Adobe InDesign ships with a limited set of scripts within the scripts panel. While these scripts are appropriately named, they do not contain tooltips that elaborate on how the script works or what each script does.
For users of InDesign who rarely – if ever – open the scripts panel, this is not really an issue. But for users who have embraced the power of scripting within InDesign and have acquired or created scripts, the scripts palette can become quite unwieldy. Left unchecked, the scripts panel can get to the point where it is unknown what many scripts do, how they work (i.e. if they had a user interface or were designed to be implemented in specific workflows) or if they still work since they were added to the scripts folder.
It is possible to organise the scripts folder into categories using Windows Explorer or Mac Finder. Even so, there are still hundreds of scripts, and the file naming of the scripts often leaves very little to the imagination.
Scripts can have tooltips
Seasoned scripters will be aware of this, but for InDesign users who have used scripts but cannot write them, this practical tip may be of some use.
Luckily, it is possible to add tooltips to scripts that do not have them. To demonstrate, a description will be added to the empty text frame script. To do this, Right click (or control click) on the script while in the scripts panel of InDesign and choose “Reveal in Finder” (or Explorer on Windows). Once the folder window is presented, open the text editor (NOT a word processor but a plain text editor) of choice.
The following script needs a description added to it. To do this, add a line at the start of the script that looks like this:
//DESCRIPTION:type the description of what the script does here
(since it is known what the script does, a better description will be written)
Save the file and return to InDesign. Return to the script panel and hover the cursor over the script that was just edited.
And there it is – a better description for the script, in case the script isn’t used for a while and its purpose becomes forgotten.