In this article we will look at a universal way to calculate the area of all object types, including compound paths, editable text, groups and even images using the Ink Coverage tool found in the InkQuest plug-in for Adobe Illustrator. The Phantasm Duotone effect will help us to prepare objects for such calculations.
To demonstrate the process of calculating the area of objects I will use a blue flower embedded image from Shutterstock, compound path and letter “A” which is editable text. For image we can only calculate areas of color, not the white background. The method described below is suitable to calculate the area of objects only in the CMYK documents. OK, let’s get started!
Open the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) and choose New Swatch… in the fly-out menu. In the New Swatch dialog, create a new spot color, naming it “Area” and giving it any arbitrary CMYK, RGB or other color value (the color defined really doesn’t matter).
Select the object(s) you wish to measure. This can include all object types and the calculation will also take into account the area occupied by strokes/outlines without first expanding. Then group these together (Cmd/Ctrl + G) if more than one object has been selected.
With the object or group selected, go to Effect > Phantasm > Duotone…. Click on the default orange tone’s color square to open the Color Picker dialog box.
There click on the Color Swatches button to toggle to a list of the colors and spot colors defined in the document’s Swatches panel. Select the “Area” spot color OK the Color Picker box to return to the Duotone dialog box.
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