6 Replies Latest reply on May 28, 2009 12:50 AM by Kasyan Servetsky

    Best resources for learning InDesign scripting


      I am teaching myself scripting in InDesign and having problems with the help systems.

      I read the scripting docs from Adobe, examine free scripts and use the help in the ExtendScript Toolkit but I lack an education in javascript to really do well.

      What books or online resources do you think could help me go from tinkerer to amateur scripter ?

      Thanks in advance,
        • 1. Re: Best resources for learning InDesign scripting
          Fred Goldman Level 3
          JavaScript for Beginners is a great book for people with no program

          Java Script The Definitive Guide is an even better book, but you've got
          to have some programming experience if you want to understand it.
          • 2. Re: Best resources for learning InDesign scripting
            Kasyan Servetsky Level 5
            • 3. Re: Best resources for learning InDesign scripting
              emmanuel schaffner-GWzHaU Level 1

              Thanks for all those answers, the links are bookmarked, and the book from Peter Kahrel will be read once printed.

              Since I use some of his free scripts, it seemed reasonable to buy it.


              I would gladly give points, but it appears i am not on the same account i once was.

              • 4. Re: Best resources for learning InDesign scripting
                Jeremy bowmangraphics-DQuh1B Level 3

                In my experience as a learner, there is no substitute for trial and error. Olav Kvern's very helpful comments in his numerous examples (with very helpful explanatory comments) are a great start, because they enable anyone to start experimenting on their own. And I return to his examples practically every day. They answer such simple questions as "How do I open a new document?", as well as giving very clear, well-commented examples of stuff that I would otherwise find completely impossible -- such as "How do I rotate a text frame around the top-left corner?"


                I'm no longer a complete beginner, but I am very much a learner still, and I think trail and error is THE way to learn anything, especially scripting. When I started off, it was about 99% error. Now I've got it down to about 75% error. But I nearly always end up with a script that works, after a struggle that is every bit as enjoyable as it is maddening, and it's a huge sense of achievement when I get there. Some gullible folks have even paid me money for this -- I have one in the pipeline for tomorrow!


                Rather than reading too much stuff written by experts, I would urge you to experiment as much as possible, just by playing around to see what works and what doesn't work. Don't be discouraged if it doesn't work first time. I'll bet even scripting experts (most of whom are on this list) fail on almost every first attempt. After you get one modest script to work, and then another, you'll build up a sort of "library of past scripting achievements" in your head (and in your scripts panel). Nowadays, every time I start a script, I think of how I successfully managed to do something like it before -- and I build from there.


                Good luck with it -- Jeremy

                • 5. Re: Best resources for learning InDesign scripting


                  Im keen to learn Indesign, Ive never been much good at learning straight from books. I better off if Im shown a few basics and then just have a play with it. I have looked at Indesign and cant even get anything on the page. I need a few basics to get me started. Any Ideas?

                  • 6. Re: Best resources for learning InDesign scripting
                    Kasyan Servetsky Level 5

                    I recommend you to download InDesign Scripting Tutorial and accompanying scripts from Adobe's site. It is meant for total newbies.