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Tag72a Documentation

This page will be updated as needed; please check back periodically.

Please refer to the “read-me” PDF which was included with your download. It includes information on that plugin’s features as well as basic support information. More detailed usage information will soon be available here.

Please keep in mind that Tag72a is not a substitute for careful proofing. It is designed to assist in checking your work, and although we strive for the best results, we cannot guarantee that our methods can catch every possible condition within an Adobe Illustrator document.

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tag72a

Introduction
Tag72a is a prepress utility plugin for Adobe Illustrator that displays information about opened documents. This information can be helpful when proofing or preparing it for final output. The information becomes part of the file, so it does not require the plugin for a client or vendor to see it, and it can be reformatted to fit your typical information block. The document information you choose is created or updated, either manually or automatically, as you prefer.
 
Settings can be either global for all documents, or customized for different documents, and they can be saved as presets for easy re-use later.
Usage guide
The information Tag72a displays can include any combination of the following:
  • Document name
  • Document path
  • User name
  • Date saved
  • Date printed
  • Document spot colors
  • Document spot color swatches
  • Document fonts

Point text objects with this information are added near the zero point of the current artboard. You can then move the text art and reformat it with other font and paragraph properties. When the information changes, the contents of the revised objects are updated. All information types have options described below.

Settings are managed in a panel accessed from the menu item Window > Tag72a. 

The On/Off switch determines whether items will be automatically added or updated. Radio buttons let you choose whether to create new text or swatch art if needed, or only update existing art.

The Update button will perform a manual update on all checked fields except for Print or Save dates. Date items will only be updated when the document is actually printed or saved, and only if those items are checked in the panel.

Settings are saved with the plugin’s preferences, as well as in the current document. When you have checked “Use these settings for every document,” the panel’s settings will be used for each document that is opened. If this is option is not checked when a document is opened, Tag72a will import the settings last used with that document.

Settings can be saved as presets as described later.

Each art item created by Tag72a is given a special name. Do not change the names, because that is how Tag72a identifies the art item to update its content. If there is more than one item by that name, only the first item found is updated. Existing art can be set to automatically update its contents by giving it one of these names in the Layers panel. These names are:

Tag72a Document Name

Tag72a Document Path

Tag72a User Name

Tag72a Save Date

Tag72a Print Date

Tag72a Spot Color List

Tag72a Font List

If spot color swatches are created, they are named “Tag72a Swatch 01” etc.

This panel has many options, so it takes up a lot of space on your screen! If you always use the same settings, you can check “Use these settings for every document” and either close the panel or click the << in the upper right corner to collapse it to an icon.

If you use different settings for different documents or at different times, you may prefer another recommended strategy. Create presets for different settings. If the current document’s settings match a preset, that preset’s name will be displayed in the menu. That way you can see at a glance if any of the settings varies from the standard preset you selected. There is a button in the upper-right corner of the panel to Compact or Expand the panel. Click Compact to display only the On/Off switch, the Update button, and menu widgets, or click Expand if you need to see all settings to change any of them.

Settings

You can choose options to customize how Tag72a works. These preferences will be saved and re-used until you change them. Groups of settings can be saved as presets, which will be covered below.

The settings panel can be found with other panels under the menu item Windows > Tag72a.

On/Off/Update toggles the automatic update between On, Off,  or Update only.

Tag72a Off

Off: Tag72a does nothing. The switch is shown in gray with the title Off.

Tag72a On

Tag72a can run in either of two modes. First is On where it creates new text objects if needed, as selected with the radio buttons below the switch. The switch is displayed with a green background.

Tag72a Update

The second “On” mode is Update only where new text items are not created. Here, only existing text objects have their contents updated to reflect the properties of the document. This mode is selected with the radio button below the switch. In this mode, the switch is displayed with an orange background. 

Compact panel

Adobe Illustrator has a lot of panels and they can take up a lot of valuable screen real estate. To keep the panel size to a minimum, you can click the Compact button to change the panel’s size to include only then top two rows of controls. If you need to access other items, just click the Expand button.

compact settings panel

There are options for each text object. Each can be toggled on/off using the checkboxes. When checked, these attributes will be updated except when the settings are set to “Off.” When in “On” mode (where “Create new text objects if needed” is selected) new text point art will be created as needed to display these results. When in “Update only” mode, only existing fields will be updated, and no new art will be created regardless of which items are checked.Each item includes a text field where you can add a description or label, if desired. In most cases, you will want to add a space at the end of the text to separate the label text from the results. Any text entered in these label fields will be inserted before the data of the fields. Just leave the text field blank if you do not wish to have a label displayed.In the example below, spot colors and document fonts have labels defined, while the document name does not. In addition, the document name has been truncated to four characters.Tag72a info block

 
Document name

The first item listed is Document name. Check this item if you want the document name shown in the document and updated when saved or printed. In the text field to the right, you can optionally enter a label for the document name, which will be inserted before the name. If you do not want a label, keep this field blank.

Tag72a document name

Truncate document name can be used to limit the document name to a given number of characters if, for example, your documents have long names but only the first part of the name is significant for tagging. In the example above, only the first 8 digits of the file name are significant, so “Truncate document name” is checked and the settings are set to show only the first 8 characters.

Document path

Check this item if you wish to include the Document path among the text tags, and add text for a label if desired.

User name

Check this item to display the user name. In the text field to the right, enter a label for the user name if you would like one, or leave it blank for no label. Use the radio buttons to choose whether the user name is represented in full, as initials, or choose None if you want to enter a custom name in the label field. Tag72a user name When Adobe Illustrator was installed, the user may have been defined as something less descriptive than you’d like, or maybe just a machine ID like “#168!” Here you have complete control over how your name is displayed. Select “Full user name” to use the name as entered when Adobe Illustrator was installed. Select “User initials” to just use the initials of the names in the Adobe Illustrator installation user field. Use “None” when you want to enter your own name in the user field. That is, you can use the label text field to display the name you want, and select “None” in the radio buttons to prevent the plugin from adding additional text.

Print date and Save date

Check these items if you wish to include them and add labels as needed. These labels update only when the document is printed or saved. Dates can be represented as either Month-Day-Year or Day-Month-Year format, and can optionally include the time of day from your computer’s system clock.

Tag72a date format

Spot colors

When this item is checked, Tag72a will add an alphabetized list of spot colors used, as well as a label for it if one is entered in its text field. Tag72a will recognize and report spot colors used in placed EPS and DCS files (but not TIFF, PDF, PhotoShop Native or embedded rasters). If you have spot colors that are used only in images of those types and want Tag72a to include them in the spot color list, create a small object of that color somewhere (off the artboard is OK). Tag72a swatches 

In the Spot colors sections you can choose whether to separate spot color names with commas, tabs, or line breaks. As an alternative to adding hard line breaks to the lists of colors or fonts, you can convert the text object to area text to let it break itself to fill a given width. If your Area text options are set to Auto size, it will add lines as necessary to accommodate all fonts or colors. When Show spot names in color then the name of the color is filled with the spot color it represents.
 
The Spot color swatches option draws swatches for each shown spot color. You can then move and resize the path-art swatches anywhere in your document. When swatches are created, then later on a list of fewer swatches is used, unused swatches will be set to no fill and no stroke.
 
If there are spot colors you do not want included in the list or in the swatches, type their names in the text field labeled “Ignore these spot colors,” with each spot color name separated by a comma.
 
List document fonts
When this item is checked, fonts used in the document will be listed, as well as a label if one is entered in its text field. Like spot colors, this list can be set to add line breaks between items, or it can flow as one long line in either point text or area text.

Presets

If you do work with several clients or departments with different preferences for how the metadata is displayed, you can define presets for each set of settings. Once settings are defined, they can be quickly chosen from the popup menu near the top of the settings panel. Just click in the popup menu and select the preset you want.

Settings presets can be saved in the menu.

 To define a preset, set all of your settings to the values you want in your preset. Click the “+” icon.

plus icon

A dialog will appear asking you to name the preset. Enter a new name, or enter the name of an existing press if you’d like to replace it.

Preset name dialog

To rename a preset, select it in the popup/dropdown menu and click the document icon.

rename icon

A dialog will appear prompting you for the new preset name.

To delete a preset, select the preset and click the trash icon.

delta icon

Usage examples

Tag72a Documentation
Tag72a Documentation
System requirements

• Adobe Illustrator CC 2019 through 2023
• Windows 7-10, 32- or 64-bit
• macOS as required for your version of Illustrator