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Using an Action to place a file

Explorer ,
Jan 12, 2017

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I'm creating a data merge that changes text fields for each Data Set. The batch process is set up to run through the whole Data Set. I have that part down.

What I'm trying to do is have the Action place a file that goes with each Data Set element. I have a step that calls the Place... menu item. When the Action runs, a dialog comes up asking me to choose a file. This is just what I want. However, after I select the file and click Open, the Action doesn't wait for me to place the file and continues on.

Adding a Stop step to the Action stops the batch process. Setting playback options to add a pause works, but the pause happens at every step. So that's no good.

I could probably do it with a script but I don't have time to figure that out. Is there a way to either 1) get it to to wait for me to place the file, or 2) just place the file without having to click a location?

Thanks.

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Correct answer by Silly-V | Adobe Community Professional

You can use the linked file feature of the Illustrator variable data to have your files automatically placed with no need to do so by hand every time (it's impossible in batch as you said).

Read the blog above, there's a helpful YouTube video here:

Illustrator Variable Data - The EASY way! - YouTube

And there's a full-blown Lynda.com course for your most detailed needs!

Adobe Illustrator Variable Data

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Using an Action to place a file

Explorer ,
Jan 12, 2017

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I'm creating a data merge that changes text fields for each Data Set. The batch process is set up to run through the whole Data Set. I have that part down.

What I'm trying to do is have the Action place a file that goes with each Data Set element. I have a step that calls the Place... menu item. When the Action runs, a dialog comes up asking me to choose a file. This is just what I want. However, after I select the file and click Open, the Action doesn't wait for me to place the file and continues on.

Adding a Stop step to the Action stops the batch process. Setting playback options to add a pause works, but the pause happens at every step. So that's no good.

I could probably do it with a script but I don't have time to figure that out. Is there a way to either 1) get it to to wait for me to place the file, or 2) just place the file without having to click a location?

Thanks.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Silly-V | Adobe Community Professional

You can use the linked file feature of the Illustrator variable data to have your files automatically placed with no need to do so by hand every time (it's impossible in batch as you said).

Read the blog above, there's a helpful YouTube video here:

Illustrator Variable Data - The EASY way! - YouTube

And there's a full-blown Lynda.com course for your most detailed needs!

Adobe Illustrator Variable Data

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Jan 12, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2017

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You probably would be better off doing this in InDesign using the DataMerge feature. Here's terrific video by Michael Murphy that explains the process beautifully: http://www.theindesigner.com/podcasts/tid43_theindesigner_43.mp4

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2017

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Jan 12, 2017 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2017

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You can use the linked file feature of the Illustrator variable data to have your files automatically placed with no need to do so by hand every time (it's impossible in batch as you said).

Read the blog above, there's a helpful YouTube video here:

Illustrator Variable Data - The EASY way! - YouTube

And there's a full-blown Lynda.com course for your most detailed needs!

Adobe Illustrator Variable Data

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Jan 13, 2017 1
Explorer ,
Jan 13, 2017

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Thanks everyone.

Yes, Silly-V & Ton, looks like that will do exactly what I need. I'll try it. In the meantime, I realized I don't have to Place… the images. As a workaround I can just use Open, Select All, Copy, Close, and Paste in my Action. It's not as elegant as that script, but it gets the job done.

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Jan 13, 2017 1
Silly-V LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 11, 2020

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Indeed, this technique is what I happened to outline just a few months prior to this post back in 2017:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/illustrator-variable-data-bringing-editable-assets-vasily-hall/

 

Unfortunately this method causes whatever process to be that much slower due to having to open more files, but for those cases where multiple document edits are involved this could be a life-saver nonetheless.

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