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How to install scripts in InDesign

We all love the power of using scripts, but before you can use them, you have to install scripts in InDesign. Here’s how.

Download the script onto your computer and if necessary, unzip it. You should end up with a plain text file with a special filename extension:

  • Javascript files can be run on Mac or Windows and have a .js, .jsx, or .jsxbin extension – “script.jsx”
  • Applescript files are Mac-only and have an .applescript or .scpt extension – “script.applescript”
  • Visual Basic files are Windows-only and have a .vbs extension – “script.vbs”

Tweaking Scripts

If you need to change a setting inside of a script, you can edit it in a text editor. Be sure to save the file as a plain text file with the original extension.

Installing Scripts in the InDesign Scripts Panel

There are two places you can install scripts in InDesign: The application folder and the user script folder. The easiest way to find these folders is to open the Scripts panel in InDesign (Window > Utilities > Scripts), then right-click on either Application or User. We tend to use “User” for scripts that we’ve downloaded—”Application” makes the script available to all users on the computer—but it’s up to you and the permissions you have on your computer. From the context menu, choose Reveal in Finder (or Reveal in Windows Explorer).
scripts panel reveal in finder option
Inside the folder that opens there is a folder called Scripts Panel. Put your scripts inside that.

Any script inside the Scripts Panel folder will show up immediately in InDesign. No need to restart the program.

How to Run Scripts from the InDesign Scripts Panel

To run the script, open a document in InDesign, then open the Scripts panel (see above) and double-click the script name. Some scripts require you make a selection first before you run them, because they act on the selection. See if the script writer provided any sort of documentation if you can’t figure it out.

When the Script is Nothing But Text

If you’ve downloaded or clicked on a script and you just see a bunch of text, you’ll need to get it into a format for you to install. Click here  to read how to do just that.

Working with Old Versions of InDesign or Older Scripts

If you’re still using CS or CS2, follow this info: To install the script, locate the Adobe InDesign program on your computer and drag and drop the script file into the Adobe InDesign CS2 > Presets > Scripts folder. If you don’t see a folder called Scripts inside of Presets, you can make one yourself.

Note that you may need to have an admin account on your computer in order to add plug-ins and scripts to InDesign … but once they’re in there, any type of user account can use them.

If you are having trouble running older scripts in a newer version of InDesign, read this post.

We are refreshing our oldest and most popular posts with updated information and screenshots. This post on installing InDesign scripts was originally published January 4, 2006. For the most current comments scroll to the bottom of the page.

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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100 Comments on “How to install scripts in InDesign

  1. Hi,

    I need, how to layout for head level and body matter in script method.

    For example: Head level 1 is 46p and body matter is 32p how to split in script. (ID-xml workflow)

    Any help will be great !

  2. It looks like this script only allows for years 2004-2007. How do you change this or how can I get an updated scipt that includes current and future years?

  3. I am writing a script in JSX to modify the text in an anchored text frame and modify the size of a graphic frame, but when I run it the anchored object disappears (it seems that the anchor vanishes). I’m really stuck with the main problem being lack of detailed documentation.

    If anyone has experience of the above that would be great, but just as importantly does anyone have any proper documentation for scripting InDesign CS5.5 via jsx?



  4. Andrzej, you can ask specific questions in the Scripting forum (you have to register as forum member first but it’s free).

    On documentation: there is a lot of basic how-to’s in the PDFs in Adobe’s own Scripting Resources section. For a detailed item-by-item description, you can consult the built-in Help in the Toolkit Editor, or see the list at the end of my article JavaScript for the Absolute Beginner.

  5. The scripts folder won’t open. “Application” and “user” won’t open. How do I get it to open. I have Indesign CS5. I am trying to import a multi-page PDF file into an Indesign CS5 document. Why should this simple task be so difficult and time-consuming? If somebody can help, I would appreciate it. Adobe Tech Support could not fine an answer for this. Thanks, Bill

  6. Bill, are you trying Scott Zanelli’s Multipage importer script?

    Not being able to open must be some sort of local issue with your computer — you don’t mention your OS, but if it is Windows 7 it might be something related to your user account.

    For the time being: if you get stuck by this and can’t get on with the job at hand, try the Manual way. Use “Place” the usual way to select your PDF, but make sure “Show options” is selected. In the little Import Options dialog, choose “All” for page range. This ‘loads’ your Place Gun with all pages, and you can click once per page to place all of them.

  7. has anyone gotten this “multi-page pdf placing” script to work with CS6? I’ve placed the script file in the correct place as described above…but when I click on the script to launch it, InDesign thinks about it forever and nothing actually happens.


  8. hi i may be ignorant on this…but i downloaded the Adobe Calendar Wizard and the scripts are in Dreamweaver…? is this what i place in InDesign…any help would be great….1st time with a calendar and anything to do with scripts

  9. Thank you! I have Adobe Cloud and it worked great, except it deleted the pages that were already there, after the placement, e.g., I placed the pages at p11 and I had content on page 30-35. Those were deleted.

  10. Thank you so much!! This script was amazing and so fast whew I was dreading opening all those pages and you really saved me the headache!!! By the way this website is an invaluable resource for all of us!!!!

  11. I downloaded the MergeTables script from a link on this site. I’m on a Mac/Mavericks/InDesign CC I opened the Scripts panel, right clicked on it to “reveal in finder” and it opened the folder “armcomdes” which is a folder inside the Users folder on my system. Copied or dragged the “MergeTables.jsx” to that folder and… nothing. It doesn’t show up in the Scripts panel. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.

    • Tried the Applications folder and it worked!
      Then went back to the Users folder and it worked!

      Never mind…

  12. Thank you for such a nice tip. Implemented smoothly and working fine on my PC.

    I came to this page from The author from this site has provided instructions to edit the script. Pasting here with due credit :

    I just got an email telling me that this very very old script of mine stopped working under CS5
    The script automatically creates a backup copy of the current document while saving. Apply cmd-S as shortcut for the script and you won’t notice it is there.
    The new version of “save_with_backup” is now a JavaScript (i.e. works on PC as well as on Mac) with a few minor improvements.

    Before using the script you need to adjust three lines in the code to point to your preferred backup-location.
    var desktop_path = Folder.desktop.toString();
    // var backup_path = “/someFolder/someSubfolder/backupLocation”;
    var backup_path = desktop_path+”/backup”
    Currently the backupfolder is on the desktop. You could point to a deeper subfolder of the desktop by changing line 4
    var backup_path = desktop_path+”/diversesZeuchs/InDesign-Backups”
    In case you want your backupfolder somewhere else, change the code like this
    var desktop_path = Folder.desktop.toString();
    var backup_path = “/someFolder/someSubfolder/backupLocation”;
    //var backup_path = desktop_path+”/backup”
    The Result

    The script creates a subfolder structure. One subfolder for each day you do a save in the form yyyy mm dd and each document gets a time-prefix in the form hhmmss_

  13. Hi,
    The plugin works great but i have one question.
    How can i make it to round up after to 2 numbers behind the comma.

    I got this: €90.909090909091
    But i need this: €90,91

    Sorry for my pour englisch.

    Hope anyone can help.

    Kind regards,

  14. i did as instructed but when i get to the data merge portion, the create merge document is grayed out and i cannot select it. i ran the script and the csv file was created in the folder. but i can’t click on the create merge document because it is grayed-out. please help. I’m using indesign cs6

  15. Hi there I am looking for this script tomaxxilinkrename [1.0].jsx for windows 7 to add it.
    I tried several times. I couldn’t find it.
    I need it for InDesign CS5
    I would thank you for helping me

  16. Hello, great tut, i´ve followed your footsteps but the script wont act after choosing the selected folder containing the images, running indesign CC on a macbook pro – Yosemite OS. any idea?


  17. I am about to throw out Adobe Indesign CC as I cant get ComboMambo to run. Without an ability to add & control lists its usless to me. ComboMambo displays in the Scripts window under User, so I am assuming its in the correct folder, I used the reveal in Finder method. But when I doubleclick ComboMambo it opens a popup window asking to be pointed to a text file.. not what I expected

  18. Hi I am new comer for Indesign script. Anybody can help me, for Indesign Paragraph Styles. Extract the detail and placed in relevant paragraph styles.
    Example: Paragraph Style “Text”. I want details like this
    Palatino LT STD
    Fix new frame in outside Margin

  19. Hello! This script is no longer linked online. Is there anywhere else I can find it?


  20. Thank you very much! The only request I can see would be an option to export a list of pages, rather than just one or just all.

  21. A note to our readers: Many of the comments on this post appear to have little to do with *installing* scripts, and instead are referencing specific InDesign scripts, with questions about their usage. That’s because when we write about a script in an InDesignSecrets blog post, we often include a link to this post as well to help users install the script.

    And then when a user has some question or trouble with the script, they sometimes just post their comment here instead of the original post.

    In case you were wondering. ;-)

  22. Hi,
    The plugin works great in inDesign cs6 but i have one question.
    can i run this script for particular font
    (like {findWhat:” – “} with Times New Roman {changeTo:”^=”} Arial

    text {findWhat:” – “} {changeTo:”^=”} {includeFootnotes:true, includeMasterPages:true, includeHiddenLayers:false, wholeWord:false} Find all space-dash-space and replace with an en dash.

  23. Neat, would be great if a step by step guide would be provided to add clarity as to how you are attaching click event handlers to call the attached functions in the other script. Thus far I’ve been unable to replicate this as I assume others have also had difficulty.

    Even a simple onClick() to add to a button to call a function/method will not work so I’m curious as to how the working demo actually works, is there an InDesign file you could share with the rest of the class?

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