Script for Setting InDesign Preferences
As new versions of InDesign are released frequently, and as I move from computer to computer frequently, I have found it more and more challenging lately to keep all of the preferences and panel options set up the way that I like them. So I did what any reasonable person would do in this situation…I wrote a script to set all of my preferences.
If you’re interested, you can download a copy of the script here. A few things you should know.
- The script is intended to be run with a document open. Why? Some preferences in InDesign are document preferences, and some are application preferences. This script sets both, so it requires that a document be open.
- You can easily edit the script to make it set the preferences the way YOU want them. If you are adventurous, open the script with a text editing program, make your changes, and save the file in text-only format with a .jsx extension. You’ll see lots of text in the script preceded with “//”. This text is “commenting” that I’ve added liberally to help you figure out how to make changes. To learn more about InDesign scripting, see my InDesign Scripting Made Easy course on either Lynda.com or LinkedIn Learning.
- The first 242 lines of the script set each and every one of the settings found in InDesign > Preferences (Mac) or Edit > Preferences (Windows).
- Lines 243-279 set most of the options found in the View menu
- Lines 290-331 set many of the options found in various panel menus, such as the appearance of the Pages panel
- The rest of the lines set various setup-related things the way that I like them.
- The script has been tested back to InDesign CC 2014. It may or may not work in older versions.
- Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any way to set the small panel rows option that appears in the Paragraph Styles panel menu and many other places. Likewise, there isn’t a reliable way to turn on the View > Extras > Show Text Threads setting with a script.
I’m sharing the script here with a bit of trepidation. The way I like to have my preferences and panel options set is not necessarily the way you want them to be. I don’t want to start a firestorm of “why do you set up your preferences that way!”
If you have suggestions for making the script better, please leave them in the comments below. However, I can’t provide any technical support for the script. And of course, you use the script at your own risk. I use the script every day, but I can’t be responsible for what it might do to your InDesign setup or documents.