Wishing Peter Kahrel—InDesign scripting guru at Typefi—a happy retirement!


We are both sad and happy to announce that Peter Kahrel, Senior Scripting Engineer at Typefi, is retiring on Friday, 28 April 2023. A global star in the InDesign scripting community—almost as big as Elvis + rock and roll—Peter has been programming InDesign with JavaScript since 2003 and has worked as a script developer at Typefi since 2010.

Peter Kahrel, Typefi Senior Scripting Engineer

Pre-Typefi Peter: a self-taught scripting wizard

“I was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and went to school and university there. I have a degree in English language and literature and graduated in linguistics at the University of Amsterdam. I have no formal training in publishing or printing at all,” Peter Kahrel shared in an interview with Adobe.

Peter was trained as a linguist, has an MA and a PhD and since 1988 has authored many books. He has worked as a typesetter, editor, copy editor, and indexer (and sometimes as a designer too) for publishers in the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany and taught at the Linguistics Department at Lancaster University. Then he found InDesign scripting in 2003.

“Scripting is not only about doing things quicker than you could do them manually…it’s not only about automating things. Scripting also enables you to do things you wouldn’t be able to do manually—not realistically, anyway.”

Peter was interviewed as an Adobe community superstar in September 2022, and it’s a great read—check it out.

Typefi Peter: Leader of the Typefi Bureau of Scripting Affairs

Peter joined us in April 2010 to start what we affectionately called the “Bureau of Scripting Affairs”, and he has been with us ever since, writing JavaScript customisations and wowing crowds around the world with his scripting superpowers.

Peter’s contribution to Typefi has been significant—as a mentor to staff, and author of many helpful scripting resources including guiding folks through the Typefi DO MORE with Scripting webinar series for Typefi users. Peter is a humble guy and would like to just sneak out quietly, but we just can’t let him retire without sharing with you all, a handful of staff memories of Peter:

“Peter shaped my career path long before I joined Typefi. When I first started dabbling with InDesign scripting, the only real resource, and the only place to get help, was the Adobe InDesign Scripting Forum where he was a constant presence. From the beginning he was there, patiently answering and guiding me.

So, years later, when joining Typefi and was told I will be working with Peter Kahrel, I was completely star-struck. “—You mean THE Peter Kahrel? The one that wrote the actual book on InDesign Scripting?”
He is such a nice fellow… Even now, after 10 years of working with him, I’m still learning new things from him, and not only about scripting.”
– Vlad Vladilla, Typefi Senior Scripting Engineer

“I am lucky that I got to meet him in person, he is wonderful. I got a sense of the enormous knowledge that he has just by spending a few days with him.” – Chamari Silva, Typefi Senior Software Engineer

“I first met Peter during the 2019 Creative Pro week—Chandi once mentioned that going to an Adobe conference with Peter is like going to a movie with a film star. He wasn’t wrong! He is a humble person and always willing to share his valuable experience and knowledge—I was lucky enough to have such a mentor in my career. Peter, I will remember you as the role model who influenced me to continue my work in this domain.” – Gayanthika Udeshani, Typefi Associate Architect and XSLT Team Leader

“Peter has been a valuable contributor to the design community for many years, providing insights and solutions to fellow designers and developers alike. Not surprisingly, he’s widely regarded as one of the foremost experts in his field.
Peter has had a profound impact on Typefi. Anyone will tell you he’s a gifted communicator and educator, regularly sharing his knowledge through tutorials and workshops, and helping others develop their skills to take their design work to the next level. I am going to miss him terribly.”
– Chathini Uduwana, Typefi Country Head (Sri Lanka)

“The way Peter explained InDesign to me was amazing. His InDesign and scripting knowledge is outstanding. Peter’s advice to me on scripting was, “if you think it’s repetitive work, write a script for it!”
He’s a true gentleman, very funny, and on our recent trip to Sri Lanka, I learnt he will happily eat curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner! He’s also a wine expert—and naturally, he has a script to maintain his list of wines! Haha.”
– Supriya Kamble, Typefi Software Engineer

Peter Kahrel with Typefi's EMEA team standing smiling around a classic European car on the left and on the right Peter Kahrel sits with Chathini Uduwana on a bench.

Post-Typefi Peter: We wish you a happy retirement!

Peter, thank you for joining us on this journey for the last 13 years and for helping to make Typefi what it is today.

From all of us at Typefi and those in this community who have worked with you, we wish you a wonderful retirement in sunny Spain amongst good books and una copa de vino tinto o dos. You may even find yourself a wandering Typefite (a person from Typefi) pop past for a visit! ¡Salud!

On 28 April 2023, Peter will have left the building (metaphorically, he works from home).

Peter passes the torch to fellow Senior Scripting Engineer, Vlad Vladila, who has been with Typefi for almost 10 years, and is supported by our experienced scripting team.

Want more resources from Peter?