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153 Import a folder full of pictures, one per page

From: InDesign Secrets

Video: 153 Import a folder full of pictures, one per page

Somebody asked me recently, how do I'm import a folder full

153 Import a folder full of pictures, one per page

Somebody asked me recently, how do I'm import a folder full of images so that each image shows up on a different page? Well, InDesign can do this, but you have to use a script. Actually, I'm going to show you two different scripts that do similar things. Don't be scared fo the word script, they're really easy to use. Because I'll be using scripts, I need the Scripts panel, and I can find that if I go to the Window menu, go down to the Utilities submenu, and then choose Scripts. Now, InDesign Scripts panel has two different folders in it, Application and User.

We're going to start off by looking inside the Application folder, and I can look in there by just clicking on that little triangle next to the folder. That expands so that I can see that there's a script in there and also a folder full of samples. If I open the Samples folder and then and then open the JavaScript folder, I can see a bunch of scripts in here. That's all the things with the .jsx extension. Now, I'm going to scroll down until I find the ImageCatalog script, there it is. Running a script is really easy. All you have to do is double-click on it, and when I double-click on this script up comes a dialogue box that says, what folder has the images that you're trying to import? I'll select this Images folder that's up on my desktop and click Open.

The script tells me that there are 16 images inside this folder and it's going to import all of them. It can lay these images out as a grid on the page, but remember what we're trying to do is have one image per page. So, I'm going to set the rows and columns to both one. Just one row, one column, with just one image per page. The fitting area lets me tell this script let's me tell this script how I want to scale the images inside the frame. In this case, I want to scale the images up to fit the frame and make sure that the frame fits the content, so the frame and the images are the same size.

I even have an opportunity to turn on labels. For example, I can have each image have the file name, the file path, or XMP metadata from inside the image. In this case, I don't even want to have any of those things, so I'm going to turn off the Labels checkbox. I just want the images. Now, we're ready to import, so I click OK and InDesign builds a page and imports all of the images, one image per page. It's done. It just takes a few seconds. I'll click OK, open the Pages panel, and you can see we now have 16 different pages, each one with a different image.

So, the ImageCatalog script is one great way to import a bunch of images very quickly, but there are a couple of problems with it. For example, you have no way of controlling how large the frame should be on each page. Another problem is you can't design the page. Maybe I wanted to have a background behind all of these, or maybe I wanted to put some other information about the artist on every page. So, I'm going to show you one more technique, which is a little bit more complex but it gives you all kinds of other options. First, I'm going to close this document, because I don't need it anymore, and I don't need to save that.

Second, I need to install a new script. Now this script does not ship with InDesign, this is one that you have to download from the Internet. You can find it here at indesignsecrets.com, in their article called, Import a Folder Full of Pictures, One Per Page. When you download that script, it's going to be downloaded to your Downloads folder as a .jsx file, and then you can import it into your Scripts panel. Now, I've already downloaded that script and it's sitting in my Downloads folder. I'll switch back to InDesign. I'm going to go to the top of my Scripts panel and close my Application folder because I'm going to put my script, my new script that I downloaded, into the User folder.

To put a script inside my User folder, all I need to do is right-click on that folder or Ctrl+click with a one button mouse, and choose reveal in Finder. On Windows, it would be Reveal in Windows Explorer. Suddenly, I see the folder called Scripts, and inside Scripts, there's a folder called Scripts Panel. Any script that you put inside the Scripts Panel folder will show up in the panel. It's as easy as that. So, here's the script that I downloaded, and all I need to do is drag it into the Scripts Panel. If I open the Scripts Panel, I can see the script there.

I also notice something wrong, and that is, the script has a .txt at the end. It's suppose to be just .jsx, so I need to edit this to get rid of that .txt. Yes, I am sure that I want to use .jsx, there we go. So, I have now installed a script into the Scripts panel, and if I go back to InDesign, I can see it right there inside the User folder. All I have to do is click that little triangle and there it is. You don't have to restart InDesign or anything like that. All right, so that's the first step, now I need to run this script.

In order to run this script, I have to have a document open. So, I'll just go to the File menu, choose New > Document, and then click OK. Now, I'll double-click on the script to run it and InDesign asks me the same thing. What folder do you want to use? So, I'm going to choose Images and click Open. It doesn't appear that anything happened at all because all this script does, is it writes a little text file inside that folder. It's a .csv file. That's a comma separated data file, similar to the kind of thing that you would export from Excel or a database.

I ran that script because I need that CSV file in order to import the images using this other technique. The technique uses data merge. So, I'm going to open the Data Merge panel, which I find here grouped with the Scripts panel. If it weren't grouped with that panel, all I'd have to do is go to the Window menu, choose Utilities and then choose Data Merge. Now, data merge lets me import data, and the data that I'm trying to import is those images. So, I'm going to go to the Data Merge pop-up menu, this little fly out menu at the top, say,Select Data Source.

Now, I'm going to navigate inside the Images folder. And I can see, down at the bottom, here's the images.csv file that, that script created for me. The script went through and made this CSV file that describes where each one of these images are inside this folder. I'll click Open, and you can see that the CSV file has two bits of data, the Name and the Images. All I have to do now, is give myself a graphic frame and click on Images. Now, because of that CSV file, InDesign knows where the image is and I've told it where to put the image, inside this frame.

I'll go back to my selection tool because I want to do one more thing that's really important at this point, and that is to give this an object style. I'll open my Object Styles panel and say, give me a New Object Style, and I'll give it a name, I'll call this image frame. It doesn't matter what you call it, and really, it doesn't matter what you set this up as right now, because later on we can change it to anything we want. Let's go ahead and click OK, and then click on the object style to assign that object style to this frame. If I want to test this to make sure the image is going to go into the right place, I can do that by turning on the Preview checkbox.

As soon as I do that, you'll see that InDesign places the first piece of data, that first image, inside the frame. Now, I can move through them one at a time by clicking on these little arrow buttons. But, when I'm done previewing and I really want to import all these images, all I have to do is click over here in this right side button called Create Merge Document. Here, I can control which images are going to be brought in. In this case, I want all of them. And then if I click the Options tab at the top, I can tell InDesign what to do about the images, how to fit them to the frame.

Right now I have them set to Fit Images Proportionally, but if I wanted to make that the image fills the whole frame, I could chose Fill Frames Proportionally instead. That's all the set up I need to do. To import the images, I click OK and InDesign creates a new document based on this template, and it fills all of those frames with the images. It only takes a few seconds, even if you have dozens of images or even hundreds of images. And it tells me that no overset text was generated. That's okay, because there was no text in here at all anyway, it was just graphics.

So, I'll click OK. I'll move the panel out of the way and we can see that in the Pages panel, we have a similar thing, 16 different pages and each one has an image in it. I'm just double-clicking on those to move from one page to the next. Once again, the benefit of using Data Merge is that we have a lot of control about where the images are, how large the frames are and we can use those object styles. So, if I go back to my Object Styles panel, I can right-click or Ctrl+click with a one-button mouse, on the image frame and then edit it.

So, I could say, let's go ahead and give this a stroke perhaps. Let's give it a black stroke, let's make it really thick, and we can put a special type around it, like thick thin. And then let's set the gap color to paper. Click OK, and you'll see that now all of these have a special frame around them. I'll just press Shift+Page Down, to go from one to the next. Now, I know this second technique, this data merge technique, seems like a long process, running the script and running data merge and so on. But, believe me, after you do it once or twice, it actually goes extremely quickly and you can import hundreds of images in less than a minute.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign Secrets
InDesign Secrets

160 video lessons · 74645 viewers

Anne-Marie Concepción and David Blatner

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 14s
    1. 160 Convert local formatting to character styles
      5m 14s
  2. 14h 31m
    1. 001 Intro to InDesign Secrets
    2. 002 The hidden "auto-expand text" feature
      5m 51s
    3. 003 Letting InDesign do the math for you
      3m 15s
    4. 004 The indispensible Quick Apply feature
      5m 29s
    5. 005 Customizing the Links panel
      6m 53s
    6. 006 Magically building graphs with the Chartwell font
      7m 43s
    7. 007 Using the Eyedropper tool to pick up character or paragraph attributes
      3m 21s
    8. 008 Selecting through and into objects using cmd-click and Select Above/Below
      5m 46s
    9. 009 Some great tips and tricks for the Swatches panel
      9m 40s
    10. 010 Saving down for backward compatibility with INX and IDML
      5m 55s
    11. 011 Using the INX and IDML formats to fix problems
      4m 46s
    12. 012 InDesign's Easter eggs
      5m 0s
    13. 013 Three cool GREP styles everyone can use
      7m 35s
    14. 014 A field guide to special characters
      8m 2s
    15. 015 Trashing the application preferences to solve weird behaviors
      4m 42s
    16. 016 Aligning numbered lists by decimal points
      3m 10s
    17. 017 Running a script
      9m 33s
    18. 018 When text disappears from a text frame
      6m 18s
    19. 019 Preview and Presentation modes (changing color, etc.)
      4m 8s
    20. 020 Using multiple windows for comparisons
      3m 35s
    21. 021 Putting images on a stroke
      5m 23s
    22. 022 Making your own motion path
      5m 43s
    23. 023 Copying objects between Illustrator and InDesign
      6m 53s
    24. 024 Using layer comps in Photoshop files to show alternates in InDesign
      4m 19s
    25. 025 Adding custom HTML tags to EPUB/HTML exports
      5m 32s
    26. 026 Tracking down type issues with the composition highlighter
      8m 13s
    27. 027 Managing your InDesign panels
      5m 46s
    28. 028 Creating running heads using variables
      5m 1s
    29. 029 Live Caption tips and tricks
      8m 3s
    30. 030 Making professional drop caps
      10m 37s
    31. 031 Making two-state buttons in interactive documents
      5m 5s
    32. 032 Moving pages from one document to another
      3m 15s
    33. 033 Wrapping bulleted text around a curve
      5m 58s
    34. 034 Importing a custom dictionary
      7m 8s
    35. 035 Changing document orientation and page size
      6m 45s
    36. 036 Numbering instead of using auto page numbers
      6m 23s
    37. 037 Setting story order with the Articles panel
      8m 3s
    38. 038 Updating a linked table without losing formatting
      5m 38s
    39. 039 Creating electronic sticky notes
      4m 49s
    40. 040 Moving master page items to the top layer for visibility
      2m 48s
    41. 041 Five guide tricks that will impress your coworkers
      6m 18s
    42. 042 Letting InDesign add the diacritics
      4m 21s
    43. 043 Using single-cell table cells for custom paragraph formatting
      6m 2s
    44. 044 Formatting fractions correctly
      8m 11s
    45. 045 Fixing unwanted hyperlinks in an imported Word file
      5m 57s
    46. 046 Inline graphic tricks with invisible paragraphs
      4m 21s
    47. 047 Ensuring the first line of every chapter starts in the same spot
      3m 1s
    48. 048 Specifying an exact amount of space between objects
      5m 17s
    49. 049 Fixing last lines that are too short
      8m 16s
    50. 050 Creating web graphics from your InDesign artwork
      7m 20s
    51. 051 Using “No Language” to suppress unwanted hyphenation, spell-checking, and smart quotes
      2m 48s
    52. 052 Five things that should be in every new file
      5m 19s
    53. 053 Forcing EPUB page breaks with invisible objects
      6m 21s
    54. 054 Understanding component information
      6m 39s
    55. 055 Creating running heads using section markers
      4m 16s
    56. 056 Making a font with InDesign using the IndyFont script
      5m 20s
    57. 057 Finding where that color is used
      7m 17s
    58. 058 Text wrapping
      6m 54s
    59. 059 Inserting pages: Understanding the Pages panel
      4m 20s
    60. 060 Copying paths between Illustrator and InDesign
      5m 14s
    61. 061 Automating Find/Change with the Find/ChangeByList script
      12m 48s
    62. 062 Embedding images
      7m 43s
    63. 063 Adjusting leading inside a paragraph
      4m 31s
    64. 064 Placing one InDesign file inside another
      3m 58s
    65. 065 Creating bookmarks for PDFs
      7m 25s
    66. 066 Customizing the story editor preferences
      6m 4s
    67. 067 Setting the size of text exactly with this free script
      3m 28s
    68. 068 Using Gravity to simulate perspective
      3m 15s
    69. 069 Fixing the overflowing text frame problem in EPUBs
      5m 0s
    70. 070 Ten uses of the Story Editor
      11m 39s
    71. 071 Moving an object: Ten ways!
      7m 18s
    72. 072 Understanding optical margin alignment (and the quote trick)
      4m 23s
    73. 073 Changing the shape of any frame with the pen tool
      6m 12s
    74. 074 Working with sets in the content conveyor tool
      10m 40s
    75. 075 Running text along the top and the bottom of a circle
      3m 51s
    76. 076 Creating a list using the Table of Contents feature
      3m 25s
    77. 077 Quickly threading frames together and unthreading frames
      13m 22s
    78. 078 The secrets of formatting objects with Find/Change
      6m 34s
    79. 079 Using ruler guides: 10 great tricks
      5m 3s
    80. 080 Converting a clipping path to a frame
      4m 24s
    81. 081 Adding a drop shadow to a single word inside a frame
      3m 14s
    82. 082 Creating a custom cross-reference format
      13m 53s
    83. 083 Putting different-sized pages on a single spread
      3m 7s
    84. 084 Formatting prices with nested and grep styles
      6m 21s
    85. 085 Checking out the Gridify tricks
      5m 17s
    86. 086 Using Illustrator to create InDesign gradient swatches
      4m 49s
    87. 087 Building a simple grep style to change character size
      3m 45s
    88. 088 Exporting a grayscale PDF
      3m 16s
    89. 089 Three ways to cheat text outside of its frame
      6m 8s
    90. 090 Three great Object Styles for any designer
      8m 1s
    91. 091 Choosing alpha channel image transparency
      2m 25s
    92. 092 Adding and reading metadata for InDesign files
      3m 25s
    93. 093 Adding ALT tags to your images
      6m 59s
    94. 094 How to Place & Link a text frame's text but not its formatting
      7m 4s
    95. 095 Setting the baseline position of a caption
      2m 39s
    96. 096 Managing changing pages with primary text frames
      5m 23s
    97. 097 Secrets of the Info panel
      7m 31s
    98. 098 Surprising ways to do a word count
      5m 29s
    99. 099 Placing an object where you want it with an object style
      6m 18s
    100. 100 Aligning Objects tips and tricks
      5m 10s
    101. 101 Applying corner options to any shape
      2m 17s
    102. 102 Converting footnotes to endnotes with a free script
      4m 49s
    103. 103 Making tab leaders pretty
      4m 18s
    104. 104 Converting text to outlines the right way
      4m 30s
    105. 105 Turning InDesign into a speed demon
      8m 31s
    106. 106 Working with MiniBridge
      5m 45s
    107. 107 Customize your QR codes
      6m 17s
    108. 108 Using the same keyboard shortcut for two different commands with the Context feature
      5m 22s
    109. 109 Making a text highlighter
      3m 33s
    110. 110 Updating an interactive PDF without losing work done in Acrobat
      5m 31s
    111. 111 Adding custom text at the beginning of each line automatically
      4m 0s
    112. 112 Packaging images on the pasteboard
      3m 32s
    113. 113 Automatically updating figure references for books
      6m 9s
    114. 114 Adding Tool Tips to your form fields in InDesign
      3m 21s
    115. 115 Setting poetry, flush left, center on longest line
      3m 54s
    116. 116 Use bookmarks to navigate long documents in production
      4m 57s
    117. 117 Selecting text with the InDesign keyboard dance
      2m 0s
    118. 118 Including a total page count in your page numbers
      6m 19s
    119. 119 Making a custom arrowhead
      5m 37s
    120. 120 Making alternative body text styles for fast typesetting
      5m 4s
    121. 121 Making InDesign patterns with the free PatternMaker
      3m 45s
    122. 122 Creating pull quotes the easy way
      5m 1s
    123. 123 Allow text frame to resize with text
      2m 43s
    124. 124 Mapping Word styles to InDesign styles
      5m 48s
    125. 125 Make two automatically threaded text flows
      3m 37s
    126. 126 Saving for Web in InDesign
      6m 7s
    127. 127 Numbering rows in a table
      5m 10s
    128. 128 Making automatic jump lines
      6m 52s
    129. 129 Turning off allow pages to shuffle in order to separate facing pages
      3m 40s
    130. 130 Dealing with parentheses around text size
      4m 19s
    131. 131 Make a fill in the blank label for contracts and forms
      7m 53s
    132. 132 Changing the shape of polygons and starburst as you draw or afterward
      4m 17s
    133. 133 Contextual text and images that you only want sometimes visible
      4m 55s
    134. 134 Creating nav points in a movie
      4m 31s
    135. 135 Adding effects to your rule above and rule below
      3m 38s
    136. 136 Fitting text to a specific size
      4m 45s
    137. 137 Quick tips for making a small PDF file size
      6m 9s
    138. 138 Sharing presets, workspaces, and custom shortcuts sets
      5m 17s
    139. 139 Making a multi-level numbered list
      5m 17s
    140. 140 Faking bold and italic when the font family doesn’t have one
      5m 2s
    141. 141 Keeping the same scale size when updating or relinking to images
      3m 9s
    142. 142 Inserting glyphs
      6m 42s
    143. 143 Building richer, bolder color gradients
      3m 7s
    144. 144 Finding the right font with InDesign’s font menus
      4m 35s
    145. 145 Lay out a front, back and spine for a book jacket
      6m 12s
    146. 146 Ghosting area of image behind text
      2m 53s
    147. 147 Make a transparency mask in InDesign
      3m 45s
    148. 148 Using preflight to find common document errors
      6m 11s
    149. 149 Cropping with paste into
      5m 18s
    150. 150 Using vertical justification to spread out text in a frame automatically
      5m 16s
    151. 151 Rotate text inside a frame, or the frame around the text
      2m 30s
    152. 152 Looking at snippets vs. libraries
      6m 49s
    153. 153 Import a folder full of pictures, one per page
      8m 54s
    154. 154 When InDesign ignores your leading values
      4m 5s
    155. 155 Extracting images from a Word document
      3m 42s
    156. 156 Uncommon uses for Quick Apply
      6m 2s
    157. 157 Uncovering InDesign's magic font folders
      3m 9s
    158. 158 Sharing swatches (PS/IL/ID and ID to ID)
      3m 36s
    159. 159 Convert rounded corners to editable paths
      3m 15s

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