Home > InDesign Scripts > Script: tomaxxiLAYERS® / Add Layer Sets to Document [UPDATED]

Script: tomaxxiLAYERS® / Add Layer Sets to Document [UPDATED]

As you probably know, layers really important when creating complex layouts. Layers in last version of InDesign (CS5) are radically improved! Till now, you could just manage top-level layers, but starting with CS5, top-level layers can be expanded and you can see complete object structure! (for more info about layers in CS5, read great article written by Steve Werner on InDesignSecrets [Hidden Gems: The Layers Panel in CS5]) That’s really great! But, main limitation is that we are not able to set “default” layers for every new document. But! That’s why we have scripts! 😀

I have to say that this is not my original idea. Manuel Hollert published script like this (Automatic set of layers in new documents) one and a half years ago for InDesign CS4. He also mentioned version for CS5 but I couldn’t find download link. So, I decided to write new script from scratch!

Let me explain how script works. After you install script and containing files in “startup scripts” folder and restart InDesign. You probably noticed “txt” files. Each “txt” file is Layer Set which contains layer names. You can manually create as many Layer Set files as you want (ex: “layerSet_My Special Set.txt” (without quotes)). Each line in Layer Set file represents one layer that will be created. Keep in mind that Layer Set files have to be in same folder as JSX file. Next, go to Layers panel pop-up menu and at the bottom you can “Enable tomaxxiLAYERS“. Now, start creating new document. tomaxxiLAYERS will pop-up. Simply select Layer Set from drop-down and click Select Set. Next you will see is New Document dialog, and when you confirm it, script will automatically add layers defined in Layer Set to the new document. It sounds complicated, but when you try it once, you will love it! 😀

One of new features I added is ability to add Layer Set‘s not just to new documents. Simply open already created document, go to Layers panel pop-up menu and at the bottom click “Apply tomaxxiLAYERS“. When tomaxxiLAYERS pops-up simply select Layer Set from drop-down and click Select Set. Layers defined in Layer Set will be added to the current document.

There are also few optional tweaks that you can do while creating Layer Set file. You can define Layer options (Show Layer, Lock Layer, Print Layer, Suppress Text Wrap When Layer is Hidden, Show Guides, Lock Guides) for each layer in Layer Set! For more info make sure you read Quick Start Guide. (“tomaxxiLAYERS_QuickStart.txt”) And the the last one is ability to set which layer will be active after all layers are added. Simply add “#(without quotes) and the beginning of the layer name in Layer Set file!

That’s it! Don’t be scared with this detailed description! Have fun! 😀


In version 1.0 I found BUG that throws error when Re-linking files!
PLEASE, UPDATE to version 1.1!

Also, new version has been translated to five languages and it also works with CS4!
Special thanks to Frans van der Geest [NL], Loic Aigon [FR], Jan Kampling [DE], Rufus Deuchler [IT] and Vladislav Ossipov [RU] for translation!


Version 1.1, 25/02/2011, InDesign CS4 & CS5!

  1. Tomek Kuczborski
    February 26, 2011 at 01:24

    Thanks Marijan!
    Looks like a great timesaver!


  2. February 28, 2011 at 15:57

    And another satisfied “customer” over here! Great work! First I’ll do at a next workshop InDesign is ditributing this one to all my students. Keeps them working in a really neat way.

  3. May 8, 2012 at 11:56

    Ist der Download link tot?? obwohl in der Adresszeile ein downloadpfad angegeben wird führt er bei mir nur zum – wenn auch wunderschönen – indesign-shortcuts-guide, aber kein download?!

  4. Jolin
    June 11, 2012 at 19:55

    Hi, the download link create a redirect to the interactive shortcuts guide… which then disable the download.

  1. March 8, 2011 at 13:25

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