Importing spreadsheet data as layers into Adobe Illustrator – Graphic Design Stack Exchange

I have a spreadsheet with a TON of content that I need to import to layers via Illustrator. I have several columns that need to be imported for some business cards. So for instance name, email, phone, title. Is there a way to import this spreadsheet into illustrator so that I can have one layer for each row via setting up some variables in the Illustrator file? I initially posted this question in a general manner, using an example of business cards. Some folks came up with a great answer to this question, which was to use InDesign instead of Illustrator. Which in the example of creating business cards would have been the proper way to go. Trying to simplify my query obviously returned the wrong answers, so I'll state the more complex example of what I'm trying to do: I am creating slides for a video based on data from a spreadsheet. The guys doing the video need the file in illustrator, and they need the data from the spreadsheet on a separate layer per data set. I got about 75% of the way there by creating variables and data sets using Illustrator. I did a sample test of 5 data sets (Like I said I have about 100 in total), and I was able to create a new layer and paste the data set. But unfortunately, the way the AI actions work, I cannot select the new layer created, so it pastes everything on one layer. In addition to this issue, I would first have to create an XML file, because the data sets cannot be imported from a spreadsheet. I haven't looked into this, but this would be another process in itself. It's not impossible, but it would take some legwork. You would need to export the spreadsheet into a format that is easily readable and modified, then translate that into a vector format that has the same attributes. I don't know how strong your programming background is, but hopefully you can see where this is going. You simply need to tokenize the CSV and inject the values into your SVG 'template'. You'll probably want to set display='none' on the <,text>, elements so that the groups are hidden by default when you open the file in Illustrator. Just read your comment saying you need the final output in .ai format. Here's a suggestion, basically, Illustrator to Indesign to Illustrator again. The artboards might be off, but if the person you're sending these for needs to do something else with them anyway, that might not be a problem. If the artboards are a problem, there are a few different ways you can export each page as a PDF which can then be opened in Illustrator, though depending on which version you are using, PDFs rather than EPS may create more (or, less) compatibility problems: So this is where I started and didn't fully get me 100% of the way there. I was able to use a tutorial similar to this: http://www.adobe.com/uk/designcenter/illustrator/articles/ill10datadrvn.html - the one I actually used was from the Adobe Classroom in a book from CS3 (yeah it was an old book I had laying around). The issue with this is that I'd first have to take my spreadsheet and modify it so that it is in the exact XML format that is outputted from AI when you export your data sets. I didn't bother trying to figure this out, because I had already wasted plenty of time and I wasn't sure if that would even work. What I did do was use the XML file from the tutorial and I managed to get about 85% of the way done. Here's what I did. What I tried to do was create a custom action that created a new layer, then pasted the new data set into that layer. unfortunately, the way Illustrators Action works does not allow you to select a new layer. It just skips that step entirely. So what I ended up with was a newly created layer for each data set with all of the data sets pasted onto the original layer. It was almos there, but not what I needed. In the end I just copied/pasted everything onto new layers manually because it seemed to be the most straightforward quickest way to achieve what I wanted. If anyone has any idea how to make the actions select a newly created layer then that would have been what I needed, but I couldn't to get that to work. I know that I'm a little late to the party here, but couldn't you simply add a few steps to the end of your action here? The only way I know of, is to import your spreadsheet into a Word document, convert into text, and you paste quick as possible your data by using a shortcut of alt-tab to reach the document. Source.


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Last Modified: April 23, 2016 @ 6:05 am