Yesterday I solved a peculiar problem with a strange solution and felt compelled to share. ūüôā

Hundreds of Illustrator files each contained 6 images

I needed to extract the images from each of these Illustrator files and save them each individually.

Unfortunately neither Illustrator nor Adobe Bridge had an easy way to do this across hundreds of files.

Photoshop can Open Embedded Illustrator Pictures Individually

Thankfully Photoshop provided me with an awesome option.

Photoshop can open Illustrator files, and then open each embedded image as a separate file.

 

Photoshop Automation to Extract Embedded Illustrator Images by Exporting them - 1 Photoshop Import PDF - Ellis Benus Web Design Columbia MO

Photoshop’s Import PDF window handles Opening Illustrator Files

The Problem: Having to click the mouse twice for EACH Illustrator file.

That seems like a small problem, but with almost a thousand (1,000) Illustrator documents, that’s A LOT of¬†mindless clicking!

I knew there had to be a better way to handle this.

Recording and Automating Mouse Actions to the Rescue!

Photoshop Automation to Extract Embedded Illustrator Images by Exporting them - 2 MouseController Free Software Automates Records and Automates Playing Back Mouse Actions - Ellis Benus Web Design Columbia MOWith a little Googling I found a cool, free, mouse automation software MouseController.

MouseController seemed like the answer to my prayers!

MouseController was a small, portable, free software for Windows that records mouse actions then allows you play them back repeatedly.

MouseController could click on image 6, then click Ok in Photoshop, opening all the images from all my Illustrator files.

Then Software Disaster Struck!

MouseController DOES NOT record Keyboard Presses!

You must hold the SHIFT KEY down when clicking the final image in the Photoshop Import PDF screen to select all images.

Since MouseController didn’t do this, it was now useless to me. ūüôĀ

Back to Google, searching for a Mouse Automation Software that DID record Keypresses.

Victory! GhostMouse rises from the ether to Save Me!

Photoshop Automation to Extract Embedded Illustrator Images by Exporting them - 3 GhostMouse is Free Software Automates Records and Automates Playing Back Mouse Actions - Ellis Benus Web Design Columbia MOGhostMouse DOES record keyboard presses, so it records my pressing the SHIFT KEY, catching ALL of the images in the Illustrator file.

You’ve GOT to be KIDDING ME?!

 While GhostMouse DOES record both keypresses and mouse actions it DOES NOT allow for looped playback of recorded actions!

At this point I’m ready to¬†punch the monitors, gouge my eyes out, and wage death on¬†computers.

Finally, a Solution! Run BOTH Mouse Automation Utilities!

  • GhostMouse¬†records everything.
  • MouseController will run a loop.
  • So I’ll use both!

MouseController clicks the Start Button on GhostMouse which then works in Photoshop to open all the images!

Boom! Lightning in a bottle! Everything works exactly the way I want it to!

  1. In Photoshop I open 30 Illustrator documents.
  2. Photoshop opens the Input PDF window.
  3. I start MouseController.
  4. MouseController clicks Start on GhostMouse.
  5. GhostMouse holds Shift, left clicks on image 6, selecting all images.
  6. Then GhostMouse clicks OK.
  7. Photoshop opens all 6 images as individual files.
  8. Photoshop opens the next Illustrator document with the Input PDF window.
  9. MouseController repeats its run every 15 seconds, opening all the files.

Photoshop Batch Scripts and Actions Finish The Job!

I created an action which Rotated the Images, saved them as JPGs and closed the image.

Photoshop allows you to run Batch Actions on All Open Files.

Click File > Automate > Batch…

Photoshop Automation to Extract Embedded Illustrator Images by Exporting them - 4 Photoshop File, Automate, Batch Menu - Ellis Benus Web Design Columbia MO

The Photoshop Batch Window Opens

  1. Select your Action Set
  2. Select your Specific Action
  3. Select “Opened Files” from¬†the Source menu
  4. Click Okay

Watch Photoshop do all your work for you! ūüôā

Photoshop Automation to Extract Embedded Illustrator Images by Exporting them - 5 Photoshop Batch run Actions on All Opened Files - Ellis Benus Web Design Columbia MO

Well, that’s my tale of automation with Photoshop, Illustrator, MouseController and GhostMouse¬†so I could¬†be lazy and not click thousands of times!

I hope you’re inspired¬†automate¬†more of your work! ūüôā