Efficiently Grouping Huge List of Items When Importing PDF Image RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a PDF containing a map image I converted over to Adobe Illustrator and then imported that into Expression design which gave me one huge layer containing thousands of items. I want to group the items in the layer quickly and efficiently so that when I export to XAML I have a nice set of named Canvas elements which I can manipulate the opacity of in code. Thus giving me an interactive map. However I have a few problems:

    1. Selecting several items using the selection tool and then going to Arrange->Group throws an error because some of the items are masked or something (They are already in their own sub-group).

    2. Dragging items in the layer is reaaallly slow as you have to scroll through thousands of items.

    3. I am unable to select multiple items in the layer and drag them.

    4. Cutting/copying and then pasting the items into a new group does not help as the new grouped items are pasted randomly on the screen and not in the same place as the existing items.

    This is pretty tedious work, please can you help me make this a little less painful.

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010 3:34 PM

All replies

  • Thanks for the suggestions! In most cases Design does a pretty good job of importing Illustrator files with layers intact. However, Illustrator does have some layer features that Design doesn't understand which I suspect is the case here.

    1. I'm curious about the first item: If the import brought in all the object into one layer, how did they become sub-groups?

    2. You don't necessarily have to choose the items in the layer panel. You can select the object on the Artboard that you want to move. After you select the objects this way, look at the Layer panel and notice the hollow square icon to the left of the eye icon. That icon represents that some but not all objects in that layer are selected. (The icon is solid rather than hollow if all items in that layer are selected.) Click and drag that icon to the layer you want to move the objects to and release the mouse to drop the objects in that layer.

    3. Again, you need to drag the hollow square icon on the layer panel to move multiple because, as you've already discovered, trying to drag the selected objects themselves results in deselecting all the objects other than the one you tried to drag.

    4. Yep, copying/cut paste results in random order.

    Thanks again, BlackLightMobile. The team reads the suggestions here so I'm sure your requests will be given consideration.

    Friday, December 31, 2010 12:38 AM
  • Hi Annie,

    Thanks greatly for the reply. I'm sure you've saved me lots of time. In answer to number one, by sub-groups what I mean is all the items are imported into one layer and some of the items are masks (I don't know the exact name, I haven't got Expression Design in front of me).

    An Illustrator Guru friend of mine also gave me a tip. Do all of the grouping in Illustrator and then save to seperate files. I can then import all the groups seperately into Expression Design and past them into seperate layers. I have yet to try this though.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011 8:55 AM