Finder and Adobe Illustrator Automation

Hi there,

Sorry this is a long script problem and I hope I’ve formatted it well enough to decipher!

First post here (or at least the first in a few years!)

I’m trying to get my head around automating a regular task on the Mac either using Automator or some other scripting method.
Below is a brief of what I do and the tasks/actions in question in steps that I do manually – I’ve automated some of it but it’s very clunky and wanted a more dynamic way of doing this “automatically”.
I’m not an expert at Mac scripting so hoping this isn’t too convoluted and possible!

To understand the task you will need an overview of what I do, so:
I produce print ready retail artwork using Adobe Illustrator which, once approved, is then “released” to the printer with relevant documentation and the file prepped for the printers.
It’s this “released” task which I’d like to automate. Each artwork file and documentation is in a variety of folders stored on an external RAID.

Each artwork folder is structured as below:

{Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} – this contains supplied files and other miscellaneous files used in the creation of the artwork.
>Artwork – {Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} – this is the folder that will ultimately go to the printer containing only the files relevant to them.
>>{Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} – this is the Adobe Illustrator File.
>>{Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} – this is a PDF of the above Illustrator file – used for Emailing while on the approval loop.

And these reside here on the RAID…




1• IN PROGRESS -this is where the artwork folders reside while being worked on

Completed - on approval -this is where the artwork folders are manually moved to while on approval
2• RELEASED – this is where the artwork folders are manually moved to once the release task is completed

Once approved and prepped for release the artwork folders are manually added to and updated as below:

{Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer}
> Artwork – {Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer}
>>{Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} – this is the Adobe Illustrator File with all fonts converted to outlines – an Not Approved “sticker” layer deleted and an Approved “sticker” layer made visible.
>>{Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} – this is a PDF of the above now approved Illustrator file with the previous file overwritten
>>Brand Print Information - this is an additional zip file containing the relevant information for the printer for that particular brand artwork – this is obtained from a different location on the RAID server (* see later for where/how this is structured)
>>Printer Note - this is an additional note file notifying anyone who receives this Artwork folder to send the entire contents to the printer (sometimes an admin person can receive this and only sends the pdf to the printer and nothing else).

So now you know how the folders are structured, here’s the task:

• Indication of file approval manually given to me - eg: Artwork – {Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} is approved – please release files to printer. This initiates the release process where I then:
• Locate Artwork – Artwork – {Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} folder in the relevant REGION folder on the RAID manually
• Manually open the Adobe Illustrator artwork file called {Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer}
• Delete “Not Approved” layer
• Show “Approved” layer
• Select all
• Outline
• Save (overwriting)
• Make new PDF file of Adobe Illustrator file (this is saved to a folder on the desktop)
• Move new approved PDF into Artwork – {Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} folder overwriting old file
• A copy of the approved PDF is placed in a separate folder on a group accessed server (for a separate admin task)
• Locate relevant BRAND PRINT INFORMATION (* see later for where/how this is structured)
• Copy Brand Print Information into Artwork – {Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} folder
• Add Printer Note to Artwork – {Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} folder
• Zip contents of Artwork – {Job Number} – {Filename} – {Printer} folder
• Copy the Zip file to a separate folder on a group accessed server
• I then notify that this is ready for release to the relevant printer (no need to automate this)
• Task complete

These are all in separate folders named as per their brand on the same RAID:



Etc, etc.

Apart from linking up the Illustrator actions automatically with the Finder actions this is where the automation trips up and needs manual involvement;
The artwork files have no reference to what their brand is (apart from physically viewing the design and a human realising its “A” brand).
Conversely, the BRAND PRINT INFORMATION has no reference back to the artwork files or folders (no Job Number or any other relating key).
Therefore this incurs a user input to scroll thru the folders of BRAND PRINT INFORMATION where they are located and select the right one, eg “oh this is a BRAND C artwork so I need to find BRAND C PRINT INFORMATION.

However, there is one key correlation which may help. As you can see above each artwork folder hierarchy is in its own BRAND folder within the REGION folder. This is the exact same terminology as used in the BRAND PRINT INFORMATION.
So if there is some way for a script to dynamically “remember” what BRAND folder it came from then perhaps it can use this “memory” to recall the corresponding BRAND PRINT INFORMATION folder and hopefully select the right one.
The Brand names are unique so there shouldn’t be any mix-up.

If this is way too complicated I am happy to keep this as a manual process to select and then continue with the task process automation after user interaction.

If you need any further info or clarification please ask.

I hope the above isn’t too over the top and involved and if anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks


Model: iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014)
Operating System: macOS 10.13

Hi. Welcome to the forum. Your question is rather involved. If you’re having difficulty with a particular concept, please provide code for evaluation. If you’re a complete newbie to AI scripting, I recommend downloading one of Adobe’s scripting guides at: