For Mac Users: Automatic Reports With Applescripts


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For Mac Users: Automatic Reports With Apple Scripts For Mail

For my final tip at last week’s, I showed a little AppleScript for working with IDML that I found on an InDesign scripting forum. It was written by renowned AppleScripter Shane Stanley of and it allows you to drag and drop an IDML file on to the script (compiled as an application) to unzip the IDML into a folder structure. You can then poke around the files within, and edit them. You can also use apps with powerful search and replace features like Dreamweaver, Oxygen, BBEdit, and so on to find and modify content within the folder. When you’re done editing, just drop the folder back on top of the script to get a new IDML file with a “+” added to the filename to preserve your original file. Smooth as silk. If you’re a Mac user, it’s a very handy tool to have at your disposal, and big thanks to Shane for making it.

To take things one step further, I tinkered with the script to make versions for the other file formats that InDesign exports which are basically disguised ZIP archives: the new version of FLA (formerly known as XFL), and of course, EPUB. I also made a version for playing around inside Word’s DOCX files. If you’d like to give them a try, click the image below to download all four scripts for decompressing and recompressing IDML, EPUB, FLA, and DOCX. Then with a drag and drop you can turn this: Into this: Or this: into this: Or this: into this: But why would you want to crack open something like a DOCX?

David Creamer gave one answer to that question with his great tip at PEPCon, showing how to extract images from a Word doc. DOCX archives contain all graphics that have been placed into the Word file, in their full, high-res glory. You just have to know where to look. Hint: look in the Media folder;) Microsoft’s Office Open XML is a nasty format for an XML tourist like me to wade through. Reading it makes IDML and EPUB seem like a comic book by comparison. But what good’s having a computer if you can’t break things with it? So in the interest of weird science, I plowed ahead and edited the art and text inside the DOCX shown above.


Word complained ominously about corruption when I re-opened the file. But I called its bluff. The file did open, and it reflected my changes. Transfer flac to iphone using waltr for mac. That’s what you call taking the bull by the horns. Nope, that isn’t it Mike.

Test.epub on first run of epubcheck: — test.epub is valid! Preflight report Epubpreflight runs some of the same validation as epubcheck, but additionally checks for problems like very large file sizes that might affect some reading systems.

Same file: test.epub, opened with d&d Did not even open the folder, or modify a single file – simply decompressed and re-compressed using the D&D Deleted the + and changed name of file to test2.epub before validation – as noted in the result below result: — test2.epub is NOT valid 1. ERROR: test2.epub: length of first filename in archive must be 8, but was 9 — Mike, note that the error says “in archive”. Run the test and validation yourself and see what you get. I have a hunch it is the DSStore file myself, but I’m no programmer.

I used the Drag & Drop IDML app in 2011 and it was a lifesaver. I was certainly on OSX, probably 10.6. I haven’t had to use it again until today. I’m now on OSX 10.7. When I dropped an IDML file on it I got the message that Power PC apps are not supported.

That’s obviously wrong, but it looks like the app doesn’t work with OSX 10.7 (and probably higher). When I look at the icon for the script, it is overlaid with the circle with a line through it (the “not allowed” symbol, or whatever it’s called). So, I’m stuck, since I’m on 10.7 at work and 10.10 at home. I clicked on Mike Rankin’s name, but it tries to find his website and I get a “Server can’t find” error.

This entry was posted on 08.11.2019.