Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles

This chapter is from the book

Advanced scripting

This section demonstrates how to use the information contained in the previous sections of this chapter to create scripts that do the following:

  • Configure document preferences.
  • Apply color to text items. In this section, you will also learn how to do the following:
    • Create a reference to an existing document.
    • Create a layer object and make the layer a text layer.
  • Rasterize text so that wrap and blur processing can be applied to words. In these sections you will also learn how to do the following:
    • Select and work with a specific area of a layer by creating a selection object.
    • Apply wave and motion blur filters to selected text.

Working with document preferences

The sample scripts in this section activate a Adobe Photoshop CS2 Application object and then save the default configuration settings into variables so that they can be restored later when the script completes. These are the default configurations you most probably set up in the Preferences dialog when you initially installed and configured Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Next, the scripts set the following preferences to the following values:


Set to




Uses inches as the unit of measurement for graphics.



Uses pixels as the unit of measurement for text (type).

dialog modes


Suppresses the display of dialog boxes so that your script executes without the user being asked for input (such as clicking an OK button) at various stages of the process.

Next, variables are declared that store document dimensions in inches and document resolution in pixels. A display resolution is declared and the text “Hello, World!” is assigned to a string variable.

Finally, an if statement checks whether a Document object has been created and then creates a new Document object if none exists.

• To work with document preferences:

  1. Create the following script.
    //create and assign variables for default preferences
    startRulerUnits = app.preferences.rulerUnits
    startTypeUnits = app.preferences.typeUnits
    startDisplayDialogs = app.displayDialogs
    //change settings
    app.preferences.rulerUnits = Units.INCHES
    app.preferences.typeUnits = TypeUnits.PIXELS
    app.displayDialogs = DialogModes.NO
    //create and assign variables for document settings
    docWidthInInches = 4
    docHeightInInches = 2
    resolution = 72
    //use the length property of the documents object to
    //find out if any documents are open
    //if none are found, add a document
    if (app.documents.length == 0)
    docHeightInInches, resolution)
       //restore beginning preferences
       app.preferences.rulerunits = startRulerUnits
       app.preferences.typeunits = startTypeUnits
       app.displayDialogs = startDisplayDialogs
  2. Name the script HelloWorldDoc.jsx and save it in the Scripts folder.
  3. Open Adobe Photoshop CS2 and choose File > Scripts > HelloWorldDoc to run the script.
  4. Choose Edit > Preferences > Units & Rulers to verify that your preferences have been returned to your original settings.
  5. After viewing the document in Adobe Photoshop CS2, close the document without saving it.
  6. To prepare the script for the next section, comment the statements that restore the beginning preferences by adding slashes as follows:
    //app.preferences.rulerunits = startRulerUnits
    //app.preferences.typeunits = startTypeUnits
  7. Save the script.

Applying color to a text item

In this section, we will add a layer to the HelloWorldDoc script, then change the layer to a text object that displays the text Hello, World! in red.

Before you begin, do the following:

  • Quit Adobe Photoshop CS2.
  • Open the script file HelloWorldDoc in your script editor application.

• To create and specify details in a text item:

  1. Type the following code into the HelloWorldDoc script immediately before the commented statements that restore original preferences.
    //create a reference to the active document
    docRef = app.activeDocument
    //create a variable named textColor
    //create a SolidColor object whose color is red
    //assign the object to textColor
    textColor = new SolidColor = 255 = 0 = 0
    helloWorldText = "Hello, World!"
    //create a variable named newTextLayer
    //use the add() method of the artLayers class to create a
    //layer object assign the object to newTextLayer
    newTextLayer = docRef.artLayers.add()
    //use the kind property of the artLayer class to make the
    //layer a text layer
    newTextLayer.kind = LayerKind.TEXT
    newTextLayer.textItem.contents = helloWorldText
    newTextLayer.textItem.position = Array(0.75, 1)
    newTextLayer.textItem.size = 36
    newTextLayer.textItem.color = textColor
  2. Save the script, and then open Adobe Photoshop CS2 and select the script from the Scripts menu (choose File > Script > HelloWorldDoc). Be patient while Adobe Photoshop CS2 executes your commands one by one.
  3. After viewing the document in Adobe Photoshop CS2, close Adobe Photoshop CS2 without saving the document.

Applying a wave filter

In this section we’ll apply a wave filter to the word Hello in our document. This entails the following steps:

  • Set the document width and height to pixels and then rasterize the text object in the Text Layer.
  • Select the area of the layer to which we want to apply the wave filter.
  • Apply a wave filter to the selection.

Defining the area of a selection object

To define the area of a selection object, we will create an array of coordinates, or points specified in pixels within the document. The array indicates the coordinates that define the outside corners of a rectangular area that begins at the top left corner of the document and extends half way across the document.

The array values in order are:

  • Upper left corner of the selection: 0,0
    • 0 indicates the left-most column in the document.
    • 0 indicates the top row in the document.
  • Upper right corner of the selection: theDocWidthInPixels / 2, 0
    • theDocWidthInPixels / 2 indicates the column in the middle of the document; that is, the column whose coordinate is the total number of columns in the document divided by 2.
    • 0 indicates the top row in the document.
  • Lower right corner: theDocWidthInPixels / 2, theDocHeightInPixels
    • theDocWidthInPixels / 2 indicates the middle of the document.
    • theDocHeightInPixels indicates the bottom row in the document; that is row whose coordinate is the total number of rows in the document.
  • Lower left corner: theDocWidthInPixels / 2, 0
    • theDocWidthInPixels / 2
    • 0
  • Upper left corner of the selection: 0,0

• To select an area and apply a wave filter to it:

  1. Type the following code into the script file HelloWorldDoc just above the commented statements that restore original preferences:
    //create new variables to contain doc width and height
    //convert inches to pixels by multiplying the number of
    inches by
    //the resolution (which equals number of pixels per inch)
    docWidthInPixels = docWidthInInches * resolution
    docHeightInPixels = docHeightInInches * resolution
    //use the rasterize method of the artLayer class
    //create a variable to contain the coordinate values
    //for the selection object
    selRegion = Array(Array(0, 0),
       Array(docWidthInPixels / 2, 0),
       Array(docWidthInPixels / 2, docHeightInPixels),
       Array(0, docHeightInPixels),
       Array(0, 0))
    //use the select method of the selection object
    //to create an object and give it the selRegion values
    //as coordinates
    newTextLayer.applyWave(1, 1, 100, 5, 10, 100, 100,
       WaveType.SINE, UndefinedAreas.WRAPAROUND, 0)
  2. Save the script, and then open Adobe Photoshop CS2 and select the script from the Scripts menu (choose File > Script > HelloWorldDoc).
  3. After viewing the document in Adobe Photoshop CS2, close Adobe Photoshop CS2 without saving the document.

Applying a motionblur filter

In this section, we will apply a different filter to the other half of our document.

Additionally, because this is the last exercise in this that deals with our Hello World document, we will uncomment the statements that reset our original application preferences for rulers and units.

• To apply a motionblur filter to HelloWorldDoc:

  1. Type the following code into the script file HelloWorldDoc just above the commented statements that restore original preferences.
    //change the value of selRegion to the other half of the
    selRegion = Array(Array(docWidthInPixels / 2, 0),
       Array(docWidthInPixels, 0),
       Array(docWidthInPixels, docHeightInPixels),
       Array(docWidthInPixels / 2, docHeightInPixels),
       Array(docWidthInPixels / 2, 0))
    newTextLayer.applyMotionBlur(45, 5)
  2. Delete the slashes from the commented statements above the end tell statement as follows:
    app.preferences.rulerUnits = startRulerUnits
    app.preferences.typeUnits = startTypeUnits
  3. Save the script, and then open Adobe Photoshop CS2 and select the script from the Scripts menu (choose File > Script > HelloWorldDoc).

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020