How to install and use scripts
in Adobe Creative Cloud applications

InDesign
Photoshop
Illustrator
Bridge

InDesign

Scripts are launched from the Scripts panel. Open the panel with the Window menu --> Utilities --> Scripts. The scripts that appear in the panel are separated into two categories: Application and User.

The category to use is your choice, but consider storing script files under the User category as limitations exist when storing script files in the Application folder and the platform is Windows. I cannot speak for other scripts, but my scripts that save settings do so alongside the script file. For the Windows platform, writing to a file in the Application scripts folder requires administrator privileges, which the script cannot provide, so any script that writes to a settings file at the script location will result in error. If you experience errors related to saving settings, and you are launching scripts from the Application folder on the Windows platform, instead store and launch scripts from the User folder.

The InDesign User scripts folder can be difficult to locate because it is under user preferences, which are typically hidden from view and require special steps to make visible. Fortunately, InDesign offers a convenient means to open either the Application or User scripts folder directly from the application. With the Scripts panel open, select in the list either Application or User, and then follow the directions for your operating system:

Mac OS: control-click (or right-click for a two-button mouse) and the choice Reveal in Finder appears. Click and the folder will open.

Windows: right-click and the choice Reveal in Explorer appears. Click and the folder will open.

Once the desired folder is open, copy script files to it and the scripts will appear in the the chosen category of the Scripts panel. It is not necessary to restart InDesign. To launch a script, double-click its name in the list.

For the sake of completeness, the details for locating the Application and User folders follows.

InDesign: Application scripts

Scripts are stored in the Scripts Panel folder, under the application Preset folder.

Mac OS example

Macintosh HD:Applications:Adobe InDesign CC 2017:Scripts:Scripts Panel

Windows example

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CC 2017\Scripts\Scripts Panel

Portions of the path may vary: Adobe InDesign CC 2017 may vary depending on the particular version of InDesign installed. Also the beginning of the path may vary if the application has been installed on a drive other than the default and/or a folder other than the Mac OS default Applications or the Windows default Program Files.

InDesign: User scripts

Mac OS example

Macintosh HD:Users:UserName:Library:Preferences:Adobe InDesign:Version 12.0:en_US:Scripts

Windows example

C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\Version 12.0\en_US\Scripts

Portions of the path may vary: UserName will be the user name of the account currently logged on. Version 12.0 may vary depending on the particular version of InDesign installed. en_US may vary depending on your location.

Once the desired folder is open, copy script files to it and they will appear in the the chosen category of the Scripts panel. It is not necessary to restart InDesign. To launch a script, double-click its name in the list.

Photoshop

Scripts are stored in the Scripts folder, under the application Preset folder. Photoshop does not provide a user scripts folder, though such functionality is easily emulated. See Other Tips for details.

Mac OS example

Macintosh HD:Applications:Adobe Photoshop CC 2017:Presets:Scripts

Windows example

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2017\Presets\Scripts

Portions of the path may vary: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 may vary depending on the particular version of Photoshop installed. Also the beginning of the path may vary if the application has been installed on a drive other than the default and/or a folder other than the Mac OS default Applications or the Windows default Program Files.

Once the Scripts folder is located and open, copy script files to it, close the folder, and restart Photoshop. The scripts will now appear when selecting File menu --> Scripts.

Also see Other Tips for alternate methods of launching scripts.

Illustrator

Scripts are stored in the Scripts folder, under the application Preset folder. Illustrator does not provide a user scripts folder, though such functionality is easily emulated. See Other Tips for details.

Mac OS example

Macintosh HD:Applications:Adobe Illustrator CC 2017:Presets:en_US:Scripts

Windows example

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CC 2017\Presets\en_US\Scripts

Portions of the path may vary: Adobe Illustrator CC 2017 may vary depending on the particular version of Illustrator installed. en_US may vary depending on your location. Also the beginning of the path may vary if the application has been installed on a drive other than the default and/or a folder other than the Mac OS default Applications or the Windows default Program Files.

Once the Scripts folder is located and open, copy script files to it, close the folder, and restart Illustrator. The scripts will now appear when selecting File menu --> Scripts.

Also see Other Tips for alternate methods of launching scripts.

Bridge

Unlike other Creative Cloud applications, Bridge lacks a panel or menu command that directly launches scripts. Instead, scripts designed for Bridge add a command to the existing menus, which when selected, launches the script. Where in the menu structure the new command appears is decided by the author of the script; consult the script’s documentation.

Bridge does not have an application scripts folder, only a user scripts folder, Startup Scripts. The folder can be difficult to locate because it is under user preferences, which are typically hidden from view and require special steps to make visible. Fortunately, Bridge offers a convenient means to open the folder directly from the application. To access the Startup Scripts folder on any platform, open Preferences in Bridge and in the list on the left, select Startup Scripts. Click the button Reveal My Startup Scripts and the folder will open.

Once the Startup Scripts folder is open, copy script files to it, close the folder, and restart Bridge. An alert will appear on screen to indicate an extension has been added to Bridge and to ask whether it should be enabled. Respond Yes and the script will be activated.

For the sake of completeness, the details for locating the Startup Scripts folder follows.

Bridge Startup Scripts

Mac OS example

Macintosh HD:Users:UserName:Library:Application Support:Adobe:Bridge CC 2017:Startup Scripts

Windows example

C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Bridge CC 2017\Startup Scripts

Portions of the path may vary: UserName will be the user name of the account currently logged on. Bridge CC 2017 may vary depending on the particular version of Bridge installed.

Other tips

The InDesign Scripts panel acts as an effective launcher of scripts, though other scripts offer similar functionality and are perhaps arguably better. That is for you to decide. I find the Scripts panel works well enough.

Photoshop and Illustrator lack a similar panel, and perhaps scripts exist to add one. I am not aware of any, though one could exist. However, such functionality may not be needed because Photoshop and Illustrator allow running scripts from Actions. While recording an action, open the Actions panel fly-out menu, select Insert Menu Item, and navigate to the desired script as you would manually via the File menu --> Scripts. Now launching the script is part of the action.

Also note that Photoshop and Illustrator do not require that script files are stored in their application scripts folder. It is possible to select the File menu --> Scripts --> Browse (Photoshop) or Other Script (Illustrator) to launch a script from any location in the computer’s file system. As well, Illustrator invokes this command via the shortcut key CMD-F12.

In fact, for Photoshop or Illustrator on the Windows platform, it is advised to not store script files in the application scripts folder because any scripts that save settings at the script location will fail to write the settings file. This is due to the lack of administrator privileges that the script cannot provide. A solution is to create your own “User” folder at a location of your choosing (that does not require administrator privileges) and store your scripts there. Then create actions that navigate to and launch scripts from that location.

Mac OS does not pose similar access restrictions, but still the emulation of a “User” folder that Photoshop and Illustrator lack can be useful. Such a folder may be located anywhere in the computer’s file system, or even on a network volume.