InDesign scripting : lesson 14

lesson 13 started talking about how to script the contents of documents — specifically, how to select items on a page. let’s continue by having a look at some things you can do with page items.

if you want to follow along — open a new document and put a bunch of different page items on the first page — make sure you have more than one ‘rectangle’ (text frames are not rectangles — even if they are rectangular). then run this script from script editor (found in applications > applescript) — as always, update the script to your version of Indesign :

tell application "Adobe InDesign CS4"
  activate
  tell active document
    select every rectangle of page 1
    move selection by (5,1)
  end tell
end tell

the numbers in the brackets are the X (horizontal) and Y (vertical) locations and the unit increments will be whatever you have set as your default. you could replace those two lines with this instead if you like :

move rectangles of page 1 by (5,1)

notice the difference? the rectangles are moved without having to select them first. if you want to include items on the pasteboard, use this instead :

move rectangles of spread 1 by (5,1)

contrast the ‘move by’ command with the results of ‘move TO’ :

move rectangles of page 1 to (5,1)

which is similar to when you try to move items to a new page :

move rectangles of page 1 to page 2

that’s a problem if you want your page items to maintain their relative positions. you could get around the first problem like this :

tell application "Adobe InDesign CS4"
  activate
  tell active document
    select rectangles of page 1
    set newGroup to make group with properties {group items:selection}
    move newGroup to {5, 1}
    ungroup newGroup
  end tell
end tell

… and the second problem like this :

tell application "Adobe InDesign CS4"
  activate
  tell active document
    select rectangles of page 1
  end tell
  cut
  tell active document
    set newPage to page 2
    tell layout window 1
      set active page to newPage
    end tell
  end tell
  paste in place
end tell

notice in this one how you can not tell a document to cut and paste — you have to tell the application. when developing your own scripts, once you get a script like this to work — it’s a good idea to go back through it to see if it can be streamlined. here’s one way to simplify the previous script :

tell application "Adobe InDesign CS4"
  activate
  select rectangles of page 1 of active document
  cut
  set newPage to page 2 of active document
  set active page of layout window 1 of active document to newPage
  paste in place
end tell

this next script demonstrates a few other commands. before running it, make sure you have at least two rectangles on page 2. can you work out how InDesign determines which is rectangle 1 and which is rectangle 2? :

tell application "Adobe InDesign CS4"
  activate
  tell page 2 of active document
    set horizontal scale of rectangle 1 to 150
    set rotation angle of rectangle 1 to 10
    set stroke weight of rectangle 1 to 10
    set stroke color of rectangle 1 to "Paper"
    set shadow mode of rectangle 1 to drop
    set vertical scale of rectangle 2 to 200
    set fill color of rectangle 2 to "Black"
    set shear angle of rectangle 2 to 20
    set feather mode of rectangle 2 to standard
    set feather width of rectangle 2 to 5
  end tell
end tell

that’s it for now. the next lesson will show how to make new page items.

go to lesson 15

macgrunt icon

Advertisements

thoughtful and respectful comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s