5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 8, 2010 1:44 PM by phookster

    Scripting: what can be done, what can't...

    phookster

      Hello all,

       

      I have recently started the process of asking for InDesign Server. Before I complete this process, I would like to know whether Scripting for InDesign is the right way to go.

       

      Basically, I need to create an app that will:

       

      1. Collect multi-layered PDF's with technical specifications / templates

       

      2. Generate some graphical elements and colours on the fly based on incoming variable data (i.e. XML), and place those elements in a new layer. This would require a low level access to drawing elements - i.e. to draw a simple pixel in a coordinate of the PDF, or bezier curves, etc

       

      3. Export the PDF in high res with outlined text, OR save the work in progress preserving all the layers in the right format.

       

      Now, my first idea was to develop this using C# libraries, but I am yet to find a library that has fine tuning when it comes to layer access...

       

      The first question is the following: can I achieve points 1, 2, and 3 with InDesign Scripting? Or is scripting directed to a higher level of access?

       

      I just need to know what technology would allow me to achieve this level of fine tuning. C# libraries allow drawing anything I require, but the lack of layer support is a complete drawback...

       

      Second question: is it correct to asume that I can create scripts in InDesign CS4, and then test them in a server in InDesign Server? AKA: I could spend months working locally, then test with InDesign Server when I am happy that I am going the right way?

       

      Thanks ever so much in advance to whoever wishes to respond, and apologies for the long email!


      David

        • 1. Re: Scripting: what can be done, what can't...
          Harbs. Level 6

          I don't know what you mean by 1, but probably yes.

           

          2 and 3: Yes.

           

          You can create scripts on the Desktop version, and deploy them on the Server, but you must make sure not to use properties and methods not supported by Server.

           

          Harbs

          • 2. Re: Scripting: what can be done, what can't...
            Harbs. Level 6

            Oh, and C# is definitely not a recommended language to use for developing scripts on the Desktop. You can use C++ for developing plugins, but that has a whole added level of complexity...

             

            Harbs

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Scripting: what can be done, what can't...
              phookster Level 1

              Harbs, thanks ever so much for your reply. When I was referring to C#, I meant libraries that are already in use to create and update PDF's, so there wouldn't be much added work on my part there (simply to deal with the code): no scripting would have been required...

               

              Best regards,

              David

              • 4. Re: Scripting: what can be done, what can't...
                AdobeScripts Level 3

                phookster wrote:

                 

                Hello all,

                 

                I have recently started the process of asking for InDesign Server. Before I complete this process, I would like to know whether Scripting for InDesign is the right way to go.

                 

                Basically, I need to create an app that will:

                 

                If you have cash for InDesign Server - buy it and put it on shelf and use "regular" indesign

                 

                1) If by "collecting" you mean import one-after-another on consecutive pages or one-above-another (stacked/layered) or place as graphics somewhere on page or in text - then yes - no problem. But if you want to import PDF as editable contents - it's not so easy - you need PDF2ID.

                2) and 3) piece of cake

                 

                robin

                www.adobescripts.co.uk

                • 5. Re: Scripting: what can be done, what can't...
                  phookster Level 1

                  Robin, thanks for your feedback. Yes, by collecting I mainly meant using input pdf's, layering them with programatically generated pdf's, then exporting. And no, I am not so interested in importing editable contents - this might be something interesting for my next project, but so far I want to keep it simple!

                   

                  Best regards, and have a nice weekend,

                  David