Adobe In:Design provides a facility to import XML into a template created for that XML.
- The tool set is extensive, during XML import In:Design can:
- Automatically update placeholder text tagged for matching elements in the XML
- Auto-replicate blocks of content using only one, base tagged template block (e.g. you only define a chapter once, In:Design replicates it for multiple chapters).
- Apply paragraph- and character- level styles during the import
- Load images into placeholder frames
- Unburden production staff with the effort of doing all of the above for a manuscript
- For a 300 page book or standard journal, the import takes seconds on a standard PC
- Once the XML is imported, the production staff can do all the art of production, all the tools normally in In:Design and available for content display manipulation remain present.
Not So Good News:
- In:Design requires the structure of the template match the structure of the XML. At first blush, any computer engineer would say that is obvious, and we agree. The challenge comes in when the design requires an element (like an Author's affiliation) that in most publishing editorial XML's is three or four levels deep in the hierarchy. To get In:Design to properly handle that one element, the template must replicate the three or four levels of structure as properly nested and tagged text frames.
- There is no concept of a re-flow that we have seen. So, if the structure or content of the Work changes after it has been imported, production staff need either re-import from scratch or do what they do now, cut & paste in the effected areas.
Net, net: Is this useful for publishers? The answer is, it depends. The primary driver, content complexity, is what determines how readily a good template set can be created, maintained and operated. We've written a discussion on that topic here.
VisualML has demonstrated flowing NLM3.0 XML for both books and journals into In:Design. Look for one or more upcoming videos demonstrating this.