I have a bunch of square symbols that are all the same size. I would like to set random pre-designed symbols into a defined grid.

Square symbols:

enter image description here


enter image description here

Symbols placed randomly within grid:

enter image description here

Is this at all possible?

  • Your question body asks for random position, while the title of the post requests randomly selected symbols, unrelated to position. I've answered the question in the body.
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 15:49
  • 1
    Clarification request: I think I understand you @user142377 as asking for a script, plugin or method allowing that you automagically position symbols, which are in aspect ratio square, into a defined grid. Further, you wish that the specific symbols placed are from a set you've created, and the "random" aspect is not positional, but rather a random selection out of that total selection set to be placed at each grid location. Is that correct? Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 16:42
  • 2
    @GerardFalla that is indeed correct, thank you for making sense of my end-of-day ramblings.
    – user142377
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 17:08

2 Answers 2


Only answering here since this is a very old question and I know a solution which is not my solution.

There's a script posted at the Adobe forum to randomly replace symbols.
This seems to me to be what is being requested here.

The Adobe Forums link is HERE.

The script, written by Qwertyfly, is as follows:

var doc = app.activeDocument;

var sym = doc.symbols;

var sel = doc.selection;

for(var i = 0; i < sel.length; i++){

    var place = doc.symbolItems.add(sym[Math.floor(Math.random() * sym.length)]);

    place.height = sel.height;

    place.width = sel.width;

    place.top = sel.top;

    place.left = sel.left;


    place.selected = true;


The script will replace symbols with other, randomly selected, symbols.


Using the search terms "illustrator script random position," I found a number of possible solutions. One of them is a canned script from vectorboom.com in their free scripts section. It appears to allow to produce your objective.

random placement image one

Another result is an answer within this SE. It also appears to solve your goal, but is not as obvious to the eye.

random placement image two

There may be other solutions presented via the above-noted search terms.

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