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Selecting by Text Attributes in Illustrator

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#1
rudy

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Hi All -

We need to be able to select text objects in Illustrator by size, font and/or style. This was a fairly simple thing to do in Freehand (from which we are converting files) but seems impossible to do in Illustrator - at least as far as we know. Does anyone know of how to do this (if it is possible, in fact)? Does anyone know of any scripts that can do this? Or are there work-arounds?

#2
Nick Springer

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I don't know if any exist already, but a script would definitely be fairly straight forward, and the only way to do it in Illustrator.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#3
ELeFevre

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Hi All -

Or are there work-arounds?


Hey Rudy,
I'm guessing you don't have Mapublisher? You can do it in there with the new property attributes.



#4
rudy

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Sadly, no - we don't have MaPublisher. In terms of scripts . . . . there doesn't seem to be any out there that would do the trick . . . I suppose I'll have to create my own . . . and learn scripting along the way.

#5
Hans van der Maarel

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I'm guessing you don't have Mapublisher? You can do it in there with the new property attributes.


Actually... you can't. Well, you can if you're using a text style (#Style parameter in MAPublisher), but that's it.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#6
ELeFevre

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I'm guessing you don't have Mapublisher? You can do it in there with the new property attributes.


Actually... you can't. Well, you can if you're using a text style (#Style parameter in MAPublisher), but that's it.


So you can? ;)



#7
Hans van der Maarel

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So you can? ;)


Yes, but only if you have assigned a named style to the text.

You can't, for example, select "all texts that are 6pts Arial". I wish we could, would save me a lot of time...
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#8
Andrew Patterson

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So you can? ;)


Yes, but only if you have assigned a named style to the text.

You can't, for example, select "all texts that are 6pts Arial". I wish we could, would save me a lot of time...


An interesting thought. I'm always on the lookout for new MAPublisher Properties to add :) I'll discuss it with the powers that be (while I have a great deal of input I don't have final say). I should warn you that I'm cautious about actually putting IN new properties; I just want to be sure they're not wasting space. After all, once they're in, they're pretty much in for good. Taking them out would only cause problems for people. And I don't want the default attribute schema for a layer to have 30 pre-set properties, even if they don't take up any real data space, they take up UI space; since they come first in the schema by default, I'd rather they not push your data attributes down four pages of scrolling!

And to be especiallyy clear: I'm not suggesting that I'm going to go about adding a property for everything text can have in Illustrator (or necessarily any at all)! If you've ever seen the API for AI text, it's a crazy, huge beast. Just reading that monster is educational: it taught me that as much as I thought I understood about text, I really didn't know a fraction of what there is to know :P

All that said, would font family & point size be enough? Bear in mind that less is better. And hell, if you have suggestions for other feature types that you'd find useful, suggest away. I can't make any promises, but I've got a list somewhere on my desk of potential properties that I see as possible ones to add over future versions. #Name was on my list for a while and finally got in for 7.5 (though that one was unusual in that it applies to all feature types).
Andrew Patterson
Lead Software Architect
Avenza Systems Inc.

email: andrew@avenza.com
phone: 416.487.5116

#9
ELeFevre

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So you can? ;)


Yes, but only if you have assigned a named style to the text.

You can't, for example, select "all texts that are 6pts Arial". I wish we could, would save me a lot of time...



All that said, would font family & point size be enough?


This would be great!



#10
Hans van der Maarel

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All that said, would font family & point size be enough?


Yes, that would work for me. I usually split up texts by theme (1 "TEXT" layer with various sublayers) so this should give me enough options.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#11
Matthew Hampton

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Another approach would be to call upon a "skilled independent Illustrator plug-in manufacturer."

Rick Johnson comes to mind and he has even written a plug-in that selects all text, so I think it's possible.

Come to think of it - I recall a time many years ago when several cartographers pooled $$ together to pay Rick J. to create a plug-in and we all got to use it. I forgot what what the plug-in was or what it did - if I have the time I'll seach the mapmac archives :ph34r:

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#12
Andrew Patterson

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All that said, would font family & point size be enough?


Yes, that would work for me. I usually split up texts by theme (1 "TEXT" layer with various sublayers) so this should give me enough options.


Ok, as luck would have it I just wrote an internal font manager object to assist with some labeling work we're doing and that should make it much easier to add a #FontFamily property. I'll add it & #FontSize to the feature request list & see if it can't make it into the next release.

If there are any others that you guys would find particularly useful, let me know & I'll throw them on the short list.
Andrew Patterson
Lead Software Architect
Avenza Systems Inc.

email: andrew@avenza.com
phone: 416.487.5116

#13
mike

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All that said, would font family & point size be enough?


Yes, that would work for me. I usually split up texts by theme (1 "TEXT" layer with various sublayers) so this should give me enough options.


That is what I do as well. It takes more time to organize up front, but overall, it's easier to select only the fonts you want.

#14
rudy

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All that said, would font family & point size be enough?


Yes, that would work for me. I usually split up texts by theme (1 "TEXT" layer with various sublayers) so this should give me enough options.


That is what I do as well. It takes more time to organize up front, but overall, it's easier to select only the fonts you want.

That makes sense and is done most of the time; however, we've got a large number of pieces of street text - some at 4.2 pts, some at 4.5 pts, some at other sizes, depending on the space. These are all on the same layer. Perhaps we should split these up into separate layers.

#15
Agliee

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All that said, would font family & point size be enough?


Yes, that would work for me. I usually split up texts by theme (1 "TEXT" layer with various sublayers) so this should give me enough options.


Ok, as luck would have it I just wrote an internal font manager object to assist with some labeling work we're doing and that should make it much easier to add a #FontFamily property. I'll add it & #FontSize to the feature request list & see if it can't make it into the next release.

If there are any others that you guys would find particularly useful, let me know & I'll throw them on the short list.


Hi there,

I just wanted to add that in my office we are struggling for months converting freehand documents to AI-documents and like the people in this thread before all the cartographers are really missing a tool for selecting text based on the text attributes like it existed in Freehand.
I have already looked into scripting for solving this problem but unfortunately scripting does not seem to be powerful enough for this task. As a next step I though about getting into C programming again and writing an applet for this but just did not have the time for this.
We are having a number of MAPublisher licenses in our office and would be very, very happy if Avenza would implement a "search by text attributes" feature.
I think in addition the attributes "#FontFamily" and "#FontSize" are sufficent and would really help with the annoying conversion tasks.

Best regards,
Andreas




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