10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 20, 2011 7:07 PM by John Hawkinson

    Is there any way to install a plugin without admin rights on windows 7

    srikanth_mv Level 1

      Hi all,

       

      I've developed a plugin for adobe indesign cs5. I was able to install my plugin(by creating .msi file) into indesign plugins folder, when extension manager is opened as administrator.

       

      I just want to know, if I can install the plugin without admin rights.

       

      FYI: My plugin will add a link to File menu on menubar of the indesign application, clicking which will execute the scripts.

       

      Please let me know if you want any other information.

       

      Thanks for any ideas/support.

       

      Regards,

      Srikanth

        • 1. Re: Is there any way to install a plugin without admin rights on windows 7
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          It's an OS limitation that you must have Admin rights to install software. This is a security issue, and a good thing. in my opinion.

           

          Why is this a problem for your plugin?

          • 2. Re: Is there any way to install a plugin without admin rights on windows 7
            srikanth_mv Level 1

            Thank you for your response. I've thought it would be better, if any user can add a plugin/feature he desires, to an already installed application without being an administrator. Anyway, I think it is not going to be a serious problem, I've just tried to know if it is possible.

            • 3. Re: Is there any way to install a plugin without admin rights on windows 7
              John Hawkinson Level 5

              InDesign will load plugins from the path specified in the PlugInConfig.txt file in the user's InDesign preferences directory, which does not require administrative privileges. See "Using PlugInConfig.txt" on pp.12- of the "Getting Started with the Adobe InDesign CS5 Products SDK" (getting-started.pdf) in the SDK. Specifically:

               

              Using PlugInConfig.txt
              1. If InDesign is running, exit it.
              2. Create a text file named “PlugInConfig.txt” in the InDesign preference directory, and enter
              the following text into it:

               

              =Path

               

              NOTE: The inDesign preference folder is located in the following directory (where <locale> is a
              locale-specific subdirectory; for example, en_US for English):


              Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\
              Adobe\InDesign\Version #.#\<locale>
              Windows Vista: C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\
              Adobe\InDesign\Version #.#\<locale>
              Mac OS: <user-home>/Library/Preferences/
              Adobe InDesign/Version #.#/<locale>

              3. Open the PlugInConfig.txt file in a text editor and edit the sections as desired. For example,

               

              the following tells InDesign to load every plug-in in the sdk folder:


              =Path
              "C:\Adobe InDesign CS5 Products SDK\build\win\debug\sdk

              NOTE: The preceding example is only for Windows. On Mac OS, use ‘:’ as the path separator.

               

              NOTE: You also can use a “=Exclude” tag to exclude a certain plug-in from being loaded. This

               

              is useful if you do not want to load everything in the “=Path” folder.

               

              NOTE: This is target specific. You cannot launch the release version of InDeisgn with debug

              plug-ins. It is convenient to add both debug and release paths, commenting out the  target that is not in use. For single-line comments, use “;” (semicolon).

               

              4. Save the PlugInConfig.txt file.

               

              5. Restart InDesign.

               

              6. Verify the set of plug-ins loaded by selecting the About Plug-ins menu.

               

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Is there any way to install a plugin without admin rights on windows 7
                srikanth_mv Level 1

                Thank you so much. I was actually searching for a procedure of this sort. Its really great to see finally. Thanks once again.

                 

                Regards,

                MV Srikanth

                • 5. Re: Is there any way to install a plugin without admin rights on windows 7
                  John Hawkinson Level 5

                  OK, so...in exchange, you get to tell us why!

                  • 6. Re: Is there any way to install a plugin without admin rights on windows 7
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    This sounds like a GIANT security hole. What happens if sombody plants a malicious program disguised as a plugin? Does it just fail to run, or does it launch and ID ignores it?

                    • 7. Re: Is there any way to install a plugin without admin rights on windows 7
                      John Hawkinson Level 5

                      Well, I'm not sure how it is any worse than any other program that loads DLLs. It's not as if InDesign has special administrative priviliges on your computer... I think you would need to build your malicious software as an InDesign RPLN file, which is probably a bit too speciaized to be a serious attack vector.

                       

                      If we want to talk about potential virus vectors, well, InDesign Scripting is probably a bigger problem. After all, writing plugins is nearly impossible and a malicious person who goes to the effort to learn to do that -- well, let's just say there are much easier ways.

                       

                      It seems to me analagous to running a random .EXE file though.

                      • 8. Re: Is there any way to install a plugin without admin rights on windows 7
                        srikanth_mv Level 1

                        "OK, so...in exchange, you get to tell us why!"

                         

                         

                        Its just for improved sophistication. Everytime you install or update a plugin you need not- go to start menu, right click extension manager, run as administrator and then install mxp from there.

                        When you dont need admin rights, you'll just double click mxp.

                         

                        -Srikanth

                        • 9. Re: Is there any way to install a plugin without admin rights on windows 7
                          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          Actually you can just set the Extension Manager to run as an administrator. I've found that to fix these problems.

                           

                          Right click the extension mgr executable and choose properties to do so.

                           

                          Bob

                          • 10. Re: Is there any way to install a plugin without admin rights on windows 7
                            John Hawkinson Level 5
                            Its just for improved sophistication. Everytime you install or update a plugin you need not- go to start menu, right click extension manager, run as administrator and then install mxp from there.

                            When you dont need admin rights, you'll just double click mxp.

                            I think this is quite a bad idea.

                             

                            Very few people are familiar with the PlugInConfig.txt file, and users won't be able to find it to uninstall your plugin. First-level Adobe support may not be familiar with it. You may end up sowing a large amount of confusion by using this mechanism. I think you are much much better off requiring the user to have administrative privileges to install software anyhow, though I realize that's a software policy decision that's not normally placed in the hands of 3rd party software vendors [4th party]?

                             

                            Adobe has the Extension Manager for a reason [even though it is deeply flawed].