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Scripting

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Learn about how to automate common tasks using the Scripts panel and the Script Label panel in InDesign.

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 Scripting Guide, scripting requirements, and other developer resources

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.

UXP Scripting 

Scripting in InDesign is now powered with the Unified Extensibility Platform (UXP) so that you can use modern JavaScript (ES5 and most of the ES6 features) to automate tasks. Find out more information about UXP Scripting.

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.

Select Windows > Utilities > Scripts to open the Scripts PanelIf you create or receive a script, you can place it in the Scripts Panel folder, so it shows up in the Scripts panel.

macOS

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

Note:

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

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

For detailed information on adding, running, and editing scripts, see the Scripting Guide.

Sample scripts

You can double-click a script in the Scripts panel or run scripts using Quick Apply.

AddGuides

Adds guides around the selected object or objects.

AddPoints

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

Add QR Code

QR code can either be placed on the placegun or directly as a page item.

AdjustPageItems

Moves the content of even/odd pages by specified amounts; attempts to get objects back into the correct position after a master page margin change and/or page insertion.

AlignToPage

Aligns objects to specified positions on a page.

AnimationEncyclopedia

Automatically creates buttons with different animation properties.

BreakFrame

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

CornerEffects

Redraws 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.

CreateCharacterStyles

Defines a complete character style based on the selected text.

CropMarks

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

ExportAllStories

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

FindChangeByList

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

ImageCatalog

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

MakeGrid

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

Neon

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

PathEffects

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

PlaceMultipagePDF

Places all pages of a PDF.

SelectObjects

Selects objects on the active spread by their object type.

SortParagraphs

Sorts the paragraphs in the selection alphabetically.

SplitStory

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

TabUtilities

Applies tab stops and indents to the selected text.

See Automation for more information on installing and using these sample scripts.

Community-contributed scripts

InDesign also provides more scripts that are created by the InDesign community. 

  • Unicode Injector by Kris Coppieters - Use keyboard shortcuts to easily insert one or more Unicode characters into InDesign text. For more information, see Instructions
  • Insert Typographer Quote by Stefan Rakete - Use keyboard shortcuts to add defined typographic quotes before and after the selected text. For more information, see Instructions
  • Layer Cloner by Paolo Agostinetto - This script allows you to copy one layer and its elements from one document to another. For more information, see Instructions
  • Get x-Height by Roland Dreger - Determine the x-height of a text passage. For more information, see Instructions.
  • Snap Margins to Text Frame by Ariel Walden - A script to modify the document's margins throughout to match the selected text frame. For more information, see Instructions.
  • Break Text Thread by Ariel Walden - An InDesign script that makes breaking the thread between text frames easy. For more information, see Instructions.
  • InCopy Note Alert by Kris Coppieters - A startup script for Adobe® InDesign® and Adobe InCopy® which alerts to the presence of notes. For more information, see Instructions.
  • Copy Paste Coordinates by Kris Coppieters - Script to copy-paste coordinates onto page items. For more information, see Instructions.
  • Chain Grep by Gregor Fellenz - Chain InDesign GREP Queries to new Scripts. For more information, see Instructions.
  • Clear Overrides by Gregor Fellenz - Clear style overrides from InDesign Text, Tables or Objects. For more information, see Instructions.
  • Invert Selection by Luis Felipe Corullón - Script to invert the selection in InDesign document. For more information, see Instructions.
  • Layer Cloner by Paolo Agostinetto - This script allows you to copy a layer and its elements from one document to another. For more information, see Instructions
  • End Notes to End of Book Notes by Peter Kahrel - Convert end-of-document endnotes to end-of-book endnotes. For more information, see Instructions
  • Renumbering Endnote References by Peter Kahrel - Script creates endnotes whose references do not update automatically when you add or remove endnotes. For more information, see Instructions
  • Size Thing to Page by Olav Kvern - Resizes the current selection such as an image to the size of the page. For more information, see Instructions
  • Size Page to Thing by Olav Kvern - Resizes the page to the size of the current selection such as an image. For more information, see Instructions.

Adobe maintains a repository of open source community scripts on GitHub. For more information about the InDesign Community Script repository, see the ReadMe file. This ReadMe file includes details about contributing a script and links to the scripters. 


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