Links Move Unused

JavaScript for Adobe InDesign
Latest update 11/6/2018

The script is a housekeeping tool. Some of my projects are photo books with many images or similar documents with many placed graphics. These jobs often begin with, or accumulate during development, far more images than ultimately appear in the final product. When the project is done, I like to organize my files. It is possible to package the document and produce a links folder that contains the graphics placed in the document, but what about graphics not used? I don't want to throw them out, and they are still blended with the graphics that are used, within the working links folder. So I made this script to pull out unused graphics and put them into a separate “Links Not Used” folder.

  • Moves graphic files not used to a selected folder
  • Examines graphics placed in the active document, a book file, or a folder of documents
  • Works with Mac and Windows
  • Uses system to move files, rather than copy and delete
  • All properties of moved files are preserved (modification time, etc.)
  • Also moves matching dotbar files on servers that split Mac resource and data forks
Links Move Unused screen
Links Move Unused

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Instructions for use

The interface has three sections: Process, Links folder, and Destination folder. When the OK button is clicked, processing begins.

Section 1: Process

Active Document — examines graphics placed in the document that is currently open and the top-most window if multiple documents are open.

Book — select an InDesign book file and graphics placed in all documents the book file references are examined.

Folder — select a folder and graphics placed in all InDesign documents in the folder are examined. Only files with the .indd extension are processed.

Section 2: Links folder

Select the folder to examine and compare against the graphics placed in the active document, selected book file, or selected folder of documents. This examination determines which files are referenced by the selected document or documents, and which files have no reference appearing in any of the documents. Files that lack any reference are moved to the Destination folder.

The value defaults to the folder named “Links” that exists alongside the selected document or documents, as is typical for InDesign. Click the button Folder… and navigate to any other desired folder.

Section 3: Destination folder

The folder to which unused links are moved. The value defaults to a folder named “Links not used” in the same folder containing the selected document or documents, typically alongside the selected Links folder. If the folder does not exist, it is created. Click the button Folder… and navigate to any other folder, or create a new folder, named as desired, at a chosen location.

Links Move Unused


Version 18.11.6

  1. Process book limit to .indb extension.
  2. Fix flaw in process folder click handler.

Version 18.9.26

  1. Miscellaneous syntax.

Version 18.8.19

  1. Report and skip moving file names with extended characters that otherwise throw an unhandled exception when Applescript called.

Version 18.7.17

  1. Miscellaneous syntax.
  2. Wrap work in process function, wrapped in try/catch.

Version 18.5.15

  1. Remove close button from progress bar.
  2. Catch processing errors and alert user.

Version 18.4.9

  1. Revise progress window.
  2. Fix bug that causes converted documents to disable active document option.

For help installing scripts, see How to install and use scripts in Adobe Creative Cloud applications.

IMPORTANT: by downloading the script you agree that the software is provided without any warranty, express or implied. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Always make backups of important data.