How can we improve InDesign?

Actions Panel

An Actions Panel that runs the same type of Recording/Playing features as Photoshop and Illustrator already have would be fantastic.

106 votes
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    Tom Miatke shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Hello All,

    Kindly provide more information about this ask. How do you plan to use the Action Panel in InDesign? Do you want it to work exactly like that in Photoshop? What are the most important actions/operations that you want to record?

    Abhinav Agarwal
    Product Manger – InDesign


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      • Aaron F commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        desperately need action record / play functions similar to Illustrator / photoshop

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I design lots of annual report and all the financial works have to be done on table feature. i had an action to align all numbers to .75 decimal or convert column into 1inch width in single click it would be great.

        also please add ability to change strokes and fill in find and change for tables aswell.

      • Sridhar commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Is there any option or script for align the Table in InDesign CC? Like Cell “Top, Bottom, Left and Right” aligns as well as Table?

      • Mark Lane commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am working on client supplied text where I'd like to add a character return and apply a paragraph style. Adding keyboard shortcuts to the styles sped up the process, but clicking a button to add the return and style would really make light work.

      • Damien Girard commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have templates built in InDesign which utilize the same graphics in multiple areas, on multiple pages. The placement is always the same. The size of these logos also changes depending on where it will be placed. I Would love to have an Actions Panel where I could automate this task. I utilize the Actions Panel in Illustrator and Photoshop quite a bit, but having one in InDesign would be great, extremely useful. I have been wishing for this feature for years (and have requested it in the past)
        I am surprised it hasn't been implemented into InDesign yet as I feel many other users would find this incredibly useful.

      • Anna Kul commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I find I create a frame exactly of the size of the document I created , then Im placing some content. Im doing it over and over agian is there a way to automate this? The frame also needs´to align exactly with the document . It´s rather tedious to do it over repeatedly - if there s already away to do this quciker I dont know of, I doubt, Im doing it manually (create a frame, then import content and use key combination to fit the content to the frame)

      • John Reynolds commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Since there's still no way to select text assigned a specific character style and apply index markers to the selection, I would make that my first choice for action. I'm SO tired of manually applying the proper name index tags to entries.

        And yes, I know there are scripts etc. that GENERATE indexes, but none that I'm aware of that actually apply the standard index tag and keep it in place for future updates.

      • VictorR commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would like to write an action to export the active page as several PDF versions at once by selecting PDF presets, (proof, digital print_with_bleed, offset print_spot colours)

      • nora commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Actions would be amazing to have in indesign. Exactly the same way like on Photoshop. Every project is different so different operations will be needed.

      • Stephen_A_Marsh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would challenge anyone to deny the usefulness of actions in Photoshop, despite action limitations and the power of scripting. Scripting development is not accessible to the average GUI based user. Actions are very accessible and if implemented correctly (i.e. Photoshop) they are fantastic… If implemented incorrectly (i.e. Illustrator) they are often frustrating (i.e. not recording values entered into dialog boxes).

      • JThoeming commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Mostly asked is something like the »Macro Recorder« in Word and store it, for example, as javascript.

        The good - you can make changes or additions etc. (if you know what to do) ... the bad - you can make changes or additions etc. (even if you dont know what to do) :0) ... but this is the same to all external scripts which can be edited.

        For rudimentary processes »macro recording« is certainly sufficient for most people.


      • Dot commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This has 56 votes as of today. Why are there STILL no Actions in InDesign like Illustrator and Photoshop?

        Most important for me would be applying series of style sheets, GREPs and Find/Replace to client's Word files, especially in places where Next Style can not work.

        There have been many others over the years.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Is there any progress to support for actions panel to record and log in Adobe In design???

      • Colin Flashman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If the actions panel could work in a similar manner to how actions work in photoshop or illustrator, that would be greatly appreciated. Currently, to add recursion to boring tasks, this involves either having a javascript on hand that can perform the said task, or knowing how to write a javascript to do the same. An action panel removes the need to understand javascript for most users in order to add recursion to mundane or repetitive tasks.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        As I sit here reformatting 168 pages of client-supplied text by selecting an individual paragraph, applying a particular (nested) Style, then running a series of Find/Change queries which require being performed in a certain order…yes, I'd love an Action panel!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Like the one in photoshop, but with the added ability to assign any shortcuts, PS only supports F1,F2, etc.. but it'd be nice if we could use any key.

      • Nilesh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I like this idea but most of this is achieve with the scripts panel.

      • Bastian Saris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Basicly stuff that you would usualy do with a script..
        1: Show Layer 2, Export PDF, Hide Layer 2 / Show Layer 3, Export PDF... and so on (some Projects are done in the same file on different Layers.)
        2: Adding your most used GREPS to a new Paragraphstyle that's different from your previous so you can't just import it.
        3. Write a Fix Action to force refresh textboxes since indesign sometimes fails to do so when doing heavy DatabasePublishing with InDesign. (Like enter every Textbox - add a space and remove it or change a Paragraph Style and then change it back both works to fix this issue)
        4. Copy something - Paste it into a new document with the size of the Copied item and export as Transparent PNG.
        5. Execute common Searches to fix mistakes - Like a Set of GREP Searches to fix double Spaces etc. (I know there is a script for that..)
        6. Set your standard Settings for Checkboxes / Textboxes in Interactive PDF Files (Which still needs to be improved btw - we need more options in InDesign >:O)
        7. Remove all unused Paragraphstyles / Colors etc. at the same time - add colors that don't have a swatch to the swatches etc. (an action to clean up the Document)
        8. As an easy Way to paste sample Text that we want and not the one you provide to test Fonts.
        9. Write an Action to switch objects positions after left and righthand pages have been switched due to to an inserted page.
        10. Copy Missing Links Paths - create a new Document and paste the Links.
        11. Create a Spread of Images with DPI / Size and Name (I still know there are scripts for some stuff of this... iam just trying to give ideas :))
        12. Remove linked Textboxes and Paste the Text of the content in 2 independend boxes (yeah... you guess it - there is a script for this)
        13. Create a list of all Images Below "X" dpi and the Page that they are on (usualy done in preflight - but a list to send to the customer would be nice.)

        The downside to scripts is they can't be modified my most People working with InDesign - Thats why actions in Photoshop are so popular. They can be mofidied easily and by everyone without knowing how to write any code or anything else.

        I hope this are more than enough ideas :)

      • Lam H. Nguyen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, it would be great if it worked like Photoshop. I may use this action in InDesign for repetitive task like find and replace ™, ® and others all with one action.


      • Bob Rubey commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, an Action panel more like Photoshop. Illustrator's implementation is weak.

        I recently had a job that required several repetitive steps including scale, rotate, center, and change transparency. Having to do that a few times isn't a big deal, but doing it over 200 times was a PITA. An action/shortcut key assigned to those steps would have saved me some time.

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