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IdExtenso  2.31008 (core: 207KB)

“ExtendScript Framework for InDesign Ninjas.” | Overview | Key Points | Getting Started | Quick Example

IdExtenso's API


IdExtenso is a complete ExtendScript/InDesign scripting framework for CC/CS6/CS5/CS4 environments. It provides a rich toolbox, based on stackable building blocks that will add muscles to your InDesign scripts.

  • Do you need a clean JSON formatter that really supports ExtendScript oddities and InDesign DOM objects?

  • Would you like to trace your debug messages in a log file the easy way?

  • Are you concerned with localizing your scripts in other languages?

  • …and always making sure that the environment (OS, InDesign version, locale, script engine) is properly identified and managed?

IdExtenso addresses these needs, and many more. Its core structure will get you started, and a huge set of additional modules will help you implement more complex scripts and features.

The framework supports ExtendScript from version 3.92 to 4.x and InDesign from v.6.0 (CS4) to 18.x (CC 2023) in both macOS and Windows platforms. It fixes, improves and extends many built-in functionalities. Here are a few examples:

  • myString.toSource() can save 30% of the original result length.

  • $.global.parseInt() complies with ECMAScript's latest specification.

  • RegExp.prototype["=="] is implemented so that you can compare regexes using ==.

  • Numbers can be converted from/to IEEE754 encoding (32 or 64bit floating point arithmetic.)

  • Math.max() and Math.min() support as many arguments as needed whatever the installed version of ExtendScript.

  • String.fromCodePoint() and String.prototype.codePointAt() are now available with respect to ECMA-262, 9th Edition.

(And so on!)

Warning. — IdExtenso is not designed for small projects. If your InDesign script does not require performance tricks, ScriptUI workarounds, localization features, high modularity, cross-version compatibility, advanced settings management... then the workspace we have designed here is probably not for you.

Key Points

  • 99.99% opensource (well, the JsxBlind library had to be partially obfuscated ;-)

  • As fast and optimized as possible.

  • Light-weight core package.

  • Leaving the [[global]] scope much cleaner than in any other framework.

  • Smart support of persistent engines (#targetengine directives.)

  • Curates various ExtendScript bugs and InDesign DOM compatibility issues.

  • Still works fine in your JSXBIN exports!

  • Growing number of extra modules that you can plug at wish (via #include.) Just give a look at the /etc branch: Yalt (L10N engine), Web (HTTP getter), Settings (multiscope settings manager), Collator (simplified Unicode collation algorithm), DateFormat, ByteStream, Unit, PageRangeTextParcels, etc.

  • Growing collection of powerful, fine-tuned and flexible ScriptUI components (CheckGroup, CheckList, Edit, Popup, SideMenu, DrawnCheck...) easy to integrate in your own UI.

Note. — Advanced InDesign scripts (including commercial products) are entirely built upon IdExtenso. For instance, our Pie Chart Builder Claquos 3 is 100% made up of IdExtenso components and modules. SmartSort, “advanced paragraph sorter for InDesign”, is also a nice script based on ModalScriptMenu's infrastructure and using the Collator module. And the most recent example of IdExtenso-based product is the huge IndexMatic³ program, which would not have existed without the present framework.

Getting Started

Requirement. — Always open and explore the code in a true EDI (SublimeText, UltraEdit, etc.) rather than “ExtendScript ToolKit”. As an editor, ESTK is definitely not suitable for IdExtenso.

  1. Download the latest distribution (ZIP file) and unzip the whole structure at a location available to the Scripts Panel folder. You must have at least $$.jsxinc (the “entry point”) and the /core subfolder. The /etc folder is optional but it contains modules of great value which we recommend you to keep at hand.

  2. Either create a sample script (e.g. myTest.jsx) or simply open one of those provided in /tests.

  3. The script must contain a directive #include 'path/to/$$.jsxinc' pointing out to the entry point of the framework. A global reference $$ is then available from which you can access any feature exposed in the API.

Note. — If InDesign is not involved in your script project, you may #include the alternate entry point $$.estk.jsxinc which is intended to make IdExtenso available in simple ExtendScript context.

  1. If relevant, include any additional module(s) you may need —e.g. #include etc/Web.jsxlib— so that $$.Web will be added too. All methods and properties are documented in their respective module.

  2. After your #include directives, DO NOT FORGET to invoke $$.load().

Congratulations! You're now ready to fuel your scripts with IdExtenso!

Tip. — Use $$.help() at any point of your code to discover and browse the API of the loaded modules.

Quick Example

This basic snippet illustrates how to use some core features, namely Log, JSON, and File. Use it as a template to familiarize yourself with the framework.

#target 'indesign'

// IdExtenso entry point.
// ---
#include 'path/to/$$.jsxinc'

// ---
// Additional includes are possible here.
// e.g: #include 'path/to/etc/$$.Yalt.jsxlib'
// ---

// Load the framework.
// ---

// Your script goes here.
// ======================
    $$.Log.chrono().trace("Processing some huge JSON task...");
    var json = $$.JSON(,1);

    $$.Log.trace(__("JSON done in %1 ms.",+$$.Log.chrono));

    alert( "The result should show up in a temporary file..." );
// ======================

// Unload the framework.
// ---

Note. — The global identifier $$ refers to IdExtenso's root object. You can reach all public functions and members —including those available in the installed modules— from that identifier. For example, use $$.File.writeUTF8() to invoke the writeUTF8 method of the File module.

→ Other ready-to-use scripts are available in the /tests directory.