E
em space units 27
enumeration values 53
executing scripts 10
ExtendScript file extension 8
F
file extensions for valid scripts 7
fixed points 27
fixed rectangles 28
fonts
See also character styles
em space units 27
frames, text 19
G
geometric bounds 28
I
Illustrator
launching 23
quitting 23
specifying a version 23
Illustrator, See Adobe Illustrator
inches, conversion of measurements 27
installing scripts 10
J
JavaScript
changes in Illustrator CS2 11, 13
file extension 8
naming conventions 16
object model viewer 8
.jsx extension 8
L
launching Illustrator 23
left direction 29
lines, creating 20
local attributes 21
M
matrices, about 22
matrix class 22
measurement values 27
methods, using 32
millimeters, conversion 27
O
object model
changes in Illustrator CS2 11, 13
diagram 15
text 19
object references
about 24
AppleScript 41
objects
cannot be created by a script 25, 26
creating in AppleScript 42
creating in JavaScript 24
creating in Visual Basic 48
dimensions 27
direct creation required 25
54
Adobe Illustrator CS3
Scripting Guide
hierarchy 15
selecting 49
P
page items
bounds 28
positioning 27
positioning and dimensions 27
parameters, omitting 32
paths
about 29
creating 50
picas, conversion 27
points
conversion 27
fixed 27
zero 27
printing
about 19
settings options 30
Q
Qs (unit), conversion 27
quitting Illustrator 23
R
rectangles
creating 52
fixed 28
references, object. See object references
right direction 29
S
script examples
creating a curved path 37, 44, 51
creating a path 36, 44, 51
creating a polygon 39, 46, 52
creating a rectangle 39, 46
creating objects 34
selection sorter 42
selections 49
scripting
about 6
using 6
scripting samples
creating a rectangle 52
creating new objects 49
scripts
executing 10
file extensions 7
installing 10
menu 7
Index
support in Illustrator 7
SDK 29
selecting objects 49
selections
determining content 35, 42, 49
using 35, 42, 49
Software Development Kit 29
stories, about 19
symbols
about 21
items 21
T
text
art items 19
frame types 19
ranges. See text ranges
text ranges
content 21
using text art 19
transformation matrices, about 22
U
units of measurement 27
user interaction levels 29
V
variables
deleting 21
using 21
VBScript
enumeration values 53
file extension 8
naming conventions 15
type library 9
versions of Illustrator, specifying 23
visible bounds 28
W
width, maximum value allowed 27
write-once 46
X
X axis 27
Y
Y axis 27
Z
zero point 27
55
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