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016 Running a script


From:

InDesign Secrets

with David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción

Video: 016 Running a script

Anne-Marie Concepcion: You know it always shocks me when InDesign can't do everything. You know, when there are features missing, because by this time you think of it would have come up with every single feature and added it to the program, but the good thing is that InDesign is very scriptable. It's very easy to add scripts, sort of like little mini programs that add the features that for some reason the InDesign engineers didn't add to the program itself. The scripts community is very rich in InDesign and what I want to show you in this video is how you might locate scripts and then how you install them and how you use them.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 15m 42s
    1. 206 Creating an "intertwined" effect NEW
      4m 57s
  2. 51s
    1. Welcome to InDesign Secrets
      51s
  3. 28m 53s
    1. 202 Formatting drop words in a text document
      10m 39s
    2. 203 Sharing custom workspaces
      4m 22s
    3. 204 Creating a "fold back" effect
      8m 14s
    4. 205 Managing scripts
      5m 38s
  4. 21m 20s
    1. 197 Permanently disabling hyphenation
      4m 25s
    2. 198 Adding prefixes to page numbers
      4m 19s
    3. 199 Taming baseline grid previews
      3m 53s
    4. 200 Using Work and Turn to create two-sided documents
      3m 6s
    5. 201 Making better Bridge previews
      5m 37s
  5. 18m 10s
    1. 193 Printing tracked changes
      5m 41s
    2. 194 Using Ink Manager before sending your project to the printer
      3m 2s
    3. 195 Fast layout with column spans in styles
      3m 34s
    4. 196 Working with dynamic layouts
      5m 53s
  6. 19m 0s
    1. 189 Placing InDesign files
      5m 14s
    2. 190 Make an image sandwich: Putting an image in front and in back of text for a magazine cover
      2m 36s
    3. 191 Deciding between reflowable and fixed-layout EPUB
      7m 14s
    4. 192 Test font choices quickly in CC
      3m 56s
  7. 26m 39s
    1. 184 Put a box around or behind a paragraph
      3m 53s
    2. 185 Fixing three common Word formatting glitches
      5m 27s
    3. 186 Making long shadows
      5m 41s
    4. 187 Three ways to prevent a word from hyphenating
      4m 28s
    5. 188 How to type the last page number in a book
      7m 10s
  8. 12m 17s
    1. 180 One-sided custom strokes for image borders
      2m 45s
    2. 181 The fastest way to find missing links
      2m 53s
    3. 182 Start a document on a left-hand page
      2m 41s
    4. 183 Borrowing preset art paths from Illustrator and Photoshop for fresh frame looks in InDesign
      3m 58s
  9. 15m 21s
    1. 176 Quickly empty out an InDesign document of text and images
      3m 41s
    2. 177 Add a font from Typekit in CC
      4m 35s
    3. 178 How to hide the content grabber donut
      1m 51s
    4. 179 File naming for healthy EPUBs
      5m 14s
  10. 15m 35s
    1. 172 Making a character style change only the tint of your text
      2m 27s
    2. 173 Editing table set up from the keyboard
      4m 40s
    3. 174 How to sort text in InDesign
      2m 34s
    4. 175 Making captions easy (ignore text wrap object style library item live caption)
      5m 54s
  11. 12m 59s
    1. 169 All about All Caps (change case open type option)
      4m 36s
    2. 170 Batch convert InDesign files to IDML and other formats
      2m 35s
    3. 171 Fun with placeholder text
      5m 48s
  12. 11m 52s
    1. 166 Creating blank entry spaces on forms
      3m 53s
    2. 167 Creative uses of the Slug area
      4m 45s
    3. 168 Change the UI languaging in InDesign CS6 and CC
      3m 14s
  13. 21m 11s
    1. 161 Keeping page numbers on top of master items
      3m 55s
    2. 162 Adding automatic currency symbols in a table cell or before text
      3m 50s
    3. 163 Make a pop-up footnote for your ebook
      3m 48s
    4. 164 Deleting tabs at the beginning of paragraphs and applying a paragraph style
      3m 10s
    5. 165 Five InDesign Presentation tips
      6m 28s
  14. 19m 54s
    1. 157 Sharing swatches (PS/IL/ID and ID to ID)
      3m 36s
    2. 158 Convert rounded corners to editable paths
      3m 15s
    3. 159 Convert local formatting to character styles
      5m 14s
    4. 160 Sort an index by page number
      7m 49s
  15. 16m 58s
    1. 153 When InDesign ignores your leading values
      4m 5s
    2. 154 Extracting images from a Word document
      3m 42s
    3. 155 Uncommon uses for Quick Apply
      6m 2s
    4. 156 Uncovering InDesign's magic font folders
      3m 9s
  16. 28m 47s
    1. 148 Cropping with paste into
      5m 18s
    2. 149 Using vertical justification to spread out text in a frame automatically
      5m 16s
    3. 150 Rotate text inside a frame, or the frame around the text
      2m 30s
    4. 151 Looking at snippets vs. libraries
      6m 49s
    5. 152 Import a folder full of pictures, one per page
      8m 54s
  17. 19m 0s
    1. 144 Lay out a front back and spine for a book jacket
      6m 12s
    2. 145 Ghosting area of image behind text
      2m 53s
    3. 146 Make a transparency mask in InDesign
      3m 45s
    4. 147 Using preflight to find common document errors
      6m 10s
  18. 22m 35s
    1. 139 Faking bold and italic when the font family doesn’t have one
      5m 2s
    2. 140 Keeping the same scale size when updating or relinking to images
      3m 9s
    3. 141 Inserting glyphs
      6m 42s
    4. 142 Building richer, bolder color gradients
      3m 7s
    5. 143 Finding the right font with InDesign’s font menus
      4m 35s
  19. 21m 28s
    1. 135 Fitting text to a specific size
      4m 45s
    2. 136 Quick tips for making a small PDF file size
      6m 9s
    3. 137 Sharing presets, workspaces, and custom shortcuts sets
      5m 17s
    4. 138 Making a multi-level numbered list
      5m 17s
  20. 17m 21s
    1. 131 Changing the shape of polygons and starburst as you draw or afterward
      4m 17s
    2. 132 Contextual text and images that you only want sometimes visible
      4m 55s
    3. 133 Creating nav points in a movie
      4m 31s
    4. 134 Adding effects to your rule above and rule below
      3m 38s
  21. 22m 44s
    1. 127 Making automatic jump lines
      6m 52s
    2. 128 Turning off allow pages to shuffle in order to separate facing pages
      3m 40s
    3. 129 Dealing with parentheses around text size
      4m 19s
    4. 130 Make a fill in the blank label for contracts and forms
      7m 53s
  22. 23m 24s
    1. 122 Allow text frame to resize with text
      2m 43s
    2. 123 Mapping Word styles to InDesign styles
      5m 48s
    3. 124 Make two automatically threaded text flows
      3m 36s
    4. 125 Saving for Web in InDesign
      6m 7s
    5. 126 Numbering rows in a table
      5m 10s
  23. 13m 49s
    1. 119 Making alternative body text styles for fast typesetting
      5m 3s
    2. 120 Making InDesign patterns with the free PatternMaker
      3m 45s
    3. 121 Creating pull quotes the easy way
      5m 1s
  24. 13m 56s
    1. 116 Selecting text with the InDesign keyboard dance
      2m 0s
    2. 117 Including a total page count in your page numbers
      6m 19s
    3. 118 Making a custom arrowhead
      5m 37s
  25. 21m 53s
    1. 111 Packaging images on the pasteboard
      3m 32s
    2. 112 Automatically updating figure references for books
      6m 9s
    3. 113 Adding Tool Tips to your form fields in InDesign
      3m 21s
    4. 114 Setting poetry, flush left, center on longest line
      3m 54s
    5. 115 Use bookmarks to navigate long documents in production
      4m 57s
  26. 18m 25s
    1. 107 Using the same keyboard shortcut for two different commands with the Context feature
      5m 22s
    2. 108 Making a text highlighter
      3m 33s
    3. 109 Updating an interactive PDF without losing work done in Acrobat
      5m 30s
    4. 110 Adding custom text at the beginning of each line automatically
      4m 0s
  27. 25m 3s
    1. 103 Converting text to outlines the right way
      4m 30s
    2. 104 Turning InDesign into a speed demon
      8m 31s
    3. 105 Working with MiniBridge
      5m 45s
    4. 106 Customize your QR codes
      6m 17s
  28. 16m 34s
    1. 099 Aligning Objects tips and tricks
      5m 10s
    2. 100 Applying corner options to any shape
      2m 17s
    3. 101 Converting footnotes to endnotes with a free script
      4m 49s
    4. 102 Making tab leaders pretty
      4m 18s
  29. 24m 41s
    1. 095 Managing changing pages with primary text frames
      5m 23s
    2. 096 Secrets of the Info panel
      7m 31s
    3. 097 Surprising ways to do a word count
      5m 29s
    4. 098 Placing an object where you want it with an object style
      6m 18s
  30. 30m 33s
    1. 089 Three great Object Styles for any designer
      8m 1s
    2. 090 Choosing alpha channel image transparency
      2m 25s
    3. 091 Adding and reading metadata for InDesign files
      3m 25s
    4. 092 Adding ALT tags to your images
      6m 59s
    5. 093 How to Place & Link a text frame's text but not its formatting
      7m 4s
    6. 094 Setting the baseline position of a caption
      2m 39s
  31. 17m 58s
    1. 085 Using Illustrator to create InDesign gradient swatches
      4m 49s
    2. 086 Building a simple grep style to change character size
      3m 45s
    3. 087 Exporting a grayscale PDF
      3m 16s
    4. 088 Three ways to cheat text outside of its frame
      6m 8s
  32. 28m 38s
    1. 081 Creating a custom cross-reference format
      13m 53s
    2. 082 Putting different-sized pages on a single spread
      3m 7s
    3. 083 Formatting prices with nested and grep styles
      6m 21s
    4. 084 Checking out the Gridify tricks
      5m 17s
  33. 19m 17s
    1. 077 The secrets of formatting objects with Find/Change
      6m 36s
    2. 078 Using ruler guides: 10 great tricks
      5m 3s
    3. 079 Converting a clipping path to a frame
      4m 24s
    4. 080 Adding a drop shadow to a single word inside a frame
      3m 14s
  34. 31m 18s
    1. 073 Working with sets in the content conveyor tool
      10m 40s
    2. 074 Running text along the top and the bottom of a circle
      3m 51s
    3. 075 Creating a list using the Table of Contents feature
      3m 25s
    4. 076 Quickly threading frames together and unthreading frames
      13m 22s
  35. 29m 32s
    1. 069 Ten uses of the Story Editor
      11m 39s
    2. 070 Moving an object: Ten ways!
      7m 18s
    3. 071 Understanding optical margin alignment (and the quote trick)
      4m 23s
    4. 072 Changing the shape of any frame with the pen tool
      6m 12s
  36. 17m 53s
    1. 065 Customizing the story editor preferences
      6m 10s
    2. 066 Setting the size of text exactly with this free script
      3m 28s
    3. 067 Using Gravity to simulate perspective
      3m 15s
    4. 068 Fixing the overflowing text frame problem in EPUBs
      5m 0s
  37. 23m 54s
    1. 061 Embedding images
      7m 44s
    2. 062 Adjusting leading inside a paragraph
      4m 47s
    3. 063 Placing one InDesign file inside another
      3m 58s
    4. 064 Creating bookmarks for PDFs
      7m 25s
  38. 29m 16s
    1. 057 Text wrapping
      6m 54s
    2. 058 Inserting pages: Understanding the Pages panel
      4m 20s
    3. 059 Copying paths between Illustrator and InDesign
      5m 14s
    4. 060 Automating Find/Change with the Find/ChangeByList script
      12m 48s
  39. 35m 12s
    1. 051 Five things that should be in every new file
      5m 19s
    2. 052 Forcing EPUB page breaks with invisible objects
      6m 21s
    3. 053 Understanding component information
      6m 39s
    4. 054 Creating running heads using section markers
      4m 16s
    5. 055 Making a font with InDesign using the IndyFont script
      5m 20s
    6. 056 Finding where that color is used
      7m 17s
  40. 23m 41s
    1. 047 Specifying an exact amount of space between objects
      5m 17s
    2. 048 Fixing last lines that are too short
      8m 16s
    3. 049 Creating web graphics from your InDesign artwork
      7m 20s
    4. 050 Using “No Language” to suppress unwanted hyphenation, spell-checking, and smart quotes
      2m 48s
  41. 21m 30s
    1. 043 Formatting fractions correctly
      8m 11s
    2. 044 Fixing unwanted hyperlinks in an imported Word file
      5m 57s
    3. 045 Inline graphic tricks with invisible paragraphs
      4m 21s
    4. 046 Ensuring the first line of every chapter starts in the same spot
      3m 1s
  42. 29m 36s
    1. 037 Updating a linked table without losing formatting
      5m 18s
    2. 038 Creating electronic sticky notes
      4m 49s
    3. 039 Moving master page items to the top layer for visibility
      2m 48s
    4. 040 Five guide tricks that will impress your coworkers
      6m 18s
    5. 041 Letting InDesign add the diacritics
      4m 21s
    6. 042 Using single-cell table cells for custom paragraph formatting
      6m 2s
  43. 28m 19s
    1. 033 Importing a custom dictionary
      7m 8s
    2. 034 Changing document orientation and page size
      6m 45s
    3. 035 Numbering instead of using auto page numbers
      6m 23s
    4. 036 Setting story order with the Articles panel
      8m 3s
  44. 37m 59s
    1. 027 Creating running heads using variables
      5m 1s
    2. 028 Live Caption tips and tricks
      8m 3s
    3. 029 Making professional drop caps
      10m 37s
    4. 030 Making two-state buttons in interactive documents
      5m 5s
    5. 031 Moving pages from one document to another
      3m 15s
    6. 032 Wrapping bulleted text around a curve
      5m 58s
  45. 23m 50s
    1. 023 Using layer comps in Photoshop files to show alternates in InDesign
      4m 19s
    2. 024 Adding custom HTML tags to EPUB/HTML exports
      5m 32s
    3. 025 Tracking down type issues with the composition highlighter
      8m 13s
    4. 026 Managing your InDesign panels
      5m 46s
  46. 21m 34s
    1. 019 Using multiple windows for comparisons
      3m 35s
    2. 020 Putting images on a stroke
      5m 23s
    3. 021 Making your own motion path
      5m 43s
    4. 022 Copying objects between Illustrator and InDesign
      6m 53s
  47. 23m 8s
    1. 015 Aligning numbered lists by decimal points
      3m 9s
    2. 016 Running a script
      9m 33s
    3. 017 When text disappears from a text frame
      6m 18s
    4. 018 Preview and Presentation modes (changing color etc.)
      4m 8s
  48. 25m 19s
    1. 011 InDesign's Easter eggs
      5m 0s
    2. 012 Three cool GREP styles everyone can use
      7m 35s
    3. 013 A field guide to special characters
      8m 2s
    4. 014 Trashing the application preferences to solve weird behaviors
      4m 42s
  49. 26m 6s
    1. 007 Selecting through and into objects using cmd-click and Select Above/Below
      5m 46s
    2. 008 Some great tips and tricks for the Swatches panel
      9m 40s
    3. 009 Saving down for backward compatibility with INX and IDML
      5m 54s
    4. 010 Using the INX and IDML formats to fix problems
      4m 46s
  50. 23m 26s
    1. 003 The indispensible Quick Apply feature
      5m 29s
    2. 004 Customizing the Links panel
      6m 53s
    3. 005 Magically building graphs with the Chartwell font
      7m 43s
    4. 006 Using the Eyedropper tool to pick up character or paragraph attributes
      3m 21s
  51. 9m 6s
    1. 001 The hidden "auto-expand text" feature
      5m 51s
    2. 002 Letting InDesign do the math for you
      3m 15s

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InDesign CS4 Tutorials | InDesign Secrets
18h 23m Intermediate Aug 25, 2011 Updated Sep 03, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.

New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.

Subject:
Design
Software:
InDesign
Authors:
David Blatner Anne-Marie Concepción

016 Running a script

Anne-Marie Concepcion: You know it always shocks me when InDesign can't do everything. You know, when there are features missing, because by this time you think of it would have come up with every single feature and added it to the program, but the good thing is that InDesign is very scriptable. It's very easy to add scripts, sort of like little mini programs that add the features that for some reason the InDesign engineers didn't add to the program itself. The scripts community is very rich in InDesign and what I want to show you in this video is how you might locate scripts and then how you install them and how you use them.

It's surprising to me that so few InDesign users who depend on it for their daily living, don't even know that there are free scripts that come with the program. So let's take this one example. Here we have a document with two different tables. Now say that I heard from the client and they say "you know what, we want this to be one table." So like well how can I select these two tables and make them into one? I mean there is no Merge Tables. There is just a Merge Cells command. You think "oh man, I am going to have to figure out how to do this and add empty rows and copy and paste," but actually there is a Merge Tables script around and I read about it some place and I know that it's here in this website in-tools.com.

INtools is a company that makes free and commercial scripts and plug-ins for Adobe InDesign, and in their scripts page, they have one called Table Merger. This is a simple script which merges two tables. But before I go ahead and download that, let's talk a little bit about where you might find the script in InDesign and then we'll go ahead and install that Table Merger script. So in InDesign-- and we are in CS 5.5 right now. In 5.5, and I believe in 5 as well, the Scripts panel is hiding down here in Utilities.

You choose Scripts. In earlier versions of InDesign you'll find it under Window > Automation and then there will be fly out that says Scripts Automation, but here we're in Utilities. So you open up Scripts and I am just going to drag this panel out so we can concentrate on it. Here's two folders, Application and User, and what that means is there are scripts that are installed at the application level so anybody who logs on to this computer can use them, or there are scripts that are private only to the current user and right now that folder is empty. I don't have anything installed.

But in Applications, there are always going to be some free sample scripts is what they call it. Now I am on a Macintosh so there are two flavors of scripts. One is AppleScript which is Mac only; the other one is JavaScript which is by platform. So the same JavaScript scripts can be run on both Mac computer and a Windows computer. Now if I were on Windows, I'd see samples, but it would say JavaScript and VBScript. VBScript is Windows only. Essentially the scripts are the same so in AppleScript, AddGuides, AddPoints, AdjustLayout, in JavaScript, AddGuides, AddPoints, AdjustLayout.

And actually these are here to help people who want to learn how to script practice some essential concept because InDesign does ship with a PDF about how to script InDesign. But I'm not teaching you how to actually script. What's interesting is that a lot of these object lesson scripts actually do very useful things and to run a script all you need to do is double-click something. So like for example, if I make a selection, let me just drag out a little square here and I have it selected and then I choose for example CropMarks, I get a little dialog box that says where do you want me to put the CropMarks, should I include Registration Marks? Where should I draw the marks around each object or just the entire selection? I'll say the Selection and it made little crop marks around my selection.

So there are all sorts of interesting things that these scripts can do. Unfortunately, I'm not finding Merge Tables here, right? So there's no Merge Tables script here, but I did hear about that one that was offered for free at the in-tools.com website. Now the question is how do I get that script into my Scripts panel? It's actually really simple. You don't have to quit InDesign and by the way the instructions that I am showing you here on the Mac also work exactly the same in Windows. In fact it's a lot easier if you start up the program and open up your Scripts panel, because if you right-click on the folder that you want your new script to go into, it will bring you right to it in the OS. So on a Mac it will bring you to that folder in the Finder and on Windows it will bring you to that folder in Windows Explorer.

So let's say that I want to install that script and have it available for anybody who uses this computer. That means I want to install it in the Application area and I'll go ahead and install it inside the Samples folder. So I am just going to right click on the Samples folder and choose Reveal in Finder. It opens up a window in the Finder that shows me exactly where that is. There is the AppleScript and JavaScript. And if I go to the left, you can see that actually we are in the Adobe InDesign CS 5.5 Application folder and inside there, there is a Scripts folder.

So I could do this myself actually just in the Finder. I don't have to always right-click from that folder. Inside there, there is another folder called Scripts panel and then that is where you want to install your scripts, inside the Scripts panel folder. Same on Windows and the Macintosh. You don't have to use the Samples folder. You can create your own folder. In fact I think I will. I am just going to select this and then go to New Folder and I'll call this my scripts. Now this is the folder that I want to install the script in. So I am going to now go back that web site and download the script Table Merger. It is a zip file.

I am going to go ahead and say yes, open it up with StuffIt Expander. Now I need to find out where that file got downloaded to. If I didn't have my Downloads window open, I could have opened it from Firefox's Tools menu. There's Downloads. There is the Tables, Show in Finder, there it is, and we've already unzipped it. So I am just going to move this over to the Desktop and we'll take a look. This is .jsx. That stands for a JavaScript script and a JavaScript script is simply a text file. Now you could open it with, you know, the actual program that Adobe ships with every installation of the Creative Suite, called The ExtendScript Toolkit.

It's a special program just for writing JavaScript. But I want to show you that I can even open it in TextEdit, that it's a simple text file. It's all it is, just a text file that ends with .jsx. Now I want to put this scripts into the my scripts folder, so I'll just drag and drop it right in there. Now when we go back to InDesign, notice that it automatically added my scripts as soon as I created that folder and inside there is a Merge Tables JavaScript. So now I am just going to select my two tables. Just drag across both of them and double-click MergeTables.jsx.

Merge Below or Merge Beside. I want to merge it below, there it goes. Now I actually experimented with this script first before I demoed it, because I wasn't sure if it would be smart enough to merge two tables that were separated by a paragraph and that's what you need to do a lot of times. You need to experiment with the script, especially the ones that are free, because they don't often come with documentation. Now the ones on this website, if you remember in-tools.com, actually does come with documentation. So I could have read more about it, but sometimes some scripts require selection and you don't know some scripts don't work if you have something selected.

Other places that you might find scripts, other than just you know on developer's websites, will be in any form having to deal with the InDesign or a web site like on our own indesignsecrets. com web site. We talk about scripts all the time and some of them we add to this Resources page, Plug-ins and Scripts, but you can download them and then you would install it just as I showed you. A lot of times some of the best scripts aren't even sold or listed as a script. Scripters, who are very handy with scripting, would just go ahead and type out a script in a form post or in a comment in a blog.

Like for example here's one on our website where people were mentioning to us that in InDesign CS5 when you export a facing pages document to an interactive PDF, it always has spreads turned on. There's no control in the Export Interactive PDF to split that up into single pages and somebody said "how do I make a single page interactive PDF from a Facing Pages document, is it possible?" 62 people are vitally interested in this question and if I scroll down a bit, you will see that a couple of scripters took a whack at it, right.

So here's one that adds comments and all sorts of stuff. Now what do you do with something like this? It's actually quite simple. Remember how I showed you how that JavaScript is simply a text file. All you need to do is select the text, get every bit of it, copy it to the clipboard, start up any text editor that you might have running like TextEdit on the Mac. Make sure that you are working in Plaintext mode. You don't want to have RTF or styling enabled, and then paste what you have. Then you just save that file. I'll save this on my Desktop as splitspread and then you want to add the jsx extension. Otherwise InDesign won't recognize it as a script.

It might be that you better say yes, Use .jsx. All right! So let's find that in the Finder, here it is. I'll copy that to my Clipboard and go back to that same folder, my scripts, and I'll paste it in there. And now when we go back to InDesign, there it is, ready to use whenever I want to automatically split a spread when I am creating an interactive PDF. So make sure and check out the rich community of scripters and all of the cool free and low-cost commercial scripts that are out there for InDesign.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about InDesign Secrets .


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A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
 
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