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Adobe InDesign CC – Advanced Training

How To Use And Install Scripts In Adobe InDesign CC

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 67 of 74

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Hi there, in this video we're going to talk about Scripts. Now what do Scripts do? They kind of take InDesign, what's built into it, and adds an extra level of awesomeness. Basically it allows programmers to write scripts. They can let us do things that InDesign's not meant to do. So let's look at some of the ones that are kind of built in, and given to us by InDesign, and we'll look at how to install our own.

I'm just going to make a new plain US Letter document. Let’s look at where they are. Let's go to 'Window', 'Utilities', 'Scripts'. In the application, the ones that are built in, twirl that out, there's 'Samples', and there's kind of two folders. There's one written in AppleScript, and one written in JavaScript. These are the most common ones, so let's use these. I'm going to make this really big so we can see all the different options in here. Some of them, I've never used before, some of them I use, never all the time, they're kind of just really handy, kind of save a lot of time once in a while. I'll show you the best ones, and you can go through all of them in your own time. Let's have a look at—

I'm going to grab the Rectangle tool. I'm going to give this a Fill of 'red'. Now it's going to draw out a rectangle. And wouldn't it be nice if we had guides? You can put up your rollers and drag them out, but look, there's an Appguides option. Just double click it, I've got the object selected, click 'OK', and I've got Guides, all the way throughout. There are some options in there, I have to go undo quite a few times to get rid of the guides. So maybe that's not what you want, maybe you want CropMarks and you can see, down here, they are not in alphabetical order. So double click 'CropMarks'. Again there's lots of options, but let's just look at what it does. 'OK'. Awesome, huh! They get Registration and CropMarks. Maybe you're doing kind of a bit of soft printing, and you've got business cards all laid up and you just need CropMarks, super easy to do.

So Scripts aren't things that are typically in InDesign. There's no, like a CropMarks button, somebody wrote a script, and Adobe have been kind to include it. So now we've got CropMarks. I'm going to delete this guy here, and delete all my CropMarks. Let's look at some of the other parts. One of the other ones I used the other day was, let's say I've got a Type Box and I fill it with Placeholder Text, so 'Type', 'Placeholder Text'. I'm going to make it a bit smaller so that I get Overset Text. And I'm going to draw out another Text box. So these guys are linked. I can check them by going to 'View', go into 'Extras', and let's go to 'Show Text Threads'. Just so that I can see that, that goes to that one.

Now there was a time when I just needed to break these apart, exactly here, because if you delete this one, or try and cut and paste him, things start reflowing, and it gets weird. What I want to do is select both of these with my Black Arrow, and there's one in here called 'SplitStory', double click him. It breaks them into their own text boxes. The story's been snapped in half, there's no linking, they're just in their own text boxes, which is cool. So, "Not very exciting," you say, "that's not going to save me time." This one is the one that I've done loads, and it's kind of a big time saver. Let's go to one-- it doesn't really matter what we've got selected, it's going to create a new document for us, and there's this one called 'Image Catalog', double click it. What this is going to do is, let's just say-- I'm going to say—

I'm going to point it to 'Exercise Files', go to '04 Interactive', and what it's going to do is it's going to grab all these images and put them on their own pages. Click 'Open'. You can decide whether you want rows or columns, or like me, I just want, please put an image on every page. I'm going to leave the labels on to show you what it looks like. Click 'OK', kick back, relax, let InDesign do the work. Done. Thank you, InDesign.

Now you can see, in my Pages panel here there’s that graphic, there's that graphic… great for a contact sheet, if you're a photographer. But all the images are on their pages, all laid out. You can see, it's created its own file here. Another one that I like, and kind of similar to that one, is placing a PDF file. So let's go back to this first one I've created. I'm going to delete you, guys. I'm going to place a PDF, and it's going to have lots of pages. So I'm going to go back to the one I made earlier on in the day, called 'Catalog'. It's this kind of interactive thing. I want to bring that in, I'm going to click 'Open'. By default, this one starts placing one page, I can get around that by going to 'Catalog', holding 'Shift', and clicking 'Open'. I got a few options in here, and I can say, I want to bring the whole range, 1 to 6.

The only problem with this, is that I want to put this one on this page. Then, still loaded, I can go to another page, I can paste it. Another page, and I can paste it, and you can do it that way, but you know there's a script for this, right? I'm going to hit 'Esc' to get rid of those. And again, it's going to make a new page, I'm not really worried about this one. This one's called 'Place Multiple PDF', double click him. It will ask you which PDF you want. I'm going to go to 'Catalog.pdf', click 'Open'. Do you want to place it in the current document, or a new document? I'm going to go for 'New one', please. 'Document', I'm not sure what that means, click 'OK'. See it generating the pages over here. Look, there's all around pages. Awesome!

I probably need to pick a new document size that's a bit bigger. Actually I've generated this catalog at a massive size. So I might have to resize those up afterwards, but at least they're on their own pages, I can go through now. I might have to do some resizing. I've just found a hole in my one little plan there, but you get the idea of Scripts. Now let's look at installing our own Scripts.

Now, there are lots to download online. Some are free, some are paid. So if you are doing a job, maybe it's a production job and you've got to do the same thing over and over again, good chances there might be a Script that already exists. There's lots of places that do it, so Google, the thing you want to do, InDesign Script, and see, where you end up. A great place to look though to get started is InDesign Secrets. It's one of the home bases for InDesign. They've got a '/free' option. And there's some interesting Scripts in here. The one we're going to use, and install is-- I've downloaded it. It's just a file you can download from the internet. Inside of InDesign, it needs to go inside of this. I'm going to twirl up 'Application', this 'User' folder. At the moment there's nothing in there.

To open up the User folder you can right click it, and go 'Reveal in Finder' or 'Reveal in Window'. And that's where this is. In your 'Exercise Files'; go to 'Exercise Files', 'Scripts'. There's one in here called 'Columns2Frames'. All you need to do is copy it, and in here, I'm going to paste it. Make sure it goes inside of the Frames panel here. This one was created by Steve Wayham, but I'm just using it as an example to show you how to find and install them.

What we're going to do is, I've got a blank document here, I'm going to create a Text box. I'm going to give it three columns. I'm going to go to 'Type', and fill it with 'Placeholder Text'. And now what I want to do is instead of doing one Text box with three columns I'd like to go to my 'User' folder, 'Columns2Frames', and you can see here, it's kind of separated them all out. They're connected Frames now through the output, rather than one Text box. Rather than being amazing, it's more to kind of show you how to go find Scripts. Now let's look at one more before we go.

So I'm going to delete this guy, thank you very much, gone. I'm going to bring in some text. So 'File', 'Place', in 'Exercise Files', 'Script' folder, there's some text called 'List of Fruit'. Drag this one out, and, just got a random list of fruit. What I'd like to do is, magically, make it alphabetical. I can do that by clicking it with the Black Arrow, so I got the whole text box selected. Under 'Application', there is 'Sample', under 'JavaScript'. In here, there's one called 'Sort Paragraphs'. If I click on him, double click, that's all going to work for me. Click 'OK', you'll notice, all, alphanumeric. Cool, huh! So you will find little scripts if you're doing things repetitively. Have a little read through these ones, see if there's anything in there that takes your fancy. Also have a look at InDesign Secrets for the other free Scripts. And if you find yourself in a job where you are doing repetitive stuff all the time, adding guides, making sure it's this far over, that way across, the right color, with an image from your hard drive, you can actually contract their company to write your Script. I've never done it myself, but ask them, they will tell you if they've got something already, and they'll give you a price on how to make it.

You might find that, that's really going to save loads of time and worth the effort of helping develop it and the cost of it being made. I'm going to leave you with one more, it's the worst one of them all. I'm going to drag out a box and I'm going to click on this one called 'Neon'. Are you ready? Ready to go, Neon. We're going to leave it all exactly how it was, click 'OK'. Wow! That is terrible. But, actually no buts, it's pretty terrible. Let's get on to the next video, Dan.