How to prepare InDesign CS5, CS6 for Tibetan script

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InDesign CS5 for Mac OS-X supports a new composer called "World-Ready Composer". This composer correctly renders Tibetan Unicode fonts that work with Windows or Linux.


A script or a template needs to be installed in order to make the World-Ready composer accessible.

A very good overview and scripts for enabling Tibetan in Indesign CS4/CS5 is given by Thomas Phinney. The page also contains templates for Indesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

Script coding

The minimal requirement to enable Tibetan rendering is a macro that enables the World-Ready composer in one paragraph style by:

var paragraphStyle = doc.paragraphStyles.item ("somestylename"); 
paragraphStyle.composer = "Adobe World-Ready Paragraph Composer";

Note: When using the Chinese version of Adobe Indesign CS4 or CS5, the last line of the code-snip above needs to be changed to:

paragraphStyle.composer = "Adobe 全球適用段落視覺調整";

For more information on the Chinese version, see AtlasWu's Observer.[1]

A complete script that creates a paragraph-style for the Tibetan font Jomolhari would look like this:


createTibetanParagraphStyle (app.activeDocument, 'Tibetan');  
function createTibetanParagraphStyle (doc, stylename)  
  if (doc.paragraphStyles.item (stylename) == null)  
     doc.paragraphStyles.add ({name: stylename});  
  var paragraphStyle = doc.paragraphStyles.item (stylename);  
  paragraphStyle.composer = "Adobe World-Ready Paragraph Composer";  
  try {
      tibFont = app.fonts.item("Jomolhari");
      paragraphStyle.appliedFont = tibFont;
  catch (myError) {};

This script should be saved into a file named Tibetan.jsx and copied to

  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\Version 7.0\<locale>\Scripts\Scripts Panel
  • Windows Vista: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\Version 7.0\<locale>\Scripts\Scripts Panel
  • Mac OS: /Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign/Version 7.0/<locale>/Scripts/Scripts Panel

where <username> is your OS-X user name and <locale> references your location and language, for example, en_US.

Once the script is in the folder, it appears on the Scripts panel inside InDesign. To display the panel, choose Window > Utilities > Scripts. [2]

Double-click the script to create a paragraph style Tibetan.

Once a single style that uses the world-ready composer is defined, InDesign exposes the world-ready composer as option for all existing and new styles.


[1] Indesign CS5 includes a World-Ready composer that supports Tibetan.

Once you have installed a script as described above, you can enable the World-Ready Composer for different paragraph styles:

  • Either define a new paragraph style, or edit an existing style (e.g. [Basic Paragraph])
  • Then set Paragraph Style Options / Justification / Composer to Adobe World-Ready Paragraph Composer. (See image [1]).

Any paragraph that has such a style assigned, correctly renders Tibetan Unicode.

The new composer supports all Windows/Linux Unicode Tibetan Fonts.


The World-ready composer was introduced with Adobe Indesign CS4, and enhanced in CS5.

Versions of Adobe Indesign CS3 and older do not support the World-Ready Composer and require external plug-ins for Tibetan support.


The techniques discussed here should also work with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.


  1. AtlasWu's Observer:
  2. See Indesign CS5 Scripting Tutorial, p.6

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