Merge TextFrames Extension for Adobe InDesign

Justin | ExtendScript,extensions,InDesign | Friday, November 28th, 2008

By request—following similar extensions for Flash and Illustrator—here’s an extension for InDesign that merges multiple textframes into one, while retaining the original styles. Because of properties within InDesign, this extension is actually the most powerful of the three. It accepts characters in the separator field for hard returns, soft returns, and tabs (as well as any combination of any other standard characters). There are also options in the dialog box that control the size of the textframe once it’s been merged (see the variations in the graphic down the page).

I used David Van Brink’s Omino Dialog Maker code again for the dialog box in this extension.

download and instructions below the fold…



JSX or JS file:

  1. Place the MergeTextframes_ID.jsx into the Scripts Panel directory within your InDesign application directory:

Script Panel directory:
CS3/CS4 > {application directory**}/Scripts/Scripts Panel
CS/CS2 > {application directory**}/Presets/Scripts/Scripts Panel

**Application Directories:
Windows > C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe InDesign {version}\
Mac OS X > Applications/Adobe InDesign {version}/

MXP file (CS4 or later):

  1. Double-click on the MXP (or ZXP) file to install using Adobe Extension Manager that matches your target version of InDesign. With the ZXP, you may receive a warning that the extension is unsigned, but it is safe to install.


Select the textframes you want to merge in InDesign.

Open the scripts panel, Windows > Utilities (or Automation pre-CS5) > Scripts.

Locate the MergeTextframes_ID.jsx script in the Scripts Panel and double-click to run the script. If you installed the script using the MXP file, the script with be in the Ajar Productions subfolder. If you’re running InDesign CS3 or CS4 you will be prompted with a dialog box. The dialog box will allow you to select the orientation of the sorting (top, left, bottom, right), use a custom separator character(s), and select options to fit the merged textframe once complete.

Note: This file has not been tested on CS or CS2, as neither of the two were working on my machine for some reason. In CS/CS2, you will not be prompted with a dialog; the script will run using the default settings sorting topmost, then leftmost, with a separator of “[><]“ and no fitting options selected. You can then run a Find and Replace and replace the separator with the characters of your choice. This script will likely run in CS(1), but you may have to change the file extension from .jsx to .js.

Update (3/02/2010):
Version 1.1.0 now has the ability to batch-merge textframes within every page of the current document. I had several requests for something like this (including from a recent donor). Here it is! The download links above have been updated.

The new version now has the “Apply to” and “Ignore locked layers” as shown in the image below.

Merge Textframes version 1.1.0 new features

Note that any warning messages about having too few textframes selected have been delayed until after the dialog box appears to reflect the new options.

Looking for the reverse? Check out Split Text.

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106 thoughts on “Merge TextFrames Extension for Adobe InDesign”

  1. ariyamuthu says:

    Nice… Thanks

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