Monday, July 30, 2007


Adding a Column of Numbers

This morning, while working on an invoice, I once again found myself needing to add a column of numbers, so I decided to write a script to do it:
//DESCRIPTION: Add selected column of numbers

if (app.documents.length > 0 && app.selection.length > 0) {

function addSelection(sel) {
  var myLines = sel.contents.split("\r");
  var total = 0;
  for (var j = 0; myLines.length > j; j++) {
    total = total + getNumber(myLines[j]);
  prompt("Result", String(total));
  function getNumber(text) {
    var start =\d/);
    if (start == -1) return 0;
    return Number(text.slice(start));
Notice the use of search to locate the first digit in the string representing the contents of each line (for which I might have chosen a wiser variable name than "text"). I chose to use the prompt style of alert to simplify copying the result to another application or even into an InDesign document. And, I issued an activate to bring InDesign to the front so that should I be running the script from ESTK, the prompt would be brought in front of the ESTK window.

Now I'm looking at the script, I find myself thinking: what if the column was a column within a table? I reckon there's room for a part 2 to this blog entry!

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