Using Spreadsheet Data to transform Illustrator objects

New Here ,
Apr 28, 2021 Apr 28, 2021

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Hi All,

 

I am no programmer by any means nor am I a speadsheet guru but I have recently got some data on Google Sheets that I want to use to make life MUCH easier. I want to tell Illustrator to look at the spreadsheet know how many object to create, how far to move them and then how much to rotate them by on a given coordinate … but I don't know the first thing about how to tackle it.

 

I have been using Illustrator since I was 16 (I'm now 40!) and I have never touched Variable Data, importing spreadsheets data, or Actions (I used Actions in PShop years ago) … and I suspect I probably have to use one or a combination of these to get my desired result. Can any kind soul point me in the right direction?

 

My convivial thanks in advance!

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Draw and design, How to, Import and export, Scripting, Tools

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 28, 2021 Apr 28, 2021

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going by your description, Variable Data won't help you. Variables are used to replace text as in Data Merge. You will need to write a script to read the data off the spreadsheet and use it to reposition objects. 

 

If you post a specific example maybe we could give further advise.

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New Here ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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Thank you CarlosCanto!

 

I will have a column numbered 1-1000 (I envisioned this being the identity number per object) a second column with an x coordinate and a third column with a rotational value. Objects will rotate around a predetermined coordinate other than their own centre, if that makes sense.

 

Obj. / Move / Rotate

1 / 1.2 / 270°

2 / 3.47 / 90°

3 / 2.64 / 45°

4 / 7.9 / 62°

… etc.

 

I aim to use Google Sheets, although I have Excel.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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can you share your files? save your spreadsheet as csv please.

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New Here ,
Apr 30, 2021 Apr 30, 2021

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Okay, here's the .csv. Thanks again CarlosCanto.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 30, 2021 Apr 30, 2021

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thanks, please share your illustrator file as well.

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New Here ,
Apr 30, 2021 Apr 30, 2021

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I hadn't created one, I was looking at working out how to place the objects first however, here's an example of where I would have started, using just a circle. I wanted to have a script that would populate the Artboard by duplicating the object.

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New Here ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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Does anybody know how to write a script for this?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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quote

Does anybody know how to write a script for this?


By @Simon Templar



many of us know how to write scripts, but probably many of us have not had a chance to write the script for you. You're not a programmer, I can't simply give you direction and expect you to follow, it takes time to learn, it takes time to write scripts once you know how to write scripts.

 

as for providing more information as pixxxel has requested, he's right, it's not nearly enough. I'm writing a script as proof of concept, it might not be what you have in mind, but I guess you don't have any files to work with as of now.

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New Here ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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I have a spreadsheet, that's all. I want to populate an Illustrator file with objects using the data which will position them. Many thanks for your efforts—greatly appreciated—I half expected to have to tweak any script, if I found it didn't work … but I couldn't imagine starting one myself as I don't understand how to set one up etc.

 

What other info do you need that would help?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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Do you really want to rotate circles?

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New Here ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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Hi pixelschubser,

 

Yes, it's just a proxy. The problem pertains o rotating large numbers of objects around a given point after offsetting them a certain distance.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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Circles are extremely unsuitable for this. Please show a meaningful example before and after.

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New Here ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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I don't quite follow: I have outlined what I am trying to do, I currently have a circle—it could just as easily be a square. I'm wanting to know how to write a script of some kind that will move objects and rotate them, using spreadsheet data.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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Excuse me.

For me there is too little information and too many options, depending on the initial situation and the desired result. Unfortunately, I'm out.

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New Here ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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Okay, but I thought I'd been succinct.
I want to move an object (any kind) from coordinates 0, 0 to X, Y

I then want to rotate that object around coordinate 0, 0.

There are many objects.

I have a spreadsheet that lists all objects positions and the rotations.

Don't know how to state it any clearer than that I'm afraid.

Thanks for your time.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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A sample file before and after is much clearer and clearer than 1000 words. I've already written a lot of scripts. Some of them were completely useless and unnecessary and not worth the time invested because the description was ambiguous or unclear. Or because the example file was structured completely differently than assumed. I don't do that anymore. I'm so sorry.

 

There are sure to be other helpers here.

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New Here ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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No worries, I'm sure others can help. I can't provide a file of before (?) and after as I am trying to get help using the data to produce it in the first place. Chicken & Egg.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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This may be no help at all, but I completely agree with pixxxelschubser at this point.

 

I cobbled together many bumpy actions in the past and although Illustrator actions are always bumpy, some of them may take a lot of time to make them and sometimes they can even be useful.

 

Some of the most complex actions unfortunately have sometimes been rated as "useless" ("does not work at all" or some similar comments), just because there were imprecise definitions of a specific task. And – of course – the lack of meaningful sample files.

 

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New Here ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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I appreciate that but can't see how else I can clarify. Above is a spreadsheet with three columns of data. The first representing the number of the objects, the second giving a distance to which the object is to be moved and the third an angle to rotate the object around 0, 0.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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Simon,

 

basically your request may be pretty clear, but please understand: Script developers or action makers do know that there may be countless unknown conditions.

 

They prefer to know all of them before working out possible solutions.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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pixxxelschubser_0-1620151894861.png

 

many of us know how to write scripts, but probably many of us have not had a chance to write the script for you. You're not a programmer, I can't simply give you direction and expect you to follow, it takes time to learn, it takes time to write scripts once you know how to write scripts.

 

as for providing more information as pixxxel has requested, he's right, it's not nearly enough. I'm writing a script as proof of concept, it might not be what you have in mind, but I guess you don't have any files to work with as of now.


By @CarlosCanto

 

 

Did I already mention that I like you?

😉

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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quoteDid I already mention that I like you?

😉


By @pixxxelschubser

 

I'm not sure 🙂

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Enthusiast ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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Bonjour Simon,

Si à 40 ans vous n'êtes pas capable d'illustrer votre demande, c'est de la mauvaise volonté...

Par exemple ? (appliqué à un même objet dupliqué à chaque étape)

Capture30.PNG

René

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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pixxxelschubser_0-1620163939566.png

Okay, here's the .csv. Thanks again CarlosCanto.


By @Simon Templar

                                                                                            --> jump to quoted post

 

This could be a possible result of your CSV data (Untitled spreadsheet - Sheet1.csv).

 

move_and_rotate_00.png

assumed:

26 simple rectangles with

top left on 0,0

 

each of them:

moved in 1.1 steps from 0,0 and

rotated in 15° steps

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