Who This Freakshow? just a dude who stumbled across an easy way to get the boring shit done quickly — and never looked back. to quote myself :
“performing tedious, repetitive tasks — no matter how small — is monkey-work. automating those tasks makes you just that little bit less like a monkey.”
automate the tedious so you have more time for the tremendous.
What The Fuss? applescript is a powerful tool for automating shit on a mac. it may look a bit scary when you first approach it. and getting it to work for you can be frustrating. but once you’re up and running you’ll wonder how you ever did without it. in this way, applescript is exactly like a camel — just with less spit.
Where To First? there’s bound to be something among this lot that will tickle your fancy. most of the scripts are for InDesign but there are also scripts for batch renaming files (way better than automator and bridge can do it), processing images without photoshop, creating and deleting folders, emailing files, and so on.
copy any sample script into applescript editor — found in applications > utilities. in older operating systems it’s just called script editor and is in applications > applescript. most scripts can be run from the editor by hitting the green run button at the top. usually, hopefully, the post will tell you what format to save the script in (script, app, or text).
indesign scripts may need to be updated for your version. older posts may have something like tell application “Adobe InDesign CS4” which needs to be changed to tell application id “com.adobe.InDesign” this will make the script recognise whichever version of InDesign you’re running.
sometimes you’ll need to alter some of the syntax too. CS scripting terminology often changes from version to version and the best way to troubleshoot a script is to test it in applescript editor first. this should help you identify any anomalous syntax. although it may not help you with coming up with the correct syntax — but this is what the scripting dictionary (window > library from within the editor) and google are for.
once everything is working correctly, save indesign scripts into the scripts panel folder — you’ll find it somewhere like this (depending on your version of the CS) : applications > adobe indesign > scripts > script panel. then open the scripts panel in indesign (windows > utilities > scripts) and start rockin.
When Things Fail? don’t be afraid to ask questions. macgrunt.com is a side-project which I can’t spend time on during work hours but i will get back to you eventually.
Hi, your site has been very helpful in letting me know the many possibilities with indesign scripting. The problem that I am having is in bringing together multiple scripts to perform tasks automatically. Basically I am using a script to import multi page PDFs into indesign document that are printed as books. What I would like to do is have a script that starts the process of importing the PDFs into indesign as soon as they land in the targeted folder and naming the file with the same name as the PDF. Any help would be amazing!!!
That sounds like an interesting project.
Send what you’ve got so far to email@example.com and I’ll have a look at it for you.