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InDesign To PDF Overview
The Windows-based database department at the DCA works in Microsoft Access only, and sharing data with the Mac-based graphics department had always been an issue. By using AppleScript, we were able to take tab-delimited exports from Access and use them to seamlessly build the final publication.

InDesign gave the graphics department the ability to view and proof the different components in an environment in which they were very comfortable and familiar. The script allows them to build each 4-page document individually by choosing from a list of counties, or all counties at once. The final document was also saved as PDF for easy printing, and so they could validate the on-demand publishing process.

Using InDesign enabled the AppleScript to mark specific terms as hyperlinks in the actual document to link with a glossary containing definitions. This allowed the final PDF to be fully automated with no need for post-processing. As an added bonus, bookmark links to each section within the document were included.

This automated workflow now allows the DCA to update the documents as the data changes and instantly make the results available to their clients.

How Do I Learn To Do This?
At AppleScript Pro Sessions an entire day is devoted to working with InDesign and AppleScript, including many of the techinques used for this project.

Other Scripts
StoryCount is a freeware script which counts the total words and characters in a selected text frame. If the story overflows, it reports the number of words and characters overflow. Download here.

Great InDesign Books
My two favorite books for InDesign are Real World InDesign and InDesign for QuarkXPress Users. More information about both books can be found here.

InDesign CS Scripting
We've posted some notes from Shane Stanley about changes in InDesign CS scripting.
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