puzzle pieces representing re-connect textframes

Way back in 2008, I wrote my first InDesign extension at the behest of then InDesign Product Manager, Michael Ninness.

The MergeText Frames extension combines multiple textframes into a single frame so that your text can easily be edited.

This is especially useful if you’re using the PDF2ID extension from Recosoft.

It was wonderfully promoted by the community and has been one the most popular items on my site ever since.

Why update it now?

There are two main reasons that I’m releasing this update.

  1. The extension is still useful and these feature requests continue to come in.
  2. I can apply my years of experience to improve the script. 🙂

What’s new?

There are three main, major changes in this update.

1. Single-step undo

undo icon

Previously—if you didn’t like the result of the merging—you had to undo all of the tens of steps that the script used to accomplish the end result. No more.

You can now undo the script in a single step.

2. Saving and restoring of previously used settings

redo icon

The Merge Textframes settings make this script extremely powerful, but if you want to apply the same settings repeatedly, you had to re-enter/select them each time (or modify the code in the script to default to your preferred settings). No more.

The script now remembers your previous settings and loads them into the dialog.

3. Easy menu access

The Scripts panel is great, but who wants to have it open all of the time (with the other 500 InDesign panels that you need)?

In the newest version, you can now get easy access to Merge Textframes from the Object menu, or from the Context menu by right-clicking and choosing Merge Textframes…
InDesign Object menu option

4. Bonus feature: linked textframes now supported

plus icon

Previously, if you tried to merge frames and any of them were part of a linked story, you would get an error.

The latest version takes care of that for you by unlinking the text frame automatically before it gets merged.


Merge Textframes is totally free to use by subscribing to our newsletter.

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You can unsubscribe at any time. I will never spam you or sell your information.

Additional details on the extension are available in the original post and this update.

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Join the Conversation

  1. Mev says:

    Thanks a million for the update — and keeping it free! I don’t use it often, but it’s a lifesaver when I do.

    1. Justin says:

      You’re welcome. Glad it’s so helpful for you! 🙂

  2. Easy menu access. I like this

  3. happy wheels says:

    All websites are built using HTM5

  4. Erin Binkley says:

    Love this script, but I just downloaded again for a new macbook, and I got the error “No compatible versions of InDesign found.” Running InDesign 14.0. Any ideas?

    1. Justin says:

      Just updated it for CC2019. Go back to your confirmation email with the link and re-download. New installer should work for you. 🙂

  5. stephen says:

    this will work on windows?

  6. stephen says:

    i get it! it really work and so helpful to my work love it! thank you very much!

  7. I also love this script! Thank you. I use it often when creating a directory. All my listings come in separate text boxes after the data merge.

    1. Angie says:

      Hey Jessica! Just curious if you have issues with your directory losing it’s alpha format after merging textframes. First time creating a directory and it’s in alpha order (2 columns, top to bottom column 1, top to bottom column 2) prior to the merge but once I merge it sorts from left to right?…

      Fantastic tool though!!!!

  8. Friv says:

    Thanks. Easy to download.

  9. Ally says:

    I got a DirectX error when I attempt to install it. Any ideas as to why? Using InDesign CC 2019 on Windows 10 PC. Thanks!

    1. Justin says:

      The file might be opening with the wrong application. Take a look at the instructions in the README.txt file for more details.

  10. Kirstie says:

    Thank you for creating this – you have literally saved me HOURS of additional work today 🙂

    1. Justin says:

      Glad to hear it, Kirstie! 🙂

  11. Danny Kay says:

    Tried installing for InDesign CC 2020 on Mac OS Catalina.
    Got this error – “System Events got an error: Some data was the wrong type. (-1703)”

    1. Justin says:

      Sorry about that. Updated installer is forthcoming. Until then, you can use the zxp file in the assets folder with this 3rd-party installer: https://zxpinstaller.com

      1. Danny Kay says:

        Awesome! Works perfectly.
        Great timesaver.

  12. Thor S. says:

    Thanks! 🙂
    Worked fine on Windows 10 / CC 2020

  13. Dan Knepper says:

    Has the download been removed? I am not seeing a place to subscribe to it.

    1. Justin says:

      Sorry about that. Should be fixed now. 🙂

  14. Kevin R says:

    Just downloaded and tried the script and having some issues. Hopefully I am just doing something wrong. Like others, I am using this after a DATA MERGE that creates individual text frames for each entry which makes flowing the text a challenge. The small test file is 4 pages with 8 text boxes per page. Flow by column: Left column down, then over to right column and down on each page.
    Selecting ALL PAGES and LEFT — appears to work but leaves top left text box on all pages. It also REMOVES my Paragraph Style for each entry and applies the 2nd level paragraph style.

  15. Michael says:

    Thank you for the script, it works fine.
    But I have an issue when the first character in a paragraph is an anchored object.
    This object will not be copied and does not appear in the merged text.
    Anchored objects within the text are not affected.
    Can you fix this?

    Tand you 🙂

    1. Justin says:

      Hi, the extension is not built to handle anchored objects.

  16. Holly Michael says:

    Hi Justin, any chance you will be updating to work with Illustrator V28? Love this script! Really makes life so much easier in my work. Thanks a bunch!

    1. Justin says:

      Hi Holly,
      I’ve just updated the InDesign installer for 2024, but the Illustrator version of the extension can be installed simply by copying a file. Instructions in this post: https://ajarproductions.com/blog/2008/11/23/merge-text-extension-for-illustrator/

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