1 Reply Latest reply on May 23, 2018 12:21 AM by CodeCombinations

    Overset text from hidden layers included in search results despite includeHiddenLayers being set to false

    CodeCombinations Level 1

      When setting the includeHiddenLayers property to false and performing a search on a document, it seems you will always get results from overset text, no matter whether the overflowing parent textframe is on a hidden layer.


      Below you will find a piece of test code.


      1. Create two layers in a new document

      2. Put a textframe on one of the layers, and write 12-1234 into it (that will be a match for my regex below).

      3. Put some text or line breaks before the digits, so that the digits get out of sight (overset, indicated by plus sign).

      Run the code below from the Extendscript Toolkit (or change the $.writeln to an alert).


      var activeDocument = app.activeDocument;
      // First hide all layers, to be able to handle them one by one
      activeDocument.layers.everyItem().visible = false;
      // Loop through the layers
      for (var iLayer=0; iLayer<= activeDocument.layers.length-1; iLayer++){
          var theLayerItem = activeDocument.layers[iLayer];
          // Show the layer that is to be processed
          activeDocument.layers.itemByName(theLayerItem.name).visible = true;
          var findings = grepFind (app.activeDocument, '\\d\\d-\\d+', false);
          var msg = 'Items found on layer "' + theLayerItem.name + '": '+  findings.length ;
          if (findings[0].parent.insertionPoints[0].parentTextFrames[0].itemLayer.name != theLayerItem.name){
             msg += ' but the text actually belongs to layer ' + findings[0].parent.insertionPoints[0].parentTextFrames[0].itemLayer.name;
          // hide the current layer when we are done with it
          activeDocument.layers.itemByName(theLayerItem.name).visible = false;
      // Now when we are dont, show all layers again
      activeDocument.layers.everyItem().visible = true;
      function grepFind(objToSearch, grepPattern, includeHiddenLayers){
          app.findGrepPreferences = app.changeGrepPreferences = null; // reset the find preferences
          app.findGrepPreferences.findWhat = grepPattern;
          app.findChangeGrepOptions.includeHiddenLayers = includeHiddenLayers;
          return objToSearch.findGrep();


      In the console window I get the following log:

      Items found on layer "Layer 1": 1

      Items found on layer "Layer 2": 1 but the text actually belongs to layer Layer 1


      Meaning that the text "12-1234" was found twice. One time for each layer.


      The same goes for normal text search as well – nothing grep specific, that is.


      Do I really have to check each item in the result, or is there another way to prevent overset text from hidden layers to be included in the search result like this?


      --- Edit: adding a piece about the user interface
      The user interface seems to have the same (in my opinion unintuitive) way of working. Overset text on a hidden layer, is found no matter whether "Include Hidden Layers and Hidden Objects" is selected.



      The message was edited by: Andreas Jansson. Adding a couple of lines in the test code, and a piece about the InDesign UI search working in the same way.

        • 1. Re: Overset text from hidden layers included in search results despite includeHiddenLayers being set to false
          CodeCombinations Level 1

          My best guess is that this is "by design"... but not a very good design...


          My workaround will be something like this:


          // Limit the search to a certain layer.
          function filterFindingsByLayer(findings, layer){
              var filteredFindings = new Array;
              for (var i=0; i<= findings.length-1; i++){
                  // Check that all properties are defined before using them
                  if (findings[i].parent && findings[i].parent.insertionPoints && findings[i].parent.insertionPoints[0].parentTextFrames){
                      if (findings[i].parent.insertionPoints[0].parentTextFrames[0].itemLayer.name === layer.name){
                          filteredFindings.push (findings[i]);
              return filteredFindings;
          // Call the function above with the result from a search
          var findings = filterFindingsByLayer(grepFind (app.activeDocument, '\\d\\d-\\d+', false), theLayerItem);


          Feel free to comment.