I've got a bunch of objects on an artboard and I'd like to know the X/Y positions of them all. It would be fine to either have pixel values, or a % from the sides of the artboard.

Importantly, I don't want to just click each one and then copy down the values stored in their position fields. Ideally I could generate a list of:

object_name : x_position, y_position

values. Anyone have an idea how I could accomplish something like this in Illustrator or Inkscape?

  • 2
    an SVG file has (this;probably) information embedded
    – Ilan
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 21:13
  • What do you consider an object? Is it a path group compound path... What do you consider its postion the upper corner of a BB, individual vertices center etc. @Ilan yes but not necessarily in the way he hopes. A ascript could be easily made.
    – joojaa
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 21:23
  • I'm pretty flexible in terms of what exactly I mean by "x,y" position, because I can always translate it on my own if it's not just what I want. Ideally, it would be the center point of an object (e.g., a circle, and I want the center of the circle). Not sure if that's qualified as a "path" or not. If all that information is stored in the SVG file, then it sounds like that might be quite easy...
    – choldgraf
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 1:53
  • All information is stored in the svg its just that data is a tree. So if you have groups its hard to say directly from the file. because each group is measured in local coordinates.
    – joojaa
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 3:57

3 Answers 3


You can also do this with Illustrator scripting, with same caveat as @Wrzlprmft's answer that objects have to be at top level. (you can recurse the for loop for groups compound paths etc if you wish. This is a quick example after all):

#target illustrator

var sel = app.activeDocument.selection; 
var file = File.saveDialog('save centers', 'center:*.txt');

for(var i = 0; i < sel.length; i++){
      if(sel[i].typename == "PathItem"){
          var obj = sel[i];
          var center = obj.position
          center[0] -= obj.width/2.0;
          center[1] += obj.height/2.0;  
          file.write(obj.name+" : "+center[0]  + ", "+center[1]+"\n"); 


Script asks for file name and dumps data into it (without warning!). To run put in a .jsx file and drag and drop to illustrator or use extendScript toolkit.


If you look into the source of your SVG (open it with a text editor), you will find mainly stuff like this:

   transform="translate(242.40625,114.78125)" />

Those lines starting with x= and y= contain exactly what you are looking for. You can now write some script to extract them, e.g., with an Inkscape-saved SVG the following works for me (for other SVGs you might need some adjustment):

grep " x=\"\| y=\"" drawing.svg | sed "s/[^\"]*\"//;s/\".*//" | paste -d '\t' - -

Note that the above may not work if the objects belong to a transformed group or are otherwise special.

  • 1
    Only if rect does not belong to a transformed group! Also no name of object.
    – joojaa
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 7:54

@joojaa gave a fantastic answer here. I used it to write the below script. I formatted it to spit out JSON with an array of paths, each an object with a pathname (the name of your path on in the layers panel) and an array of x/y points on that path.

To get exactly the right numbers to output you need to do a little bit of maths with the position of your artboard as things get offset otherwise.

I've used JSON as I wanted these numbers to be fed into some graphical javascript - but it's pretty easy to format them any way you like. The commented website is pretty useful btw:

#target illustrator
// help here
// https://illustrator-scripting-guide.readthedocs.io/jsobjref/PathItems/

var doc = app.activeDocument; 
var sel = doc.selection; 
var activeAB = doc.artboards[doc.artboards.getActiveArtboardIndex()]; // get active AB
var docLeft = activeAB.artboardRect[0];
var docTop = activeAB.artboardRect[1]; 

var file = File.saveDialog('save centers', 'center:*.txt');

file.write('{"paths": [\n'); 

for(var i = 0; i < sel.length; i++){
    if(sel[i].typename == 'PathItem'){

        var obj = sel[i];
        var pathLen = obj.pathPoints.length;

        file.write('"name":"' + obj.name + '","points":[\n'); 
        for ( j = 0; j < pathLen; j++ ) {
            var center = obj.pathPoints[j].anchor;
            var x = parseFloat(Math.abs(docLeft)) + parseFloat(center[0].toFixed(4));
            var y = docTop - center[1].toFixed(4);
            file.write('['+ x + ', ' + y + ']');
            if(j < pathLen - 1) {

        if(i < sel.length - 1) {



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