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  • Batch automation of hundreds of WMF's, change/replace color, then export to new WMFs?

    Hello all, I'm a seasoned Graphic Designer that has used Illustrator for a long time, though I've yet to explore it's batch automation capabilities (as I have more so with Photoshop). Now that I'm presented with an opportunity to do so, I must say I'm a bit disappointed with my first stab at it, as it relates to what I would think would be a rather simple (and common) action that Illustrator would be able to easily do at such a 'mature' stage in it's existence. In fact, I'm surprised it's not a preset, out-of-the-box action by now (it's only what, version 17,18 now?). What I'm referring to, as it's been covered numerous times before I'm sure (though I still can't find a clean and working resolve) is...batch automation of recoloring files.
    First things first, does anyone know exactly why recoloring/replacing swatches in an action is never (or seemingly can't be) recorded? I get that the swatch you're trying to recolor the image to should be in the files you're trying to recolor first...but isn't that the whole point? That the likelihood of the new color you want WON'T be in the existing file, so that should've been taken into consideration in the development process of building an action to do this? In my opinion, it kind of makes the whole idea of trying to do this type of automation process counterproductive...but I'm no developer so maybe there's much more to it.
    Getting back to my specific tasks, which I'm hoping someone can shed some straightforward light on and assist with, is that I'm trying to batch automate an action...Javascript...or whatever that will simply open up hundreds of WMFs then:
    1 - select the image (one object and one color)
    2 - create the new color/swatch (by RGB or CMYK values, not Pantone or PMS)
    3 - apply the new color/swatch
    4 - export to a new WMF
    5 - done...repeat (a few hundred more times lol)
    ...simple (or one would think), but seemingly impossible unless you pretty much are a developer that can do what Adobe has failed to do or include in this software for 20+ years now...a simple, straightforward 'recolor object' action(?). If anyone can help me see what I may be missing or has faced a similar situation/tasks, and has a solution, I'd GREATLY appreciate it. I've tried building an action to do it in a few different ways, and I've failed with each one. I've researched and read that you can't record 'recoloring' or 'creating/applying a new color swatch' in an action in a few resources and forums now, but still don't understand the reason to this limitation?
    Thank-you all...

  • #2
    Hi Damionm7 and welcome to GDF.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Damionm7 View Post
      I've researched and read that you can't record 'recoloring' or 'creating/applying a new color swatch' in an action
      Is the color you're replacing the same in all the files? If so, this can be done in an action.

      Here's what to record (the values of the color you're replacing must be known):
      1. Create a rectangle (leave it selected)
      2. Set its fill color to the color to be replaced
      3. In the Note field of the Attributes panel, type a name for the object; something like target
      4. Choose Select > Same > Fill Color
      5. Use the Color Picker or Color panel to set the new color
      6. Choose Select > Deselect All
      7. From the Actions panel menu, choose Select Object... and type target in the Select object(s) whose note has: field. Click OK
      8. Tap the Delete key
      9. Export to WMF

      I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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      • #4
        Hey HotButton, yes the color will be the same for all of the files. I will try to setup an action like what you described and see if it works. Stay tuned, and thank-you!

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey HotButton, I was able to follow your step up until step 7. I don't see a 'Select Object' action in the presets. Is this an action that I need to create first or something? I'm use Adobe Illustrator CS6 (16.0.0, 64-bit) if this helps. Thank-you.

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          • #6
            I don't mean to be argumentative, but I can't remember of ever needing to batch process Illustrator files to do what you've described -- not once in my nearly 30 years of using the program has it arisen.

            I have plenty of my own gripes about things Adobe should add, but then I realize not many others need those things. For example a personal annoyance is how Illustrator just collapses a curve when a less-than-necessary anchor point is removed. In my opinion, Illustrator should approximate the existing curve using the remaining adjacent points, like FontLab does. But that's just something I'd like because it would be highly useful to me when building efficient fonts.

            During the 30 years since it was first released, Illustrator has expanded out into something that, as far as I'm concerned, already has way too many seldom-used features. I've used AppleScript to get Illustrator to do lots of repetitive tasks, but I wouldn't want to see Adobe provide a menu item or a pallette for those things. If they did, the program would be even more bloated and cumbersome for beginners than it already is.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Damionm7 View Post
              I don't see a 'Select Object' action in the presets. Is this an action that I need to create first or something? I'm use Adobe Illustrator CS6 (16.0.0, 64-bit) if this helps.
              7. From the Actions panel menu, choose Select Object...


              I no longer have a working install of CS6, so I can't confirm, but I do believe it was there.
              Last edited by HotButton; 08-01-2017, 08:01 AM.
              I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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