VisualML offers two methods, either or both of which may be used to produce PDFs for Print. Once content has been approved for production, it can be ingested either into:
- VisualML's print production system, which enables templated flow of the XML into PDF, or
- Adobe:In Design, in which the XML is transformed and exported from VisualML and loaded into a prepared In:Design template for subsequent production.
The remainder of this page discusses VisualML's Print Production System. For more information on flowing XML into In:Design, please see the XML2In:Design Page or read our Article on how to best decide if automated layout with sculpting or full In:Design production is best for your content.
Once a Document or Work from the Content Acquisition and Curation and/or the Peer and Editorial Collaboration Systems has been marked complete, it can be pulled into Print Production. That instance of the XML begins a process as shown in the figure below.
Visual ML Print Production System Flow
The user produces PDFs from the system by selecting a set of pre-defined, publisher-configurable templates to apply or "flow" the XML into the PDF. The user then "Sculpts" the resultant, first-pass PDF to make it aesthetically pleasing and finalizes the PDF for delivery. All of these steps are wrapped by VisualML's dashboard driven by Commander and configurable Workflow within a Collaborative Work space as further discussed below.
Constructor creates the template sets that define the unique look and feel the publisher wishes to apply when branding its printed works, including:
- Macro-level page positioning of metadata such as headers, footers, left and right page margins, etc
- Field order for the metadata and sections in the body, front- and back- matter
- Font and paragraph handling (style, family selection, size, color, justification, etc).
- Image, equation, table, etc construct handling (position, size, drop shadows, etc)
The Sculptor tool set applies the templates to the XML brought in from the Editorial system(s) and enables the user to:
- Flow the XML through the templates resulting in a first pass PDF
- Sculpt the first pass PDF - apply the art of publishing production by adjusting the PDF aesthetics to be appropriate and pleasing for the content.
- Sculpting tools include the ability to locally override the templates for:
- paragraph and text application (e.g. a Chapter Title that, due to its length, does not appear acceptable at a given type size - reduce type size to be more visually appealing)
- image size, orientation and positioning
- tables adjustment of position, scaling, orientation, etc.
Once the user has completed Sculpting the PDF, the System includes the facility to review the proposed, completed PDF both with internal and external stakeholders using Reviewer and VisualML's collaborative workflow system, which includes:
- PDF reader with common viewing and navigation tools
- a collaborative comment space and history tracking tool set (as shown in the images below)
- Workflow state control which is fully configurable by role and function
- Standard States list
- Special: Author Review
- Important: PDF Production Final: for release to distribution partners, website, etc.
- Immediate state change (when Save button is pressed)
- Scheduled state change (any time in the future date/time)
- Collaborative comment space and state change tracking
- Comprehensive comment history and review
- Note that a PDF need not change state to store Collaboration Comments. Simply filling in the comments and pressing the Save button stores the comments without changing the state of the PDF
As with all VisualML Systems, Print Production is managed by the Commander tool set:
- Full search of the XML stored in the Central Content Repository.
- Basic keyword search
- Advanced Search with customized facets including
- Work Title
- Document Title
- Workflow State
- Categorization Tags
- Volume and Issue
- See the Search Module for full details
- Extensive dashboard and reporting
- Administration of workflow states
- Administration interface, and
- Content download/export.