Adobe InDesign & Illustrator Scripts
One of the great things about Adobe® InDesign® and Illustrator®, is their scriptability. We use InDesign and Illustrator scripting as part of many of our custom automation projects.
The time-saving scripts below are ones that we have written for friends or colleagues. They are available here for free, but If you find any of them useful, and would like to encourage us to make more available in the future, consider making a PayPal donation using the button below!
During the 2014 PePcon Conference in Chicago, a number of InDesign scripting developers participated in developing scripts proposed by conference attendees. Three scripts were voted on to determine which script was to be developed. After the vote was taken the developers decided to code all three! One of the scripts, “Empty XML Tag Remover,” was written by us!
Empty XML Tag Remover is a script for Adobe InDesign CS3 and newer. The script examines all of the XML tags in an InDesign document’s stories. Any “empty” XML tags (tags that have no child nodes) are removed from the document’s XML structure. If the removal of a tag results in a paragraph that contains no text, the paragraph itself is removed by deleting its trailing carriage return.
Download the Empty XML Tag Remover Script
To deal with a question in her popular “InQuestion” column in the October/November, 2011 issue of InDesign Magazine, noted author and trainer, Sandee Cohen asked us to add some functionality to the “Sort Paragraphs” script which ships with InDesign as one of the example scripts. The original script sorts paragraphs based on the first word in the paragraph. Sandee had a need to sort paragraphs based on a particular “field” in a tab-delimited line. For example, rather than “Alan<tab>Smith” sorting BEFORE “Joe<tab>Jones” this script will make it sort AFTER if one specifies the sort to be done on the second “field” or “column.” (“Smith” comes after “Jones,” even though “Alan” comes before “Joe.”) So, we modified the original script to add that functionality. Check it out…
Download the Sort Tabbed Paragraphs Script
Sharon Steuer and the team of authors and artists that created the recently released Peachpit Press book, “The Adobe Illustrator CS5 WOW! Book,” asked us to write two scripts to demonstrate concepts in two chapters: Rapid Reshaping and Scripting Colors.
The Artboard Resizer script resizes all artboards in a document by a specified factor, and the Artwork Colorizer script automatically fills shapes with different colors—very useful for mapmakers, etc.
Download the Wow! Book Scripts
Several years ago, we gave a presentation on scripting at a meeting of the Bay Area InDesign User Group. We asked those in attendance for script ideas, and then had them vote on which would be most useful. We took the two ideas with the most votes, and developed them into working scripts which we're making available here. (Scroll to the bottom of the page for download links.)
The suggestion with the most votes was for a script to automate a way around the fact that InDesign does not honor the blending mode of Photoshop layers, sometimes complicating the task of creating shadow effects. This script will create an image “sandwich” with two copies of the same image, one on top of the other. The bottom image is set with a blending mode of “Multiply,” and the other—positioned on top of the first—is set with a blending mode of “Normal.” The two images are then grouped together.
The script takes a selected image, and displays a dialog box allowing you to select which layers and/or clipping paths to use for the shadow portion of the image, and which to use for the “normal” image.
Lock/Unlock All Page Items
The suggestion with the second most votes was for a script to quickly lock or unlock all page items. The script displays a dialog in which you select whether to lock or unlock all page items, and whether it should apply that choice to the current spread or the entire document.
Download the Shadow-Matic Script
Download the Lock/Unlock Page Items Script
To use any of the InDesign scripts, unzip the downloaded file, and place the resulting .jsx file in the “Scripts Panel” folder which is inside the “Scripts” folder which is inside the Adobe InDesign application folder. This will make the script appear in the Scripts Panel (Window > Automation > Scripts). Find the script you want to run in the “Application” section of the Scripts Panel, and double click it to run it.
Place Illustrator scripts in the folder named “Scripts” which is within the folder for your locale (e.g., “EN_US”) within the "Presets" folder within the Illustrator application folder. They will then appear in the File > Scripts hierarchical menu item.
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