Free Script Splits Long InDesign Files into Smaller Ones

A free script called ExtractPage

The script provides two features that InDesign’s Move Pages command (Layout > Pages > Move Pages) lacks: First, it can quickly spit out a series of single-page INDD files from the page range you enter, just like the Extract Pages command in Adobe Acrobat. Just turn on the appropriate checkbox in the script’s simple dialog box:

Second, the script can create new InDesign files on the fly from the pages you extract — InDesign’s Move Pages command can only move or copy pages from one InDesign doc to another one, not to a new one.

So, ExtractPages is handy script to have if, say, you’ve got a long multi-chapter book in a single InDesign document that you want to quickly split into multiple InDesign files, one document per chapter. This is something you need to do if you want to export a book to ePub and have the chapters start on their own pages, for example.

It’s possible to use Move Pages to do this manually (just set up a starter InDesign file for each chapter beforehand), but that means you have to laboriously match page dimensions and other attributes, and then remember to delete the additional, superfluous starter page in each of those files afterwards. You don’t need to bother with that if you use the script.

ExtractPages has one weirdness that can throw you: Not only doesn’t it automatically open the new INDD file(s) it creates, it closes the source document as soon as you run the script. If there were unsaved changes, they’re gone. (This happened to me during testing on a Mac w/CS4, your mileage may vary.) So if you want to use it, be sure to save your source document first, at least until the script’s author fixes it.

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