Adobe Indesign CC – Disable a blank Welcome Screen

In a number of the Creative Cloud applications, Adobe in their -ahem- wisdom decided to use HTML-AJAX-based ‘welcome screens’, which pull content from various places including your Creative Cloud account, and a number of tracking services (Omniture and Demdex) which any sensible person will have blocked in their HOSTS file.

The problem is that whoever wrote the Welcome Screen code didn’t think that anyone would be so bold as to protect their privacy, so they wrapped the HTML in an onload() function which will only display the content after every last drip of JavaScript has loaded – including all the &^*%* tracking code. If you block it, the Welcome Screen is blank.

OK, fine, you say.. that’s cool. I can just turn it off.

NO, you cannot – because the checkbox to turn it off is INSIDE THE HTML. You have to see it to click it. Catch 22 with massive hairy knobs on. There’s no option in the application preferences dialog to turn it off either; but thankfully the application preference does exist, and it’s exposed to InDesign Scripting.

So, this is what you do if your Welcome screen is blank and needs to die:

  1. Open InDesign CC and from the Window menu, choose Utilities > Scripts
  2. Right-click the “User” folder and choose “Reveal in..” (Explorer or Finder).
  3. You’ll be faced with an empty folder containing the Scripts Panel folder. Click to enter that, which for most people will also be empty.
  4. Create a new text file, called “DisableWelcome.jsx” – make sure the extension is changed to .JSX and isn’t “.jsx.txt”. This file will have one line in it:

app.generalPreferences.showWhatsNewOnStartup = false;

  1. Save it and flip back to InDesign’s Scripts panel – your new file will show up. Double-click it. Nothing obvious will happen, but if you now close and open InDesign, the Welcome Screen will have gone away for good.
  2. Make yourself a cup of tea, and debate why Adobe made you jump through so many hoops.

If you ever want to look at the Welcome Screen again (in all its blank glory) just choose it from the Help menu. If one day Adobe fix the code and it actually shows something, you can turn it back on with the checkbox; or change the script to say “= true” and run it again.