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How To Translate Adobe Illustrator Files (FREE scripts)


Translating an Illustrator file manually can be a time-consuming and laborious process, especially if you're dealing with multiple files.

The task of copy-pasting your text and ensuring that each file is error-free can add up to hours of tedious work.

Thankfully, there's a solution that can automate your Illustrator translation process and save you time and effort. In just a few clicks, you can extract all the text from as many Illustrator files as you need and translate them. Then, you can replace the original text with your translation in just a matter of seconds.

In this post, we'll show you how to use this powerful tool and make your Illustrator translation projects faster, easier, and more precise.

The two scripts are in “Alpha stage” and have not been tested extensively. Use them at your own peril 😇

The process

To automate the translation of your Illustrator files, we will be using two scripts:

  1. The first script will extract all the text from your Illustrator files and create an exchange file. With just one click, you can export the text from as many Illustrator files as you need.
  2. Next, you can use the exchange file to get your text translated.
  3. Once the translations are ready, the second script allows you to import the translated text back into your Illustrator files with ease. This makes it easy to translate all of your files, saving you time and ensuring consistency across all your designs.

File supported

The two scripts support *.ai, *.eps, *.svg files.

Installing the scripts

If you have never installed an Illustrator script, here are the general steps to install it:

  1. Download the script files by clicking this link (Latest version uploaded on the 15th of March 2023).
  2. Locate the Illustrator scripts folder on your computer. On a Windows computer, it's typically located at C:\\Program Files\\Adobe\\Adobe Illustrator [version]\\Presets\\en_US\\Scripts\\. On Mac devices, it's usually at Applications/Adobe Illustrator [version]/Presets/en_US/Scripts. If you can’t locate the folder, it might be because your Illustrator installation is not in “en_US”.
  3. Move the script files you downloaded to the Scripts folder.
  4. In Illustrator, go to the "File" menu and select "Scripts". Your newly installed scripts should appear in the list.
  5. If you can’t see the scripts, close and reopen Adobe Illustrator.
  6. You will need to double-click the script to run it.

Note that the exact steps may vary slightly depending on your operating system and version of Illustrator.

1. Export the text from one or more Illustrator files

To export your text from your Illustrator files:

  1. Open Adobe Illustrator.
  2. If you have an Illustrator document open (or more), make sure it contains the text you want to extract. If you don't have a document open, skip to step 3.
  3. Go to the "File" menu and choose "Scripts" → "redokun_export-text.jsx".
  4. If you don’t have a document open, a dialog box will prompt you to choose a folder where your Illustrator files are located. Choose the folder and click "OK".
  5. The script will then process all the Illustrator files in the selected folder (or the one selected, if you have some files open), extract the text, and collect them in a JSON file.
  6. If you don't have a tool to open JSON files installed on your computer, you can download and install Sublime Text (or a similar tool). Once installed, set your operating system to open JSON files with Sublime Text (or the tool of your choice).
  7. Choose a location to save the JSON file and give it a name.
  8. Click "Save".
  9. You now have a JSON file containing all the text extracted from your Illustrator files.

2. Translate the text

At this point, you can send your JSON file to a translation vendor and ask them to translate it.

Nevertheless, you should consider testing Redokun if you translate documents often, not just Illustrator files, but also InDesign, FrameMaker, Word, PowerPoint, Excel files, etc.

Redokun combines three important features into one simple tool so you can streamline your document translations straight from a browser. Just by using one tool, you can:

  1. Manage all your documents and teams at a glance.
  2. Collaborate with different people in real-time.
  3. Translate faster with computer-assisted translation.

By having everything in one place, you and your team will have a clear and easy process for translating documents. As a result, you can produce multilingual documents quickly for your business — all while staying within your budget and deadlines.

If you’re interested:

  1. Feel free to start a 14-day free trial of Redokun from this page.
  2. Once you’ve activated your account, upload the JSON file to Redokun, and invite your team to translate it.
  3. When the translation is complete, download the translated JSON file.

3. Import the translations

Now that you have the translated JSON file, here is how you can import the translations back into your Illustrator files:

  1. Make a copy of the original Illustrator files before running the import script to avoid accidentally losing your original content.
  2. Ensure that the copy of the original Illustrator files has the same name as the files used in the export process.
  3. Save the translated text as a JSON file.
  4. Open Adobe Illustrator and run the "redokun_import-text.jsx" script. To do so, go to the "File" menu and choose "Scripts" → "redokun_export-text.jsx".
  5. If you have any open documents in Illustrator, the script will try to run the process on those documents. Otherwise, it will ask you to specify the folder containing the Illustrator files you want to process.
  6. Next, select the translated JSON file when prompted by the script to import the translations.
  7. The script will edit the original Illustrator files, replacing the original text with the translated text.
  8. As if by magic, your Illustrator files are all translated and you didn’t have to copy-paste any text.

Known limits of the process

While this method of automating Illustrator translation can save a lot of time and effort, there are a few limitations you should know.

For one, style changes within your text will not be preserved during the translation process (e.g. bold, italics). Additionally, if any of the original Illustrator files are edited before the translations are imported back in, this could potentially cause errors or issues with the script. If you do edit an Illustrator file, you’re advised to export the text again using the script.

Another limitation to be aware of is that the script is only capable of extracting text, and will not work with strings that have been transformed into shapes using the "create outlines" command. If your Illustrator file contains outlined text, you will need to convert it back into editable text before using the script for translation. This may require manual adjustments or working with the original source file, if available

Nevertheless, by being mindful of these limitations and planning accordingly, you can still enjoy the benefits of a streamlined translation process with minimal hassle.

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