Many books before 1800 used a feature called catchwords, repeating the first word of the page at the bottom of the previous page. Wikipedia has a small article on them and there's a good question about them on english.stackexchange.com.

How can I add these to my document using InDesign?

I'm using InDesign CS6. Somehow I imagine there isn't a way to do this (short of some horrible script to run) but I'm not sure.

  • I highly doubt there will be any automated method for catchwords. You'll have to manually set them. It's an antiquated practice that serves little purpose anymore.
    – Scott
    Nov 20, 2012 at 19:50
  • 3
    If there is a way, then it will be through scripting. Google points to the free Catchword Generator for InDesign CS5, written in AppleScript by Jakko Westerbeke: software.understairs.nl/mac/catchwordgenerator.html Someone well versed in scripting for InDesign using JavaScript might port that script for InDesign in Windows.
    – TehMacDawg
    Nov 20, 2012 at 20:03
  • Hey, there's no reason to down-vote because you don't like the idea. It's still an interesting question. Nov 20, 2012 at 21:43
  • @TehMacDawg: if it is javascript and runs from within InDesign, it should work on Windows as-is. (?)
    – horatio
    Nov 20, 2012 at 22:27
  • NM missed the applescript bit
    – horatio
    Nov 20, 2012 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


As others have pointed out, this is a perfect opportunity for a scripted solution. The upside of scripting it (vs doing it by hand) is that you could tag the dupes with a label so the process could be updated on reflow. It really shouldn't be that difficult to do in javascript. Check out the InDesign Scripting forum for more complete guidance.

  • On the other hand, Scott's right: That's a really terrible idea to revive! We could also bring back obscenely verbose writers who get paid by the en, but why would we? Nov 20, 2012 at 21:42
  • or hot type... yeah... that would be great! :)
    – Scott
    Nov 20, 2012 at 21:46
  • @plainclothes, I'm writing the manual for a 1700s-based board game, and all the little details together have helped evoke the period.
    – Joe
    Nov 21, 2012 at 4:40
  • Sounds like a fun project! Nov 21, 2012 at 17:01

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