Write pasted and embedded images to disk

Sometimes you receive documents with images without links in the Links panel. These images have been pasted into the document. Other documents may contain embedded images. Embedded images have an entry in the Links panel (but usually no file path); pasted images are not shown in the Links panel at all.

For various reasons it's better to keep images on disk and have them linked to the document. This was addressed in Adobe's InDesign forum a while ago. The script described here deals with both types of image – pasted and embedded.

When you run the script, it prompts you to choose an output folder using the OS's standard dialog. If your document contains just embedded images, not pasted ones, then the script silently unembeds all embedded images, saving them in the folder you chose earlier. In doing so, the name, format, and resolution of the images are not changed.

If there are any pasted images in the document, the script displays a dialog in which you indicate which format should be used to save the images:

dialog unpaste pasted images

Indicate if you want to create links for the saved images and select an export format. There are three export formats: EPS, PNG, and JPEG.

Other formats

The three formats described here are the only formats InDesign can export. Other formats are possible only by converting the images saved by the script using a graphics conversion program (e.g. SnagIt, the screen grabber, has a good batch converter). If you use PhotoShop, you can use its image processor (File > Scripts > Image Processor) to batch-convert the images saved by the script.

Create links

When Create links is checked, the script saves each pasted image to disk and creates a link. Uncheck this option and the script saves the images to disk and deletes them from the document.

Version history

7 May 2018: The script now handles placed PDF pages and Illustrator pasteboards better.

16 Mar. 2018: Some pasted images refuse to relink. They are dumped on disk and removed from the document, and should be relinked manually.

1 Jan. 2018: The script sometimes overwrote existing files. Fixed.

20 June 2017: Fixed a logistic problem with storing preferences.

22 Jan. 2017: Tranformations applied to embedded/pasted graphics were ignored; fixed (pointed out by Bruno Herfst).

7 Dec. 2012: Folder handling improved.

24 Sept. 2011: The script now deals with embedded images as well (previous version dealt only with pasted images).

August 2010: First posted.

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