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How to set shortcuts for Illustrator CEP plugins?

Contributor ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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Hello everyone, I'd like to ask a question.

When using document.addEventListener("keydown", function(event) to respond to shortcuts, it only works when the mouse is hovering over the CEP panel. How can I make it respond globally in Illustrator?

Thank you all!

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Scripting , SDK

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Adobe
Explorer ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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https://www.javatpoint.com/adobe-illustrator-keyboard-shortcuts

We don’t have the option with Keyboard shortcuts. So you need to build a plugin to create a menu item, with the shortcut.

Murali.M

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Contributor ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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Hello friend, we are not discussing the same issue. My question refers to the shortcut keys for CEP itself, not to activate the CEP panel!

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 10, 2023 Dec 10, 2023

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As a completely theoretical mental exercise let's assume there exist things named keyboard hooks which might be accessible to someone through something like Autohotkey. Technically this becomes a keylogger which is hard to discuss because it can track every key that your hardware gets as input and this has a lot of overlap with malware since you can trace sensitive information like passwords that the user would manually type into their keyboard, which of course neither of us is advocating for.

 

If one were so inclined, one might use Autohotkey for Windows or some equivalent for OS agnostic keyboard hooks to create specific non-blocking keybindings scoped to a particular focused window by window ID or handle which on every input send a JSON message through a COM object to a specified port like localhost:8080 that some CEP panel might happen to be listening to via something like Fastify or ExpressJS and happen to parse then happen to trigger an effect on receiving this message.

 

I guess we'll never know if something like this is possible since many in the community including Adobe employees themselves have consistently stated it is impossible. I guess we'll never know.

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Contributor ,
Dec 11, 2023 Dec 11, 2023

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Actually, it is possible to integrate the CEP plugin as part of the host program or load it as a menu in order to achieve these functionalities. This has already been implemented in InDesign, so it's not a matter of whether it can be done or not, but rather whether Adobe intends to provide support for these features.

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 12, 2023 Dec 12, 2023

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I've always known it's possible since keyboard hooks exist in the first place but I've been asking about this for over 7 years even to Adobe employees directly and have been given similar answers each time: it's not planned or it poses hotkey conflicts with host app or it's out of scope of CEP's needs and etc. I'm only relaying to you that I've been told and seen that this is "not possible" in the current implementation of specific apps like Illustrator and CEP in general, not that it's literally not possible or that there isn't one app that has done this as an anomaly since this is such a common request from the community and has been asked about consistently for a long time by people like me.

 

I'm just speculating on how one might do it right now despite the fact Adobe has no official support because if you know what to look for or know what to do, you don't need to wait for their support in the first place, and if we're honest, it's never going to happen in a uniform way across all apps given the lack of cohesive uniformity from all the separate app development teams especially in regards to legacy Extendscript and CEP engines which have been on their way out for several years now in favor of UXP.

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Contributor ,
Dec 16, 2023 Dec 16, 2023

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@Inventsable Hello friend!

Thank you very much for your response.

Although I am not happy with this result, I still appreciate your help.

I hope that Adobe will make improvements regarding these issues in future versions.

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