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How do I make a script both executable on its own an serve as a library for other scripts?

Participant ,
Jul 19, 2023 Jul 19, 2023

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I'd like to script1 to include script2 so that it can use its code.

I'd also like script2 to have a main function and call it, but only if script2 is run directly from InDesign.

How do I do that?

(I'm using JavaScript.)

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Jul 19, 2023 Jul 19, 2023

Hi @orib7317974, the normal way would be to save a library file that does not execute anything—just use it to define objects and functions etc. And then make a script file that only has 2 lines: 1. //@include 'library.js' and 2. a single function call main(), or MyLibrary.myFunction() sort of thing. What you are asking is actually an awkward way to do it.

- Mark

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Participant ,
Jul 19, 2023 Jul 19, 2023

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Oh, I think I found the answer:

I can use app.activeScript.displayName.

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Participant ,
Jul 19, 2023 Jul 19, 2023

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Ok, but is there some global variable available to a script holding its file name (so that I can compare it against app.activeScript.displayName in a way that doesn't require updating the code in case I update the file name of the script)?

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Community Expert ,
Jul 19, 2023 Jul 19, 2023

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Hi @orib7317974, the normal way would be to save a library file that does not execute anything—just use it to define objects and functions etc. And then make a script file that only has 2 lines: 1. //@include 'library.js' and 2. a single function call main(), or MyLibrary.myFunction() sort of thing. What you are asking is actually an awkward way to do it.

- Mark

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Participant ,
Jul 19, 2023 Jul 19, 2023

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Thanks for your reply, @m1b.

Maybe I'll just do it your way.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 20, 2023 Jul 20, 2023

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Hi @orib7317974 ,

note, that you can also use app.doScript().

That would be especially useful if you are in a situation where you like to use a mix of scripting languages.

Example: when on macOS you could include the executable code of an AppleScript file in your ExtendScript code.

 

See into ExtendScript DOM documentation compiled by Gregor Fellenz:

https://www.indesignjs.de/extendscriptAPI/indesign-latest/#Application.html#d1e42253__d1e45802

app.doScript( yourAppleScriptFile , ScriptLanguage.APPLESCRIPT_LANGUAGE );

 

With the current version of InDesign 2023 including a UXP Script should also be possible with app.doScript(). Did not test it yet:

app.doScript( yourUXPScriptFile , ScriptLanguage.UXPSCRIPT );

 

Or you have no script file at all, but the code of an AppleScript or an UXP Script at hand and provide it as string for the first argument of the doScript() method. Search the forum, there are many examples with AppleScript running from a doScript() method...

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender
( Adobe Community Expert )

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Participant ,
Jul 20, 2023 Jul 20, 2023

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This is interesting, thank you for pointing that out!

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Explorer ,
Jul 21, 2023 Jul 21, 2023

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Tested calling UXP from JSX as describe by Uwe. Works!

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Community Expert ,
Jul 20, 2023 Jul 20, 2023

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Another note on the syntax Mark used with the include command:

 

If you search the forum you'll find most of the (older) code snippets using include with this syntax:

#include

Why, because most of the old code was written with and tested with the ESTK (ExtendScript Toolkit App) and also, at least I think so, because //@include was not documented for a long time.

 

Both versions of the syntax will work when you run the script from the Scripts > User panel or with the old ExtendScript Toolkit App ( still installable and usable on Windows 10 or 11 ) . However, when running the script with the Adobe ExtendScript debugger from VSCode you have to use this syntax:

//@include

In this case the // does not state the beginning of a comment. The directive @include behind the // is executed.

So be careful when writing comments. Or use this for commenting your code:

 

/*

//@include is a powerful way to access code from a different script file sharing the same script language.

*/

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender
( Adobe Community Expert )

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Community Expert ,
Jul 22, 2023 Jul 22, 2023

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I have seen #include work with Adobe ExtendScript debugger for VSCode. The debugging of included file also works for me. Am I missing something here? I speak this about my experience on a MAC.

-Manan

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Community Expert ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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@Manan Joshi said: "I have seen #include work with Adobe ExtendScript debugger for VSCode. The debugging of included file also works for me. Am I missing something here? I speak this about my experience on a MAC."

 

Ah! Thanks for this observation. Have to test this both on Mac and Windows again.

In regrads to #include vs //@include I have to admit that I followed suggestions here in the forum. So I could be wrong that #include would not work with Adobe ExtendScript debugger for VSCode.

 

Thanks,
Uwe Laubender
( Adobe Community Expert )

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Community Expert ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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Hi @Manan Joshi, interesting. it must depend on one's particular set up. I definitely get an error when I use "#include".

Screenshot 2023-07-23 at 15.13.28.png

 

Do you have the setting: "javascript.validate.enable" turned on? It is part of the typescript extension and I thought it was build-in, but maybe I installed it. Anyway if I turn this off then I don't see the error... but then I don't see any javascript validation errors!

 

In any case, I just always use "//@include" now. I assume you have a good reason for using "#include", maybe to keep compatible with ESTK?

- Mark

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Community Expert ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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@m1b said: "In any case, I just always use "//@include" now. I assume you have a good reason for using "#include", maybe to keep compatible with ESTK?"

 

Hi Mark,

both, #include and also //@include, should work with the ESTK.

At least with InDesign 2023. Currently I'm not on my Windows machine, but will test this later in the evening.

Hope, you'll find the reason why #include does not work for you with the debugger for VSCode.

As I said, I have to test this again.

 

Are you on macOS or on Windows?

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender
( Adobe Community Expert )

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Community Expert ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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Hi Uwe, I'm running MacOS 13.5. I had a poke around in my VSCode settings but I couldn't find anything obvious except for turning off javascript validation altogether. Oh well.

- Mark

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Community Expert ,
Jul 25, 2023 Jul 25, 2023

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Hi Mark, I also get a listed Problem using VS Code, but the script runs and debugs properly—I get a similarly cryptic ';' expected problem listed if I use a #target directive. Seems like VS Code doesn’t want you to use # even though it works:

 

Screen Shot 10.png

 

If I try to set MAGIC_NUMBER in either the included file or the script it correctly highlights the code and throws a read only error.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 25, 2023 Jul 25, 2023

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@Laubender said: "both, #include and also //@include, should work with the ESTK."

 

Also a note to myself:

 

Just tested this with the ESTK CS6 version 3.8.0.12 and the ESTK CC version 4.0.0.1 on Windows 10.

Both are working.

So we can remove the word "should" from this statement.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender
( Adobe Community Expert )

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Community Expert ,
Jul 25, 2023 Jul 25, 2023

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Hi @m1b and @Laubender,

Well I did not tweak my VSCode installation anyway except to just setup the intellisense for JSX. For the setting you mention Mark, it was enabled when I checked but the script works fine and debugs properly irrespective of it being enabled or disabled.

-Manan

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Community Expert ,
Jul 21, 2023 Jul 21, 2023

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Hi @orib7317974 , Also this resource might help:

 

https://extendscript.docsforadobe.dev/

 

The section on includes:

https://extendscript.docsforadobe.dev/extendscript-tools-features/preprocessor-directives.html

.jsxinc is suggested for the include file, but as others have noted .jsx also works.

 

Any functions, variables, or constants you write in the include file are effectively public—you can call them from the script that includes the code. So this file has an exposed function—gerWorldString(), constant—MAGIC_NUMBER, and variable—vNum:

 

 

/**
* External function example saved with .jsxinc in the same directory as script 
* @ param s string
* @ return string + parameter 
*/

function getWorldString(s){
  return "From Hello World: " + s
}

/**
* A read only constant
*/
const MAGIC_NUMBER = 1.045

/**
* A read write variable
*/
var vNum = 5

 

 

 

I named the file HelloWorld.jsxinc and included it with a script in the same directory. From that script I can call the public functions, constants, and variables:

 

 

#include "HelloWorld.jsxinc"


$.writeln(getWorldString("Hi There!"))
//From Hello World: Hi There!

$.writeln(MAGIC_NUMBER)
//retuns 1.045

$.writeln(vNum)
//returns 5

vNum = 10;
$.writeln(vNum);
//returns 10

 

 

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Participant ,
Jul 23, 2023 Jul 23, 2023

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@rob day , @Laubender , thank you for this additional information!

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