Import HTML is an attempt at implementing a website import function for InDesign

LATEST UPDATE: May 2018

Note: This script can currently only import online, publicly-accessible websites!

If you need to import HTML files saved locally on your personal computer, or if you need to access websites that require a username and password, we may be able to help. Get in touch!

Here’s an example of importing a page from a racing blog:

HTML Import Example

Instructions

Download the script, and install as usual for InDesign scripts.

Open the supplied HTMLTemplate.indd file and double-click on the script in the Scripts panel to run.

Paste the URL of the web article you want to import into InDesign and wait a few moments for the result. (A default link to an article is provided in the URL field, so you can try that first…)

What you get

 

You do not get an InDesign document that looks like the webpage!

What you hopefully do get, though, is:

(a) The text from the webpage, with sensible character styles and paragraph styles applied to it. All paragraph-level HTML tags (H1, H2, H3, p, etc.) are converted to similarly-named paragraph styles, and span-level HTML tags (em, strong, i, etc.) are converted to similarly-named character styles.

(b) The images on the webpage (optional).

(c) If there are tables on the webpage, these are reconstructed in InDesign. Very simply, though. So if the entire page is one big table, don’t expect too much!

(d) Hyperlinks. If there are any anchors (<a> elements) in the HTML, these are converted to hyperlinks in InDesign.

Included in the download package is an InDesign file that can server as a template for importing HTML. It includes pre-styles paragraph and character styles for common HTML tags. Note that the supplied template file is very basic and its use is completely optional. It just provides basic formatting for a handful of common elements.

What is it for?

Probably, the main use of importing the HTML into InDesign with this script rather than just copy-pasting from your browser is that the text comes in with paragraph and character styles applied – so it is ready to copy–paste into the document you’re preparing with very little hassle.

You also get the images imported.

So, have fun, and please leave feedback. I’d like to know what you use the script for, and how it goes!

Download

Click here to download

How it works, and a note about privacy

When you paste a URL into the script window and click OK, this URL is transmitted to our server (hosted by Bluehost.com) over an unencrypted connection. The server then fetches the requested web page, does some pre-processing on it to make it ready for InDesign import, and then sends it back to the HTML Import script, which places the file, downloads the pictures, and completes the formatting in InDesign.

The URL provided is logged by the Id-Extras.com server. No other information is stored, so while we do have a list of URLs requested, we do not store anything about who requested them.

Your feedback is important!

Your feedback will make this script better!

This is a free script. If it is useful, it could be developed further, but your feedback is important! Did it work as expected? Bugs? Were you hoping for something else? Share your thoughts in the comments below!