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Old January 18th, 2018, 10:56 AM
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Dan Korn Dan Korn is offline
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Default Re: Determine if a text frame exists

Originally Posted by ThomasLewis View Post
Attached is my template with the external JS file. When you open OnRecordStart and click validate, it returns "null". If I paste the code from the JS file directly into OnRecordStart, it returns the error as you would expect.

I get where you are coming from trying to keep things organized. Hopefully this will make more sense with the attached sample.
Thanks. As I expected, you're not actually returning anything in your rule. There's no "return" statement in there.

As I said before, and as Step demonstrates, the proper way to use an external JS file (which, again, is a topic pretty far afield from the original question in this thread) is to put a function in there, then call that function after loading the file.

Merely calling the Load function doesn't execute any code in the external JS file; though it will cause any objects and functions declared in the JS file to be included in the active JavaScript context (which allows you to use/call them after calling Load).

The reason that calling Load from your JS file causes a box saying that you're returning null to pop up is because you're trying to call a function outside the context of another function or rule, on the last line, where you're calling the TryToFindTextFrame function. (Which I never suggested to do, by the way; I only said you should declare it in the JS file, not call it in the JS file.) But as the message box notes, the return value from a callback rule has no effect on the composition anyway.

Step's solution is great, but I would put the Load call in the JavaScript Globals, instead of in OnRecordStart. For one thing, you don't need to load it over and over again on every record. You could put it in OnJobStart instead, but then it won't necessarily get loaded up when you validate another rule. The purpose of the JavaScript Globals is to declare objects and functions, which is exactly what you're doing by loading the JS file.

Anyway, having said that, I'm still not sure that you're gaining that much by doing all of this. If your end user template designer tries to call FindTextFrame on a frame that doesn't exist, that will already raise an exception and put up the box with the error icon when they validate or try to save the rule. All this work does is simply put up a slightly different error message saying basically the same thing.

But maybe I'm missing something else that's not shown in the very minimal example job you posted. If I knew more about the real job where you "require the operator to modify the text frames on a per job basis", I might be able to offer more specific suggestions, or maybe even another approach.
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Old January 18th, 2018, 12:09 PM
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ThomasLewis ThomasLewis is offline
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Default Re: Determine if a text frame exists

With the previous way I was trying to do this, where the only javascript in the entire template was the Load function, no errors appear at all at save and validation only would result in a "null" message. This is why I was trying to change that message, I was just unaware that could not be done fully in the external file when everything else in there was working just fine.

Whether it is supposed to execute or not, everything in the actual production JS file I was loading in did preview and render in the final output. Now that I am calling it as a function, I get the proper errors that you would expect. It all make's a lot more sense now thanks to both of your help.
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