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This article is from June 26, 2009, and is no longer current.

Story Cloner Script Synchronizes Text in a Snap


If you’ve ever had several instances of the same text within a document and had to update them all, you’ve probably wished for a simple solution for doing it once and having the others update automatically.

In the past, I’ve recommended exporting an InCopy story and doing it that way but In-Tools has just released a script that will do this very easily. It can be downloaded from here.

While the script is free it does depend on Rorohiko’s APID tool assistant to work. The APID plugin is available with all paid In-Tools plugins or with all Rorohiko products. A single license can also be purchased for $25.00.

Using the script (It’s actually two scripts. One to add the synchronization to the text frame and one to remove it.) as with just about all scripts is easy. Select the text frame and double click the script. Now, just duplicate the frame and place it anywhere in your document. When you update one of them, the other will automatically change. This script works very well with smaller text frames such as captions or short passages of text but there is a slight lag while the frames synch. I suspect with very large stories or many duplicate frames it may be just a bit unwieldy.

You can read more about it here.

Bob Levine is a Southern New Jersey based graphic designer and consultant He provides guidance in developing efficient, collaborative InDesign and InCopy workflows as well as a full array of graphic design services including WordPress-based web development. For more background, visit his website, or his blog,
  • Harbs says:

    Thanks for the post!

    One point: I’ve tested the script on a Clone Set of about 200 stories. On my computer (MacBook 2.4 GHz w/ 2GB RAM), in CS4, it took about 5 seconds for all the stories to update. Not bad considering that InDesign runs 200 different scripts… ;)

    The size of the story should not make that much difference, but you do need to be careful if creating stories more text frames for a Clone Instance that subsequent text frames should be created by duplicating the first — otherwise the stories will not be updated automatically.

    I hope to update the script to be able to sync stories across different documents, but that will have to wait until I have some spare time…

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