Indesign Search and Replace Link Paths

Have you ever tried renaming your server or moving your Indesign files to a new place and have all the links go missing? Your image files may have had a file path like:

ClientServer:Jobs2017:Brochure:Images:

and the new files have been moved to your archive server like this:

ArchiveServer:Jobs2017:Brochure:Images:

The filing structure is the same except that the address starts with “ArchiveServer” instead of “ClientServer”. However Indesign has no idea where to look for those links. Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply update the file path of every image, changing “ClientServer” to “ArchiveServer”? Well guess what? There is now.

This AppleScript adds a new “Search and Replace” function to Indesign. It searches and replaces text elements within the file paths of your placed images.

The script remembers the last search and replace terms you used so you don’t have to re specify it every time

Every matching link will be updated to the new place. Note that this will only work if the folder structure is indeed the same after the server/folder name change. This is typically the case if you have renamed your server or moved a whole lot of folders to a new place on a server. If the script does not find certain files in the expected location, they will be skipped. The same for the files that were initially located somewhere else. The script is highly specific and will only target the file paths where the search term is found. It does this very quickly since there is no searching involved.

You can run the Indesign Search and Replace Link Paths script and replace any segment of the file path – it doesn’t have to be the first part (parent directory). It can be any folder within the file path. It can even be multiple folders. For example, if your original location was:

Earnest:Users:dm1:Desktop:Brochure:Images:

and your new location is

Archive1:2017_Jobs:Brochure:Images:

Simply enter those two folder chains into the search and replace fields remembering to keep the colons (:) in between each segment name. Search for “Earnest:Users:dm1:Desktop” and change it to “Archive1:2017_Jobs”

Note that you have the option to process all the links in the current document or ALL open documents

The script can be used for file names too. Imagine you have a whole lot of images with the suffix “_LowRes” on their filenames. Then you make a whole set of new files with “_HighRes”. Use these two search and replace fields to update all images with “_LowRes” to the corresponding “_HighRes” file.

You can also update files to their corresponding versions that have a different file extension. For example, change “.jpg” to “.tif”.

New feature: optional second search and replace fields

The script can now update files that have a different name and are also in a different folder.
For example your original files all end with “_LowRes” and are in the “Low Res Images” folder. The files you want to update to have the suffix “_HighRes” and are in the “High Res Images” folder. Use the new secondary search and replace feature to specify the change in folder location as well as the change in file name.

A progress bar and conclusion message keep you informed of what is going on.

Note this is an AppleScript for using on a Mac. There is no PC version at the moment.

Download this script for $9.99

Technical support replies within 24 hours. Suggestions and customisations welcome. Free updates as they occur.

What if your folder hierarchies are messed up?

If your links are in a disordered state and you don’t really know where they are apart from somewhere within a top level folder structure which may contain hundreds or thousands of subfolders, you might do better with the Indesign Image Relinker Script also available at Dr Scripto. This will actually search through every subfolder, find your lost images and relink them to Indesign.

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