John Garrett explains what is meant by the term "variable data" in Adobe Illustrator. He describes what are variables and talks about some of the types of data you might have that would work well with variable data. He also goes over some of benefits of using a variable data workflow, including a reduced chance of errors.
- [Voiceover] So, what is variable data in Adobe Illustrator? Variable data allows you to reuse your design multiple times but quickly change the actual content, the data that is placed in the design. For example, if you had to create 100 business cards, game cards or cards for sports teams, you wouldn't type in each name and phone number by hand then place each headshot one at a time. Doing a job like this by hand can take hours, plus introduce the possibility of copy errors from either incorrect retyping or copy/paste mistakes.
Instead, using variable data allows you to set up one card, then quickly create the rest by importing the employee information from a spreadsheet. Suddenly, a multiple hour job can be completed in a matter of minutes. An added bonus is that the possibility of copy errors is greatly reduced by pulling data from the spreadsheet rather than entering it by hand. There are several methods of using variable data in Illustrator. I'm gonna show you the default Adobe method, and then I'm gonna show you a better method, which is possible using a free script called the Variable Importer.
In the next video, I'll start with the default Adobe way by lifting the different types of variables that Illustrator accepts and explain what each one can do.
Designer John Garrett appreciates the many different types of variables and their practical uses, including generating business cards and direct mailers. In this course, he explains how to use variable data including managing linked images, graphics, tables of data, and graphs. He covers the entire workflow, from setup to exporting dynamic batches.
- Setting up Illustrator files
- Using Appearances
- Setting up data sources
- Importing data
- Managing linked variables
- Binding and using prepend paths and presets
- Using the Variables panel
- Naming data sets
- Generating multiple versions with batch exporting