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How to Add a History Panel to InDesign with Scripts

A History panel can be extremely useful for quickly jumping back and forth between your Undo and Redo steps. That’s why many modern design apps offer History panels. Photoshop has one. Illustrator has one. Affinity Publisher has one. Alas, InDesign does not. And after almost a quarter century of waiting, I think it’s unlikely we’ll ever get one from Adobe. Still, if you’d like to see an official History panel in InDesign, head over to the UserVoice page and vote for it. Can’t hurt, right?

In the meantime, there are some viable alternatives provided by third-party scripts and plug-ins, some of which are free.

EasyHistory – 65bit – $10

EasyHistory adds a panel where you can see all your Undos and Redos and double-click on any of them to jump forward or backward in time. It automatically creates snapshots every time you save your document, making it easy to jump back to that point. Or, you can click a button on the panel to create a snapshot of the current spread at any time. As a bonus, snapshots are represented by thumbnails in the panel, so you can see what the document looked like in that state.

History panel in Adobe InDesign created by 65bit EasyHistory plug-in

MultiDo – 65bit – Free

If you don’t mind using a menu instead of a persistent panel or dialog box to access your document history, check out MultiDo. It keeps track of your Undo/Redo steps and allows you to access them all in the Edit menu.

The Adobe InDesign Edit menu showing the MultiDo plugin commands Undo Multiple and Redo Multiple

History Scripts – in-tools – Free

While they don’t create a persistent History panel, the history scripts by in-tools get the job done with a pair of dialog boxes. Run one script to access all your Undos, run the other to access all your Redos. And you can’t beat the price.

Dialog box in Adobe InDesign for Undo History created by in-tools History scripts

History panel – DTP Tools – $120 annual subscription

The DTP tools History panel allows you to jump back and forth quickly between any Undo/Redo state. It also allows you to save persistent versions of the document that you can jump to at any time, even after closing and reopening the file. It comes as part of the DTP Tools Cloud plug-in suite, along with many other useful tools. It was voted one of the Most Valuable Plug-ins for InDesign in issue 137 of InDesign Magazine. Erica Gamet reviewed it in issue 66.

History panel in Adobe InDesign created by DTP Tools plugin

Extended Undo/Redo – Marijan Tompa (tomaxxi) – Free

The Extended Undo/Redo script by tomaxxi is so old it is history. But it’s free and it still works the same as when it was first created well over a decade ago. Run the script and you get a dialog box where you can jump to any Undo or Redo state. You can read more about it here and download it here.

Dialog box in Adobe InDesign for Extended Undo/Redo script

Editor in Chief of CreativePro. Instructor at LinkedIn Learning with courses on InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher.