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Working with built-in scripts

From: Collaborative Workflows with InDesign and InCopy

Video: Working with built-in scripts

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.

Working with built-in scripts

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.

There are scripts that come with the application, and then the idea is that for each user account like when you login to your computer, you can add your own scripts. So there's not going to be anything here by default. But in the Application folder there are sample scripts. They're called samples by the way only because both InDesign and InCopy come with a PDF that teaches you how to do your own scripting, and to illustrate examples in there, they come with sample scripts. So these are the samples, and they actually do quite good work, so they're useful. On a PC you're going to find two different folders, one says JavaScript and one is VBScript.

So, scripts for InCopy written in the VBScript only run in Windows. Scripts written in JavaScript are by platform. Basically they're the same scripts in both folders, and I usually always use the JavaScript ones and most free scripts that you'll find on the Internet are written in JavaScript so they can work in both Windows and Macintosh. By the way, you probably find many more scripts written for InDesign than you will for InCopy specifically, but you should know that if a script has to deal with text, with the contents of a text- frame in InDesign, then 99 out of 100 times you can just drop that script right into InCopy Script folder and then it will work in InCopy as well.

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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This video is part of

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  1. 3m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 32s
  2. 25m 58s
    1. Overview of this course
      3m 2s
    2. Understanding the parallel workflow
      6m 54s
    3. Rewards and challenges in the new workflow
      9m 3s
    4. Requirements and recommendations
      6m 59s
  3. 32m 52s
    1. Setting up projects and users
      3m 32s
    2. Understanding stories and frames
      7m 1s
    3. Making stories editable for InCopy from InDesign
      7m 25s
    4. Editing workflow stories in InCopy
      7m 32s
    5. Checking stories in and out
      4m 48s
    6. Completing a project in InDesign
      2m 34s
  4. 32m 34s
    1. Three main views of a file
      8m 37s
    2. Becoming familiar with default panels
      6m 4s
    3. Customizing the interface
      9m 4s
    4. Navigating stories and views
      8m 49s
  5. 43m 18s
    1. Working with the Assignments panel
      5m 15s
    2. Editing in Layout view
      8m 44s
    3. Editing in Story or Galley view
      10m 49s
    4. Copyfitting text
      5m 49s
    5. Inserting special characters
      6m 39s
    6. Importing text
      3m 34s
    7. Working with read-only layouts
      2m 28s
  6. 32m 6s
    1. Applying styles for copyfit
      7m 37s
    2. Applying local character formatting
      6m 53s
    3. Applying local paragraph formatting
      7m 10s
    4. Splitting and spanning columns
      5m 7s
    5. Using the Eyedropper tool to copy/paste formatting
      5m 19s
  7. 40m 27s
    1. Checking spelling
      4m 51s
    2. Using the language dictionaries
      3m 23s
    3. Using the thesaurus
      1m 46s
    4. Using Find/Change
      10m 34s
    5. Working with the Autocorrect feature
      2m 59s
    6. Building text macros
      4m 55s
    7. Using inline notes
      6m 22s
    8. Working with built-in scripts
      5m 37s
  8. 25m 36s
    1. Adding footnotes
      2m 22s
    2. Using conditional text
      6m 16s
    3. Creating hyperlinks
      3m 33s
    4. Inserting cross-references
      7m 29s
    5. Working with tables
      5m 56s
  9. 14m 25s
    1. Setting up and using Track Changes
      6m 4s
    2. Customizing the markup
      4m 7s
    3. Accepting and rejecting changes
      4m 14s
  10. 27m 30s
    1. Using the Position tool
      5m 14s
    2. Using the Object menu
      5m 58s
    3. Importing and replacing images
      6m 36s
    4. Inserting images into the story
      5m 22s
    5. Using Mini Bridge and Bridge
      4m 20s
  11. 25m 45s
    1. Creating new InCopy documents
      6m 54s
    2. Creating InCopy templates
      6m 10s
    3. Opening linked InCopy stories directly
      3m 20s
    4. Opening Word files in InCopy
      2m 59s
    5. Placing Buzzword files in InCopy
      6m 22s
  12. 23m 37s
    1. Exporting stories to Word, RTF, and Buzzword
      5m 2s
    2. Exporting layouts to PDF
      4m 36s
    3. Exporting galleys and stories to PDF
      7m 11s
    4. Printing from InCopy
      6m 48s
  13. 48m 17s
    1. Exporting stories from the layout
      10m 2s
    2. Working with the Assignments panel in InDesign
      7m 8s
    3. Editing and updating files
      7m 37s
    4. Using inline notes
      7m 39s
    5. Workflow features in the Links panel
      6m 0s
    6. Placing new InCopy files
      4m 15s
    7. Closing out of a project
      5m 36s
  14. 23m 29s
    1. Layout workflow overview
      8m 11s
    2. Updating stories and designs
      11m 38s
    3. Tips for successful layout workflows
      3m 40s
  15. 27m 16s
    1. Creating assignments in InDesign
      12m 19s
    2. Working with assignments in InCopy
      5m 22s
    3. Keeping layout files local
      2m 42s
    4. Solving common assignment issues
      6m 53s
  16. 19m 0s
    1. Creating assignment packages in InDesign
      4m 42s
    2. Working with assignment packages in InCopy
      5m 20s
    3. Keeping packages up to date
      2m 33s
    4. Using DropBox with an InCopy workflow
      6m 25s
  17. 4m 27s
    1. Community help and resources
      4m 11s
    2. Goodbye
      16s

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