4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 9, 2017 6:30 AM by Kasyan Servetsky

    How to autobatch text changes in InDesign?

    LeeRaison Level 1

      Hi All,

       

      I'm a long time user of Adobe products, but have no experience in autobatch edits; if that even is the right term. (As an aside, maybe what I'm referring to is VBscript? Some initial research indicated they might be connected.)

       

      Basically, I'm trying to change one word in the footer of about 100 documents. Instead of doing this manually, I understand I should be able to run a script and knock this all out at once.

       

      Can anyone please explain how this is done, or direct me towards a useful tutorial?

       

      Another more complicated use for autobatching is that I will potentially need to update the control number on all of these documents by a decimal point. E.g.: 111.1 would need to become 111.2 and 10.5 would need to become 10.6. If anyone is able to touch on these more complicated tasks as well that would be much appreciated.

       

      Apologies for butchering any phrasing; I hope my explanation is at least somewhat helpful.

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: How to autobatch text changes in InDesign?
          Sandee Cohen Adobe Community Professional

          Could these 100 documents be considered individual elements of a book with the same master page governing all 100 docs? If so, you could use the book sync feature.

           

          Create a book and add the docs to it. That will take a bit of a time. Then designate one of the documents in the book as the style source.

           

          Then, make a change in the master for that one document and then sync all the documents in the book. You probably want to turn off all the sync options except master pages.

           

          Regarding changing the naming convention, using VBScript, or some other batch processing Windows features, I'm afraid that's way out of my league.

          • 2. Re: How to autobatch text changes in InDesign?
            Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Well, InDesign doesn't have a built-in tool like, say Photoshop's Batch Automation tool. It does have a scripting engine, so you can automate pretty much whatever you want, if you know Javascript, or Applescript, or VBscript. There is one fairly advanced script that comes packaged with InDesign called FindChangeByList, which is a way to (you guessed it) store a list of find-change operations, and then process that list automatically without user intervention. It sounds kinda like what you're looking for.

             

            However, when I have a single edit to make to 100 footers, I don't script it. (Partially because I write scripts at a glacially slow pace.) I generally use the Find/Change dialog. When I handle files like this, the footers tend to be in master pages, but this will change 'em even if they're on the live page.

             

            1) I would open all 100 docs.

            2) I would open the Find/Change dialog.

            3) I would set the Search scope to All Documents, and I would make sure that ID was searching master pages. Like so:

             

            Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 8.17.19 PM.png

            4) Then I whack "Change All."

             

            This will not work, of course, if "foobar" is part of your live text, and must remain unchanged.

             

            Your other case - where you have to update control numbers - is a more complicated case. In my own situation, I knew I was going to be updating my own revision numbers every year or two for as long as I had the job. So i knew that a spot of prep work was going to be to my advantage in the future. (And lo, fifteen years later, I am still updating these forms in twelve languages as a freelancer, and i thank my lucky stars that I saw fit to make it easy in InDesign CS so many years ago.)

             

            What I did was I typeset the rev numbers in their very own character style. I called it "RevDateStylee":

             

            Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 8.24.07 PM.png

             

            That way, I knew that my rev date (and only my rev date) was going to be updated in all 100 files.

             

            But this is just one method. Depending on how much time you can save down the line, you may want to invest more time in setting it up to be easy. Sandee's suggestion to store 'em all in a book file so that they can share master pages is pretty slick. I have faked up a similar workflow where InDesign files (or in some cases Illustrator files) were placed as footers/backers on the bottom layer of other InDesign files, so that I could edit one file once and have that change propagate automagically into hundreds of other files that used the same footer and watermark and et cetera. I have also used Javascript to do things like load text variables from one source document into hundreds of other documents. There are many ways to automate this stuff in InDesign. If none of these suggestions work for you, please do post some more details about your project, or maybe take your details over to the InDesign scripting forum, where I suspect you could hire a script developer who could whip up a custom job for you.

            • 3. Re: How to autobatch text changes in InDesign?
              LeeRaison Level 1

              Thank you so much for the detailed response. And you as well, Sandee!

               

              You've given me a lot to chew on, but I wanted to go ahead and acknowledge your response because I think this is what I need.

               

              These documents are all a little different, and unfortunately, the word (actually a URL) shows up throughout the body of some of these documents as well.

               

              That said, the idea of better utilizing master files (or books) is something we will definitely keep in mind moving forward.

               

              In the mean time, I think we will open up 10-15 at a time, and find/replace but manually select the URLs to replace. I will also look into that script forum you mentioned.

               

              Anyway, thank you both!

              • 4. Re: How to autobatch text changes in InDesign?
                Kasyan Servetsky Level 5

                Basically, I'm trying to change one word in the footer of about 100 documents. Instead of doing this manually, I understand I should be able to run a script and knock this all out at once.

                For this purpose I wrote the batch processor script. It's quite easy to write a script for finding-replacing text/GREP which can be used from it.

                Another more complicated use for autobatching is that I will potentially need to update the control number on all of these documents by a decimal point. E.g.: 111.1 would need to become 111.2 and 10.5 would need to become 10.6. If anyone is able to touch on these more complicated tasks as well that would be much appreciated.

                For this task you can use, for example, the Price adjuster script written by Peter Kahrel.

                Before

                09-02-2017 16-14-58.png

                After

                09-02-2017 16-14-30.png

                There's also the Change All Numbers in a Document using Math script, but it didn't work for me at the first attempt (Peter's script did work ).

                 

                — Kas