November 2, 2007

Free Scripts from Nathaniel

A “feature” that Adobe has been constantly improving with each new version of Illustrator is scripting support. In reality, Adobe deserves kudos for adding robust scripting support to all of its Creative Suite applications over the years. Few people get excited over advanced scripting support only because the average graphic designer doesn’t know how to write scripts. The good news is, you don’t have to know how to WRITE scripts in order to USE them… you just have to find someone to write them for you.

Fortunately, there are folks out there who not only know how to write scripts, but who also are Illustrator users. These folks write scripts to help them get their own work done. And even better, these folks are willing to share their scripts with you, for free.

Meet Nathaniel Kelso, who works over at the Washington Post. An avid FreeHand user who has recently moved to Illustrator, Nathaniel and his colleagues have written several scripts that prove quite useful. These scripts are written in JavaScript, meaning they work on both Mac and Windows.

My personal faves? A Search and Replace script for graphics that mimics FreeHand’s Graphic Search and Replace function. And yes, it works with Symbols which is pretty cool. Also, there’s a script that instantly converts Area Text to Point Text and vice versa.

Check out the entire set of scripts here. And make sure you thank Nathaniel for the gifts.

To use these scripts, download them and drop them into your Adobe Illustrator > Presets > Scripting folder. They will then appear in your File > Scripts submenu in Illustrator.

6 comments:

khiltd said...

There would probably be a lot more free scripts and plugins out there if Adobe didn't make it so bloody difficult to get ahold of the APIs and associated documentation. They did finally drop that ridiculous price tag, but it's still quite an ordeal to gain access--almost like they don't WANT anyone developing new functionality ;)

Ben Leivian said...

Cool thanks, the find/replace, make point type, and text registration scripts will be very useful to me.

John said...

@ khiltd

I think you're confusing Illustrator's plug-in API's, with it's scripting interface.

Documentation for scripting Illustrator is included with each install, and it is VERY thorough.

Actually, I AM surprised that there aren't more people writing scripts for illustrator, I hope that changes in the next few years.

Meanwhile, thanks to Nathaniel for the inspiration. :)

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