I do not think you can do this variables are intended to change specific data and is not an action type operation where you can make more than one data entity the same as another.
The advantage of variables is that you do not have to replace the data once you have changed it you can simply call up the data set just by looking for the variable in a list. It is not the same as an action or script though it might be part of a script or action.
The other advantange is that it can be populated by
Thanks for the reply, Wade.
But if that's the case then it's very short sighted from the IL team.
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A variable name inside the same dataset must be unique for each object, only its values can be identical. Why it's producing duplicate code and declaring the variable twice, is mysterious, but well, AI is known to act strange. In any case, when you need to update multiple objects, you will need to define multiple variables, but you cannot bind them to the same data source, unfortunately. When editing the resulting file, make sure to not mess up the encoding, which is probably what happened. Edit the file in Dreamweaver or an advanced text editor like Notepad++ that can handle things like different LF CR on different platforms...
The encoding was correct. I initially edited it in DW and got the same error message. It must have been the duplication.
I guess I'll have to do things the hard way, then.
Depending on waht you want to achieve, symbols might be an alternative. Have you thought about using symbols?
Symbols wouldn't help.
If I want to have, for example, two text objects with identical content but one in Arial 20pt and the other Times 40pt, symbols won't do.
That's why I needed the variables.
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How can I bind several objects (on the same artboard) to a single, common, variable?
Think of the bound object as a field in a database. Normally, you wouldn't have two different values assigned to one field. It's not uncommon, however, to have two instances of a single field on a particular form or layout.
But this is XML based, not table-based. Per my admittedly very limited understanding of XML, each "field" or container or placeholder on the page is associated with one element in one position in the XML. So if you want the same "value" (element) to appear in two locations, you have to have two "fields" on the page and two occurrances of the element listed in the XML, just as you would have to in a web page's linear HTML text.
If I want to have, for example, two text objects with identical content but one in Arial 20pt and the other Times 40pt...
...Then you would have to have two variables in the dataset containing the same values, bound to the two separate placeholders.
I agree it's lame. My guess is that Illustrator's Variables function sees relatively little use, compared to the amount of use it would have received as a normal data merge feature based on ordinary tab-delimited data.
But with XML all the rage a few years ago, I guess AI had to get on the XML bandwagon, too.
I do not know if it is shorted sighted or not or if what you want to do is possible in any program but it is n interesting scenario of applying variable data.
But the function you want seems to me to be the function not of the variable but the Dat set contaiining tghe variable?
At least that is my understanding for what ever it is worth.
How did you envision this to function, why do see this as possible have you accomplished this prior to this attempt in any other application?
Iwonder if the fields had a Character style applied if that did anything.
Well I do not know all the ins and outs of variable and it is just my understanding which is limited.