Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Installing the scripts, part of InDesign CS4: 10 Free Must-Have Scripts.
A script is a way to run InDesign without you, the human, having to do as much work, and if I can reduce the amount of work that I have to do I'm all for it. And there are dozens, probably hundreds of scripts floating around that you can use. But before you do you have to figure out where you can find them, how to download them and where to install them. I have listed all 10 Must-Have Scripts here on this webpage at indesignsecrets. com/free. So if you are looking for any of these particular scripts you can always find them on this page. Some of the scripts that I'll be talking about, for example FindChangeByList, already come with InDesign. They are actually shipped with the product and you can find them inside of InDesign. Let me show you.
So where is this Scripts folder on your hard drive? Don't even worry about it. The important thing is any script that you put inside your Scripts panel folder inside the Scripts folder will show up in InDesign. So I'm going to drag this script that I downloaded off the Internet into the Scripts panel folder and it shows up here and so it's also going to show up in InDesign. Switch back to InDesign, open up the User folder and you don't even have to restart InDesign or anything. It immediately shows up here inside the Scripts panel. To run a script, simply double- click on it. I'll be showing that in all the movies to come.
Occasionally you will find old scripts on the web that won't work inside the newer versions of InDesign. So let me show you a trick. I'm going to switch back to the Finder here or Windows Explorer on Windows and I'm going to create a new folder inside Scripts panel. I'm going to call it Version 4.0 Scripts, and I'll take that folder and put it inside the Scripts panel. Now any scripts I put inside this folder will run in an emulation mode and InDesign acts like it's an older version of InDesign. This tends to work on old scripts like those that were created for InDesign CS and CS2.
Now that you know where to put your scripts, where to find them in InDesign and how to run them, let's take a look at how you can use them to really make your workflow fly.
- Merging several text frames into a single story
- Setting keyboard shortcuts for launching scripts
- Turning multi-column text frames into individual frames to manipulate a layout
- Indexing files quickly and efficiently using character styles
- Importing, scaling, and positioning multi-page documents