Hi, we'll be getting a laser engraver, and have been considering Illustrator to format the designs. Some of our engravings will include serial numbers. So I was wondering (having never used Illustrator) if I could create a file containg, say 10 identical engravings - except for an automatically incrementing serial number (I would set the first serial number, and the 9 others would follow). The 10 engravings would be applied to 10 similar parts simultaneously.
Am I looking into the right kind of software?
A variable of that nature would require a data base that generates the sequence and a script to update the variable in Illustrator.
However you could set up the numbers manually save it as a data set do the same for the next sequence of 10 numbers and save that as a data set and so on then when you load the art which can also be a variable, then load the data sets but this is worthless if the sequences differ from art to art and when printing you will have to do ten at a time oose the data set and print again.
You can script this but it takes a very good script creator to do this. I am sure it would not be cheap.
There might be a plug in.
Of course, it's also a trivial matter to use the Fill Down command of whatever spreadsheet program you already have on your computer (Excel, etc.) to generate a list of serialized numbers, select the column, copy, and paste into Illustrator:
Thanks for the response. Are those scripts hosted anywhere else by chance? I've tried looking and can't seem to find them anywhere. We are running a charity event and would like to add serially incremented numbers to the tickets.
This may not be what JETalmage is referring to. It is a script to convert Excel to AI-compatible XML file, for use with the AI Data-driven graphics.
Thanks so much. Where would I begin using this script, Excel or Illustrator? I know something about adding scripsts to Excel via the Developer Tab. I tried there and via Illustrator Scripts folder. I am using Illustrator CS6. I am anxious to see how this works.
If my memory serves me right, you can drag an Excel file onto the script and it will generate an AI-compatible XML file of the Excel text file.
Hmm… after opening the zip file, it may be a PowerPC application. Sorry, it won't work on newer Macs.
Thanks for trying anyway. I am on Windows. I am pretty good with Excel and found a way to do it. Wanted to try your help as well. I have never used the Variables Panel much in Illustrator I am now discovering that it is a powerful tool. I like InDesigns DataMerge features but some times more than what I need. I find I have better control over intrecate graphics if I just keep them in Illustrator. Some times I link my Illustrator files in InDesign and use DataMerge, and it works great. Exploring the Variables Panel more and experimenting I see I don't always have to combine Illustrator and InDesign, I can just use Illustrator. Thanks again!
Sure. It's been several years since I used that tool. It simply converted the Excel text file to an XML file compatible with AI. Glad you found a solution. There seems to be very little documentation on that portion of AI.
FWIW… Here are a few samples of variable graphics I did, using AI and PSD several years ago. The skater card was done exclusively in AI and could not have been accomplished using InDesign data merge.
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