12 Replies Latest reply on Jul 17, 2018 6:11 PM by BetSharper

    Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC

    BetSharper Level 1

      Hi,

       

      I'm new to all things Adobe Illustrator CC so hoping for advice. I currently create simple Infographics for my sports advisory service https://betsharper.com using the cloud based Canva service. This is a manual activity so am looking at ways in which I can automate and scale the production of simple infographics (see this as an example on the images I am creating - https://betsharper.com/france-vs-croatia-odds-win-money-using-two-sharp-predictions/). The Chance of Winning, The Banker and the MoneyMaker images are the ones I am looking to produce more efficiently.

       

      I am intrigued as to how extensible the 'variable data import facility' actually is. In order for this to work, to use a more specific example, for this image [https://betsharper.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/France-vs-Croatia-Chance-of-Winning-Matc h.jpg ], I would need to:

       

      • dynamically change the words 'France' and 'Croatia' for the next set of sporting events.
      • provide numeric data to auto-create a simplistic adobe illustrator chart (I guess a bar graph is closest to what I have today in 'Chance of Winning Match').

       

      Can I use variable data to achieve both those things using one 'import'? I have seen a tutorial which does the former (together with a useful bulk save option) but not the later, yet.

       

      Any advice gratefully received......

       

      James Burns

      BetSharper.

        • 1. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
          Kurt Gold Adobe Community Professional

          As far as I understand your request, you cannot completely automate both things. Some manual postprocessing seems to be required.

           

          Apart from that: Your prediction for the final is unjustifiable. It's a matter of course that Croatia will take the cup!

           

          (in the past I was often wrong when it came to predictions)

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
            BetSharper Level 1

            Ha, many thanks for the response Kurt, would love for the 'wee' team to pull of a shock in this one (just like arguably, they did against England), but think this may be one game too many. It'll be a superb game regardless between 2 great teams!:)

             

            Back to the main mission of this forum, I took from this explainer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtczKHAB74khttp://), that the textual side of my request  would be possible, in your experience, is it the graph creation part that would require post processing?

             

            Kind Regards

            James

            • 3. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
              Kurt Gold Adobe Community Professional

              Yesterday my assumptions were probably too complicated or I thought Illustrator's variables should not only show predictions, but also calculate the correct predictions. That is obviously wrong and you would lose your business.

               

              I've uploaded a sample file in CC format:

               

              betsharper_001.ai.zip - Google Drive

               

              Open the Variables palette and cycle through the datasets. There are five matches.

               

              Is that something you are looking for?

               

              PS: The Germany vs. England prediction is from Gary Lineker, not from me.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
                BetSharper Level 1

                Hey Kurt,

                 

                Thanks again for the assist. I don't have Illustrator CC yet (so can't look at the intriguing attachment) as I wanted to evaluate what was possible with 'variable data' first, before purchasing.

                 

                I am pretty sure CC can do the first part of my requirements (the youtube link above demonstrates this, through creation of multiple Illustrator files with varying text values). The part I don't know, can I pass in numeric variables (so for 'chance of winning', France = 51%, draw = 30% and Croatia = 19% and have CC auto-populate a chart already embedded in the template?

                 

                Does that make sense? Apols I can't see the .io file you created, really appreciate the support regardless.........

                • 5. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
                  Kurt Gold Adobe Community Professional

                  As per your description I'd say: Yes, you can do that. How exactly depends on the template.

                   

                  By the way, the variable procedures shown in the sample file do work in older versions of Illustrator as well. They were introduced in Illustrator 10 about eighteen years ago.

                   

                  In case you want to take a look at the sample file, you may download and install a trial version of Illustrator.

                   

                  I'm not sure what you mean by "the .io file you created". The link I provided contains a compressed .ai file (.zip).

                  • 6. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
                    BetSharper Level 1

                    I didn't know you could try for 7 days, downloaded and already playing with the .ai file you kindly provided to get me started. Lots of food for thought Kurt, many thanks, I will have a play and report back what I find to this forum.

                     

                    PS I did laugh when I spotted the England Germany Probability of Winning, courtesy of Gary Lineker:)

                    • 7. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
                      Stephen_A_Marsh Adobe Community Professional

                      You may also wish to look into the VariableImporter script from Vasily Hall, which predated the new Illustrator feature to import .csv based data. Originally Illustrator could only import specifically formatted xml data for variables, which almost made it inaccessible to average users. The script from Vasily opened the way…

                       

                      Prepression: Illustrator – VariableImporter Script Part 7 Tutorial

                       

                      Prepression: Illustrator – Introducing the VariableImporter Script

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
                        Silly-V Adobe Community Professional

                        That's right, you can use the VI script in some capacity on versions as early as CS4!

                        • 9. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
                          BetSharper Level 1

                          Hey again Kurt, so that I can learn, I have tried doing this myself by creating a new template, making the text elements dynamic, creating my own data set and importing this as a new variable library.

                           

                          I've started simple and only went to map the three upper text fields as 'Team_Name_1', 'Draw' and 'Team_Name_2'. I converted an xls to xml and post 'load variable library', I can now cycle left and right between them, nice!:)

                           

                          However, I cannot seem to get the team name and the % value to go onto different rows without manually playing around with them (which defeats the purpose of an exercise like this). Anytime I try and move the %'s to the row below team name, I get a 'the current values have not been captured, and will be discarded upon switching data sets. Proceed?' message which when I proceed, doesn't cascade my formatting change across all records. I am sure I'm missing something, is it obvious?

                           

                          For context, here is a screenshot of the before (and demonstrates why I need % on the next row......

                          Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 5.01.14 PM.png

                          • 10. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
                            Kurt Gold Adobe Community Professional

                            Sounds as if somewhere along the process you "forget" to capture the modifications that will define a different variable state.

                             

                            If you can share this .ai file, I or someone else may have a look at the document.

                            • 11. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
                              Silly-V Adobe Community Professional

                              There's no in-line variables in Illustrator, so you have to have the % text inside a different text element. It is also possible at least with the VI script to have nextlines inside data cells, which will transform into illustrator nextlines. This could be used to put the % in different rows without having separate variables and text items in your document.

                              • 12. Re: Using variable data with Adobe Illustrator CC
                                BetSharper Level 1

                                Ha,  I love the use of "forgot". I am currently googling ''define different variable states' so you can tell my level of proficiency!:) Let me try and embed my more basic version of what Kurt probably created inside 2 minutes to see if someone can spot exactly where I went wrong.

                                 

                                https://1drv.ms/u/s!AsSazklUaMlUi-V8JnhT2Vpo87Xqrg

                                 

                                Thanks for the assist also Silly-V. I'm going to (try and) explore the boundaries of the core app first, before I head down the scripting route, but I suspect it's a matter of time as once I get the textual side working, hoping to understand if I can pass in variable data to populate the graph and perhaps text formatting too. I don't ask for much, right