Important Note:

For users purchased Specees from Adobe Exchange: After installing Adobe Illustrator cc2021, some users may find Specees not working (a blank panel). In such case, please uninstall Specees and re-install it again in the Creative Cloud App (Marketplace, then Manage plugins). That should solve the issue.

Specees Documentation


Looking for a plugin / extension to save your time?
Specees is an extension for Adobe Illustrator(AI) which helps you to ease the pain of making specifications on a layout document for your team/developers. It helps you to specify dimensions, fonts and color information of objects drawn in AI. It supports specifying multiple objects at a time to boost the speed of the whole specification process.


Getting Started


Click here for detailed installation guide



Restart Illustrator and navigate to “Window” → “Extensions” → “Specees” to access the extension.


SpecifyingSpecify Dimension Icon Specify Style Icon


You can specify objects’ dimension or style (color, stroke weight, fonts, etc.) with Specees.


Specifying DimensionDimension Panel Icon


You can select single or multiple objects to specify the width and height. Choose to display the dimension on the left or right to specify object(s) height, and/or choose to display the dimension on top or bottom to specify object(s) width. Click on the generate button to specify the dimension.


Types of Dimension


By switching on and off the icons on the “Types Column”, you can specify:


  • Selected object’s height and/or widthSpecify Object Icon
  • Length of line segmentSpecify Segment Icon

    Show the length of all straight lines in the selected object. You can also select any straight line(s) with the direct selection tool to specify the length of the selected line(s) only. Length of line segment only support all path items and clipped path.

  • Distance / Difference between objectsSpecify Difference Icon

    When more than one object are selected, Specees can specify their distance or difference between them according to the following scenario:

    1. Distance
    2. Difference

    When more than 2 objects are selected, Specees will try to filter out less meaningful dimension and give the specification a much cleaner look.

  • Distance between objects midpointsSpecify distance between midpoints Icon

    When more than one object are selected, Specees can specify their distance between their midpoints (horizontal or vertical):

  • Selection’s height and/or widthSpecify Selection Icon

    Only applicable when you select more than one object.

  • Includes artborad in selectionInclude Artboard Icon

    Add the Current artborad in the selection when specifying dimension.


    Specify current artboard dimension only by turn on "Specify objects height/width" and "Includes artboard in selection", then make the dimension without select any other objects.

  • Specify anglesAngle on clockwise side IconAngle on anti-clockwise side Icon

    Specify clockwise / counter clockwise (the direction from the 2nd segment to the 1st segment) angles. Select 2 or more adjacent segments to specify angles. For closed path (shape), select clockwise angle always specify external angles, while select counter clockwise angle will specify internal angles.

  • Specify radius of round cornersSpecify Radius Icon

    Specify the radius of round corners in selection. Only applicable to corners of a right angle.


Toggle dimension alignments on and off for objects' width/height


When "Line up width/height" Toggle alignment Icon is on, dimensions of width/height for multiple objectswill be pulled and aligned to the same position outside the selcetion. If you turn it off, width/height will be displayed aside each object.


Visual bounds VS. Geometric bounds


AI has 2 different approaches to measure the boundary of an object: visual bound and geometric bound.

When visual bounds is checked, stroke weight of an object is also measured as part of the dimension. Otherwise, stroke weight is not counted as the dimension of an object. For instance, a 100px x 100px square with a 1px stroke aligned to centre will be measured as 101px in height and width when visual bounds is checked.

Specification with visual bounds Visual Bound Mode Icon checked is more suitable for web / mobile layout while for print layout, you may find visual bounds unchecked more useful in specification.

*Unfortunately AI also measures effects (e.g. drop shadow, glows, etc.) as part of the dimension when visual bounds is checked. Please turn off the effect of the object in “Window” → “Appearance” first before you do specification.


Settings


Scale & UnitsScale Value Icon


You can set the unit in the setting area (px, mm, cm, inches, feet, points, meters & yard). Specees will automatically convert the dimension to the unit you selected. To help you to have a cleaner specification document, units are set to be hidden as default. You can turn it back on in settings Display Unit Icon or hold Option in Mac / Alt in Windows while clicking the generate button to temperately toggle units display on and off.

You can also set the scale in when you specify dimension. The default scale is 1. You can set the scale to any positive number.


Using variable in scaleScale Value Icon


You can also set scale as a variable, e.g. “x=10”. This variable will be used together with the unit you set, i.e. if you set the unit as px, an object with 100px high will be displayed as “10x” in the dimension. You can also add a multiplier to the variable, e.g. “2x=10”. In the above case “20x” will be displayed.

Tips: You can specify dimensions of an object as percentage to any number. For example, if you have an artboard with 1024px wide and you have drawn 4 rectangles with same width to fill up the artboard as columns. You can then set “100%=1024” in scale and px as unit and generate the width and Specees will convert and display the width of the column as “25%”.

*Math expression is NOT supported in scale. You cannot set something like “x=1+1” in scale.


Decimal places and fractionDecimal IconFraction Icon


You can set the number of decimal places displayed in dimension or set the denominator (or divider, n of 1/n) for using fraction instead of decimal in dimension. Specees will round the dimension up to 1/n.


Toggle between decimal places and fraction by clicking on the switch button Switch To Decimal Icon Switch To Fraction Icon .


Feet and inches


Select feet as the unit and switch to display fraction, it will show feet and inches together (e.g. 1' 5 1/2"). In this case the unit will always be shown in the dimension. The denominator here (1/n) is applying to inch, so you probably need to set it to 8 (round up to 1/8).


Display 2nd metric


Open the extended panel for scale and unit. Open the extended panel

Check "b Metric" to add 2nd metric to dimensions. Set scale, unit, decimal/fractions just like the 1st metric.
You can set how to display the 2nd metric with a custom separator. Default is using brackets "()" e.g. 5cm (2"). You can also use slash "/" or any custom character. If 2 characters are entered into the field, the metric will be placed between the 1st and 2nd characters.

Therefore you can set to display:

  • 5cm (2")
  • 5cm / 2"
  • 5cm = 2" (set the separator as =)
  • 5cm = 0.2x (set the scale of 2nd metric to x=10)

You can also choose between placing the 2nd metric alongside or on the next line of the 1st metric.
Choose beteern alongside or 2nd line

You can also set the 2nd metric to a different color.


Add space before units


Open the extended panel for scale and unit. Check "space before unit" to add a space before all units, to make the dimensions follow the SI Unit rules.


Font size, stroke weight & colorFont Size IconStroke Weight Icon


You can set font size of the dimension displayed as well as the stroke weight (You can also set stroke as dashed since version 1.5) of the dimension line. Their color can be set independently and you can click on the Copy Color button Copy Color To Stroke Icon to copy the color set from font to dimension line, or vice versa Copy Color To Font Icon .


You can drag and drop color swatch from swatch panel (drag and drop from color libraries is not supported) onto the color field for labels, lines or label background to apply swatch color to them. Only solid color (RGB, CMYK or spot color) can be applied. You cannot manually input color code if you have applied swatch color to the color field. You can drag and drop another swatch to replace the color, or open the color picker to select RGB / Hex color.


Distance between dimension line and the objectDimension Line Height Icon


This will set the distance between the dimension line and the object.


End of dimension lineLine Position 1 IconLine Position 2 IconLine Position 3 Icon


You can set the end of dimension line to point to different parts of an object (outside, to the middle or to the end of the object).


Dimension line stylesDimension Line Style 1 IconDimension Line Style 2 IconDimension Line Style 3 IconDimension Line Style 4 IconDimension Line Style 5 Icon


There are five dimension line styles (plain, arrows, strokes, arrows w/ dashed lines and basic w/ dashed lines).


Label backgroundLabel Background Icon


You can also add a label background and set its color behind the value displayed in the dimension.


Label orientationLabel Orientation 1 IconLabel Orientation 2 Icon


You can choose between placing the dimension label horizontally of follow the slope.


Customized generated layer nameCustomized layer name 1 Icon


You can change the default layer name for generated dimensions.


Specifying StyleStyle Panel Icon


You can select single or multiple objects to specify the style properties of an object. The following properties are supported to specify in Specees:

  • Filled color
  • Stroke color
  • Stroke weight
  • Opacity (will only show it when it is below 100%)
  • Filename of linked image
  • Font family
  • Font size
  • Leading

When more than one object is selected, Specees will group those objects with exactly the same properties to display.

*Group or clipped object will have no property generated. Please use the Direct Selection Tool to select object in a group or in a clipped object to generate specification.


ColorSpecify Color Icon


Specees specifies color according to the “File” → “Document Color Mode (RGB / CMYK)”. Object’s color set to greyscale will be also specified in greyscale. HSB color will be specified as RGB of CMYK color according to the document color mode.

Specees will also specify properties in a gradient color.

Specees will display the name and the opacity for swatch color and pattern.


Font styleSpecify Font Style Icon


When specifying a text item, you can choose to display both the font and the color properties, or either one of them.


Note: Specees will only display the properties of the first character of any text selected. If you have a text box or text area with characters of different properties, you can highlight the character and click the generate button to specify its properties.


Issues in properties set in Appearance Window


By default, Specees will ignore the following properties set in the Appearance Window:

  • Opacity
  • Extra fill or stroke color added

You can hold Option in Mac / Alt in Windows while clicking the generate button if you want to specify the above properties. Specees will temperately expand all the objects selected and look for the properties stored in the Appearance Window.

*This process need more computer resources and will take longer time to finish specifying. This mode also have limitation. You cannot specify stroke weights if you have set them aligned outside or inside the object. We will try to fix this issue in the future.


Settings


Font size, stroke weight & colorFont Size IconStroke Weight Icon


You can set font size of the label displayed as well as the stroke weight (You can also set stroke as dashed since version 1.5) of the pointing line. Their color can be set independently and you can click on the Copy Color button Copy Color To Stroke Icon to copy the color set from font to pointing line, or vice versa Copy Color To Font Icon .


Hex / RGBHex Color IconRGB Color Icon


You can choose to display RGB color in Hex code or in RGB numbers.


You can also drag and drop color swatch from swatch panel (drag and drop from color libraries is not supported) onto the color field for labels or lines to apply swatch color to them. Only solid color (RGB, CMYK or spot color) can be applied. You cannot manually input color code if you have applied swatch color to the color field. You can drag and drop another swatch to replace the color, or open the color picker to select RGB / Hex color.


Distance between the label and objectStyle Line Height Icon


Set the distance between the label and object in pixel. When objects are grouped because of their same properties, it will be the distance between the label and any one object in the group.


Customized generated layer nameCustomized layer name 1 Icon


You can change the default layer name for generated dimensions.


Fonts And Presets (requires Adobe Illustrator cc2018 or higher)


Label fontsFont Family Icon


Choose the font family and font style for label. You can set different fonts for dimensions and styles.


Note: Specees will preload the font list when you launch the extension. If you use any font manager to add or remove fonts afterwards, you need to click the "Refresh system fonts" button Reload Icon to let Specees reload the update font list.


PresetsPreset Icon


Current line and label styles can be saved into a preset Save Preset Icon . You can delete / rename a preset in the preset manager Manage Preset Icon .


You will have to save preset separately for dimensions and styles. Select "Default" to restore default styles.

Note: the "Default" preset cannot be overwritten or deleted.


Import / export presets


You can import / export selected preset(s) in the preset manager Manage Preset Icon . When importing presets, if a preset has a name already in your presets list, you can choose to replace the existing one or keep both of them.

Large canvas support (requires Adobe Illustrator cc2021 or higher)


Specees supports large canvas in Adobe Illustrator. Specees will detect if the document is large canvas when it is created while Specees is opened. The information is saved automatically so next time you opened this large canvas document Specees will recognized it. For existing document, you can manually click the check box "Is large canvas?" to let Specees to save the information to your document.