Illustrator CS6.

Action is very simple.

  1. User Input: Select an object
  2. Call Action
    • Set Document Color Mode to CMYK
    • Set Color for selected object
    • Lock object

enter image description here

That should be the end of it. However, these steps repeat themselves a second time.

enter image description here

You can see the repeat above and the resulting error for the Lock step
(since it's already been run and nothing is then selected).

I did have a couple additional action steps - save and close. But due to the repeat those steps wreaked havoc if multiple AI files were open at the same time. Often crashing the app entirely. So, I whittled this down to the minimum and thats when I saw the actual issue was due an undesired repeat.

I'm pulling my hair out as to why the action repeats itself. I'm trying to do away with the error message for the lock step.

Any ideas why an Action would just decide to repeat itself?

1 Answer 1


After some troubleshooting...

The "repeat" appears to be due a shortcut conflict.

If the Action is run by clicking the play button at the bottom of the Actions Panel, then the repeat does not occur. The action only repeats when using a shortcut, designated in the Action Options:

enter image description here

To solve this, ensure the shortcut assigned does not conflict with any other usage for the entire operating system. If the Action's assigned shortcut conflicts, the action seems to repeat.

Hunting down the actual conflict can be a quest in itself.

Most of the F keys within Illustrator are used for the Window menu shortcuts (Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts > Menus) ... but the conflict can extend across the entire OS, at least here. In most instances the OS shortcut is called first (but may not actually run because Illustrator is the foreground application), then Illustrator sees the call. So, you get essentially a double-call when using the shortcut if there is a conflict.

  • That is a very good catch.
    – joojaa
    Jan 15, 2021 at 22:44
  • I was amazed that Google offered nothing regarding this.
    – Scott
    Jan 16, 2021 at 19:30
  • Might this be a mac only bug @Scott
    – joojaa
    Jan 17, 2021 at 7:35
  • 1
    @joojaa Could be.. but the conflict can also occur with the F keys in AI directly. There's no warning or anything if you set an action's F key to an existing F key shortcut (for window menu items).
    – Scott
    Jan 17, 2021 at 8:01
  • Probably moot since CS6 is so old now.
    – Scott
    Dec 24, 2021 at 3:40

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