For our wedding, my wife and I created an Instagram hashtag that our guests tagged their photos with. I wrote a little web app that hit the Instagram API for photos in that hashtag and displayed them as a slideshow on a projector at the reception, so I have all of the photos' metadata stored, including the URLs to the photos themselves.

We want to print a bound book of all of the photos our guests took. I know how I'd use InDesign to accomplish this manually, but I'm sure there must be some way to automate the process of getting these photos and metadata into an InDesign book.

In concept, what I want to do is open up a web endpoint (or generate some files InDesign knows how to read) that feeds all of my photo data and metadata into InDesign, and have the application feed the data into a set of standard page layouts.

I'm not really sure where to begin. Can InDesign CS6 do this kind of thing natively? If I need to generate a file, what kind of file does it need to be? Do the photos need to be stored on my computer, or can InDesign fetch them from a URL I pass in the metadata?

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    First thing that comes to mind is Data merge. Indesign doesn't support linking to images online, but you should be able to download the images by other means and then use data merge to place the images and text.
    – Joonas
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 20:18

1 Answer 1


I don't know InDesign, but I know it is AppleScriptable if you have a Mac:


AppleScript has an open url command so it can fetch web data.

If you don't have a Mac, a cursory investigation indicates InDesign has a cross platform scripting language called ExtendScript, I think, and I wouldn't be surprised if it could also fetch web data, or could be called from another script environment that can fetch the data for you.

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