Story Cloner Script

If you have used InDesign for any length of time, there was probably some time when you wished that you could just type in one place and have those changes carried over to other places in your file. You might want to create some kind of effect which requires text to be doubled up and you’d like to just be able to edit the text once instead of twice.

Well, we recognized this need, and came up with our FREE Story Cloner script.

Although the script itself is free, it requires a licensed copy of APID ToolAssistant to be installed. Assuming APID ToolAssistant is installed and licensed, each time you run the MakeClonedStories script (with text frames selected) a new Clone Set will be created. Any time you copy a text frame which is part of a Clone Set, or derivatives thereof, a new Clone Instance will be created. Any edit you do to a Clone Instance will reflect in all other Clone Instances of that set.

To remove a text frame from a Clone Set, you just run the UnCloneStories script with one or more text frames selected.

How do you get a licensed copy of APID?

  • Option #2: Buy a license directly from Rorohiko.

The steps to use Story Cloner are easy:

  1. Download the script from here and install it in your scripts folder.
  2. Select a text frame (or text frames) and double click on MakeClonedStories.jsxbin
  3. story_cloner_1

  4. Copy the text frame as many times as necessary.
  5. story_cloner_2

  6. Now when you type in one of the frames, the result is immediately (within a second or two) reflected in all the others.
  7. story_cloner_3

  8. If you need to remove a text frame from the Clone Set, you just need to select the text and double click on UnCloneStories.jsxbin.
  9. story_cloner_4

What’s the catch?

Unfortunately Story Cloner only works with InDesign CS3 and CS4. If you are using CS2 or earlier, Story Cloner will not work. It uses features which did not exist in CS2 and earlier.

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  1. Zev Teich says:


  2. AMALTRA says:


    is it possible to clone from different documents?

  3. Harbs says:


    No. Currently it only works for stories within the same document.

  4. Zev Teich says:

    I am in middle of a job where I need to insert small amounts of text that was in an rtf file throughout a document. Until now I had the rtf file placed into a separate ID doc and was constantly switching documents.

    Now with these scripts all I had to do was right a script to bring the rtf onto the pasteboard of the first page. Then I ran the story cloner script and then I wrote a script to duplicate the frame that had the rtf text on the first page to every single spread.

    Now I can easily insert the small amounts of text throughout the document and every single frame will update.

    Thanks Harbs!

  5. Ryan says:

    Does it work for CS5.5

    • Harbs says:

      I haven’t tested in CS5.5, but have you tried the linked stories feature in CS5.5?

      It’s not exactly the same (i.e. the changes are not bi-directional, and the updates are not in real-time), but I think that it would render this script somewhat redundant…

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