InDesign has many features, but sometimes it lacks the exact single feature you need to make your layout great or to cut the production time of your documents.
Scripts might come to the rescue sometimes, while other times what you need is a plugin (Here is a list of 105 Must-Have InDesign scripts (Free and paid) you might want to check).
We’ve collected a list of the best plugins there are around. If you can't find what you need – or you think we missed some great ones, feel free to drop a comment below.
For each plugin, you’ll find a short description, the author, the link to the plugin page, and the pricing. I’ll try to keep each price updated, but I might sometimes fail on doing that, so please check the plugin page - prices in this page are only indicative.
We divided the list into sections for easy consultation. Click on one of the entries of the list to go directly to that section.
- Text, Formulas, Tables, and Figures
- Team productivity
- File Conversion
- Language Translation
Text, Formulas, Tables, and Figures
1. Typefitter (by Typefi) - $59.88/year
This InDesign plug-in automatically finds and corrects text problems, including text overset, short lines, unbalanced columns and more. It is an essential component of InDesign for anyone who does serious type composition.
2. Text Count (by DTP Tools) - $119/year (for the entire suite)
This is a plugin that comes to help you with controlling the word counts in your documents. It has a real time panel, and the ability to export comprehensive reports.
3. Vertical Justification (by in-tools.com) - $59.00
For professional typesetting, the InDesign built in Vertical Justification is essentially useless because the software distributes all the space evenly. This plugin improves the VJ feature with other very useful automations and controls.
4. Use formulas in Tables (by DTP Tools) - $119/year (for the entire suite)
Active Tables allows you to sort tables and create formulas. The formulas are not limited to tables, so you can also have calculation results inside text.
See also how linking your InDesign tables to Excel files can help you speed up the production of your files.
5. Mathematic equation editor
These are two plugins. MathMagic Pro Edition by InfoLogic, Inc. and MathTools by Movemen. These two plugins add a professional mathematic, scientific and financial equation editor to InDesign.
6. Automatic Figure and Table Numbering (by Virginia Systems)
This plugin dynamically numbers figures and tables, and makes it easy to create and update references to those figures and tables.
7. Import a Word file using automatic semantic structuring (by Jens Tröger) - $19.95
Bookalope uses AI to strip away all visual styles and cleans up the document automatically, and then exports a semantically structures document to InDesign.
8. Multi-Find/Change (by Martinho da Gloria)
This is an extension that gives you a very useful interface from which you can create and run a series of find-change operations.
9. Power Headers (by in-tools.com) - $59.00
The plugin adds many feature to the variables already present in InDesign. You can personalise the setting to automate almost anything related to the headers of your document. Its capabilities are so many that I invite you to follow the link below in case you are interested in having more information.
10. Fully-automated Complex Layouts Footnotes in InDesign (by id-extras.com) - $385
Footwork is a suite of InDesign add-ons that gives complete control over footnote layout.
11. Apply master pages based on paragraph and object styles (by id-extras.com) - $57
This InDesign add-on lets you link up master pages to paragraph styles and object styles.
12. Link Google Docs with InDesign (by Em Software) $200
DocsFlow makes possible to link Google Docs and Spreadsheet with InDesign. The plugin enables you to edit both the InDesign story and the Google Docs document independently, without losing work on either side.
13. Link Excel and Word with InDesign (by Em Software) - $200
WordsFlow makes it possible to link Word and Excel with InDesign. The plugin enables you to edit both the InDesign story and the documents in Word or Excel independently, without losing work on either side.
14. Reflective Object (by in-tools.com) - $59.00
When laying out documents with facing pages a simple edit might force you to change the layout in all the pages which have elements with a distinct position relative to the spine. Reflective Object automatically applies the changes to your InDesign document.
15. Grid Calculator Pro Edition (by Designers Bookshop) - $165/year
This plugin helps you to create professional grid based layouts quickly.
16. Group objects in different layers (by DTP Tools) - $119/year (for the entire suite)
Power Groups allows you to group objects in many different layers.
17. Layer Tools (by DTP Tools) - $119/year (for the entire suite)
This is a bundle with two plugins. It allows you to export selected layers into a document, import layers from documents (including pagination changes), group layers into folders, record visibility and settings into Comps.
For copying a layer from a document to another see also our own free script “Copy layer”.
18. Combine layer into views (by Axaio) - €149
MadeForLayers allows you to combine layers into layer views simplifying the creation and editing of documents with regional variants, and the proofreading/editing workflow in teams where many people share different responsibilities.
19. Blatner Tools (by DTP Tools) - $119/year (for the entire suite)
This is a suite of 12 plug-ins designed by David Blatner to help you speed up your work. The tools vary from styles automations, auto fractions, paging automation, and so on. See how it work in DTP Tools’ YouTube channel.
20. Select All Similar (by Rorohiko)
"LikeFindsLike" plugin adds to InDesign the Select All Similar function you probably know from Illustrator to InDesign.
21. Annotations (by DTP Tools) - $119/year (for the entire suite)
This plug-in allows you to load notes and comments from PDF into an InDesign file. It helps with being more precise and quick at applying changes and corrections to your files.
22. Indicate changes to proofreaders (by Kerntiff Publishing Systems) - £UK 100.00
This plugin draws a red bar (it’s customisable) adjacent to a change in the left margins of the frame. This way a proofreader knows immediately where changes have been applied.
23. History Log (by Rorohiko)
This plugin inserts into two text frames a time stamp and an automated log of file modifications to an InDesign document.
24. History (by DTP Tools) - $119/year (for the entire suite)
The plugin gives InDesign an extra panel similar to the one known from Photoshop. With this tool you can redo and undo steps, and save different versions of your file. Regardless of how much you change your documents, you can always return to any state at any time.
See also “99. History scripts” by in-tools.
25. Frame Reporter (by Rorohiko) - $89.00
This tool displays important information about your InDesign document in your work area.
26. Yearbook creator (by Balfour)
More than a plugin, it's everything you need to create a Yearbook with InDesign.
27. InDesign to Markdown (by Rorohiko) - $249.00
The plugin gives InDesign the ability to convert documents and books into the Markdown format.
28. Convert InDesign document to HTML5 (by Ajar Productions) - $279
In5 by Ajar Productions “simply” converts InDesign layouts into HTML5 without requiring any line of code.
29. Convert PDF to INDD (by Markzware) - $199
PDF2DTP (PDF to Desktop Publishing) converts PDF files to Adobe InDesign.
Link to the product
30. Create accessible PDF files (by Axaio) - €599
MadeToTag helps you create a tagged PDF file that complies with the terms of the PDF/UA-Standard, the international standard for universally accessible PDF.
31. Patterns into InDesign (by Teacup Software) - $49 USD / year
This lets you create patterns based on three core pattern templates: Crosses, Lines, and Scallops.
32. Floating library-palette (by Rorohiko)
This plugin gives you a floating library-palette filled with images that are automatically retrieved from one or more folders. The palette shows the images stored in that folder, ready to be drag-dropped into your document.
33. Index Utilities (by Kerntiff Publishing Systems) - £UK 75.00
IndexUtilities is a collection of scripts and plugins that help embed index markers in InDesign.
34. Track your time (by Openhour)
TimeTracker automatically and privately captures your activity and produces a timesheet on demand.
35. Check files for printing quality (by Markzware) - $199
FlightCheck is a stand-alone application that checks files for printing quality. It supports: InDesign (of course), Acrobat PDF (v3.0 – CC 2017), Illustrator, Photoshop, PageMaker, FreeHand, QuarkXPress, Word, CorelDRAW, EPS, TIFF, and many others.
36. Create product catalogs (by 65bit) - $1300
EasyCatalog is one of the most famous plugins for InDesign. It helps you with creating product catalogs automatically. You can create different templates for the catalog pages, and populate them from an external data source.
37. InDesign Repair for Windows (by Mikhail Kondakov)
This is actually a Win application – not a script – but it's so helpful that I must mention it here. You can use this Win app to repair corrupt InDesign files in some scenarios (Here the original post in Russian).
38. InDesign Repair for Mac (by Stellar Phoenix) - 89€
You can use this script to repair corrupt InDesign files (for Mac only).
39. Create calendars (by Scott Selberg) - $20
This plugin helps you with creating calendars in InDesign. Thanks to the options it gives and the use of InDesign styles (Paragraphs, Cells, and Table Styles), you can entirely personalize the layout of the calendar. The script includes everything, and it comes with up to 20 different languages.
40. Barcodes directly into InDesign (by Teacup Software) - $99 USD / year
BarcodeMaker creates barcodes into InDesign. You can manually insert the code number, get the data from an Excel file, or connect the plugin to a database. The plugin supports over 50 types of barcode.
41. EAN-13 barcodes (by Indiscripts) - €39.00
BookBarcode creates EAN-13 barcodes within InDesign.
42. iDML app for iOS (by DTP Tools) - $19.99
With this app for iOS, you can edit stories in InDesign and easily assign paragraph styles and characters styles.
43. Install/remove/update Adobe® Creative Suite/Cloud extensions (by Anastasiy) - UPDATE
Must-have: this addon helps you with installing/removing/updating any extention or plugin.
This is actually not a plugin, but our own Redokun.
Redokun provides a hassle-free solution for translating InDesign documents and it’s flexible enough that it can be adapted to pretty much every workflow.
It can work well for freelance designers, and it can be adopted to scale by companies of all sizes with in-house translators around the globe. Learn more about Redokun, and try it for free for 14 days.
Other resources from the blog
After talking with a lot of designers and giving advice on their InDesign workflow, we realized that with just a small amount of effort everyone’s workflow can improve dramatically. That’s why we started Redokun’s blog.
In this blog we share posts like:
InDesign shortcuts (Printable cheat sheet)
Illustrator shortcuts (Printable cheat sheet)
Import Word to InDesign
InDesign Table of Contents in the CC 2017 version
InDesign to Word: 4 Minutes tutorial
Data Merge InDesign: Quick Tutorial (Updated CC 2017)