Before you can use the HistoryLog plug-in you also have to install our free APID ToolAssistant plug-in.
Change History for HistoryLog
This is a very simple tool that can perform two tasks:
- On every save, insert a simple ‘live’ time stamp into a designated text frame
- Keep an automated log of file modifications to an InDesign document in another designated text frame
Over time, the history box accumulates a history of who has opened or saved the document, and when.
This tool is not meant to be used for time tracking – it simply keeps track of who opened the document, and when – not for how long the document was edited.
Before you start installing, exit out of InDesign.
Please make sure you have a copy of the APID ToolAssistant plug-in installed. Make sure you install the proper plug-in for your version of InDesign since the plug-ins are mutually incompatible. The Windows CS5.x plug-ins also come with an additional folder with a parenthesised name which needs to be copied along.
If you already have an APID ToolAssistant plug-in installed (e.g. because you use one of our other plug-ins), make sure it is up-to-date.
You will be installing two separate, but related software products: HistoryLog and APID ToolAssistant. HistoryLog will continue to work when the APID ToolAssistant demo expires.
i.e You do NOT need to purchase a license for APID ToolAssistant.
Copy the HistoryLog.spln into the same folder as the APID ToolAssistant plug-in (typically that will be the InDesign Plug-Ins folder). Don’t worry about the icon of the .spln file: it might not be a ‘regular’ icon, and that’s OK.
To keep a log of file manipulations:
- Create a text frame somewhere. A history box would typically be created in the pasteboard area of page 1; a timestamp box would instead sit on the first page, last page, or on a master page.
- Select the text frame using the selection tool (black arrow tool). Make sure you are not in text selection mode.
- Use the Window – Automation – Script Label menu (in InDesign CS2 or CS3) or theWindow – Scripting – Script Label menu (in InDesign CS) to bring up the palette where you can define a label for the text frame.
- Label the frame either with the word history (all lowercase) or timestamp (all lowercase).
- After typing the label, click somewhere else in the document window to deselect the box.
- Close and save the document.
- Re-open the document; do some modifications and save. Either on open or on save or both, a dialog for the tracking ID will appear. Fill in your name or whatever text you want to use as a tracking identification.
- You’ll want to adjust the width of the history text box and its tab settings to make sure the log entries each fit on a single line.
How It Works
The tool is very simple to use once a document has been prepared by designating one or two text frames to respectively keep the time stamp and/or the document history.
For both functions, the tool uses a tracking ID – it is up to the user to decide what information to use for this tracking ID. Most often this will be the user’s full name, initials, first name – whatever is most appropriate.
The tool will auto-update a designated text frame (the timestamp box) with a time stamp consisting of
- Document name
- Tracker ID
- Time and date of the last save
The tool will also append a log entry at the end of a designated text frame (called the history box) on each ‘open’ and each ‘save’ . The log entry consists of the tracking ID together with a time stamp. The history box typically resides on your document’s pasteboard.
For more detailed information on HistoryLog, go to: