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Package Multiple Documents Quickly

Devin wrote:

I have 50 InDesign files that need to be packaged for print. Is there a way to setup an automatic action (like in psd) that allows you to open, package, then close?

InDesign doesn’t have an Actions feature, unfortunately. I wish it did! You could script this, but it may or may not be worth taking the time to learn scripting or pay a scripter to do it for you. If you had 1,000 files, then sure! We can put you in touch with a number of scripters.

However, here’s a reasonably fast method to get the job done.

First, create a new book (File > New > Book). You can name it whatever you want. Then, in the book panel that opens, choose Book Page Numbering Options from the panel menu:

Book Page Numbering Options

Turn OFF the “Automatically Update Page & Section Numbers” option, then click OK. That ensures your documents don’t get renumbered.

Now add all your documents to the book panel. You can drag and drop them into the panel (from the Finder or Windows Explorer), or click the + button in the panel.

Finally, click in the blank area at the bottom of the panel (to deselect all the files) and choose Package Book for Print from the panel menu:

Package Book

Because no documents were selected in the panel, InDesign will package all the documents! You’ll end up with a single folder with all the InDesign documents and a single Links folder with all the images in it. Works great!

Of course, if you really need each file in its own packaged folder, this won’t work for you. Well, there’s always room for improvement.

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9 Comments on “Package Multiple Documents Quickly

  1. http://www.zevrix.com/inpreflight.php

    the inpreflight plug-in from Zevrix has some amazing packaging features. I use it all the time to package collateral projects such as ads or posters or stationery packages etc… I have multiple InDesign files using shared resources/links. I can preflight them and/or package them into a single job folder or have each file packaged into it’s own folder. At $140.00 it paid for itself in the first week I had it.

  2. Doesn’t Flow have an InDesign packaging option? I seem to remember reading/hearing about something like that. It might be a decent option for individual packages, and since Flow has a couple other cool features it could help offset the higher cost.

  3. Something else to note, if all of the pages have common elements ie logos, it will only package one of the elements. Great space saver on the packaged copy. One thing I did notice, indd stored on a server volume may bog down or crash the collect, speeds up drastically, and doesn’t crash if you create a book with a local copy of the files.

  4. Sean M. O’Grady
    — “if all of the pages have common elements ie logos, it will only package one of the elements”

    Not true. (for ID CS3 v5.04 at least)

    If you have 100 documents that have the same logo named “logo.eps” packaging will get you: logo1.eps, logo2.eps …logo100.eps all together.

    And ID will also re-link them to their “new” names, so if you were to “clean” you will get links missing errors..

  5. I use the book feature for this all the time… as well as creating a multi-page pdf of various page sized documents. It’s a great feature that many users aren’t aware of! thanks for the post!

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