I have an Adobe Illustrator file (.ai) I made with Illustrator CC (2014 edition). I want to use it to automatically generate many graphics using information from a database. The following are (fictional) examples to illustrate my question.

The Template Graphic

The graphic is very simple. It contains a dark blue rectangle and three entries of text. Each of the text entries uses a different font, size, and color. The styling of the word "CHICAGO" also uses Illustrator's envelope feature to create an arc effect (the effect is important to this project). Here's how the graphic looks:

Chicago Illinois

The Database

I have a database of cities. (It doesn't matter what form the database of city names is in, I can provide any form needed.) The database is very large (in other words, too big to type each city in by hand and probably large enough to create issues when copy-and-pasting in all the entries). A sample of the database entries is below:

New York|New York
Los Angeles|California
San Jose|California

The Required Task

I want to automatically generate a graphic for each entry in the database. If I were to do this by hand, the steps (omitting the obvious) would be:

  1. Change the text of the city and the state.
  2. Re-center everything.
  3. Save for web changing the width to 500 pixels and the format to PNG.

The Desired Result

I would like to be left with a folder of images such as these:

New York New York Los Angeles California

How can this be done using Adobe Illustrator?

Approaches that require programming are welcome.

Approaches adding additional tools to Illustrator are welcome.


1 Answer 1



Illustrator variables / data-driven documents: how to batch-export one file for each data set?

two links that should help you out

  • Hi macuser, thanks for your answer. Could you please tell a bit more about the things you are linking to, and why they help answering the question? That way, your answer is still valuable in case the links break at a later time. Link breaking is the exact reason we are apprehensive about link-only answers like yours. Thanks a lot!
    – Vincent
    Jul 11, 2014 at 11:25

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