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Illustrator Script: copy text from one file to another file

Participant ,
May 13, 2024 May 13, 2024

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I have this ExtendScript to copy text from one Illustrator file to another Illustrator file. The data in the illustrator file is on different layers. The template has text-frames on separate layers. The script copies the text from one layer of the Data file and pastes it into the text frame matching the source layer. i.e. the Data and the Template files have the same layer structure. If any layer is missing, in the Template file, then that text is ignored and doesn't get copied.


Now, I have a different situation:

Data File:

1) The entire text is on a single layer called 'excel data'. The text is distributed in multiple text frames. Each text-frame has specific text and are tagged accordingly. This can be viewed by twirl-opening the layer in the layer panel.


Template File:

2) The template has text frames all over the artwork. The text frames contains tag-names as text. All the text frames in the template are on one singel layer called 'artwork'.

3) The order of the layer or text-frame is not fixed.


I want a Javascript (modified version of my current script) to read the data from the Data file and paste it into the requisite text-frame in the Template file.


Link to Illustrator files:


Please let me know if more details are required.


Here's my current script.


// Script to copy Text from Illustrator file and pasting into the Illustrator Template File.

// Illustrator Data file containing data on different layers. Layer names should match the layer names in the Template file.
// Illustrator Template file, containing Text-Frames to get text from the Data file. Text-Frames should be on the specic layer matching the layer names as that in the Data file. For example:
// Data File layer name: 'Main Text'
// Template File Layer name: Text Frame placed on the 'Main Text' layer.

function showDialog() {
  var dialog = new Window(
    'Copy/Paste Text between Illustrator File(s)'
  dialog.alignChildren = '[fill, left]';

  // Panel for template file selection
  var templateFilePanel = dialog.add('panel', undefined, '');
  templateFilePanel.add('statictext', undefined, 'Select Template File:');
  templateFilePanel.orientation = 'row';
  var templateFilePathInput = templateFilePanel.add('edittext', undefined, '', {
    readonly: true
  templateFilePathInput.size = [272, 20];
  var templateFileBrowseBtn = templateFilePanel.add(
  templateFileBrowseBtn.onClick = function() {
    var file = File.openDialog('Select Template file', '*.ai', false);
    if (file) {
      templateFilePathInput.text = file.fsName;

  // Panel for data file selection
  var dataFilePanel = dialog.add('panel', undefined, '');
  dataFilePanel.add('statictext', undefined, 'Select Data File:');
  dataFilePanel.orientation = 'row';
  var dataFilePathInput = dataFilePanel.add('edittext', undefined, '', {
    readonly: true
  dataFilePathInput.size = [300, 20];
  var dataFileBrowseBtn = dataFilePanel.add('button', undefined, 'Browse');
  dataFileBrowseBtn.onClick = function() {
    var file = File.openDialog('Select the data file', '*.ai', false);
    if (file) {
      dataFilePathInput.text = file.fsName;

  // Panel for output folder selection
  var outputPanel = dialog.add('panel', undefined, '');
  outputPanel.add('statictext', undefined, 'Select Folder to Save New File:');
  outputPanel.orientation = 'row';
  var outputPathInput = outputPanel.add('edittext', undefined, '', {
    readonly: true
  outputPathInput.size = [217, 20];
  var outputBrowseBtn = outputPanel.add('button', undefined, 'Browse');
  outputBrowseBtn.onClick = function() {
    var folder = Folder.selectDialog('Select Folder to Save New File');
    if (folder) {
      outputPathInput.text = folder.fsName;

  // Dialog buttons
  var buttonGroup = dialog.add('group');
  buttonGroup.alignment = 'center';
  buttonGroup.add('button', undefined, 'OK', { name: 'ok' });
  buttonGroup.add('button', undefined, 'Cancel', { name: 'cancel' });

  if (dialog.show() === 1) {
    // User clicked OK
    return {
      dataFilePath: dataFilePathInput.text,
      templateFilePath: templateFilePathInput.text,
      outputPath: outputPathInput.text
  } else {
    return null; // User clicked Cancel or closed the dialog

// Function to copy data from source to target based on layer names
function transferData(source, target) {
  // Create a dictionary to check target layers quickly
  var targetLayerNames = {};
  for (var k = 0; k < target.layers.length; k++) {
    targetLayerNames[target.layers[k].name] = target.layers[k];

  // Iterate over each layer in the source document
  for (var i = 0; i < source.layers.length; i++) {
    var sourceLayer = source.layers[i];
    // Check if the layer exists in the target document by looking up the dictionary
    if (targetLayerNames.hasOwnProperty(sourceLayer.name)) {
      var targetLayer = targetLayerNames[sourceLayer.name];

      // Iterate over each text frame in the source layer
      for (var j = 0; j < sourceLayer.textFrames.length; j++) {
        if (j < targetLayer.textFrames.length) {
          // Copy text from source to target if corresponding text frame exists
          var sourceText = sourceLayer.textFrames[j];
          var targetText = targetLayer.textFrames[j];
          targetText.contents = sourceText.contents;
        } else {
          // Log error or information when source has more text frames than target
            "Info: Additional text frame in source layer '" +
              sourceLayer.name +
              "' at position " +
              j +
              ' has no corresponding frame in target.'
    } else {
      // Log information when no corresponding layer is found in the target document
        "Info: No corresponding layer found in target for source layer '" +
          sourceLayer.name +
          "'. Layer ignored."

function main() {
  var fileSelections = showDialog();
  if (fileSelections) {
    var dataDoc = app.open(File(fileSelections.dataFilePath)); // Open the selected data file
    var templateDoc = app.open(File(fileSelections.templateFilePath)); // Open the selected template file
    transferData(dataDoc, templateDoc); // Run the transfer function

    // Save the new document
    var dataFileName = decodeURI(File(fileSelections.dataFilePath).name);

    // To save as 'templateFileName_dataFileName.ai'
    var templateFileName = decodeURI(
    var newFileName = templateFileName.replace('.ai', '') + '_' + dataFileName;

    // // To save as 'dataFileName.ai_Output'
    // var newFileName = dataFileName.replace('.ai', '') + '_Output';

    var saveFile = new File(fileSelections.outputPath + '/' + newFileName);

    alert('Data successfully transferred and file saved as: \n' + newFileName);







Import and export , Scripting






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