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Free Script Splits Long InDesign Files into Smaller Ones

Sandee Cohen alerted me and a few other lucky souls this morning to a useful, free script called ExtractPages she recently came across.

The script provides two features that InDesign’s Move Pages command (Layout > Pages > Move Pages) lacks: First, it can quickly spit out  a series of single-page INDD files from the page range you enter, just like the Extract Pages command in Adobe Acrobat. Just turn on the appropriate checkbox in the script’s simple dialog box:

Second, the script can create new InDesign files on the fly from the pages you extract – InDesign’s Move Pages command can only move or copy pages from one InDesign doc to another one, not to a new one.

So, ExtractPages is handy script to have if, say, you’ve got a long multi-chapter book in a single InDesign document that you want to quickly split into multiple InDesign files, one document per chapter. This is something you need to do if you want to export a book to ePub and have the chapters start on their own pages, for example.

It’s possible to use Move Pages to do this manually (just set up a starter InDesign file for each chapter beforehand), but that means you have to laboriously match page dimensions and other attributes, and then remember to delete the additional, superfluous starter page in each of those files afterwards. You don’t need to bother with that if you use the script.

ExtractPages has one weirdness that can throw you: Not only doesn’t it automatically open the new INDD file(s) it creates, it closes the source document as soon as you run the script. If there were unsaved changes, they’re gone.  (This happened to me during testing on a Mac w/CS4, your mileage may vary.) So if you want to use it, be sure to save your source document first, at least until the script’s author fixes it.

Download ExtractPages script from its Scriptopedia page or directly by clicking here .

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie “Her Geekness” Concepción is the co-founder (with David Blatner) and CEO of Creative Publishing Network, which produces InDesignSecrets, InDesign Magazine, and other resources for creative professionals. Through her cross-media design studio, Seneca Design & Training, Anne-Marie develops ebooks and trains and consults with companies who want to master the tools and workflows of digital publishing. She has authored over 20 courses on on these topics and others. Keep up with Anne-Marie by subscribing to her ezine, HerGeekness Gazette, and contact her by email at or on Twitter @amarie
Anne-Marie Concepcion

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63 Comments on “Free Script Splits Long InDesign Files into Smaller Ones

  1. Oops, some long text lines look like they got compressed. Can’t see any code option for Comments, if you want a more usable script for education, just holler.

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