While hosting or conducting an event, writing certificates to delegates is a frustrating job. Well, in my case it’s a pain in the neck. So I found a way to automate this task using Adobe Illustrator. This method is called data merge in Adobe Illustrator.
You can do this on any type of image, not just certificates. You could import text data as well as images, charts etc.
- Adobe illustrator
- Adobe Illustrator document to use as the template.
- A CSV file with the required data. (XML is also supported but CSV is easier).
Let’s begin then.
Prepare the source data.
Open up the spreadsheet
Remove column with email ids if any (cause errors).
All columns have a data field name. For example, Illustrator displays the error message when a column in your data source file contains data but doesn’t have a data field name.
Make sure the data source file doesn’t have a blank column in between any filled columns.
The data field names in your spreadsheet should not contain blank spaces. For example, you can specify the data field as Company_Name instead of Company Name.
The paths referring to image and graph files should not contain any blank spaces. For example, the path of an image file should be C:\Photos\BillTucker instead of C:\Photos\Bill Tucker. Also, add an @ symbol at the starting of the data field name(column heading) of images.
The spreadsheets that you’ve created using the latest version of Microsoft Excel are saved as CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv) or CSV (MS-DOS) (*.csv) and those created using Apple Numbers are saved as CSV format with Unicode (UTF-8) encoding. Data source files saved in any other file format such as Macintosh Comma Separated (*.csv) are not supported for data merge.
Open up Adobe Illustrator and open the Illustrator document.
Choose: Window > Variables
Now you will see 2 boxes in the Illustrator window.
Import the source data into Illustrator
Click on import in the variable panel and import the source CSV file.
After import, you will see something like this. 👇
This is my source data 👇
Bind variables to objects.
- Select an object.
- In the Variables panel (Window > Variables), select the variable you want to bind it with.
- To bind the object with the variable, Click the Make Object Dynamic button.
You can bind multiple objects at the same time
This is the button 👇
Export or save the image.
To do this we need to create an action.
Choose: Window > actions
Then create a new action with any name you like.
To export as jpg/png file:
Choose File>Export>Export As
and Export to any location.
Now click on the stop recording button [square] in the actions panel.
Now choose Batch from the Ac
ions panel menu and select the action you’ve created in the previous step.
Now choose the source as Data Sets and check to Override Action “Export” Commands.
Choose a folder for the output files.
Click Ok and the actions start to play. (You will see data changing)
This may take some time based on your system configuration and no data.
To export as pdf :
Create a new action
Choose File>Save As and save it somewhere.
Now do the same batching process with override save as.