I have multiple text boxes, all linked together over several pages. They are on the wrong layer... Is there a way to move them to another layer without having to copy and past them (which results in the links breaking and having to repaste all the copy back into them)

Thanks in advance

  • You can't just update links? That would be the best solution. – Ovaryraptor May 14 '18 at 15:06


I think I must be really confused by something in the OP - my answer would be to select the items on the layout, and with the layers palette open, push the focus dot which shows the selected item in the layers palette to the relevant layer - when i test that method, I see no impact on link states from one text frame to another - what am I missing here?

GIF of layer twizzling

  • 1
    In CS6 (not sure about CC) you can only select objects on the current spread, so this would only work for same-spread threads. – Lucian May 14 '18 at 18:37
  • 1
    This would work.. you would merely have to drag objects in the Layer Panel for each spread. No matter what, its going to require some manual labor :) – Scott May 14 '18 at 18:40
  • @Lucian: it's still true in CC that you can zoom out to see multiple spreads, but you can only select items on the targeted spread: however, I've always simply zoomed way out, and then sequentially worked through the document, one full spread at a time, whilst seeing many spreads, doing this manual process when re-layering is needed. It's not something I've had to do too often (only a couple dozen times). Pro tip: turn off all other layers, and also the target layer; then when you've relayered a given text frame it disappears making it easy to keep track even zoomed out. – GerardFalla May 14 '18 at 21:42
  • I think that was very hard to understand from that image. – let me see if I can send a photo of what I did in the end – which I think is what you are trying to describe. Thanks for the answers – Mark Longworth May 15 '18 at 8:22
  1. I selected the text frames on each spread with the layers palette open and 'old text layer' drop down selected.
  2. They should be highlighted – then I dragged them into the new layer.

This indeed needs some manual labour and is probably what you said but I just thought I would clarify for future searches.

Your help is incredibly appreciated. Thanks all. :)

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    This is really the same as @GerardFalla's answer. – Scott May 15 '18 at 14:25
  • 1
    @Mark Longworth - Exactly right. Where we differ in technique is that I'm visually selecting text frames via selection marquee live on the spreads, whereas you're "drilling down" in the layer palette to select them - both techniques are effective. The reason I chose the visual on-spread approach was for speed and reproducibility across many multiple spreads: you turn off all layers besides your text layer, set up your new target layer for the text to be moved and turn it off too, and then you can roll through spreads relayering at high speed - each text frame vanishes when relayered. – GerardFalla May 15 '18 at 14:53

Try using this script which should move every text box to a new layer. Before running the script, manually remove any text boxes from your master pages.

newLayer = app.activeDocument.layers.add(); app.activeDocument.textFrames.everyItem().move(newLayer);

To create the script open Adobe ExtendScript Toolkit. Create new file. Paste the code as it is (remove extra row so you will only have two). Save file to Program Files\Adobe\Adobe InDesign\Scripts.

In InDesign open script tab (Window → Utilities). Your new script should be visible in the 'Application' folder or below. Double click to run it.

  • Providing a basic walkthrough or link to script usage may help those unfamiliar with INDD scripting. – Scott May 15 '18 at 18:16
  • @Scott Wow, I haven't found a single tutorial on how to create new JS script or where to place them. Odd – SZCZERZO KŁY May 16 '18 at 8:12
  • That's kind of why I suggested explaining a bit more :) – Scott May 16 '18 at 14:07

Depending upon other elements this may be easier....

  • Duplicate the layer in question
  • Delete everything except the text frames on the duplicate layer
  • Delete the text frames from the original layer.

Text threads are maintained when duplicating layers.

Again, no clue if this would be easier in your circumstances. It all depends on how may other page elements are on the pages.

  • Agree, or.. KEEP the text frames on your original layer and move THE OTHER STUFF to a new layer. – Lucian May 14 '18 at 18:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.