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There is no way to programmatically set text properties, it's as simple as that. AE does not support any such functions, neither with scripts nor with expressions.
Aha, now it makes sense that I can't find anything. I suppose I can make some text layers, set the properties by hand, then use them as templates for new layers.
The ability to set Character and Paragraph properties from scripts and expressions is way up there on my list of most wanted features for AE at the moment. It's kind of limiting that you can't get at, say,
i the font
used by a text layer from a script. What's more, any character or paragraph formatting that isn't applied to the first character of a text layer goes straight out the window if you modify the sourceText with a script or an expression. You can get around some of this using text animators, but there are some things -- like font and alignment -- that can't be mimicked that way.
Can I create a plugin with the SDK that could give me access to all the properties of text and text formatting, then create a API in my plugin that I can use within AE ExtendScript?