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How to batch color hundreds of text boxes with matching swatches?

Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2022 Oct 28, 2022

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I have an indesign file where I need to color the background of a text box. The text contained within that text box is also the name of a corresponding swatch. I have imported hundreds of swatches, with matching texts.

I want to use Data Merge or XML import to batch color each entry in my database.

How could I achieve this ?

I have tried several old scripts that used HEX, RGB or CMYK but none of them worked with recent Indesign versions.

TOPICS
Scripting

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Community Expert ,
Oct 28, 2022 Oct 28, 2022

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Hi @Federico267836568h03, please try this script and let me know if I have understood your request. - Mark

/**
 * Set the fillColor of any text frame
 * whose contents matches a swatch name.
 * @author m1b
 * @version 2022-10-29
 * @discussion https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign-discussions/how-to-batch-color-hundreds-of-text-boxes-with-matching-swatches/m-p/13305809
 */
function main() {

    var doc = app.activeDocument,
        textFrames = doc.textFrames,
        swatches = doc.swatches;

    for (var i = 0; i < textFrames.length; i++)
        for (var j = 0; j < swatches.length; j++)
            if (swatches[j].name == textFrames[i].contents.replace(/(^\s*|\s*$)/g,'')) // trim whitespace
                textFrames[i].fillColor = swatches[j];

} // end main

app.doScript(main, ScriptLanguage.JAVASCRIPT, undefined, UndoModes.ENTIRE_SCRIPT, 'Fill Text Frames');

 

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Advisor ,
Oct 29, 2022 Oct 29, 2022

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I'm pretty sure you don't have to iterate through all the swatches and compare each one?? 

 

So this should work as well:

 

textFrames[i].fillColor = doc.swatches(textFrames[i].contents.replace(/(^\s*|\s*$)/g,''))) // trim whitespace

 

At least in VB you could do something like that - is it not possible in JS?

But then you would need to use try catch 

Can automate anything - as long as it doesn't require A.I.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 29, 2022 Oct 29, 2022

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Sure you could do it like this:

for (var i = 0; i < textFrames.length; i++) {

    var sw = swatches.itemByName(textFrames[i].contents.replace(/(^\s*|\s*$)/g, ''));
    
    if (sw.isValid)
        textFrames[i].fillColor = sw;

}

 I think this might be faster. Good idea. Feel free to do a test to see if it is actually faster.

- Mark

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Advisor ,
Oct 29, 2022 Oct 29, 2022

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You are right, in JS it's .itemByName(string) not just .item(string) 😉 I prefer VB 😉

I hope it would be faster - otherwise it would mean that scripting engine inside InDesign isn't optimised. 

Can automate anything - as long as it doesn't require A.I.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 03, 2022 Nov 03, 2022

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The original script while a bit slow, worked perfectly.

This one (the second script), didn't work. I got this error message:

Federico267836568h03_0-1667504901159.png

 

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Advisor ,
Nov 03, 2022 Nov 03, 2022

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Because this part is missing at the beginning:

 

function main() {

    var doc = app.activeDocument,
        textFrames = doc.textFrames,
        swatches = doc.swatches;
Can automate anything - as long as it doesn't require A.I.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 03, 2022 Nov 03, 2022

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Sorry @Federico267836568h03, I only posted the variant of the for loop, not the whole script. The whole script is like this, using @Robert Tkaczyk's suggestion. Let me know if it is faster. 🙂

/**
 * Set the fillColor of any text frame
 * whose contents matches a swatch name.
 * @author m1b
 * @version 2022-10-29
 * @discussion https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign-discussions/how-to-batch-color-hundreds-of-text-boxes-with-matching-swatches/m-p/13305809
 */
function main() {

    var doc = app.activeDocument,
        textFrames = doc.textFrames,
        swatches = doc.swatches;

    for (var i = 0; i < textFrames.length; i++) {

        var sw = swatches.itemByName(textFrames[i].contents.replace(/(^\s*|\s*$)/g, ''));

        if (sw.isValid)
            textFrames[i].fillColor = sw;

    }

} // end main

app.doScript(main, ScriptLanguage.JAVASCRIPT, undefined, UndoModes.ENTIRE_SCRIPT, 'Fill Text Frames');

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