Scripting in InDesign

Scripting is a great tool for performing a variety of tasks. A script can be as simple as an automated common task or as complex as an entire new feature. You can create your own scripts, and you can run scripts that other people have created. For more information on scripting, see the Scripting Guide, scripting requirements, and other developer resources at

The Scripting Guide contains an introduction to scripting and tutorials. You can also find a number of useful scripts that you can run, such as a script that draws guides around the selected object. Some of these scripts appear by default in the Scripts panel.

Scripts panel and Script Label panel overview

InDesign includes two panels for scripting: the Scripts panel and the Script Label panel.

The Scripts panel is where you run scripts without leaving InDesign. The Scripts panel displays the scripts that are located in the Scripts folders in the InDesign application folder and in your Preferences folders. If you create or receive a script, you can place it in the Scripts Panel folder so that it shows up in the Scripts panel.

Mac OS

Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign/[version]/[language]/Scripts/Scripts Panel

Windows XP

Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\[version]\[language]\Scripts\Scripts Panel

Windows Vista and Windows 7

Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\[version]\[language]\Scripts\Scripts Panel


A quick way to locate the Scripts Panel folder is to right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) a script in the Scripts panel, and choose Reveal In Explorer (Windows) or Reveal In Finder (Mac OS).

You can then double-click a script in the Scripts panel to run it, or you can run scripts using Quick Apply.

The Script Label panel lets you specify a label for a page item, such as a text frame or shape. Specifying labels for page items is especially useful for writing scripts in which you need to identify an object.


For detailed information on adding, running, and editing scripts, see the Scripting Guide on the Adobe website at

Open the Scripts panel

  1. Choose Window > Utilities > Scripts.

Open the Script Label panel

  1. Choose Window > Utilities > Script Label.

Run sample scripts

You can run these scripts in InDesign:


Adds guides around the selected object or objects.


Adds points to the paths of the selected object or objects.


Moves objects by specified distances on right/left pages.


Aligns objects to specified positions on a page.


Automatically creates buttons with different animation properties.


Removes a selected text frame and its contents from a story.


Re-draws the path of the selected item or items using a variety of corner effects. Corner effects can be applied to selected points on the path.


Defines a complete character style based on the selected text.


Adds crop and/or registration marks around the selected object or objects.


Exports all stories in a document to a series of text files.


Performs a series of common text find/change operations by reading a tab-delimited text file.


Places all graphics in a specified folder in a “contact sheet” layout.


Creates a grid by subdividing or duplicating the selected object or objects.


Applies a “blend” effect to the selected object or objects.


Changes the position of path points on the selected object or objects to add a creative effect.


Places all pages of a PDF.


Selects objects on the active spread by their object type.


Sorts the paragraphs in the selection alphabetically.


Splits the text frames in the selected story into separate, unlinked text frames.


Applies tab stops and indents to the selected text.

For more information on installing and using these sample scripts, see (PDF).

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