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Library: InDesign

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Discover scripting and your wish is InDesign’s c

Added on Wednesday 15th of July 2009 11:25 pm EST
 


Applications: Adobe InDesign 2/CS/CS2/CS3, Microsoft Visual Basic
Operating Systems: Macintosh, Microsoft Windows


You know that InDesign is one powerful application, but did you know that there’s hidden power “under the hood”? If you’ve ever recorded a series of user actions into a macro or used an action in Adobe Photoshop, you’ve sampled a hint of the power that lies at your fingertips. Scripting does all that and more. Using scripts with InDesign adds undeniable speed and accuracy to projects, and may even add functionality that isn’t currently available in the application.


From the ground up
So as not to overwhelm you, this article serves as an introduction to scripting in InDesign. We’ll explain what scripting is and reveal the programming languages you can use to create scripts. We’ll also take an introductory look at the Scripting feature in InDesign.


Scripting is …
As we said, a script is similar to a macro, but it’s much more. A macro works with an application’s interface: displaying dialogs, pulling down menus, entering predetermined information into text fields, etc. A script doesn’t use the interface. It works behind the scenes, responding to events that the application or user generates. Scripts have the added ability to seek information, make decisions, and perform calculations.
Scripting was devised to compensate for the impossibility of programmers to anticipate, or even accommodate, every workflow involved in using the application. If a function was written for every possible thing that could be done, the application would end up being so huge that users would find it too demanding or unwieldy (not to mention costly). Applications that have exposed their innerworkings to scripting allow the user the opportunity to customize and expand functionality to fit the way he works.


A must-have
There’s already so much that’s new and different in InDesign. Who has the time to get up to speed with it all? That’s just the point...