Split Text Extension for InDesign

This extension is useful if you’d like to break apart text in order to quickly create buttons, animated sequences, or simply separate blocks of text that can be individually positioned.

Before and After using Split Text

This extension can split text into separate text frames by:

  • Paragraphs
  • Columns
  • Words
  • Characters (new to v1.1)
  • Lines
  • Manual Line Breaks
  • Text Styling (new to v1.1)
  • Tabs
  • Custom Text
  • or even Custom Grep Expressions

Split Text automatically remembers the last settings used and can be undone in a single step.


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Looking for the reverse? Check out Merge TextFrames.

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  1. Gus says:

    Just tried to install Split_Text_CC.zxp but I get the error: “This extension can not be installed, it requires Indesign version 6 or greater”. Any ideas why? I do have Indesign CC installed.

  2. Justin says:

    Does InDesign appear in the left menu of Extension Manager CC? If not, a reinstall of either EM or InDesign should fix it.

    1. Gus says:

      Thanks for replying. Sadly it doesn’t show on the left menu of EM. I have reinstalled both EM and ID to no avail. Anything else to try?

      1. Justin says:

        Hi Gus,
        If a reinstall doesn’t work, you should contact Adobe support or post a question on the forum.

      2. Gus says:

        Yep, that’s what I did. Waiting for a kind soul to respond. If I find an answer I’ll post it here for others with similar issue. Cheers.

      3. Justin says:

        Thanks, Gus! That will be much appreciated. I know several people have been experiencing this issue with Extension Manager lately.

  3. Gus says:

    I was finally able to make it work! I followed the advice from this thread on the Adobe forums: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1235641. Basically, if you are on Windows, you need to delete the ExMan.db file. It wasn’t easy though. It wouldn’t let me delete it saying that “the folder or file is open in another program”. I was able to find out the program was Core Sync (32 bit). I opened the Task Manager and ended the task. Then I could delete ExMan.db and restart EM. It took a while but finally it loaded with all the extensions. Now, it is not perfect because when I open EM within Indesign it shows an update is available (even though I have installed the latest). I just ignore the message and from the flyout menu choose Launch EM. I must say that on my Mac I have no trouble with EM. Go figure.

    1. Justin says:

      Thanks for document this, Gus! Sounds frustrating. 🙁

      I’ll be sure to share with anyone experiencing this issue.

  4. hong says:

    I want to it~~!

  5. Justin says:

    Hi Hong,
    Sign up for our newsletter using the link above and you can download the extension immediately. 😉

    1. Fors says:

      I subscribed newsletter but not able to download your Split Text extension… Can you provide .jsx directly ? or any other options…?

      1. Justin says:

        It looks like you were able to click the link. Did you get the download?

  6. Thank you, it works, yay!
    InDesign CS6, mac 10.11.1 El Capitan.

  7. Kemcy Best says:

    Why does it add some line breaks when I choose “paragraph” or “manual line break”?

    1. Justin says:

      Hi Kemcy,
      I’m not sure. If you want to send me a 1-page test file, I’d be happy to take a look. The email address is “support” at this domain.

    2. Justin says:

      Hi Kemcy,

      I think this was the same error as Peter’s (below) and should be resolved by the 1.2.1 update.

  8. Peter says:

    Downloaded this today. I am running CC 2014 but I get a javascript error when running the script.

    Error Number:21
    Error String: null is not an object
    Engine: main
    File: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CC 2014\Scripts\Scripts Panel\Ajar Productions\SplitText.jsxbin
    Line: 71

    1. Justin says:

      Hmm…looking at the source code that seems like an odd line for that error to occur.

      Have you tried restarting InDesign?

    2. Justin says:

      The issue was related to the items being off the page. Version 1.2.1 fixes that issue.

      You can use the original email link to download the newest version and install it over the previous version.

      1. Peter says:

        Bingo! I was testing it on the pasteboard.

        Very cool! Thank you.

  9. Peter Amirault says:

    I’m getting the following error message when trying to run this script in 2017CC: Error Number: -2714
    Error String: Expected “,” or “}” but found identifier.
    Engine: Default
    File: /Applications/Adobe InDesign CC 2017/Scripts/Scripts Panel/Samples/Applescript/SplitStory.applescript

    1. Justin says:

      Hi Peter,
      The file listed in the error is a sample script that comes with InDesign, not the Split Text extension that I’ve written.

      1. Ariel says:

        Hi Justin
        How can I install the plug-in in a CC 2017 version, with Windows?

      2. Justin says:

        Hi Ariel,
        I just updated the installer in the last few days. You can get the newest version from the original download link that you received by email.

  10. Andrej Nechaj says:

    This extension would really help me out, but when I try to subscribe to get it, nothing happens 🙁

    1. Justin says:

      Hi Andrej,
      I replied to your email with some suggestions. Let’s follow up there.

  11. Brian says:

    Hi there,

    I am getting JavaScript Error Number:30615
    Error String: The property is not applicable in the current state.

    Any ideas?

    1. Justin says:

      Not sure, but if you send me a small IDML file that replicates the issue, I can take a look: https://ajarproductions.com/pages/contact.php?category=other&software_issue=bug

  12. reality says:

    What a shame, I cannot get this to install – followed the links and suggestions posted here, still no success.

  13. vahideh says:

    I cannot get this to install.
    please help me.
    email: vahideh_1371@yahoo.com

    1. vahideh says:

      i don’t find the jsx file.
      please send me that file.

      1. Justin says:

        There is not jsx file provided. For CS4-CS6 use the mxp file to install with the corresponding version of Adobe Extension Manager, otherwise double-click the CC Installer file that matches your OS (Mac/Win).

  14. sant says:

    Hi!, i had the script working fine, and it was great. But suddenly, it started to give a javascript Error.

    Javascript Error
    Error number: 4
    Error chain: unterminated string constant

    Motor: Mail
    File: /volumes/26
    Line: 1
    Origin: ({type:”custom test”, str:”
    Wrong text: ”

    The quote is the simple quote, not the double i use.

    Do you know what could have happenned?

    1. Justin says:

      Hard to tell, but my guess is that escaping the quote mark with a backslash (\”) will fix the issue.

  15. Chloe says:

    Great looking script – wondering if it also works across an entire document?
    Seems I can only run the script when the frames are actually selected and I’m only able to select frames on one page/spread at a time…

    1. Justin says:

      It doesn’t now, but that’s good idea for the future.

  16. Zakaria says:

    can you please make the same extension for illustrator ?

    1. Justin says:

      A good suggestion. I’ll keep it in mind.

      1. Zakaria says:

        Thank you so much in advance Justin.

  17. Konrad says:

    first of all thanks for this amazing script. 🙂

    Unfortunately I have a problem with it, first everything worked as it should, but suddenly it gives me this error:

    Javascript Error
    Error number: 4
    Error chain: unterminated string constant

    Engine: main
    File: /volumes/12
    Line: 1
    Origin: ({type:’text styling’, str:’+
    Wrong text: ‘

    I don’t know what to do with that?
    Have you an idea?

    1. Konrad says:

      I think I figured out what the problem is. It seems to be a little “bug” with the custom GREP function in the script.

      After resetting the InDesign preferences, the script worked fine with the GREP-method.

      But everytime I then choose another split-method (for example paragraphs) with the script still copied to the GREP-method-field, it seems to leave this GREP-script in there.

      The next times I try to open the script, it crashes, because the GREP-Script is still copied to the field, but somehow broken.

      I don’t know, if that’s something you could change in the script?

      1. Justin says:

        Yes, thanks for uncovering. I should be able to resolve this. Can you please email me with the steps to replicate the issue so that I can make sure it gets fixed?

  18. Catalin says:

    Hello and thank you for the script! In a future version, could this be accessed with a right-click, the way MergeText can? Thank you again

  19. tdr says:

    Hi! A great script, can you make the same for illustrator ? Would be great!!

    1. Justin says:

      Good suggestion. I’ll consider it for the future.

  20. heather says:

    hello, when installing this program it says this “Split Text – CC Installer – Mac” can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software.This software needs to be updated. Contact the developer for more information” Is there something I can do to get this to work or is it just not working with the most up to date version of InDesign?

    1. Justin says:

      I will be releasing an updated installer soon. In the meantime, you can use the zxp file in the assets folder and this 3rd-party installer: http://zxpinstaller.com

  21. Udo von Öhsen says:


    The version currently does not support CC 2020, is there a change for a quick update ?


    1. Justin says:

      Update is coming. In the meantime, you can install using the zxp in the assets folder and this 3rd party installer: https://zxpinstaller.com

  22. Jenny Davis says:

    Hi there! First, thank you for this awesome script. I use it CONSTANTLY via key command. I’m working on a job in CC19 for a client and it has suddenly stopped working, causing InDesign to crash at every attempt (it’s still fine in CC2020). I read through the comments here and signed up for the newsletter (again) to re-download it, but that email with the download link hasn’t come through. I’m adjusting a compositor’s files and would very much like to use this script. I do not get any error messages, it just crashes the program. Is there anything I can do to make this work again? Thanks!

    1. Jenny says:

      Just coming back to say that I don’t think this is a problem with the script (nevermind!). I think the file is corrupt, when I opened up the IDML comp sent the script works fine, so I just switched to that version. Thanks again for this great script!

      1. Justin says:

        Thanks for following up, Jenny. Glad you got it worked out! 🙂

  23. Squola says:

    Thank you very much, this extension is still very useful in 2021

  24. ASAAVE says:

    Hi, I’m new to Split Text extension- I select 4 bullets and the extension takes all my documents and applies the split. How instruct to the extension that I just want 4 bullets?

    1. Justin says:

      This extension takes a textframe as a selection. Maybe the issue is that text inside the frame is selected?

  25. Julian says:

    Hi Justin,
    having trouble installing this script for MacOS 11.2.1. Using the installer give me this:

    Not authorized to send Apple events to System Events. (-1743)

    Using the ZXP installer failed too:

    “Installation failed because the extension is not compatible with the installed application”

    I’ve used it before and it works great. Would love to continue using it.

      1. Julian says:

        That worked great. Thank you.

      2. Justin says:

        Awesome, glad to hear it! 🙂

  26. Silvia Angelov says:

    Nothing happens when I sign up for the newspaper.

    1. Silvia Angelov says:

      Never mind, got it in my inbox, installed, works like a charm, thanks Justin!!

  27. Lowell Uda says:

    This is so great! Saves a lot of hassle making angled headers in charts. Thanks!

    1. Justin says:

      Glad to hear it! 🙂

  28. Elliot Mullet says:

    Could really use this script, but when I click to sign up for the newsletter nothing happens. There’s nowhere to enter my info to sign up.

    How can I get a copy of this script?

    1. Justin says:


      Sorry about that. A plugin update broke the link. Should be working now.

  29. larry says:

    doesnt work in Indesign CC 2020

    1. perry says:

      nevermind got it to work

  30. Také Uda says:

    This seems like no big deal on first blush, but it saves me a lot of clicks. Love it! Thank you!

  31. Austin says:

    seems like the email link for the extension is broken, and my old verion of the installer no longer works.

    1. Austin says:

      just tried again and it downloaded, sorry for the false alarm!

      1. Justin says:

        No prob. Glad you were able to get it to work. 🙂

  32. Mary says:

    I’m getting an error when I try to expand the .zip file. It says “unable to expand, it is an unsupported format. I am on a Mac, so I’m wondering if that’s the issue. It shouldn’t be, but you never know.

    1. Justin says:

      I’ve never heard of any reports of that with any of our extensions. My guess is that it’s an issue specific to your computer. I suggest
      1) Try a fresh download…maybe the file was incomplete
      2) Restart the computer and try again
      3) Google the error message for resolutions
      4) Try a different unzipping program

  33. Bee says:

    The plugin no longer works since updating to InDesign 2024, is there an updated version or something I can do? Thank you!

    1. Justin says:

      We have an update for that. Use your original download link from the email to get an updated installer.

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