Saturday, October 01, 2005


Standard Methods and Functions

I'm becoming concerned that my script postings here are become unwieldy because of the length of the standard methods and functions I use over and over. By way of an experiment, I'm going to post some of the more common ones here so I won't have to repeat them in posts about specific scripts:

isText() Method

This method returns true if an object is any kind of text object and false otherwise. Constructing it this ways allows it to be called like this:
if (myObj.isText()) { // myObj is text so continue
Here's the definition of the method. I always put my method definitions at the top of my scripts, immediately after the description.
Object.prototype.isText = function() {
  case "InsertionPoint":
  case "Character":
  case "Word":
  case "TextStyleRange":
  case "Line":
  case "Paragraph":
  case "TextColumn":
  case "Text":
  case "TextFrame":
   return true;
  default :
   return false;

errorExit(myMsg) function

This function throws up an alert if an argument is present, otherwise it just exits. For CS2 or later, it issues a beep immediately before displaying the alert.
function errorExit(message) {
 if (arguments.length > 0) {
  if (app.version != 3) { beep() } // CS2 includes beep() function.
 exit(); // CS exits with a beep; CS2 exits silently.
I always put my functions after the main body of the script, usually preceded by a comment line that indicates the start.

getParentTextFlow(theTextRef) Function

This function returns the parent text flow of the referenced text item. Notice that the function does no error checking; if you pass it something that doesn't have a parentStory property you'll get an error. The script checks to see if the referenced text is in a cell in a table, and if so it returns a reference to the text of the cell rather than the parentStory which in this case is the parentStory of the table.
function getParentTextFlow(theTextRef) {
 // Returns reference to parent story or text of cell, as appropriate
 if ( == "Cell") {
  return theTextRef.parent.texts[0];
 } else {
  return theTextRef.parentStory;
That's it for now. Last updated 10/1/05.

Dear Saunders

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