indesign scripts, what is possible? and other indesign productivity tips

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by bob2131, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. bob2131 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    hi, i use indesign alot and find myelf doing alot of repetitive things.

    I understand things can be automated with scripts, right?

    Can this be done?:
    regardless of document size, putting a 2pt black border around document and text box with a particular font ready to go, with an inset on text box.

    How about changing a preference? instead of opening preferences and going to tab and changing it.......script can do this in one fell swoop?

    Im gonna have to learn the GREP/find/change features (scary complex stuff)


    ps. how about "SPACE BEFORE" in respect to formatting. There is no shortcut for this is there? we have to manually go the tool bar? we should be able to manually move the insertion point with arrow keys (as we can) and then use a shortcut to increase the space before (formatting).

    PARAGRAPH STYLES = CAN WE NOT JUST SET UP A STYLE WITH A 1PT SPACE BEFORE SETTING? WHICH WORKS ON WHATEVER TEXT? the paragraph style is asking for what font/size etc to be used on too.
    i basically want to set up a shortcut to do space before, regardless of other attributes eg font, size etc. so it will work on ANY type of text in my document.
    i think making a paragraph style and then using its shortcut key is the best way to do this? but space before is linked to all the other attributes, so....?
  2. Dal123 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2008
    Hey Bob,
    try for different application pages.
    Your direct problem/ enigma: I think :p.
    I know nothing about applescript yet :eek: but just bought big book 'Applescript- The Comprehensive Guide to Scripting and Automation on Mac OS x' by Hanaan Rosenthal published by Apress. I'm only a few pages in but it seems pretty good. I hope the links help you out :).
  3. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    great links.
    im still amazed at how much info is on apple site.

    i was talking about the scripts from within indesign, on a microsoft pc.
    i use indesign daily in my job, using a pc. just came across the scripts in indesign so thought id try to understand a bit better.

    what was that enigma thing you said?

    looking at those links, i got a lot to learn. :eek:
  4. Dal123 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2008
    'enigma' was only talking about your problem with the scripting. I'm sorry I don't know anything about scripting on pc's. I had a look through my adobe suite (photoshop supports scripts and illustrator) they even have their own examples. And I've just managed to find this for you. This should help you out. Should definitely be possible for you to stop doing this yourself and you can have a cup of tea whilst your computer grafts away (after all that's what computers are for :)). They work for us :D. Good luck with it, let us know how you get on buddy.
  5. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    This can easily be done with object styles. Open indesign but don't open a document. Then open the object styles palette and double click on basic text frame or basic graphics frame. Anything you do without a document open is set as a default and will be applied when you create a new document.

    By space before do you mean a first line indent? I think the easiest way to do this, given the way it sounds like you work, is to set up a tab in the basic paragraph style that is at the distance you want.

    By the way, if you're using the first line indent setting on the tool bar there's no need to manually place the cursor at the beginning of the paragraph. Those settings affect the whole paragraph, so as long as the caret is somewhere in the paragraph it'll work.

    If you're working on anything with even a moderate amount of text I can't imagine not using paragraph styles. Paragraph styles can be based on other paragraph styles, so if you change something (like the font) on the parent style it will affect all the styles that are based on it. You can also set a "next" style, so that after you use one style the next paragraph is automatically set to a new style.

    I'm still in design school, and still have a lot to learn about InDesign. Almost every day I find a new trick that speeds up my workflow a little. If you're using it professionally, and you're time is valuable, you'd have to be crazy not to learn and use the program to it's full potential. You obviously have that desire, since you're interested in learning scripting, but I'm guessing a lot of what you want to do can be done by learning a bit more about how InDesign already works, and adjusting your workflow a bit to accommodate it.
  6. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    thats cool about object style. But i still have to manually draw the text box around the document. I was wondering if a script would do it, as i work on diff sized documents.

    space before i mean its actually called space before, it puts a user defined space before the paragraph, its just by the first line indent option in tool bar.
    say if i have a few paragraphs, but also erronious paragraphs, i need to put 1pt+ gaps at my desired places in documets (manually and visually), selecting whole doc doesnt do it, i need that manual control. i tried making a paragraph style but that is related to font etc, why cant paragraph style just be for SPACE BEFORE, regardless of other attributes? paragraph style is cool cause you can use Quick Apply shortcut.

    basic paragraph style, basic object style im assuming is the default action when you make the thing..... ill experiment.

    ive been using indesign for way over a year and quark before that. and ive NEVER used style sheets. i need to step my game up.

    you know alot more than me.
    my job is getting alot of long text documents now, like lists and prices etc.
    So its forcing me to learn about
    - find/chnage/grep
    - style sheets
    ... and all other time consuming things im doing repetitively.
    - nested styles

    indesign is a great package. So much going on and control.
  7. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    I guess I misunderstood what you were after, and unfortunately I'm not sure that there's an easy way to do that. I'd imagine the time spent trying to learn how to script that (if it's even possible) would be more than the cumulative time spent drawing that initial text box in each document.

    Can you show us a finished example of something you worked on?

    Sorry about that. I always get the exact wording of those two mixed up. I'm not sure of an easy way to do that given the way you work. Once you start using style sheets though it won't be difficult at all. Instead of setting your font choices for the paragraphs on the toolbar at the top you'll create a paragraph style for them. You can then create a space before paragraph style that is based off the other paragraph style with the only difference being the space before.
  8. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    ok, ill just have a play with all these discussed topics when im working next.
    (not sure how it would be useful if i posted examples, as ive explained the specific things im wanting to do.)

    its best if i really experiment with these style sheets first myself and then see how it goes and ill re-post if i have any issues/probs.

    thanks to all posters on this thread. :)

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