Better InDesign Contact Sheets
Adobe Bridge CS2 and CS3 have a neat little automation script for InDesign users called Create InDesign Contact Sheet, found in the Tools > InDesign menu. It’s useful for quickly whipping up an InDesign layout filled with a grid of images and captions, automatically formatted with editable object and text styles. (And in Bridge CS3 they’ve added more customization so that the captions can include all sorts of metadata.) I love how you never have to open Photoshop to create the contact sheet — just Bridge and InDesign.
Normally, the script just lets you include images (any format that InDesign understands) in the contact sheet. But, leveraging InDesign CS3’s ability to place other InDesign files into a layout, Adam Pratt figured out how to edit just one line of the Bridge CS3 script so that you can include InDesign files in your contact sheets as well.
David and I demo’d the script in our sessions at the InDesign Conference this week, and it works great! It can even place a mix of CS3 and CS2 InDesign files at the same time. You might get a series of “missing fonts” alerts while the InDesign contact sheet is being built, but as long as you keep clicking the “OK” button in the alerts, the script will soldier on.
Also, Keith Gilbert has an excellent feature article on this very topic — using the InDesign Contact Sheet script in Bridge CS2 and CS3 — in the June/July 2007 issue of InDesign Magazine. If you’ve ever been disappointed with the results of the generic script, the article is a must-read. Keith went beyond the call of duty and fixed a couple glitches in the default Bridge script, created a couple other InDesign scripts designed to further enhance the finished contact sheet, and made an elegant template to use as an alternative. All of these can be downloaded from the article’s links or from his own blog in a few days.