Don’t Let Adobe InDesign/InCopy Notes Go Unnoticed


How to get alerted when opening an InDesign/InCopy document that contains notes.

At the Creative Pro Week 2018 in New Orleans, Anne-Marie Concepción posted the following suggestion for the ‘People’s Choice Script Challenge’:

I would like a script that would put up a big “There are Notes in this document” flashing graphic (I’d settle for an Alert dialog box) whenever I opened a file in InDesign (or InCopy) that had Notes in it. Bonus, it’d have a View button that would jump to the first note, zoom in to 250% with the note icon centered on the screen, and open the Notes panel so I could read it and use the nav buttons there to jump to the next note.

Challenge accepted!

The following script should help with that:


First download the script using the link above.

The downloaded file is in .zip compressed format. You’ll need to decompress it unless your computer already does it automatically for you.

If all is well, you should end up with a file called ShowNotes.jsx.

This is an ExtendScript.

Unlike most other scripts, it is not meant to be installed into the InDesign/InCopy Scripts Panel folder. Instead, it needs to go into the startup scripts folder.

A quick way to navigate to the startup scripts folder: first launch InDesign or InCopy.

Bring up the Scripts panel by means of the Window – Utilities – Scripts menu item.

Right-click the Application folder on the Scripts panel.

Select Reveal in Finder (Mac) or Reveal in Explorer (Windows) from the contextual menu.


The Scripts folder contents will appear.

In that folder, you’ll find a folder called startup scripts.

Copy or move the ShowNotes.jsx script file into the startup scripts folder.

There might or might not be a file ForceDirectory.txt inside the startup scripts folder. You can ignore that file. It is inert and has no function. If you want, you can safely delete ForceDirectory.txt.

Because the startup scripts folder is protected, the computer will complain a bit.

On a Mac you will probably be asked for an administrator password. On most personal computers, the administrator is you, so you can enter your own password.

On computers that are administered by an I.T. department, you will need to ask the I.T. department for help to get the script installed.

On my Mac it goes like this:

And on Windows it looks similar, but it probably won’t ask for a password:

VERY IMPORTANT: You must now restart InDesign or InCopy.

Otherwise the script will not be activated.

As InDesign or InCopy start up, ShowNotes.jsx script will run and install itself, waiting for you to open a document.

When you open a document, it will look for the presence of notes, and will show a dialog if it finds any.


Using the script is simple. When you open a document it will automatically check for notes.



There are a few small tweaks that can be made.

Open the script using a ‘real’ text editor program (like BBEdit, TextWrangler, NotePad, NotePad++, TextMate, Sublime…).

Avoid using a word processor program like TextEdit, MS Word… to edit the script. Word processors often destroy scripts.

There is a section near the start where you can tweak the script.


Save the tweaked script back to the startup scripts folder and restart InDesign or InCopy after making a tweak.

You can change one or more of the words ‘true’ into ‘false’ (all lowercase) to turn off certain features of the script.

Do not change or remove anything else.

You can also change the zoom percentage from 250 to some other percentage. Do not include a ‘%’ sign!

If the script stops working after being tweaked, simply re-download it and start over with a fresh copy.