Your first Illustrator script

The traditional first project in any programming language is displaying the message “Hello World!” In this example, you create a new Illustrator document, then add a text frame containing this message. Follow these steps:

In a default Mac OS installation, Script Editor is in /Applications/AppleScript/Script Editor/.

If you cannot find the Script Editor application, you must reinstall it from your Mac OS system CD.

  1. Open Script Editor.

  2. Enter the following script:

    --Send the following commands to Illustrator
    tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
    --Create a new document
    set docRef to make new document
    --Create a new text frame with the string "Hello World"
    set textRef to make new text frame in docRef
    with properties {contents: "Hello World!", position:{200, 200}}
    end tell
    
  3. In the Script Editor toolbar, click Run.

Tip

To add the script to the Illustrator Scripts menu (File > Scripts), save the script in the Scripts folder. The script will appear on the menu the next time you start Illustrator. For details, see Installing scripts in the Scripts menu.


Adding features to “Hello World”

Next, we create a new script that makes changes to the Illustrator document you created with your first script. Our second script demonstrates how to:

  • Get the active document.
  • Get the width of the active document.
  • Resize the text frame to match the document’s width.

If you already closed the Illustrator document, run your first script again to create a new document.

Follow these steps:

  1. In Script Editor, choose File > New to create a new script.

  2. Enter the following code:

    tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
    -- current document is always the active document
    set docRef to the current document
    set docWidth to the width of docRef
    -- resize the text frame to match the page width
    set width of text frame 1 of docRef to docWidth
    -- alternatively, one can reference the item directly, as follows:
    set width of text frame 1 of current document to docWidth
    end tell
    
  3. Run the script.