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A Spotlight Plugin for InDesign Apps
Every now and then I poke around the web to see if someone has found a way to search InDesign files with Spotlight. For many users of InDesign, this missing capability has been a point of frustration since Spotlight was introduced with Tiger back in April of 2005. Now there's a little something for anyone running InDesign CS5 or CS5.5.

Over in the Adobe forums, John Hawkinson put together a plugin. He recommends installing it, then using Terminal to re-index specific files or folders using:

mdimport /Users/UserName/Path/To/File/Or/Folder

I installed the latest version of his plugin (version 0.1c) into ~/Library/Spotlight then ran the mdimport command on my Documents folder. While he's explicit that this is alpha software, I've seen no issues and it seems to work very well. Thanks, John!

[crarko adds: A big help for a fairly significant omission. Good find.]
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A Spotlight Plugin for InDesign
Authored by: edjonesy on Jan 26, '12 08:42:17AM
The plugin does work, but I have found after a couple of weeks probably I had to reindex the drive because it seemed to stop indexing files, also, if you are using the quicklook plugin for indesign from, it will stop working and you will have to replace the quicklook plugin for it to start working again after removing the spotlight filter. I wish both plugins would work together, or better still if Adobe took the time to create their own. I'm using a 1st gen Mac Pro running 10.6.8.
My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die...

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A Spotlight Plugin for InDesign
Authored by: avicenna on Jan 26, '12 02:09:35PM

Coupling the mdimport with a "find" command would be a better choice. Maybe someone proficient with the unix "find" command be able to post a comment. Also coupling the mdimport with the "locate" would work.

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A Spotlight Plugin for InDesign
Authored by: John Hawkinson on Feb 12, '12 08:38:39PM
Hi, guys. I'm glad you noticed my Spotlight importer for InDesign. Please do post comments on the original Adobe Forums thread (, at least if you would like me to see them (I probably won't see them here). Please note that it was and is alpha-quality software, and because of the lack of interest (2 or 3 people?), I haven't done any work on it at all since prototyping it in June. My vague recollection is that I had quite a bit of difficulty getting it to work under 10.6 because of sandboxing changes and problems with the perl library. Please note that in general, you should not need to force a directory to re-index -- that was mostly just for testing. If you really want to index past files, you should just tell spotlight to reindex all InDesign files. It should be sufficient to use
mdimport -r ~/Library/Spotlight/InDesignImporter.mdimporter
which should reimport all InDesign files.

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