I am trying to build out a bunch of icons with different 2 letter values as well as a different background fill color. I have the data set with a name, hex code color, and the 2 letters.

Is there anyway I can use the hex code value inside my data set as a variable to be iterated upon inside a batch action? I have looked around and not really seen anything relating to my problem. The closest thing I saw was to rename the hex code values as RGB's and make them custom swatch names.

If you can just point me in the right direction.

1 Answer 1


Using the VariableImporter script to manipulate the variable data along with some extra scripts may be able to get you to your goal. Here is the link to the recolor workflow article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/illustrator-variable-data-advanced-techniques-recoloring-vasily-hall/ And here's the link to the article that makes it easier to work with the recolor article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/recolor-workflow-using-color-map-spreadsheet-vasily-hall/

To explain the main principle of the way this works, basically the power comes from how you can insert any script to play on your dataset inside of a batch action via a menu item. If you put in this special script (not the VI script, but the recolor.jsx script) into your File > Scripts menu, then you can choose to play it on each dataset. What it does then is read text-variable data passed into special textboxes (which are required) and dispenses the data using some recoloring instructions which are recorded inside the document in a special instructions layer.

This may seem really convoluted (and it is), but the 2nd link I supplied really helps automate even this process to make it more manageable and even understandable. Past automatically recoloring, the payoff is also seen via the usage of Illustrator's non-color-centric styling abilities, such as usage of variable graphic styles or gradient and pattern swatches.

I think I owe some other person a sample set which I forgot about, and I need to make a new sample to go along with the 2nd article mentioned, so if you get in touch with me here or on LinkedIn, I'll send you this new sample once I get it created as well.

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