Join Keith Gilbert for an in-depth discussion in this video How to install a script, part of InDesign: Scripting Made Easy.
- Usually scripts don't come with any kind of automatic installer. So it's up to you to install them manually. But this isn't difficult. A script usually consists of just a single file that ends in .jsx or sometimes just .js or in the case of Visual Basic scripts, they will end in .vbs or Apple scripts end in .applescript. A few scripts that you encounter might have the .jsxbin file name extension.
These types of scripts are installed just like any other script but they're complied so they can't be opened and further edited. So to install a script, you just need to copy the script file to a specific location and then it will automatically appear in the Indesign Scripts panel. Now that location is really buried on your hard drive and it's different depending on whether you're on Windows or Mac. So I'm going to show you a real easy way to discover that location. In Indesign in my Scripts panel, I've got two folders as we saw before, an Application folder and a User folder.
All you need to do is to right click on the User folder and choose Reveal in Finder on the Mac or Reveal in Explorer on Windows and that will open a new window that is the exact location of where you need to put your script files. You can organize your scripts with any kind of sub-folders or sub-sub-folders that you want within this folder. And the folders can be named anything you want. And scripts can also be named anything you want. Script names can have spaces and capital letters and things like that in there.
And so it's just a matter of dragging a file into this location and you're done. What I would recommend that you do for this course is that you take all of the folders that are in the Scripts folder inside the Exercise Files folder and just copy all of these folders into the Scripts Panel folder. That will give you fingertip access to all of the scripts for this course, neatly organized into the folders that you need.
Sometimes you'll find a script that is displayed on a website or user forum as just a bunch of text. Here's an example of that from the Adobe Indesign Scripting Forum and if I scroll through this long narrative here, at the bottom we see that somebody is suggesting that here's how you solve this problem that they're talking about. And they've written an entire script here and are basically saying, "Hey, try this." Well, what do I do with this because there's no file for me to download and install.
You know this isn't a .jsx file or anything. It's just a bunch of text. So what am I gonna do? Well, when you find text like this, it's really quite simple. You just need to carefully select the whole thing and then you just copy the text and then you open up any text editor. It could be Microsoft Word, it could be Notepad on Windows, it could be BBEdit, anything. I'm going to launch Word. And in Word, I'm just going to make a new document and I'm just going to paste that text.
Now, it makes no difference what type face it is or how many spaces there are before lines and all that kind of stuff. All I have to do now is just save this as a plain text file. So it can't be a docx file or anything like that. So in the case of Word, I go to the bottom here and tell it that I want a plain text, .txt file. And I would save that into that same location in my User folder in my Scripts folder. And I would, for convenience put a .jsx at the end.
So I would call this something like My script.jsx, save it into the proper location and now it's ready to use. So, extracting text from a forum or other location just involves copying it, opening a text editor, pasting the text in, saving it with a .jsx extension, and installing it like any other script. So now, no matter what the source or what type of script you encounter, you'll be able to successfully install it in Indesign.
- What are InDesign scripts?
- Installing scripts
- Editing scripts
- Referencing InDesign objects in scripts
- Creating a script to set preferences
- Creating a script to watermark designs
- Creating a script to transpose characters