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One of my very favorite features about Adobe InCopy and InDesign for that matter is the fact that if there is something that you really wish the program would do some sort of command that you wish it had, it could probably be scripted. So, if you're coming from a Microsoft land, and you may be familiar with the concept of macros. These are like little programs that you can add, a lot of them you can find for free, some you can find for really low cost. You just add them to the program and they add new commands. Well, the equivalent in Adobe land are scripts.
Both InDesign and InCopy come with some built-in scripts and it's very easy to add new scripts or to ask other people to write scripts for you. They are all over the place if you just look for InDesign scripts or InCopy scripts. So, let's look at some of the ones that are built-in, and then I'll show you how you add your own scripts. So first, go to the Window menu. Now, if you're coming from an earlier version of InCopy, they used to be in the flyout called Automation, but now the Scripts panel has moved down here to Utilities, which is new in CS5. Choose Scripts.
So, we just have a few scripts that come here by default and they're pretty self-explanatory, like, for example, ExportAllStories will export all the stories in this document to Text, RTF, or InDesign Tagged Text, all right. One that I like to use is TabUtilities, like let's say, for example, in this story that I've checked out. I want to do a hanging indent right where my cursor is, instead of having to deal with the Paragraph panel settings about negative first line indent and all that rigmarole, assuming of course there is no paragraph style that will do that for me. Then you can just double-click on TabUtilities, which will automatically set a Tab Stop at the Right Column Edge, wherever your cursor is, at the Left Indent or at the one that I want, a Hanging Indent at the cursor.
Cool, so I can continue writing here if I wanted to and it would just wrap correctly. Otherwise I'd have to use the Tabs panel under the Type menu, which is really like circa 1995. I am like scripts are aware of tab man. A very useful script is this one FindChangeByList, and this is discussed in depth too in the InDesign titles on lynda.com. So, if you want to find more explanation of how to use this, check this out. But briefly FindChangeByList is a script that will do a series of Find/Changes.
I talk about Find/Change in a different video and you often use Find/Change to do things like find two returns in a row and change to one return, find a period followed by two spaces, and change to period followed by one space, and so on. I know a lot of editors who are getting Word files from outside contributors constantly have to do this kind of Find/Change repetitively to all these documents. Well, with FindChangeByList, you can actually have InCopy do all this Find/Changes at once. It even has a little text file that you can use with instructions in the text file for adding your own custom kind of Find/Changes.
But I know for sure that the FindChangeByList is already set up to do things like find two returns in a row and replace with one return, find space runs, replace with a single space. Let's actually look at this in Story View so we could see more. Do you see how it's two hyphens? It will replace two hyphens with an em dash, things like that. In fact, let's run it right from here. So, to see how this works just double- click FindChangeByList, and it says the entire Document, meaning checked out stories, or just the Selected Story. I'll say just the Selected Story, the current story, and say OK, and see how fast that works. Isn't that amazing? There is the em dashes.
It got rid of the double returns. It got rid of the space runs. It doesn't automatically edit the text to fit, but that would be very cool. So, when you are wondering, I really wish InCopy would have this feature or that feature, check them out to see if they exist already in the Scripts folder, or you can do an Internet search and see if somebody has written a script for you. Now if they have, it's just a simple text file that you can save with a .JSX or .VBS extension, and then you drop it into your Scripts folder, and to find out where that Scripts folder is, the fastest way is simply to right-click on any of the existing scripts and choose Reveal in Explorer or Reveal in Finder.
So you see this is the folder that contains all these. You can just drag and drop or paste your script in here. When you come back to InCopy the script is immediately available to you. You don't even need to restart the program. So, don't forget to look at scripts. They'll help you save a ton of time.
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