InDesign ExtendScript Toolkit and Soxy

If you design and create ExtendScripts targeting Adobe InDesign for other people, like we often do, you probably also need Soxy.

Our customers use a diverse range of InDesign versions (CS, CS2, CS3, CS4), so we need to make sure the custom scripts we develop are tested against the same version of InDesign as the customer’s.

So, if my customer uses, say, CS2, I’ll use InDesign CS2 to test my script before e-mailing it off to the customer. (Of course, I could use InDesign CS4, and make InDesign CS4 switch to the CS2 script object model, but I rather play it safe, and test the script in the same environment as my customer).

During these tests, I often have the need to debug the script – so I need to use ExtendScript Toolkit.

The problem is somewhat convoluted, but very annoying.

First of all, I have multiple copies of the ExtendScript Toolkit on my computer. There is ExtendScript Toolkit (goes with CS2), ExtendScript Toolkit v2 (goes with CS3), and ExtendScript Toolkit CS4.

When I want to test a script in InDesign CS2, I first make sure it resides in the appropriate InDesign scripts folder.

Then, when I see the script appear on the Scripts Palette (oops *) Panel, I’d love to right-click the script and select Edit Script from the context menu.

Here’s where it goes wrong if you don’t have Soxy: when you select that Edit Script menu item, one of the three installed copies of ExtendScript Toolkit will ‘grab’ the script – and it’s often the wrong one.

So, you need to quit the wrong ESTK, then manually launch the version of ESTK that is associated with the version of InDesign you’re using, and then File – Open… the script from there. Or alternatively, you need to drag your script onto the appropriate ExtendScript Toolkit icon. Not exactly straightforward – it’s what I call an ‘aaargh’ moment.

Thanks to Soxy, you can forget all that – simply set up Soxy to handle .jsx files, and to pick the proper copy of ExtendScript Toolkit. So, when you’re slaving away on an InDesign CS2 script, you can simply right-click the script name, and select Edit Script. The script will be opened by Soxy, Soxy checks which Scripts Panel folder the script resides in (CS2, CS3 or CS4?) and immediately forwards the script to the proper version of ExtendScript Toolkit. It’s all but invisible – and no more ‘aaargh’!

So, next time you need to debug an InDesign CS2 ExtendScript – give Soxy a try! More info and a fully functional, time limited demo can be found here:

* Footnote: Click here to see what the Palette Panel  ‘oops’ is about 😉

This entry was posted in InDesign, Recipes, Scripters & Developers, Soxy. Bookmark the permalink.