Creating a List Variable

Modified on Tue, 25 Jun at 12:34 PM

List variables allow your end user to select pre-defined options from a drop-down menu. When using a list variable, you can pre-define text values to be used in the artwork, build action logic/behaviors based on a selected item, or use the selected text value as starting point to build additional actions or behaviors.


Text-Based List Variables

List variables can allow your end users to insert predefined text based on their selection in a drop-down menu. The values added to the list variable can the be used within text frames of the artwork. This means that just like a short text variable (where a user types in a value and that value populates in the artwork), the text that is selected from the list will be passed to the artwork.

An example would be where you wanted to allow your end users to change a U.S. state abbreviation, but you wanted to reduce errors and maintain consistency in how the states were abbreviated. You could allow your users to select from a list of U.S. states, and their selection would insert the corresponding abbreviation into your artwork.

Select your alternate layer

Action Logic-Based List Variables

Another common use of the list variable is to have the artwork respond based on the selected item from a list. This is most practical when you know all of the variations you’d like to present to your users and want to control what should happen with the artwork.

A common example of this would be if you want your end user to be able to select pre-defined color themes for the design. Using a list variable you can control what color themes they have the ability to select from. Using action logic, you can then dictate how those colors should be applied to the artwork.


In this case, your text in the list item won't show up in your artwork, it will simply trigger a behavior to update the overall look of your artwork.

Create a List Variable

  1. Click the “+” button to add a variable

  2. Name the variable

    1. In this example we’ve used the name “Color Theme”

  3. Set the variable to type “List”

  4. Open the Type Specific tab

  5. Click the “+” button to add a new item to the list variable

  6. Name the newly added item

    1. In our example we use the two colors associated to the theme: "Green" and "Yellow"

  7. Repeat items 5 and 6 as many times as needed for each selectable choice we want to present to the end user

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