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Is there a way to save Presets (set a cookie) in Scripts in Photoshop?

Community Beginner ,
Jan 09, 2024 Jan 09, 2024

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Hi. I write a script for PS and want to save user Preset choices so i dont have to click all my favorite settings again when i re-run the script. I couldnt find anything, standard JS window.localStorage is not working. Anyone? Thanks and best regards. Wolfgang

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Actions and scripting , macOS

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correct answers 3 Correct answers

LEGEND , Jan 09, 2024 Jan 09, 2024

Extendscript doesn't have features which rely on a web browser such as cookies. Some apps (Bridge for example) allow you to save settings in application preferences. Others, such as Photoshop, do not.

Since Extendscript has support for XML, you can save settings to a file and read them back later. (Either XML or just plain text.)

More documentation is here:

https://developer.adobe.com/photoshop/

 

And below is a demo of using XML preferences.

 

 

 

/*
Utility Pack Scripts created by David M. Converse ©20
...

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Community Expert , Jan 09, 2024 Jan 09, 2024

This is a sample script that I use to save preferences. The key to making this work is to declare all your UI variables with a name. Then you have to give the UI control a name that is the same as the variable. What's nice about this, is that you can add control items and it will automatically update.

 

///////////Preference and XML vars  
  
var presetList = new Array(  );//Blank array to be populated with the users preferences stored in an XML file  
var run = true
var xmlFile = new File('~/De
...

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Community Expert , Jan 09, 2024 Jan 09, 2024

At my level of scripting, I found it easier to work from a plain text file.

 

The following example writes 3 separate lines which will be used as variables to a file on the desktop:

 

/* WRITE TO PREF FILE */

// Pref file platform specific LF options
var os = $.os.toLowerCase().indexOf("mac") >= 0 ? "mac" : "windows";
if (os === "mac") {
    prefFileOutLF = "Unix"; // Legacy = "Macintosh"
} else {
    prefFileOutLF = "Windows";
}

// Create the preference file
var prefFileOut = new File('~/Desk
...

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LEGEND ,
Jan 09, 2024 Jan 09, 2024

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Extendscript doesn't have features which rely on a web browser such as cookies. Some apps (Bridge for example) allow you to save settings in application preferences. Others, such as Photoshop, do not.

Since Extendscript has support for XML, you can save settings to a file and read them back later. (Either XML or just plain text.)

More documentation is here:

https://developer.adobe.com/photoshop/

 

And below is a demo of using XML preferences.

 

 

 

/*
Utility Pack Scripts created by David M. Converse ©2018-24

This script is a sample of how to read/write settings to an XML file
Will work with any application that supports ExtendScript

Last modified 1/9/2024

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.
*/
main();

function main(){
var prefsXmlStr = '''<preferences> <creator>Test Script</creator> <setting_1> <name>Default</name> </setting_1> <setting_2> <value_1>100</value_1> <value_2>Maximum</value_2> <value_3>true</value_3> </setting_2> <data key="Version" value="1.0"/><data key="Last_Date" value="1-1-1"/></preferences>'''; //default settings, hardcoded for first run or if XML file is unusable
var prefsXML = new XML(prefsXmlStr); //new XML object
var prefsPath = '~/Desktop'; //this can be set as desired
prefsPath = prefsPath + '/Test Script Prefs.xml'; //name as desired
var prefsFile = File(prefsPath); //file onject
//we use variables to abstract the values from the XML
//XML values must be converted to String
var Tname = prefsXML.setting_1.name.toString(); //read from XML object
var slider_value = eval(prefsXML.setting_2.value_1.toString()); //number 0 to 100
var checkbox_value = eval(prefsXML.setting_2.value_3.toString()); //boolean
var ddl_value = prefsXML.setting_2.value_2.toString();
var vers = prefsXML.data.(@key == 'Version').@value.toString();
var Tdate = Date().toString(); //current date
var lastDate = prefsXML.data.(@key == 'Last_Date').@value.toString(); //last run date
var testWindow = new Window('dialog', 'Test', undefined, {closeButton:true}); //new window, supports Photoshop, can have additional properties

function prefsRead(prefsFile){ //read existing XML settings file and load
if(prefsFile.exists){ //file found on disk
try{
prefsFile.open('r'); //open for read
prefsXML = new XML(prefsFile.read()); //replace hardcoded XML object with XML from file
prefsFile.close();
}
catch(e){
alert('Could not read preferences file. Default settings will be loaded.');
prefsFile.remove(); //delete existing file on error
return;
}
}
else{ //can't find file
try{
var prefsFile = new File(prefsPath); //create new file
prefsFile.open('w'); //open for write
prefsFile.write(prefsXML.toXMLString()); //XML object to file
prefsFile.close();
}
catch(e){
alert('No preferences file found. Could not create new file.');
return;
}
}
}

function prefsWrite(){ //write updated values to file
if(! prefsFile.exists){ //prefs file not found
try{
prefsFile = new File(prefsPath); //create file
}
catch(e){
alert('Could not create preferences file.');
return;
}
}
try{ //save settings to prefs file
prefsFile.open('w'); //open for write
prefsFile.write(prefsXML.toXMLString()); //XML object write to file
prefsFile.close();
}
catch(e){
alert('Could not save preferences file.');
}
return;
}

function createWindow(){
try{
testWindow.panel = testWindow.add('panel', undefined, ''); //master panel
testWindow.panel.orientation = 'column'; //could use resource format instead
testWindow.panel.alignChildren = 'fill';
testWindow.panel.preferredSize = [250, 200];
testWindow.panel.textbox1 = testWindow.panel.add('edittext', undefined, ''); //add controls
testWindow.panel.textbox1.preferredSize = [200, 25];
testWindow.panel.textbox1.text = Tname;
testWindow.panel.slider1 = testWindow.panel.add('slider', undefined);
testWindow.panel.slider1.value = slider_value;
testWindow.panel.cb1 = testWindow.panel.add('checkbox', undefined, ' Checkbox 1');
testWindow.panel.cb1.value = checkbox_value;
testWindow.panel.ddl1 = testWindow.panel.add('dropdownlist', undefined, ['Maximum', 'Very High', 'High', 'Medium', 'Low']);
testWindow.panel.ddl1.selection = testWindow.panel.ddl1.find(ddl_value); //set list value
testWindow.panel.textbox2 = testWindow.panel.add('statictext', undefined, '', {multiline:true});
testWindow.panel.textbox2.preferredSize = [225, 25];
testWindow.panel.textbox2.text = 'Version ' + vers;
testWindow.panel.textbox3 = testWindow.panel.add('statictext', undefined, '', {multiline:true});
testWindow.panel.textbox3.preferredSize = [225, 75];
testWindow.panel.textbox3.text = 'Current Date:\r' + Tdate + '\rLast Run:\r' + lastDate;
testWindow.panel.button0 = testWindow.panel.add('button', undefined, 'Apply');
testWindow.panel.button1 = testWindow.panel.add('button', undefined, 'Ok');
testWindow.panel.button2 = testWindow.panel.add('button', undefined, 'Cancel');

//replace values with values from file
Tname = prefsXML.setting_1.name.toString(); //read from XML object
testWindow.panel.textbox1.text = Tname;
slider_value = eval(prefsXML.setting_2.value_1.toString()); //evaluate to change string to number
testWindow.panel.slider1.value = slider_value;
checkbox_value = eval(prefsXML.setting_2.value_3.toString()); //evaluate to change string to boolean
testWindow.panel.cb1.value = checkbox_value;
ddl_value = testWindow.panel.ddl1.find(prefsXML.setting_2.value_2.toString()); //listItem
testWindow.panel.ddl1.selection = ddl_value; //list box can also use indexed listitems
vers = prefsXML.data.(@key == 'Version').@value.toString(); //read key/value pair
testWindow.panel.textbox2.text = 'Version ' + vers;
lastDate = prefsXML.data.(@key == 'Last_Date').@value.toString();
testWindow.panel.textbox3.text = 'Current Date:\r' + Tdate + '\rLast Run:\r' + lastDate;
lastDate = Tdate;
prefsXML.data.(@key == 'Last_Date').@value = lastDate; //write value back to XML object

//update XML object with changed values, will be written on close.
testWindow.panel.textbox1.onChanging = function(){
Tname = testWindow.panel.textbox1.text;
prefsXML.setting_1.name = Tname;
}

testWindow.panel.slider1.onChange = function(){
slider_value = testWindow.panel.slider1.value;
prefsXML.setting_2.value_1 = slider_value.toString();
}

testWindow.panel.cb1.onClick = function(){
checkbox_value = testWindow.panel.cb1.value;
prefsXML.setting_2.value_3 = checkbox_value.toString();
}

testWindow.panel.ddl1.onChange = function(){
ddl_value = testWindow.panel.ddl1.selection.text;
prefsXML.setting_2.value_2 = ddl_value;
}

testWindow.panel.button0.onClick = function(){
prefsWrite();
}

testWindow.panel.button1.onClick = function(){
testWindow.close();
prefsWrite();
}

testWindow.layout.layout(true);
testWindow.show();
testWindow.active = true;
}
catch(e){
alert(e + ' ' + e.line);
}
}

prefsRead(prefsFile); //read file
createWindow(); //make window
}

 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 09, 2024 Jan 09, 2024

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In addition to TXT and XML mentioned by @Lumigraphics I believe that JSON is another viable option.

 

Photoshop does have application environment variables for $.setenv and $.getenv that persist for that session, however they are lost when exiting the software. I have not had much success in consistently using them though.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 09, 2024 Jan 09, 2024

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This is a sample script that I use to save preferences. The key to making this work is to declare all your UI variables with a name. Then you have to give the UI control a name that is the same as the variable. What's nice about this, is that you can add control items and it will automatically update.

 

///////////Preference and XML vars  
  
var presetList = new Array(  );//Blank array to be populated with the users preferences stored in an XML file  
var run = true
var xmlFile = new File('~/Desktop/XYZ/xmlTest.xml');  
if(xmlFile.exists){  
    prefXML = new XML(readXMLFile(xmlFile))  
    };// see if a preference file exists and load it.  
else {
    run = false
    alert('There is no preset file')}  
  
var dlg = new Window('dialog','XML Test')  

        
        /////////All elements separated in a separate window
        ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
       
       var dlg = new Window('dialog','XML Test')  
        
        var myCheckBox = dlg.add('checkbox',undefined,'Check Box'); myCheckBox.name='myCheckBox';  
        var myRadio1 = dlg.add('radiobutton',undefined,'Radio 1'); myRadio1.name='myRadio1';  
        var myRadio2 = dlg.add('radiobutton',undefined,'Radio 2'); myRadio2.name='myRadio2';  
        myRadio1.value = true;  
        var myEditT = dlg.add('edittext',undefined,'Edit Test '); myEditT.name='myEditT';  
        var myStaticT = dlg.add('statictext',undefined,'Static Test '); myStaticT.name='myStaticT';  
        var mySlider = dlg.add('slider',undefined,25,0,100); mySlider.name='mySlider';  
        var myDropList = dlg.add('dropdownlist',undefined,['one','two','three']); myDropList.name='myDropList';  
          
         ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
         ///xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

     
/////////////////////////////////// This needs to be in any dialog box for the presets to work///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  
/////////////////////////////////// The name of the dialog has to match whatever is in the current UI///////////////////////////////////////////  
dlg.gp = dlg.add('group');  
dlg.gp.orientation = 'row';  
    var presetListDrop = dlg.gp.add('dropdownlist',undefined, ['No Presets']); //presetListDrop.name = 'presetListDrop';  
        presetListDrop.size = [200,16]  
        presetListDrop.selection = 0;  
        dlg.show()
try{
      if(prefXML.presets.children().length()>0){//loads presets into UI  
            setPresetList()      
            setUIvar(prefXML,0,dlg)  
            presetListDrop.selection = 0
            }  
}
catch (e){}
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  
      

  
  
dlg.hide();  
////////////////////////////////////////////////////

//alert (myCheckBox.value + '\n' + myEditT.text + '\n' + myDropList.selection.text)
  

////////////////////////////////Presets//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////  
//function loops through the ui object and if a control item has been assigned a name uses that name to look up the preset value in the XML.  
function setUIvar(x,n,d){//x= xml file; n = node number (0 is default node), d = UI dialog  
  
    var currentXMLVal;//used to store values from XML file.  When this value is assigned, it checks to see if value from XML exist  
    var noMatch = false  
      
    for(var i = 0;i<d.children.length;i++){  
        noMatch = false;  
          
        if(d.children[i].type == 'panel' || d.children[i].type == 'group' || d.children[i].type == 'tab' || d.children[i].type == 'tabbedpanel'){setUIvar(x,n,d.children[i])};//reruns function if child is container and not control item.      
        else{  
            if(d.children[i].name){//Checks to see if child has a name assigned so only will reset those control items that have a name will be stored.  
                try{  
                    //Assigns all variables from presets node.  The "n" tells which preset to select.   
                    currentXMLVal = x.presets.preset[n].child(d.children[i].name);     
                    if(currentXMLVal == 'null'){currentXMLVal = null};  
                    }//end try  
                //catch assigns 'no_good' to current XMLVal so that if there is no value in the XML file, it will not try to assign a bad value to the UI controls.  
                catch(e){currentXMLVal = 'no_good'};//end catch  
                //switch makes sure proper type of value is reassigned back to UI controls.  
                if(x.presets.preset[n].child(d.children[i].name).length() > 0 || d.children[i].type == 'button'){  
                      
                    switch(d.children[i].type){  
                        case 'radiobutton':  
                            d.children[i].value = returnBoolean(currentXMLVal);  
                            break;  
                         case 'checkbox':  
                            d.children[i].value = returnBoolean(currentXMLVal);                          
                            break;  
                        case 'edittext':  
                            d.children[i].text = currentXMLVal;  
                            break;  
                        case 'slider':  
                            d.children[i].value = parseFloat(currentXMLVal);  
                            break;  
                        case 'dropdownlist':  
                            varHold = false;  
  
                          if(x.presets.preset[n].child(d.children[i].name).@selecIndex.toString() == 'null'){d.children[i].selection = null}  
                          else{d.children[i].selection = parseInt(x.presets.preset[n].child(d.children[i].name).@selecIndex)};  
  
                          break;  
                          };//end switch else  
  
                   };//end if to see if there is a good value from the XML  
                 
                };//end if for UI control having name  
            };//end else for if child is container or control  
        };//end for loop   
  
 };//end function setUIvar  
  
 //function returns a boolean value.  Values stored in XML are returned as strings, so they need to be converted back to boolean values.  
function returnBoolean(b){  
    if(b == 'true'){return true}  
    else{return false}  
    };  
  
//Function resets the values of the preset list when items are added or deleted.  
function setPresetList(){  
    presetList = new Array();  
    presetListDrop.removeAll();  
    for(var i=0;i<prefXML.presets.children().length();i++){presetListDrop.add('item',prefXML.presets.children()[i].@presetName)}  
};//end function setPresetList  
  
function readXMLFile(file) {  
    if (!file.exists) {  
        alert( "Cannot find file: " + deodeURI(file.absoluteURI));  
        }  
    else{  
        file.encoding = "UTF8";  
        file.lineFeed = "unix";  
        file.open("r", "TEXT", "????");  
        var str = file.read();  
        file.close();  
  
        return new XML(str);  
        };  
};  
  

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Community Expert ,
Jan 09, 2024 Jan 09, 2024

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At my level of scripting, I found it easier to work from a plain text file.

 

The following example writes 3 separate lines which will be used as variables to a file on the desktop:

 

/* WRITE TO PREF FILE */

// Pref file platform specific LF options
var os = $.os.toLowerCase().indexOf("mac") >= 0 ? "mac" : "windows";
if (os === "mac") {
    prefFileOutLF = "Unix"; // Legacy = "Macintosh"
} else {
    prefFileOutLF = "Windows";
}

// Create the preference file
var prefFileOut = new File('~/Desktop/My_Preference_File.txt');
if (prefFileOut.exists)
    prefFileOut.remove();
    prefFileOut.open("w");
    prefFileOut.encoding = "UTF-8";
    prefFileOut.lineFeed = prefFileOutLF;
    var dateTime = new Date().toLocaleString();
    prefFileOut.writeln(dateTime + ", " + "Source Doc: " + app.activeDocument.name);
    prefFileOut.writeln(activeDocument.width.value);
    prefFileOut.writeln(activeDocument.height.value);
    prefFileOut.close();

 

 

The following script will read the 3 separate lines as variables from the text file and transform two of the variables from strings to numbers:

 

/* READ FROM PREF FILE */

var prefFileIn = File('~/Desktop/My_Preference_File.txt');

if (File(prefFileIn).exists && File(prefFileIn).length > 0) {

    // Read the preference file from the user's desktop
    prefFileIn.open('r');
    // Read the 1st line from the log file, a means to an end...
    var logInfo = prefFileIn.readln(1);
    // Read the 2nd line from the log file & convert the string to a number/integer
    var prefFileWidthValue = Math.floor(prefFileIn.readln(2));
    //alert(prefFileWidthValue.toSource());
    // Read the 3rd line from the log file & convert the string to a number/integer
    var prefFileHeightValue = ~~prefFileIn.readln(3);
    //alert(prefFileHeightValue.toSource());
    prefFileIn.close();

    // Demo - alert on the variables
    alert(logInfo);
    alert(prefFileWidthValue);
    alert(prefFileHeightValue);
    // Debugging
    $.writeln(logInfo);
    $.writeln(prefFileWidthValue);
    $.writeln(prefFileHeightValue);
} else {
    app.beep();
    alert('There is no valid file named "My_Preference_File.txt" on the desktop!');
}

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 10, 2024 Jan 10, 2024

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Thanks for all the answers. I ended up with a textfile on my local machine. a little sad though ,) thanks!

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Engaged ,
Jan 10, 2024 Jan 10, 2024

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because sad will he have to write the data somewhere or not???

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LEGEND ,
Jan 10, 2024 Jan 10, 2024

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Unless you have a strictly memory-resident app that doesn't store state, it has to go into a file somewhere. A cookie is just a text file managed by a web browser.

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