InDesign has an awful lot of preferences which effect many different aspects of the program. To set the preferences the way you want them across machines can be rather tedious. Also, any time you “trash preferences” in InDesign, all your custom settings get lost. Adobe tells us that preferences can be scripted, but that “solution” is a bit beyond the average user (and most advanced users as well!).
Preferences Manger is a free CS4/CS5 only script we developed to solve the problem of saving and loading preferences. It offers the ability to save preference sets which can be loaded at any time. You can save different preference sets with settings that you might use under different circumstances as well as save preference sets which can be deployed across different computers.
Preference Manager is a start-up script, which means that it is installed in the scripts folder and loads itself when InDesign starts up. The functions of the script are accessed by a menu item which the script creates.
To install the script, simply download the script from here, and unzip the file. It will unzip to a folder structure with the top level being called “PreferenceManager”. Move the entire folder into your main Scripts folder as shown in this screen shot.
Next, just restart InDesign and a new menu item will appear.
Once the script is installed and InDesign is restarted, the following menu item will appear at the bottom of your preference list:
Selecting this menu item will bring up the following dialog:
- To save your current preferences, simply click on “New” and a prompt will show up to allow you to name your preference set, and the script will save your preferences to a file. Once the preference set is saved, it will appear in the list in the dialog.
- If you would like to open the file and change values, you can select a preference set and click “Edit. This will open the file in the default xml editor on your computer.
- To delete a preference set file, you can simply click “Delete”.
- To load a preference set, select the set which you want to load and click “Load Prefs”. If no document is open, the default preferences will be changed. If there are open documents, the preferences for the front-most document will be changed.
Preference Set Locations:
There are two places that Preferences Manager looks for preference sets:
- In the PreferenceManager folder, there is a sub-folder named “Default Sets”. Any preference set files placed in this folder will appear in the list for all users. The script comes with two sets which can be used: “International Defaults” and “US Defaults”. You can use these default preferences, change them, or delete them as you wish.
- The default location where Preferences Manager saves the preference sets is in the user application data folder. A folder named In-Tools will be created, and a sub-folder named Preference Sets will be created inside the In-Tools folder. All preference set files will be stored there, and be available to the current user.
If you would like your sets to be available to all users, you will need to move the files to the Default Set folder location.
- Preferences Manager should save and load just about all preferences. Some preferences can effect the appearance of your documents (such as “Skip by Leading”, “Text Wrap Affects Text Below”, “Justify Text Next to Objects”, and many others). You must be very careful when you load preferences on existing documents that you don’t adversely change the appearance of your documents!
- The current version of Preferences Manager only saves and loads preferences. It will not save or load any presets (such as printer presets, pdf export presets, transparency, etc.). Nor will it save or load any styles or swatches.