Apply Live Effect – applyEffect (LiveEffectXML)

Scripting Adobe Illustrator is painful at times, we don’t have access to some of the most useful features available to us manually using the UI, and we also don’t have the luxury of major upgrades to the DOM as ID or PS users have enjoyed for years. With the release of CS6 some years back, Adobe surprised us with a couple of new, although undocumented commands that seemed to have great potential. One of them was  executeMenuCommand(menuCommandString), the string syntax was missing, but fortunately it was quickly found out by some talented scripters, proving its value, and becoming one of the most, if not the most powerful command available.

The other command released with CS6 was applyEffect(liveEffectXML), which also had its string syntax missing, till now…well, without further ado, here’s an example

// apply offset path live effect to selected path
var idoc = app.activeDocument;
var ipath = idoc.selection[0];
xmlstring = ‘<LiveEffect name=”Adobe Offset Path”><Dict data=”R mlim 4 R ofst 20 I jntp 2 “/></LiveEffect>’;


the important part of the string is the data, mlim is the MiterLimit Value “4”, ofst is the Offset Value “20”, jntp is the Join Type “2” for Miter.



How to get the XML string parameter

To get the right xml string for a particular Effect, fire up Illustrator CS5 or CS6, draw a rectangle, apply a Live Offset Path as show above, then save your file as FXG


Make sure “Save Illustrator Private Data” is selected, then click on “Show Code…”, you’ll get the xfg text file generated.


Look for the LiveEffect tag and get the name and the Dict data from it as shown below

<LiveEffect name=”Adobe Offset Path”><Dict data=”R mlim 4 R ofst 20 I jntp 2 “/></LiveEffect>


that’s all, that’s the xml string you need to add to your script.


I would like to thank Adobe’s Sanjay Kumar, without his input this command would have not seen the light of day.

Create a – Text Block – out of selected Point Text Items


This script creates a “Block” of text out of Selected Point Text Items, that is, it re-sizes each frame so they all have the same width. Back then when I wrote the script I didn’t know this layout style was called “SlabType”, otherwise I would have picked a more suitable name, anyway, here’s my “textBlock” script. Please note that the final Block of Text is converted to Outlines.



Download textBlock.jsx

Armature: Drag-N-Drop Wireframing Tool for Illustrator

Armature wireframing tool Illustrator

The Armature Drag N Drop Wireframing Tool
for Illustrator

Ready-made Objects for Just About Everything

Conceptualize web and mobile layouts quickly and efficiently by simply adding objects to any artboard. Armature’s well-organized, fully searchable library contains headers, footers, menus, tabs, toggles, tooltips, placeholders, content blocks, form elements and even complete layouts—the list goes on.

I made a video showing how Armature works. The extension is pretty neat and easy to use. I was very pleasantly surprised!
I believe this will be a tool that I will use over and over again to conceptulize web sites I create before going into WordPress and creating them.


Here is the front page wireframe I made with Armature.

Frontpage wireframe made in Illustrator with Armature extension



  • Easily Build Your Own Wireframes
    No need to purchase a separate wireframing program or hire someone else to handle building out your site’s wireframes. Now with the Armature wireframing extension to Adobe Illustrator, you can create your own wireframes.
  • Simple to Use
    If you’re familiar with Illustrator, creating wireframes will be a snap. Simply add objects to any artboard and you’ll quickly have your wireframes built out. Just use the drag-and-drop functionality to put things in place. It couldn’t be easier!
  • Highly Organized, Resourceful Library
    Armature’s library isn’t just well organized, it’s also highly searchable. You’ll find everything you need to build a website including headers, menus, tabs, footers, placeholders, tooltips, toggles, content blocks, form elements, and more!
  • Web and Mobile
    You can use Armature to build wireframes not just for the Web but for mobile devices as well. The panels include everything you’d need to quickly build mobile views.
  • Complete Layouts
    You’ll get a number of complete layouts to make your wireframing even easier. Take advantage of complete layouts such as blogs, ecommerce, portfolios, sign-ins, calendars, and tables!


To get the easy to use Illustrator extension wireframing tool go to