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Adding notes to non-text objects

I love the Notes panel. It allows me to communicate with my copy editor or others who review my InDesign documents.

It’s very easy to insert a note. Click inside the text where you want the note to appear and then click the New Note icon in the Notes panel. (Window> Editorial> Notes). Then type your note in the panel window. A little icon indicates where the note is in the copy.

There is a problem. You can only insert a note into text. You can’t apply a note to an entire text frame or image.

Fortunately there is a trick to get notes?or something close to them?applied to objects.

Go to Window> Utilities> Script Label. This opens the panel that scripters use to label things that are to be modified in a script. We’re going to use it for our own purpose.

Select the object that you want a note applied to and then type the note in the Script Label window.

This applies the note to the object. Unfortunately there is no easy way to flag that this object has a label applied to it. One thing you can do is put objects that have script labels on their own layer. The distinctive layer color lets the next person know that a script label has been applied.

(While I said there’s no easy way to flag that the object has a label applied to it, I thoroughly expect one of the eagle-eyed scripters who visit these boards to come up with a script that finds individual objects that have script labels applied. If so, I thank you now.)

Sandee Cohen

Sandee Cohen

Sandee Cohen is the author of the InDesign CC 2014 Visual QuickStart Guide as well as the co-author, with Diane Burns, of Digital Publishing with Adobe InDesign CC.
Sandee Cohen

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5 Comments on “Adding notes to non-text objects

  1. Hi Sandee!
    What color flag would you like? :D

    It’s easy to find labelled items but what ought the script do with them? Move to a new layer perhaps?

  2. Jongware! Wow that was fast.

    I don’t see the need for a flag as much as a way to work through a document to find each instance of a script label.

    Somewhat similar to a Find First and then have the object highlighted. Then the Script Label would be visible.

    The user could then act on the note and delete it if wanted.

    Then Find Next, Find Next, etc.

    Or, the script could put all objects with a Script Label on a layer.

    Whichever you think is easier and more elegant.

  3. Rough-and-ready, but this takes care of the basics. It’ll select the next object with a custom label. I hope the forum software gets it right first time :)

    if (app.selection.length==1 && app.selection[0].label.length) (FindNextLabel(app.selection[0]));
    else (FindNextLabel());

    function FindNextLabel (fromstart)
    var i,objs;
    objs = app.activeDocument.allPageItems;
    i = 0;
    if (fromstart != null)
    for (i=0; i<objs.length; i++)
    if (objs[i] == fromstart)
    i++; break;

    for (; i<objs.length; i++)
    if (objs[i].label.length)
    return objs[i];
    return null;

  4. This is so cool. All you have to do is double click the script and it works its way through all the objects with script labels.

    You don’t need to flag the objects. You and the person working next on the layout need only work through the objects.

    You can then delete the label or answer it as needed.

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