6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 4, 2015 9:12 AM by W_J_T

    Scripting export from spreadsheet


      I would think this is a common thing that could be done but I've looked for a while and can't see anyone anywhere who may have done this.


      I am creating a template certificate and wondered if there was a possibility of mapping information from a spreadsheet onto the design.

      EG. A list of names. You could have a list of names in excel and get illustrator to pull the information from that spreadsheet and produce a pdf with the persons name in the aproropiate place/field in a respecified font and alignment.


      Is that possible. It would be great for creating things like name badges and mass graphics with slight differences.


      Complete newbie at forums so sorry if this is in anyway answered elsewhere or incredibly simple to do.


      Timmy B

        • 1. Re: Scripting export from spreadsheet
          Silly-V Adobe Community Professional

          You can check this out: Illustrator Variable Data - The EASY way! - YouTube
          And get a script from here: https://github.com/Silly-V/Adobe-Illustrator/blob/master/Variable%20Importer/VariableImpor ter.jsx


          This actually has been an obscure and not easily-accessible feature of Illustrator, but this script makes it easier.

          To quickly make an Illustrator-friendly XML file using online apps, you can try these sites: Free Online Illustrator Variables XML editor , or Excel(CSV) – Illustrator XML Converter

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Scripting export from spreadsheet
            W_J_T Level 4

            Here is a good basic overview of using variable data in Illustrator using its built in variable panel features for data-driven graphics:


            Quick Tip: Data-Driven Graphics with Illustrator's Variables



            If you need/want to take that further then definitely look into Silly-V's Variable Importer script above.


            Off Topic: Silly-V , when you gonna build a version of making Illustrator-friendly XML conversion into your script or sub script for offline use? ;-)

            • 3. Re: Scripting export from spreadsheet
              Silly-V Adobe Community Professional

              Hey W_J_T, using VariableImporter.jsx allows you to keep the converted spreadsheet XML file for your own purposes, using the "Keep XML" checkbox.



              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Scripting export from spreadsheet
                W_J_T Level 4

                How does that differ from the online tools you linked to or the need for them, in case you wish to process XML as the initial input? I guess I was just confused why you referenced them?

                • 5. Re: Scripting export from spreadsheet
                  Silly-V Adobe Community Professional

                  Oh, I see your question. For differences in use - VariableImporter allows you to pre-code your variable type inside the spreadsheet using "@" for image files, "#" for visibility and "%" for graph data files. So you get that speed advantage when importing spreadsheet-program-generated CSVs or TXTs. Plus, the presets features lets you save a preset file and destination, to speed it up a little bit on repetitive jobs. Oh, and it's accessible without a connection to the internet, after the script is copied to a local machine, of course.


                  For the purpose of why you'd ever need to keep an XML file, it depends on the workflow at hand, one place of business may have a person who does the converting and admin tasks and the designer has the job of binding the data inside the AI template. And still other technical places may actually have a use for the XML to be used in some kind of web application. For example, the XML may be sent to a server processing folder, where an online proof is generated based on the info inside the XML data. The customers could then edit this data (say,names on t-shirts) and use that web application to submit the changes. Then XML file is updated, or replaced or versioned such that when the proof is approved, the file is used to make approved merchandise.


                  As to why a link to other tools - that's simply so that anyone who wants to get prepared, send a quick file, or practice how data is converted, can do so without having Illustrator on their device. For practice and live demonstrations of just XML, it would be fastest to create a valid XML file with sample data using them.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Scripting export from spreadsheet
                    W_J_T Level 4

                    Thanks for the response Silly-V. By the same token however some end users may not wish to push their data through a third party online converter due to sensitivity and disclosure of the data, etc.