As graphic designers, animators, and motion graphic designers, we are very fortunate to have a job where we can have fun with creativity and get paid for it. Although our field calls for an artistic brain, it still calls for just as much, if not more, of an organizational brain. We have to magically create on a dime. Sometimes with such un-realistic deadlines, we need certain tools to help speed up the process. Time is of the essence in our world and if we don’t have the right tools, we may end up not producing the award winning work we all strive for.
With that in mind I have just found a great tool in scripts for Photoshop and Illustrator, that I had never used much of in the past. Scripts are a lot like actions in that they both automate repetitive tasks. But with scripts you can use multiple programs to complete the task, where with actions you can only perform tasks within one program’s user interface.
Here are a couple reasons why a script may be better than an action:
• Actions use a program’s user interface to do their work. As an action runs, menu choices are executed, objects are selected, and recorded paths are created. Scripts do not use a program’s user interface to perform tasks, and scripts can execute faster than actions.
• Actions have very limited facilities for getting and responding to information. You cannot add conditional logic to an action; therefore, actions cannot make decisions based on the current situation, like changing the stroke type of rectangles but not ellipses. Scripts can get information and make decisions and calculations based on the information they receive from Illustrator.
• A script can execute an action, but actions cannot execute scripts.
Although writing scripts may be a bit over my head, it might be a good thing to think about when trying to increase productivity on a project. When you have an idea of repetitious tasks that you do all the time, having a script for these tasks may cut your work load in half. Scripting also can enhance your creativity, by quickly performing tasks you might not have time to try.
Scripting Language Supported by CS6:
• Download the desired script to your hard drive.
• Once download, place the script in the Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop/Presets/Scripts folder.
• Once copied to this location, the script will appear in the scripts submenu.
• Go File > Scripts to find your script.
Free resources for scripts:
There are a ton of resources on the web for already made scripts that can be very useful for your work load. But before I list out the top 10 useful scripts that I have found. I will give you a free Script Bay to keep all of your scripts in your tool sets, ready to roll.
Here are some of the current features of the Script Bay:
- Script Bay offers the ability to run scripts located anywhere on your hard drive.
- Scripts can be viewed in either a list-view or tree-view.
- The list of scripts can be dynamically filtered, and scripts can be launched via keyboard navigation.
- Scripts can be edited directly in the built-in Script Bay script editor.
- Multiple scripts or folders full of scripts can be run in a single command.
- Script files can be moved, duplicated, deleted, and renamed directly within the panel.
- Scripts run in the Script Bay panel can be undone in InDesign as a single undo.
- Scripts can be easily “installed” into the host application.
- Script Bay has a default “cross-application” folder, and scripts placed in this folder are automatically available to all CS applications.
- Script Bay supports drag & drop for moving around script files as well as loading scripts into the script editor.
- Scripts can be added to Script Bay from anywhere on your hard drive by simple drag & drop.
You can get more info on it as well as download it here:
Here are my TOP 10 useful scripts for both Illustrator and Photoshop:
1. Close All Paths / Close All Selected Paths (Illustrator)
If you forget to close your paths when illustrating in Illustrator, this action will do that for you.
2. Circle (Illustrator)
Created by SATO Hiroyuki
This script will create a ellipse with a specified amount of anchor points. This might seem simple, but it greatly increases your ellipse editing ability for creating brushes, complex shapes and more. Illustrator has a function where you can add more anchor point to an object, but you can’t specify how many extra point you want to add.
3. Save with Timestamp (Illustrator)
Created by John Wundes
This script will rename the current open file, save the file, close and re-open the file with a new timestamped name. This script helps you keep track of multiple file version.
4. Organify (Illustrator)
Created by John Wundes
Enter small numbers to make objects look hand drawn. Enter larger numbers to make objects look organic. Enter even larger numbers to distort beyond recognition.
5. Automatic Calendar Creator (Illustrator)
Created by Kelso
Create a calendar big or small, boxes or no boxes and much more.
6. Remove All Blank Layers (Photoshop)
This script automatically removes blank layers from your comp. Very handy for cleaning up your doc.
7. Per Layer Guides (Photoshop)
This script will allow you to save a different set of guides per layer (Not background layer) To store guides in a layer run the script with the SHIFT key pressed. To display the layer guides just run the script. The guide information is stored in the layer metadata.
8. Text Export (Photoshop)
Exports all of your text strings in Photoshop into a TXT file.
9. Remove Unused Effect (Photoshop)
This script will clean a PSD and remove any layer effect(s) that is not used.
10. Guide Sets (Photoshop)
This script will allow you save multiple guide sets.
This is only a small list of what is out there for FREE. So browse around at the many ways we can speed up our productivity , which will leave us more time for creativity. If you are a programmer, make some sweet scripts top make your life easier. If you are like me and haven’t programmed a thing in your life, jump online and see what is out there.