Variables for data entry fields!

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  • Idea
  • Updated 3 years ago
Add a variables window/view that will have a list of variables that the user custom creates. Each variable could represent data for different types of data entry fields.

Those variables could then be used in any data field given that they are the correct type. For example, if a user had created several rectangle shapes and wanted to control all of their bevels with one simple variable, they could just create a variable of the type pixel and enter the value they want. Once they link the data fields of the bevels to the variable they create, they only need to change the one variable to adjust all of the bevels!
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Curtis Gibson

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Posted 4 years ago

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Curtis Gibson

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I thought I had created this as an Idea, I don't know what happened...
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Chris Cox

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Are you talking about something like a spreadsheet UI for the Variables feature in Photoshop?

Or more like trying to expose every value used in your document (which is more complex than you may realize)?
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Kyle Kimsey

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I think what this suggestion is asking is for something along the lines of what the Ditto Photoshop plugin ( does, but more robust / integrated. It's limited in functionality at the moment.

In the Ditto plugin, you have a window that you can select a type (Text, Fill, Font, etc.) and a variable name, and data for that variable.

Type - Variable Name - Variable Applied
Font - ArialFont - Arial
Fill - MidGray - #b5b5b5
Font Color - MidGray - #b5b5b5
Text - Title - My Title

The Ditto plugin uses the Layer Name and "#" character to define the variables, e.g. if I name a text layer with #ArialFont #MidGray #Title and hit apply, that text layer would switch to Arial font with a color of #b5b5b5 and the text of "My Title".

The main issue with the plugin is the way it has to be hacked in (for lack of a better word).  So blending options and other parameters are not able to be done. An integrated approach would be much smoother.

So in Curtis' example, he would open up a variable pane and assign:
Text - BevelPixel - 5

In any parameter box that he adds the variable name (we'll use # just for the sake of continuation), it'd apply.  So for this example, say he creates a shape layer. In the shape layer, he opens the bevel properties and types #BevelPixel. The shape layer would know to reference the variable list for the parameter of #BevelPixel and use that, so in this instance,  the shape would assume a bevel of 5.

In the attached graphical example, it shows a variable within a variable - that was done for the way Ditto worked. But you get the gist.

Most people don't realize how much this improves the workflow until they actually start using it. It's made a lot of my setup files very very easy.