It turns out you can drive many of Adobe’s apps via a SWF Panel from within Adobe Illustrator – with one catch – if you’re using Leopard on your Mac, you’re out of luck (things have since changed – I’ll explain this in the next example). What really gets me excited, though, is the fact that you can pick and choose features and functions from each Creative Suite application and combine them into your own custom über-applications.
In this example, I needed to download ~16,000 images for an Etsy poster contest in order to generate ~1,000 posters. That included the need to position, scale, mask, title and format all of the images and copy. Downloading images via Flash from the internet to the desktop required a prompt for every file, so to streamline the downloading process, I developed a SWF Panel that tapped into Bridge’s Web Access Library (which supported batch downloading) using BridgeTalk. After the files were downloaded, using a combination of ActionScript and ExtendScript code, I automatically placed, scaled, masked, populated the textfields, applied the text styles, saved and moved on to the next file until the ~1,000 posters were complete. Sweeeeeeet!