Creating paths and shapes

This section explains how to create items that contain paths.


Paths

To create line or a freeform path, specify a series of path points, as a series of x-y coordinates or path point objects.

Using x-y coordinates limits the path to straight segments. To created a curved path, you must create path point objects. A path can comprise a combination of page coordinates and path point objects.

Specifying a series of x-y coordinates

To specify a path using page-coordinate pairs, use the entire path property of the path items object. The following script specifies three pairs of x-y coordinates, to create a path with three points:

tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set docRef to make new document
-- set stroked to true so we can see the path
set lineRef to make new path item in docRef with properties {stroked:true}
set entire path of lineRef to {{220, 475},{200, 300},{375, 300}}
end tell

Using path point objects

To create a path point object, you must define three values for the point.

  • A fixed anchor point, which is the point on the path.
  • A pair of direction points— left direction and right direction —which allow you to control the path segment’s curve.

You define each property as an array of page coordinates in the format [x, y]:

  • If all three properties of a path point object have the same coordinates, and the properties of the next path point in the line are equal to each other, you create a straight-line segment.
  • If two or more properties in a path point object have different values, the segment connected to the point is curved.

To create a path or add points to an existing path using path point objects, create a path item object, then add the path points as child objects in the path item:

tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set docRef to make new document
-- set stroked to true so we can see the path
set lineRef to make new path item in docRef with properties {stroked:true}
  --giving the direction points the same value as the
  --anchor point creates a straight line segment
set newPoint to make new path point of lineRef with properties
  {anchor:{220, 475},left direction:{220, 475},right direction:{220, 475},
  point type:corner}

set newPoint2 to make new path point of lineRef with properties
  {anchor:{375, 300},left direction:{375, 300},right direction:{375, 300},
  point type:corner}

  --giving the direction points the different values
  --creates a curve
set newPoint3 to make new path point of lineRef with properties
  {anchor:{220, 300},left direction:{180, 260},right direction:{240, 320},
  point type:corner}

end tell

Combining path point types

The following script sample creates a path with three points, by combining the entire path property with a path point object

tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set docRef to make new document
-- set stroked to true so we can see the path
set lineRef to make new path item in docRef with properties {stroked:true}
set entire path of lineRef to {{220, 475},{375, 300}}
set newPoint to make new path point of lineRef with properties
  {anchor:{220, 300},left direction:{180, 260},right direction:{240, 320},
  point type:corner}
end tell

Shapes

To create a shape, you use the object that corresponds to the shape’s name (like ellipse, rectangle, or polygon), and use the object’s properties to specify the shape’s position, size, and other information like the number of sides in a polygon.

Remember:

  • The scripting engine processes all measurements and page coordinates as points. For details, see Measurement Units.
  • x and y coordinates are measured from the bottom-left corner of the document, as indicated in the Info panel in the Illustrator application. For details, see Page-item positioning and dimensions.

Write-once access

Properties for path-item shapes use the “write-once” access status, which indicates that the property is writeable only when the object is created. For existing path-item objects, the properties are read-only properties whose values cannot be changed.

Creating a rectangle

Consider the following sample:

tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set docRef to make new document
set rectRef to make new rectangle in docRef with properties
  {bounds:{288, 360, 72, 144}}
end tell

The sample creates a rectangle with these properties:

  • The top-right corner of the of the rectangle is inset 4 inches (288 points) from the bottom of the page and 5 inches (360 points) from the left edge of the page.
  • The lower-left corner of the rectangle is inset 1 inch (72 points) from the left edge of the page and 2 inches (144 points) from the bottom of the page.

Creating a polygon

Consider the following sample:

tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
set docRef to make new document
set pathRef to make new polygon in docRef with properties
{center point:{144, 288},sides:7,radius:72.0}
end tell

The sample creates a polygon with these properties:

  • The center point of the object is inset is 2 inches (144 points) on the horizontal axis and 4 inches (288 points) on the vertical axis.
  • The polygon has 7 sides.
  • The length of the radius from the center point to each corner is 1 inch (72 points).