AICS suggestions/requests

First-time poster here. Sorry if I’m placing this in the wrong place – I’m sure someone’ll let me know if I am.

First, I’m surprised that I didn’t find an Adobe Illustrator scripting repository, as there is for InDesign. So my first request is to explore the possibility of creating one.

Next, I’ve got a couple of suggestions for AICS scripts which are badly needed by graphic designers like me. One is a Collect for Output script for Adobe Illustrator that includes font collection. I’ve been searching high and low and everyone out there is wondering who is going to fill this badly needed void. I’m aware that there’s a commercial application out there called Art Files, which does a good job, but nothing open source (and therefore nothing learned by a scripting noobie like me). I’ve fooled around with adapting a couple of scripts that, combined, might work, but my skills aren’t up to the task. I’ll describe my ideas at the risk of you power-scripters out there thinking me foolish.

By default, Illustrator installs a bunch of nice scripts. One of them is Collect for Output, which does almost everything needed except collect the fonts. Another is Analyze Document Fonts, which generates a list of fonts in a given Illustrator doc. I was thinking that if this fontlist was handed off to the Finder, a scripter up to the task could get the Finder to copy those fonts into a folder, no? In fact, I think Automator has something close to that last piece. It’s stringing them together that’s beyond a lowly designer like me.

The other one we in the graphics field badly need would be a script to downsize placed images in an Illustrator doc to a user-defined pixel-per-inch value, stash them in a folder named “downsized images” or somesuch, append the name with a ppi value, and then relink them in a copy of the Illustrator doc. In addition, I’ve noticed quite a few folks are asking for a script that would extract embedded images in Illustrator, and possibly then perform the same downsizing and relinking process.

Finally, if the two scripts described above were combined into one master Collect script with user-definable preferences for the various options, it would result in a Master go-to script of incredible value to the graphics community.

Food for thought? Or maybe these already exist but my search didn’t uncover them? Let me know. Thanks!

Model: 2.8 GHz iMac
AppleScript: 2.1
Browser: Firefox 3.0.1
Operating System: Mac OS X (10.5)

Welcome, arpod:

As someone who makes their living scripting Adobe apps (and currently A LOT of AI) I can tell you there are a great many thing possible with scripting. (I even have some solutions no one has ever found (or admitted to finding!)

One thing I’m not clear about is whether you’re looking to learn Applescript or whether you’re looking for someone to roll one for you? If you don’t want to code something yourself, have you considered posting a project on ? (Your ideas are very specific to your way of thinking so I imagine you have parameters to fulfill in your workflow that may not be desirable in another.)

Your ideas are not foolish at all. They’re all very good and definitely achievable with AS. You just need to figure out whether you want to code them yourself.

Jim Neumann

Mostly because there are off-the shelf collection products I imagine, so why write a script rather than a genuine Plugin? We use “Scoop,” but we investigated 2 or three others as I recall. I wasn’t involved in those purchasing decisions, or I’d provide URLs.

The reason you won’t see programs collect fonts is because of legal concerns. EULA often prohibit such behavior, in fact some fonts actually are protected against such behavior, including embedding into PDFs (we’ve run into a few here). Adobe’s own font EULA prohibits it as I understand so their own software doesn’t collect fonts either, taking the high road, unfortunately. Quite annoying, and to this day I don’t understand the logic–and I’ve been dealing with font wierdness since 1989…go figure. :stuck_out_tongue:

Personally, I’d be warry to make any money off a script that did it either, or attach myself as anything but anonymous to such a construction in the public domain…Adobe is famous for breathing down people’s necks about the EULA (my compant got audited last year–we passed, but it’s no fun).

Anyway, just be careful is all I am really trying to say… :slight_smile:

No, I tried and got bogged down in the minutiae, and gave in to the sad-but-true realization that it was beyond my ability for now. I am looking to learn, and have had some tiny successes, mostly in adapting bits from other scripts to suit my purposes. As to my requests being Arpod-centric, I really don’t think so. As I mentioned, in my search for a font collection script I’ve seen many requests for the various pieces I proposed, and no (open source) solution.

Font collection would have enormous appeal. Maybe you consider the image downsizing routine to have less appeal? If so, allow me to explain. While designing, we tend to place very large images into our AI files, and sometimes reduce them drastically. This obviously bloats the final file sizes, unless we manually dim the file size in Photoshop. If each image were replaced at the minimum size required, final output files would be streamlined. This would be beneficial not only to the artist, but also to anyone downstream. Emails or FTPs would transfer quicker, archives more compact, etc. I really don’t think I’m alone in seeing a benefit in this.

My suggestion to tie them together is because they all shoehorn to the same post-production phase of finalizing an AI file to pass off to the printer. If anyone, including yourself, Bluefrog, might be looking for a project that (I think) would be greatly appreciated out of a selfless quest for sainthood or whatever, I simply offer for your consideration any variation of these ideas that you deem worthy of your time and talent.

In other words, yeah, roll with it.

I wonder why Adobe allows it in InDesign’s Package utility (ID>FILE>Package)? They do include a dialog with a Warning disclaimer, and have very similar language on their website to wit:

I would imagine that if a script included a similar dialog, one’s conscious would be clear.

@Calvinfold and arpod:
I always found it funny how Pagemaker would bring up the font licensing warning then collect the fonts anyways (as ID will)! Font licensing is one of those areas where the lines of legality are very blurry. On top of the fact that they are rarely policed (and the logistics of that are mind-boggling!) there are no clearcut answers about this. More often than not, a shop will adopt a policy and live by it without any real mandate or compulsion by anything other than fear of possible litigation.

I applaud you thinking about such things (I’ve been in the Graphic Arts trade for 22+ years doing everything from design to PrePress to press and bindery, etc (heck, I’ve even done delivery when needed! 8^) . Your scripts would not be all that difficult to write (the font collector would actually be the harder of your ideas). I can’t commit to a project right now but I may try to get a small core to post in the next few days.


Certainly no arguement there…and doing it inhouse versus externally are two different animals. Been blurry since fonts have been around, and that’s been a while.

And to others…yeah I remember PageMaker collecting fonts with a warning, and Adobe’s own flipfliping on the issue. I was only trying to warn the OP, not really discourage. To me, sounds like a great idea.

I would add, to anyone “not developing” this sort of script to keep font managers in mind, like Suitcase. You’re also going to hit headaches like server-managed fonts (which are slowly maturing to useability for shops like ours…we give them another year). Not that you have to SOLVE these issues, just error-trap around them, :wink:


SUITCASE!! :mad: I fork the sign of the evil eye your way!! :stuck_out_tongue: I use Linotype FontExplorer X. (Suitcase’s last good version was v3!) Auto-activation is as good as Suitcase’s (and neither has ever been transparent). Are you guys trying the Universal Type Server? Font servers are fantastic ideas but usually have implementation problems in my experience (just like font auto-activation! :D)


ROFL - I just checked Extensis’ Support pages for UTS and there it is. “Troubleshooting Auto-Activation in Universal Type Client” :|:);):P:D Too funny!!

Suitcase Fusion’s featureset was more to our liking. Never had a problem with Auto-activation aside from the general need for all the stupid app plugins and the M$ suite generally hating dynamically loading fonts. All of them suck for us, and their tendancy to have their internal database commit suicide is a regular headache. Necessary evil though, we have thousands upon thousands of typefaces–auto-activation, deployable sets, etc. are just necessary. We’ve been disappointed with all the Servers due to similar database corruption issues and lousy license management (which is something like 50% the point for us). I’ll be watching the Extensis font server webcast next week if I can, but early testing has shown it’s still flakier than the contents of Tony the Tiger’s cereal bowl.

Basically, I don’t begrudge one choice over another, each has stengths and weaknesses, and all are super-flakey.

Until font servers are just as reliable as my Mac OS X server (i.e. 3 failures in 8 years) I don’t trust them. I worked in a shared-font environment once…liked the principal, but when the font server dies it’s hell.

Fonts have sucked ever since OS X and I had to give-up my much beloved ATMD…really wish Adobe hadn’t thrown in the towel on this one.

And don’t get me started on Apple “requiring” their version of Helvetica Neue as part of the OS but 50% of our work needing the Adobe version. Still cursing Apple for that one…

We’ve had very few issues with Suitcase & were still using XI on 10.4.11 auto activation plug-ins installed and on work fine. We do have the server edition to manage licenses but I have never found the bottle to put this on the xserve and launch it. What are you finding the system requires Helvetica Neue for? With system & library managed fonts my base set is pared down to:
Courier CE
Geneva CE
Helvetica CE
Lucida Grande
Lucida Grande CE
Lucida Grande CY
Monaco CE
Monaco CY

Well, I’ve tried to be patient while you two discuss the merits of auto-activating fonts, et al, but what about gettin’ to it?

The fontList returned by Adobe’s own Analyze Document script is one place to start, unless y’all prefer another way. It doesn’t seem to give a darn whether the fonts are system fonts or if they’re auto-activated by Suitcase or anything. You can find it in Applications>AICS3>Scripting>Sample Scripts>AppleScript>Analyze Documents. The useful bones seem to be in the Analyze Folder and Generate Font Report sections.

Then, the Finder would need to be told what to do with the fontList. That’s the part I don’t have the chops to do.

OK - I’m out.