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What Can You Script in Creative Suite?

A better question might be what can't you script in Creative Suite? By laying bare the inner workings of Creative Suite to scripting, Adobe has made it possible for users to control almost every aspect of its programs. For me, the question is not so much about what to control but rather what I can do with that control. In Photoshop, for example, you can write scripts for creating layers, adding type, replacing text, and running filters. In Illustrator, you can write scripts for creating and moving objects, changing colors, and saving documents in different formats. And with InDesign, you can write scripts to import type, create PDFs, change linked images, and more.

The real magic, however, comes from the workflows and projects you can facilitate via scripting. One example would be a script that allows you to open a batch of files, resize them, add a watermark to each, change their color space, and save them with different names to another directory via just one command. Take a look at your own workload, and you should be able to come up with more examples. The scripts I'm going to show you in this chapter are fairly simple, but once you get a feel for the process, you'll be able to build more complex scripts and even workflows.

When developing scripts, it's often helpful to evaluate their return on investment: If, down the line, you can save more time by using the script than it took to write and test it, your scripting efforts represent a sensible investment. If that's not the case, however, you should consider another form of automation, such as using Creative Suite actions. I can't say I've always followed this reasonable rule though. Learning and experimenting are hard things to put a value to, so keep it in mind but don't let it hinder you unduly.

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