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        by mlk : Hot Summer Month of 2004

VII. Limitations Of Scripting
What you can't do with scripting and the enhancements in PS CS.

As great as scripting might be, it still lacks full documentation, you cannot script every tool of Photoshop, and scripting some functions is sometime quite a hassle (see what the script listener regurgitates for example).

i. First let's see the changes brought by Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite:
(read the Adobe PDF doc, or search for 'Javascript Reference' on the Adobe website, the new documentation is much more helpful)

  • Users can now use the UI (user interface) to create more plug-in like scripts. This will save you enormous time when let's say you need to fetch a file/change variable without having to change your script from inside.

  • Users can now use the path tool it could come in quite handy if you wanted for example to dynamically create shapes to save them to your shape library.

  • You can use new CS functions such as the Gallery, and set all its options.

  • You can use layer 'bounds' to determine the width & height of the layer and therefore position it at will on your canvas (which was impossible to do in Photoshop 7)

Here are some known problems/bugs/unscriptable functions:

  • You cannot use some simple tools such as the eyedrop color picker tool (a work around is to crop a 1x1px image, and use the histogram to fetch the color, but it is heavy coding for something quite simple)

  • You cannot script some Photoshop functionalities such as automatically generating your brushes/patterns/shapes or simply

  • You cannot script mask usage

  • You cannot add user interaction in your script (ie your script runs from a to z), it would be handy sometimes to be able to use the cursor position etc...

  • You cannot paint using scripting.

This is just a small list of what you cannot do with scripting, now remember that scripting is an automating tool and will not ever replace you, your mouse & your creativity.

I also sincerely hope I actually overlooked or did not search long enough to find some of the above functions, and if you do find work arounds, or actual functions, or that in general you have something to share, feel free to post it in the Drawing & Design section of the forums !

Finally if you want to learn more: Resources & Acknowledgements.

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