Scribe Tools for InDesign Documentation

Scribe Tools for InDesign is a suite of integrated scripts that makes it easier to typeset Well-Formed Document Workflow books and to export adaptable content.

Install or Update Scribe Tools

Unzip the file. Open the Scripts panel in InDesign. In the Scripts panel, use the Reveal in Finder/Explorer option to find the User folder. Copy the ScribeTools folder into the Scripts Panel folder. (On a PC, the correct ScribeTools folder might be within a folder with the same name or with an “scr-” prefix.)

To Install Scribe Tools

Expand the ScribeTools folder in InDesign’s Scripts panel. Select and run the scr-install.jsx file. Restart InDesign. A Scribe Tools menu will display along the top of the application.

Once installed, the Scribe Tools folder will be found in the following location:


[DRIVE]:\Users\[USER]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\Version [VERSION #]\en_US\Scripts\Scripts Panel\ScribeTools


[HDD NAME]\Users\[USER]\Library\Preferences\Adobe InDesign\Version [VERSION #]\en_US\Scripts\Scripts Panel\ScribeTools

To Update Scribe Tools

Replace the current ScribeTools folder with the updated one and restart InDesign. If the tools do not update, rerun scr-install.jsx and restart InDesign.

Using Scribe Tools for InDesign

File Information

Get Character Code

Returns the character code of the first character in the text selection and provides a link to more information online. Also available from the context menu.

Get File Information

Returns file statistics for the active file, all open files, or files selected from a directory.

Prepare for Export

Export .sam from InDesign

See Export .sam from InDesign for information on the use of these tools.

Export IDTT from InDesign

See Export IDTT from InDesign for information on the use of these tools.


For information on the use of Add Endnote Page Ranges, see Endnote Page Ranges.

Increment Selected Endnotes

Adds one to each endnote number or endnote reference within the selected text. This is useful when a note has been added, deleted, or moved. Also available from the context menu.

Decrement Selected Endnotes

Subtracts one from each endnote number or endnote reference within the selected text. This is useful when a note has been added, deleted, or moved. Also available from the context menu.

Creates hyperlinks between endnote numbers and endnote references for use in web-ready PDFs. (This procedure is not related to linking in e-books, which is handled within the Digital Hub.)

Tabify Endnotes

Adjusts tab settings to accommodate long endnote numbers.

Embed Endnotes

Embeds en and subsequent note paragraphs into the text at existing enref spans.

In InDesign 2018, Adobe introduced embedded endnotes. Scribe does not yet recommend using these, as the options to renumber endnotes by section is limited, and the ability to import and export this data is still problematic. The above endnote tools do not work with embedded endnotes at this time. The Embed Endnotes tool is available as a general utility for embedding endnotes already tagged with the appropriate ScML styles. This tool should only be used at the beginning of the typesetting process, as using it can cause significant reflow throughout the document.


Place Single Image

When selecting an image callout, inserts the unanchored image onto the pasteboard. Alternate text in image callouts are saved in the image’s object export options.

  • If the image is present in the subdirectory “[project-name]-images,” the image will be placed automatically. Otherwise, a file dialog will open from which the file can be selected.
  • If the image is larger than the width or height of the page trim, it will be scaled proportionately to fit within the trim.
  • Any selected figcap or figh paragraphs will be pulled from the source text flow into a new text box.
  • Also available from the context menu.
  • Object styles are applied to anchored figures and figure caption text boxes. Figures are tagged with “figure-textbox” while captions are tagged with “figh-textbox.” If the figh-textbox style hasn’t been previously defined, it will receive a default inset based on figh or figcap paragraph style leading.

Place All Images

Places all images at locations indicated by Scribe image queries. Anchor type, alignment, and scale can be set for each image. The option “rescale oversized images as needed to fit within the page margin” will scale down images proportionately to fit within the trim. Alternate text in image callouts are saved in the image’s object export options.

Image queries ({~?~IM: insert [image name] here.}) can be added in Word using the SAI’s Insert Queries tool.

URLs and Linking

Rebreak URLs

Applies Chicago Manual of Style URL-breaking rules to url-composed text.

Finds potential URLs, email addresses, and Twitter handles and generates hyperlinks for them. Do not run if the document contains a large number of URLs that should not be linked. Check the Hyperlinks panel for correctness of URLs; in cases where a full URL is not supplied, the generated link may be incorrect. Also available from the Hyperlinks Panel menu.

Creates hyperlinks for internal references (i.e., “see Chapter 2 for more information”) that will be maintained into e-book or web PDF outputs. Check the Hyperlinks panel for correctness of links; false positives are possible, particularly if a book contains references to other books.

Checks hyperlinks for known issues that interfere with exporting XML. InDesign will fail to map styles if it encounters the following scenarios:

  1. Hyperlink that contains a paragraph break
  2. Hyperlink that contains more than one character style (including [None])
  3. Hyperlink that overlaps a character style that extends beyond the text of the link

The tool will indicate hyperlinks that fall into one of these categories so that they can be checked for misapplied character styles and paragraph breaks. Running the tool is recommended for any document that will be exported to .sam if the document contains any hyperlinks. Also available from the Hyperlinks Panel menu.


Ungroup Paragraph/Character Styles

Moves any styles from groups into the main style area and deletes the groups. Alerts the user if any styles appear in more than one group. Also available from the Styles Panel menus.

Unbase All Styles

Removes the “based on” connections between styles so that changes made to one no longer affect others.

Set Up Language Styles

Changes the language of Hebrew and Arabic character styles so that combining characters display correctly. Applies the “Adobe World Ready Paragraph Composer” to paragraph styles with an “-altworld” attribute. This paragraph style setting is required for paragraphs that include text from right-to-left languages—without it, characters will not be interpreted and displayed in the correct order.

Text Direction

For information on this feature, see Text Direction.

List Unmappable Styles

Lists any styles that will not be removed or mapped during Export .sam from InDesign or Export IDTT from InDesign.

Review Centering Settings

Reviews your document’s paragraph styles for centered styles that may not be truly centered within their text frames. Such paragraphs may have a first-line indent or unequal left and right margins.

Review Nested Styles

Searches for text with multiple character styles in place through some combination of applied, nested, line, or GREP styles. All but one of the character styles will be lost when running the Export tools, so any such conflicts should be resolved prior to its use.

Because of the potentially high frequency of conflicts between the enref/fnref styles and nested styles, those will not be displayed. These styles are given special consideration when nested styles are localized during the export process. In addition, Export can handle bold, bold italic, and italic versions of embedded styles, so these are not listed as conflicts.

In order to find the nested style conflicts, some minor changes to rarely used style properties are made and then reversed during the process. Character styles are also unbased. This may cause the document to have “unsaved changes” after the tool is run.

Typesetting Adjustments

Apply Breaking Rules

Inserts nonbreaking spaces and/or “no break” text format based on the options chosen.

Center on Longest Line

Indents selected left-aligned text so that the longest line is centered in the text frame. (It makes no change to text that is already centered or right-aligned.) Commonly used for poetry or epigraph formatting. Also available from the context menu.

Center All Poetry on Longest Line

Identifies blocks of poetry based on senseline (sl) paragraph styles and applies the Center on Longest Line feature to each block.

Center and Decimal Align Cell Content

Indents text in selected cells so that the longest line is centered in the text frame and the other lines are decimal-aligned relative to that line. Can be run on an entire table or on selected columns or cells. Also available from the context menu.

Apply Center/Right-Aligning Tabs to Paragraph Style

Clears all preexisting tab stop information from the selected style and adds two tab stops.

  • The first is center-aligned to the exact center of the text frame.
  • The second is right-aligned.

This tool is particularly useful for running heads but can be used for any style that requires a center-aligning tab and a right-aligning tab. All text frames or text columns that contain paragraphs of this style must be the same width, otherwise the tool will not run and a warning will appear.

Note: This tool does not add tab characters to paragraphs.

Tabify Selected Dialogue

Adjusts tab settings for the selected dialogue to accommodate long names. This feature is meant to be used on dialogue paragraphs that use a right-aligned speaker and left-aligned speech format.

Tabify All Dialogues

Identifies blocks of dialogue based on dialogue (dia) paragraph styles and applies the Tabify Selected Dialogue feature to each block.

Increment Selection by Style

Adds to (or subtracts from) each instance of a number in the specified styles within the selected text.

Batch Find and Replace

Performs several case-sensitive, whole-word replacements on an entire file.

Corrections must be listed in a text file, with each find/replace pair on its own line, each find term and replace term separated by a tab.




Note: This tool performs a replace-all action throughout the entire document. It cannot have its scope limited, and it cannot be undone.

Set/Reset sam DTD Location

Allows for resetting the saved DTD location.

Go To Documentation

Opens this documentation in the browser (requires an active internet connection).

Check Online for Scribe Tools Updates

Checks your version of Scribe Tools against the latest update (requires an active internet connection).