How to organize the layer structure for the script

How to organize your layer structure for the script

This is a great script for Illustrator: it automates the export of layers into individual JPG files.

I found this at the hicksdesign blog when I was looking for a smart way to export all 87 layers of a design explorations file to make a web presentation. The standard way of dealing with this (the ‘Save for Web’ option) would have taken me ages, but after some minor adjustments (and a bit of trial and error), this is has become most favorite tool at the moment. It just saves so much time!

Before you go, you need a clean file set-up — the script executes an export of each top-level layer, including all its sub-layers. I added a feature that adds any layers named ‘ALWAYS’ as visible on top of each export. This is good for keeping a browser window visible all the time in the background or a logo, or any other elements that never change throughout your layers.

The size of the export area is defined by a cropping mask, so make sure you have one in place  — otherwise the image will be cropped to the size of all visible elements on a layer.

Just throw the script in the folder Apps/Illustrator/Presets/Scripts and execute it will show up under File/Scripts.
(thanks Pete for helping me with the ALWAYS feature in javaScript!)

Download the jsx file for the script here as ZIP

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Comments ( 11 )

ha ah wooo ha! thanks your a fucking star.
i dont know how much time iv spent manually exporting. and i always new there must be a easier way.
Thank you very much.
it worked a treat

Ewan added these pithy words on Feb 19 09 at 10:03 am

Great script thanks!
Making the ALWAYS layer a white background helped me saving the jpg(s) to the artboard rather than tight around artwork itself.

ymo added these pithy words on Dec 14 09 at 10:45 pm

Hi. I’m getting the layers to split out but I want the master background, slug and some info that applies to each layer on all layers. How do I achieve this? Thanks a million!

chrissy added these pithy words on Jan 29 10 at 12:21 pm

anything you want to show up on all JPG’s needs to be on a visible layer called “ALWAYS”. I usually have two of those master layers, one as the top-most, and one on the bottom for things to show up on top and below the layers I want to export.
hope that helps…

Marco added these pithy words on Feb 08 10 at 9:22 am

Millions of thanks. working here for a german sports company as a production artist and I always have files with many many layers and I always have to send out lowres files for approval…
Thanks to you and the author Niels Bosma!!

joe added these pithy words on Apr 12 10 at 8:01 am

i try do it this way but i cant get the cropping mask done
is there a way we can include the script to save into artboard size?

jeff added these pithy words on Aug 17 10 at 2:07 am

Is a cropping mask the same as a clipping mask? I’m not sure how to go about creating that layer. Any help is greatly appreciated!

mara added these pithy words on Sep 28 10 at 12:28 pm

Great, no messing about – does just what you said, F**$^%G BINGO!
Save me a right load of messing about, cheers man – appreciated.

Leo added these pithy words on Jan 11 11 at 4:14 pm

cool — makes me happy every time someone finds this!

Marco added these pithy words on Jan 11 11 at 4:24 pm

I love your ‘ALWAYS’ feature! Do you have another script like this but for .pdf instead of .jpg? That would be such a life saver. There are other scripts out there but none of them have your handy ‘ALWAYS’ feature.

Renee added these pithy words on Feb 16 11 at 10:47 am

Hi Renee, glad I could help.
writing a PDF script was always my highest goal (you are right it would save even more time) but “export” as PDF is not possible in JS for .ai, only “save as” and that’s a whole different script approach. Since I’m not a coder I never got this…

but here’s what I used to do for workaround: export as JPGs and then make a PDF from those. Doesn’t keep edibility but is sufficient for presentations.

PS: I also switched to Fireworks recently which I find much better for webdesign at least.


Marco added these pithy words on Feb 16 11 at 11:22 am

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