Four useful InDesign scripts

When I was updating the corner effects tip this weekend, I looked in the scripts folder to make sure the old corner effects script was still there. And I noticed four time-saving scripts sitting there that might save a bunch of time.

To open up the scripts palette, go to Window>Utilities>Script. The Script palette will open and you can choose scripts that are included under Application>Samples>Applescript (or Javascript).

These scripts ship with InDesign as samples of the power of scripting. But they are quite useful, and almost universally ignored. And if you are comfortable with Applescript or Javascript, you can customize or adjust these easily.

Break Frame/Split Story

Sometimes, you place copy and as you move things around, you realize you need to break the threaded text. It can be a challenge. The two scripts work slightly differently, but successfully separate the text thread into individual frames. For me, both scripts seem have the same final result. A word of warning: each script handles overset text differently. I’d make sure you don’t have any overset text before you start the script. But if you’ve ever tried to do this by hand, you realize this can be a massive time saver.

Sort Paragraphs

Got a list that you need to sort alphabetically? The Sort Paragraphs script can do it. Select your text, run the script and the paragraphs are now in alphabetical order.

Start with a list (left), then select the text you want to alphabetize (middle), run the Sort Paragraphs script and the list will be in alphabetical order.

Place Multipage PDF

On more than one occasion, I’ve had to place a multiple page PDF into an InDesign document. This script will place each page for you, adding additional pages to the InDesign document as needed. Simply select the PDF, tell the script what page to start on and InDesign will place all of the pages into the upper left hand corner of the page.

Export All Stories

Every so often, someone asks me for the text from an InDesign document. They may want to edit it or redesign a document. Copy and paste works, but takes time. The Export All Stories script will export stories as text, RTF or InDesign Markup files. Note that every “story” (meaning every text box or series of threaded text boxes) will export as a single file.