3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 9, 2016 1:34 PM by openbracket

    Retain layer names when outlining text


      I would like to know if there is a way to retain the names of text objects/layers when the text is converted to outlines, using scripting.


      I create files with dozens of text layers (player names on the back of sports jerseys) and have to send the .ai file to the manufacturers. This means that I have to outline the text, but when I do so, the layers all lose their names and all become "<Group>".


      Can anyone think of a way to name these layers with the text they contain?

        • 1. Re: Retain layer names when outlining text
          pixxxel schubser Level 5

          Hi openbracket,

          it's impossible, if the text is outlined.


          But it is possible for text and outline the text through script (be sure that the selected text is only filled and without stroke and/or effects)

          You can try something like this:

          // required: an opened document with one selected text frame
          var aDoc = app.activeDocument;
          var aSel = aDoc.selection;
          if (aSel[0].typename =="TextFrame") {
              if (aSel[0].characters.length < 40) {
              var newName = aSel[0].contents;
              } else {
              newName = aSel[0].contents.substr(0, 39);
          aSel = aDoc.selection;
          // name of the new Group = contents or part of contents of selected text frame
          aSel[0].name = newName;



          Have fun


          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Retain layer names when outlining text
            openbracket Level 1

            Wow, thanks for that pixxxel schubser. I think I can tell what's going on in there. I'll give it a go!

            • 3. Re: Retain layer names when outlining text
              openbracket Level 1

              Thank you so much for your code! It got me started on the route to a solution:


              var doc = app.activeDocument;  // the document with only the items you want to outline
              doc.selectObjectsOnActiveArtboard( ); // select all items on the artboard
              for (var i = 0; i < app.selection.length; i++) { // loop through all selected items
                  if (app.selection[i].characters.length < 40) { // if the name is less than 40 char
                      var newName = app.selection[i].contents; // name it with the contents
                  } else {  
                      newName = app.selection[i].contents.substr(0, 39);  // otherwise name it with the first 40 char of the contents
                  app.selection[i].createOutline();  // then create outlines from the text
                  app.selection[i].name = newName;  //  name the layer with the text we saved


              This code selects all the items, then loops through them. At present I will create a file with ONLY the text objects I want to outline, then paste them back into the main document, but at some stage I may adapt the code to outline the text on a specific layer of my main file.


              Thanks again!