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Duplicate layer to multiple or all artboards

Community Beginner ,
Apr 23, 2021 Apr 23, 2021

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Is there a way to duplicate a layer ("Layer > Duplicate Layer") onto multiple or all artboards instead of duplicating the layer individually for each artboard?

 

This would save me a ton of time!

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Community Expert , Apr 25, 2021 Apr 25, 2021

I trust others might be able to get that into a lot fewer lines but you can give this a try:  

 

// duplicate one selected layer into all artboards;
// 2020, ue it at your own risk;
doStuff();
function doStuff () {
if (documents.length == 0) {return};
// get list of selected layers;
var ref = new ActionReference();
ref.putProperty (stringIDToTypeID ("property"), stringIDToTypeID ("targetLayersIDs"));
ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Dcmn"), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
va
...

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Community Expert , Apr 08, 2024 Apr 08, 2024
quote

this is a great script' thank you very much (:

is there a way to change it to selected group instead of selected layer?

duplicate group to all other artboards


By @Lital5E82
if (documents.length == 0) {return};
// get list of selected layers;
var ref = new ActionReference();
ref.putProperty (stringIDToTypeID ("property"), stringIDToTypeID ("targetLayersIDs"));
ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Dcmn"), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
var targetLayersIDs = executeActionGet(ref
...

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Community Expert ,
Apr 23, 2021 Apr 23, 2021

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 23, 2021 Apr 23, 2021

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Thanks @c.pfaffenbichler . I did come across this.

 

I'm trying to duplicate Smart Objects for the most part. It seems this script copies and pastes; not duplicate. When the script is executed on a Smart Object, it pastes the selection on other artboards as pixels or raster images.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 25, 2021 Apr 25, 2021

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I trust others might be able to get that into a lot fewer lines but you can give this a try:  

 

// duplicate one selected layer into all artboards;
// 2020, ue it at your own risk;
doStuff();
function doStuff () {
if (documents.length == 0) {return};
// get list of selected layers;
var ref = new ActionReference();
ref.putProperty (stringIDToTypeID ("property"), stringIDToTypeID ("targetLayersIDs"));
ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Dcmn"), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
var targetLayersIDs = executeActionGet(ref).getList(stringIDToTypeID("targetLayersIDs"));
if (targetLayersIDs.count != 1) {
    alert ("select exactly one layer");
    return
};
// get current layer’s id;
var ref = new ActionReference();
ref.putProperty (stringIDToTypeID ("property"), stringIDToTypeID ("layerID"));
ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Lyr "), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
var layerID = executeActionGet(ref).getInteger(stringIDToTypeID("layerID"));
// collect artboards;
var theArtBoards = collectArtBoards ();
if (theArtBoards.length == 0) {
    alert ("no artboards");
    return
};
// process artboards;
for (var m = 0; m < theArtBoards.length; m++) {
// =======================================================
var idlayer = stringIDToTypeID( "layer" );
    var desc17 = new ActionDescriptor();
        var ref6 = new ActionReference();
        ref6.putEnumerated( idlayer, stringIDToTypeID( "ordinal" ), stringIDToTypeID( "targetEnum" ) );
    desc17.putReference( stringIDToTypeID( "null" ), ref6 );
    var idto = stringIDToTypeID( "to" );
        var ref7 = new ActionReference();
        ref7.putIndex( idlayer, theArtBoards[m][1] + m - 1 );
    desc17.putReference( idto, ref7 );
    desc17.putBoolean( stringIDToTypeID( "duplicate" ), true );
    desc17.putBoolean( stringIDToTypeID( "adjustment" ), false );
    desc17.putInteger( stringIDToTypeID( "version" ), 5 );
    var idlayerID = stringIDToTypeID( "layerID" );
        var list6 = new ActionList();
        list6.putInteger( 36 );
    desc17.putList( idlayerID, list6 );
executeAction( stringIDToTypeID( "move" ), desc17, DialogModes.NO );
};
// reselect original layer;
selectLayerByID (layerID, false);
};
////// collect layers with certain name //////
function collectArtBoards () {
// get number of layers;
    var ref = new ActionReference();
    ref.putProperty(stringIDToTypeID('property'), stringIDToTypeID('numberOfLayers'));
    ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Dcmn"), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
    var applicationDesc = executeActionGet(ref);
    var theNumber = applicationDesc.getInteger(stringIDToTypeID("numberOfLayers"));
// process the layers;
    var theLayers = new Array;
    for (var m = 0; m <= theNumber; m++) {
    try {
    var ref = new ActionReference();
    ref.putIndex( charIDToTypeID( "Lyr " ), m);
    var layerDesc = executeActionGet(ref);
    var layerSet = typeIDToStringID(layerDesc.getEnumerationValue(stringIDToTypeID("layerSection")));
    if (layerSet == "layerSectionStart") {
    var artBoardRect = layerDesc.getObjectValue(stringIDToTypeID("artboard")).getObjectValue(stringIDToTypeID("artboardRect"));
    var v01 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(0));
    var v02 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(1));
    var v03 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(2));
    var v04 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(3));
    var theName = layerDesc.getString(stringIDToTypeID('name'));
    var theID = layerDesc.getInteger(stringIDToTypeID('layerID'));
    var theIndex = layerDesc.getInteger(stringIDToTypeID('itemIndex'));
// collect if the rect values are not identical:
    if (v01 != v03 && v01 != v04) {theLayers.push([theName, theIndex, theID])}
    };
    }
    catch (e) {};
    };
    return theLayers
    };
////// based on code by mike hale and paul riggott //////
function selectLayerByID(index,add){ 
    add = undefined ? add = false:add 
    var ref = new ActionReference();
        ref.putIdentifier(charIDToTypeID("Lyr "), index);
        var desc = new ActionDescriptor();
        desc.putReference(charIDToTypeID("null"), ref );
           if(add) desc.putEnumerated( stringIDToTypeID( "selectionModifier" ), stringIDToTypeID( "selectionModifierType" ), stringIDToTypeID( "addToSelection" ) ); 
          desc.putBoolean( charIDToTypeID( "MkVs" ), false ); 
       try{
        executeAction(charIDToTypeID("slct"), desc, DialogModes.NO );
    }catch(e){
    alert(e.message); 
    }
    };

 

 

Edit: Here screenshots of my test-file; I tried to make sure Groups don’t cause problems, but there may be other scenarios I did not consider. 

Screenshot 2021-04-25 at 12.48.45.pngScreenshot 2021-04-25 at 12.48.56.png

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 26, 2021 Apr 26, 2021

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Thanks so much @c.pfaffenbichler for doing this.

 

I tried executing the script and received this error

Screen Shot 2021-04-26 at 9.43.42 AM.png

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Community Expert ,
Apr 26, 2021 Apr 26, 2021

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Could you please post a screenshot including the Layers Panel ar the time of the error? 

Or provide the file itself? 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 26, 2021 Apr 26, 2021

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Ok. I've condensed the file size with reduced layers. The PSD can be downloaded here

https://drive.google.com/file/d/17_ObqDz9BwyKM_PT3WUMjLVTNWfzMSze/view?usp=sharing

 

I tried duplicating the layer, "CTA Button" and got that error.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 26, 2021 Apr 26, 2021

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The issue seems to hinge on the Groups being closed. 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 26, 2021 Apr 26, 2021

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Ahhh, yes.

 

Wow, thanks so much @c.pfaffenbichler ! This is going to save me a ton of time.

Much appreciated!

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Community Expert ,
Apr 26, 2021 Apr 26, 2021

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Unfortunately I haven’t found a way to open the LayerSets yet, maybe someone else has an idea on this. 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 07, 2024 Apr 07, 2024

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quote

Unfortunately I haven’t found a way to open the LayerSets yet, maybe someone else has an idea on this. 


By @c.pfaffenbichler

 

 

I can't recall where I got this code (I'm usually pretty good at documenting the source):

 

#target photoshop

expandActiveLayerGroup();

function expandActiveLayerGroup() {
    if (app.activeDocument.activeLayer.typename == 'LayerSet' && app.activeDocument.activeLayer.layers.length > 0) {
        app.activeDocument.activeLayer = app.activeDocument.activeLayer.layers[0];
    }
}

 

And something from @jazz-y:

 

// Expand active group by jazz-y
var g = (ad = activeDocument).activeLayer;
if (g.typename == 'LayerSet' && g.layers.length) ad.activeLayer = g.layers[0];
ad.activeLayer = g;

 

There is also a link to some code from the late Mike Hale:

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 26, 2021 Apr 26, 2021

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One work-around would be creating a Layer in the Artboard, duplicate it (this opens the collapsed Artboard), then remove the two nrely created Layers … but that is a pretty crude work-around and would slow things down a bit. 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 26, 2021 Apr 26, 2021

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Please try this – it should work with the Groups closed; and it should avoid duplicating to the current Artboard: 

 

// duplicate one selected layer into all artboards except the current one;
// 2020, ue it at your own risk;
doStuff();
function doStuff () {
if (documents.length == 0) {return};
// get list of selected layers;
var ref = new ActionReference();
ref.putProperty (stringIDToTypeID ("property"), stringIDToTypeID ("targetLayersIDs"));
ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Dcmn"), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
var targetLayersIDs = executeActionGet(ref).getList(stringIDToTypeID("targetLayersIDs"));
if (targetLayersIDs.count != 1) {
    alert ("select exactly one layer");
    return
};
// get current layer’s id;
var layerID = getLayerId ();
// collect artboards;
var theArtBoards = collectArtBoards ();
if (theArtBoards.length == 0) {
    alert ("no artboards");
    return
};
// get active layer’s artboard’s id;
var theLayer = activeDocument.activeLayer;
var thePar = theLayer.parent;
while (thePar.parent != activeDocument) {
    var thePar = thePar.parent;
};
activeDocument.activeLayer = thePar;
var artboardID = getLayerId ();
activeDocument.activeLayer = theLayer;
// process artboards;
var theAdd = 0;
for (var m = 0; m < theArtBoards.length; m++) {
// if not on the original artboard;
    if (theArtBoards[m][2] != artboardID) {
// =======================================================
var idlayer = stringIDToTypeID( "layer" );
    var desc17 = new ActionDescriptor();
        var ref6 = new ActionReference();
        ref6.putEnumerated( idlayer, stringIDToTypeID( "ordinal" ), stringIDToTypeID( "targetEnum" ) );
    desc17.putReference( stringIDToTypeID( "null" ), ref6 );
    var idto = stringIDToTypeID( "to" );
        var ref7 = new ActionReference();
        ref7.putIndex( idlayer, theArtBoards[m][1] + theAdd - 1 );
        theAdd++;
    desc17.putReference( idto, ref7 );
    desc17.putBoolean( stringIDToTypeID( "duplicate" ), true );
    desc17.putBoolean( stringIDToTypeID( "adjustment" ), false );
    desc17.putInteger( stringIDToTypeID( "version" ), 5 );
    var idlayerID = stringIDToTypeID( "layerID" );
        var list6 = new ActionList();
        list6.putInteger( 36 );
    desc17.putList( idlayerID, list6 );
executeAction( stringIDToTypeID( "move" ), desc17, DialogModes.NO );
// reselect original layer;
selectLayerByID (layerID, false);
    }
};
};
////// collect layers with certain name //////
function collectArtBoards () {
// get number of layers;
    var ref = new ActionReference();
    ref.putProperty(stringIDToTypeID('property'), stringIDToTypeID('numberOfLayers'));
    ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Dcmn"), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
    var applicationDesc = executeActionGet(ref);
    var theNumber = applicationDesc.getInteger(stringIDToTypeID("numberOfLayers"));
// process the layers;
    var theLayers = new Array;
    for (var m = 0; m <= theNumber; m++) {
    try {
    var ref = new ActionReference();
    ref.putIndex( charIDToTypeID( "Lyr " ), m);
    var layerDesc = executeActionGet(ref);
    var layerSet = typeIDToStringID(layerDesc.getEnumerationValue(stringIDToTypeID("layerSection")));
    if (layerSet == "layerSectionStart") {
    var artBoardRect = layerDesc.getObjectValue(stringIDToTypeID("artboard")).getObjectValue(stringIDToTypeID("artboardRect"));
    var v01 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(0));
    var v02 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(1));
    var v03 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(2));
    var v04 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(3));
    var theName = layerDesc.getString(stringIDToTypeID('name'));
    var theID = layerDesc.getInteger(stringIDToTypeID('layerID'));
    var theIndex = layerDesc.getInteger(stringIDToTypeID('itemIndex'));
// collect if the rect values are not identical:
    if (v01 != v03 && v01 != v04) {theLayers.push([theName, theIndex, theID])}
    };
    }
    catch (e) {};
    };
    return theLayers
    };
////// based on code by mike hale and paul riggott //////
function selectLayerByID(index,add){ 
    add = undefined ? add = false:add 
    var ref = new ActionReference();
        ref.putIdentifier(charIDToTypeID("Lyr "), index);
        var desc = new ActionDescriptor();
        desc.putReference(charIDToTypeID("null"), ref );
           if(add) desc.putEnumerated( stringIDToTypeID( "selectionModifier" ), stringIDToTypeID( "selectionModifierType" ), stringIDToTypeID( "addToSelection" ) ); 
          desc.putBoolean( charIDToTypeID( "MkVs" ), false ); 
       try{
        executeAction(charIDToTypeID("slct"), desc, DialogModes.NO );
    }catch(e){
    alert(e.message); 
    }
    };
////// get active layer’s id //////
function getLayerId () {
    var ref = new ActionReference();
    ref.putProperty (stringIDToTypeID ("property"), stringIDToTypeID ("layerID"));
    ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Lyr "), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
    return executeActionGet(ref).getInteger(stringIDToTypeID("layerID"));
};

 

 

Edit: The issue was a simple one after all; the pervious Script continuously duplicated the currently active Layer, meaning the duplicates, and when those were invisible the error occurred. 

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New Here ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

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Hi! I was looking for the same solution and this worked perfectly Adobe Photoshop CC 2021! Thanks! 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 14, 2023 Mar 14, 2023

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Hey @c.pfaffenbichler 

Please forgive my ignorance. I'm looking for this same solution, but in the many years I've been a Photoshop user, I have no idea where to put this script. I've run actions for things I do repeatedly, but could you please explain how I would utilize this? It's a bummer this isn't integrated into the software like "step and repeat" in Indesign or "move" in illustrator where I can do it more than once. 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 14, 2023 Mar 14, 2023

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Save the code as a txt-file, change the extension to .jsx and copy it into Photoshop’s Presets/Scripts-Folder; after restarting Photoshop it should be available under File > Scripts and can be assigned a Shortcut or used in an Action. 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 14, 2023 Mar 14, 2023

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thanks! I'll give it a shot. 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 14, 2023 Mar 14, 2023

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file is grayed out when I try to browse from scripts menu. added .jsx but does the file name need to be formatted a certain way?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 14, 2023 Mar 14, 2023

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Community Expert ,
Mar 15, 2023 Mar 15, 2023

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Did you save the code as a txt-file in TextEdit (or, if you are a Windows-user, the equivalent text editor)? 

And did you replace ».txt« with »,jsx«? 

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New Here ,
Oct 27, 2023 Oct 27, 2023

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Thank you!! Very helpful.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 07, 2024 Apr 07, 2024

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this is a great script' thank you very much (:

is there a way to change it to selected group instead of selected layer?

duplicate group to all other artboards

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Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2024 Apr 08, 2024

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quote

this is a great script' thank you very much (:

is there a way to change it to selected group instead of selected layer?

duplicate group to all other artboards


By @Lital5E82
if (documents.length == 0) {return};
// get list of selected layers;
var ref = new ActionReference();
ref.putProperty (stringIDToTypeID ("property"), stringIDToTypeID ("targetLayersIDs"));
ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Dcmn"), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
var targetLayersIDs = executeActionGet(ref).getList(stringIDToTypeID("targetLayersIDs"));
if (targetLayersIDs.count != 1) {
    alert ("select exactly one layer");
    return
};
// get current layer’s id;
var layerID = getLayerId ();
// collect artboards;
var theArtBoards = collectArtBoards ();
if (theArtBoards.length == 0) {
    alert ("no artboards");
    return
};
// get active layer’s artboard’s id;
var theLayer = activeDocument.activeLayer;
var thePar = theLayer.parent;
while (thePar.parent != activeDocument) {
    var thePar = thePar.parent;
};
activeDocument.activeLayer = thePar;
var artboardID = getLayerId ();
activeDocument.activeLayer = theLayer;
// process artboards;
for (var m = 0; m < theArtBoards.length; m++) {
// if not on the original artboard;
if (theArtBoards[m][2] != artboardID) {
// =======================================================
    var desc17 = new ActionDescriptor();
        var ref6 = new ActionReference();
        ref6.putEnumerated( stringIDToTypeID( "layer" ), stringIDToTypeID( "ordinal" ), stringIDToTypeID( "targetEnum" ) );
    desc17.putReference( stringIDToTypeID( "null" ), ref6 );
    var idto = stringIDToTypeID( "to" );
        var ref7 = new ActionReference();
        ref7.putIndex( stringIDToTypeID( "layer" ), getLayerIndexFromID(theArtBoards[m][2])-1 );
    desc17.putReference( idto, ref7 );
    desc17.putBoolean( stringIDToTypeID( "duplicate" ), true );
    desc17.putBoolean( stringIDToTypeID( "adjustment" ), false );
    desc17.putInteger( stringIDToTypeID( "version" ), 5 );
        var list6 = new ActionList();
        list6.putInteger( 36 );
    desc17.putList( stringIDToTypeID( "layerID" ), list6 );
executeAction( stringIDToTypeID( "move" ), desc17, DialogModes.NO );
// reselect original layer;
selectLayerByID (layerID, false);
    }
};
};
////// collect layers with certain name //////
function collectArtBoards () {
// get number of layers;
var ref = new ActionReference();
ref.putProperty(stringIDToTypeID('property'), stringIDToTypeID('numberOfLayers'));
ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Dcmn"), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
var applicationDesc = executeActionGet(ref);
var theNumber = applicationDesc.getInteger(stringIDToTypeID("numberOfLayers"));
// process the layers;
var theLayers = new Array;
for (var m = 0; m <= theNumber; m++) {
try {
var ref = new ActionReference();
ref.putIndex( charIDToTypeID( "Lyr " ), m);
var layerDesc = executeActionGet(ref);
var layerSet = typeIDToStringID(layerDesc.getEnumerationValue(stringIDToTypeID("layerSection")));
if (layerSet == "layerSectionStart") {
var artBoardRect = layerDesc.getObjectValue(stringIDToTypeID("artboard")).getObjectValue(stringIDToTypeID("artboardRect"));
var v01 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(0));
var v02 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(1));
var v03 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(2));
var v04 = artBoardRect.getDouble(artBoardRect.getKey(3));
var theName = layerDesc.getString(stringIDToTypeID('name'));
var theID = layerDesc.getInteger(stringIDToTypeID('layerID'));
var theIndex = layerDesc.getInteger(stringIDToTypeID('itemIndex'));
// collect if the rect values are not identical:
if (v01 != v03 && v01 != v04) {theLayers.push([theName, theIndex, theID])}
};
}
catch (e) {};
};
return theLayers
};
////// based on code by mike hale and paul riggott //////
function selectLayerByID(index,add){ 
add = undefined ? add = false:add 
var ref = new ActionReference();
    ref.putIdentifier(charIDToTypeID("Lyr "), index);
    var desc = new ActionDescriptor();
    desc.putReference(charIDToTypeID("null"), ref );
        if(add) desc.putEnumerated( stringIDToTypeID( "selectionModifier" ), stringIDToTypeID( "selectionModifierType" ), stringIDToTypeID( "addToSelection" ) ); 
        desc.putBoolean( charIDToTypeID( "MkVs" ), false ); 
    try{
    executeAction(charIDToTypeID("slct"), desc, DialogModes.NO );
}catch(e){
alert(e.message); 
}
};
////// get active layer’s id //////
function getLayerId () {
var ref = new ActionReference();
ref.putProperty (stringIDToTypeID ("property"), stringIDToTypeID ("layerID"));
ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Lyr "), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
return executeActionGet(ref).getInteger(stringIDToTypeID("layerID"));
};
////// get active layer’s id //////
function getLayerIndexFromID (theID) {
var ref = new ActionReference();
ref.putProperty (stringIDToTypeID ("property"), stringIDToTypeID ("itemIndex"));
ref.putIdentifier( charIDToTypeID("Lyr "), theID ); 
//ref.putEnumerated( charIDToTypeID("Lyr "), charIDToTypeID("Ordn"), charIDToTypeID("Trgt") ); 
return executeActionGet(ref).getInteger(stringIDToTypeID("itemIndex"));
};

Screenshot 2024-04-08 at 10.06.52.pngScreenshot 2024-04-08 at 10.07.02.png

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 08, 2024 Apr 08, 2024

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wow thats perfect

thank you so much

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Community Expert ,
Oct 27, 2023 Oct 27, 2023

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