Cutter Reg Marks

Script for Adobe Illustrator
Latest update 1/10/2022, version 3.1

The script automates adding registration marks (dots) in cut files for flatbed cutting plotters. A client request for large-format prep led to this script, as I grew tired of adding registration dots one-by-one. The script is designed to satisfy that particular client’s requirements, but surely other users have similar needs. All feedback is welcome, such as how changes to the script could adapt it to other workflows.

  • Choose layer for marks, or create it
  • Specify offset from artboard edge, or layer content
Cutter Reg Marks
Cutter Reg Marks

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Also see below Alternate version for Tekcel CNC Sign Cutting Machines

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Script adds five registration dots as shown.

How-to Video

How to use the script

The script creates five registration dots that flatbed cutting plotters use to align cuts to the printed content. The marks created are 1/4" round dots colored 100% black.

The interface has one section with all options:

Marks layer — select the layer to which marks are added. The script looks for a layer named Regmarks, and selects it if the layer exists. If not, the script offers to create it, and includes in the list the choice [Create 'Regmarks'], which creates a new layer of the name atop all other layers. Or choose any other layer.

Margins — marks are placed around the artwork, but if content is close to particular artboard edges, this option allows the choice to favor either top/bottom or left/right. Use whichever margin has more room. For top/bottom, the odd (fifth) mark is placed in the top margin two-thirds from left. For left/right, the odd mark is placed in the right margin one-third down from the top.

Offset, X and Y — the distance from the left (X) and top (Y) marks are placed from the selected reference (set below). Each axis, X and Y, may be set to different values. When the selected reference is a layer (see below), X and Y position aligns with the content depending on which margins are favored: top/bottom ignores the X offset; left/right ignores the Y offset. Set the desired measurement units in the drop-down list. When units change, values are converted to the equivalent value using the new units.

Relative to — the reference from which marks are placed. Artboard places the marks inside the artboard area, the value of the Offset away from the artboard edge. Layer places the marks outside the selected layer's contents, the value of the Offset away from the contents.

Layer — when Relative to Layer is selected, choose the layer that is the reference. All elements on the layer determine its bounding box, away from which the marks are placed.

Randomize position — if enabled, marks are not precisely aligned, rather shifted one point in various directions. I am told this is necessary, but it seems the odd (fifth) dot is sufficient to indicate right-reading, the apparent reason for non-aligned placement. I’m no expert at large-format cutting, so all feedback regarding this topic is welcome, and perhaps it will improve the script. For placement that is more random, dots may be repositioned as needed, or for more than five dots, copy dots the script creates to arrive at the number and positions desired.

Cutter Reg Marks

License details included in download

Alternate version for Tekcel CNC Sign Cutting Machines

Same functionality as the standard version of the script, but creates marks recognized by Tekcel sign cutting machines. Places 10 mm round dots top left and bottom right, and one 10 mm square bottom left.

Cutter Reg Marks Tekcel

License details included in download

For help installing scripts, see How to Install and Use Scripts in Adobe Creative Cloud Applications.

Also available for hire to program custom solutions. Contact William for more information.

IMPORTANT: by downloading any of the scripts on this page you agree that the software is provided without any warranty, express or implied. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Always make backups of important data.