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Importing XML into InDesign

From: InDesign CS5: Dynamic Publishing Workflows in XML

Video: Importing XML into InDesign

The XML file is finished. Now it's time to import it into InDesign. Although it's not the hardest task you'll be faced with, it is certainly one of the most important. The way you import XML affects how the data interacts with the layout and how it generates the dynamic content. The Import command can be found in three different places. First, it's under the File menu. You can also find the command in the Structure pane, in the Structure pane menu. Finally, you can right-click on the root element and choose Import XML from there as well.

Importing XML into InDesign

The XML file is finished. Now it's time to import it into InDesign. Although it's not the hardest task you'll be faced with, it is certainly one of the most important. The way you import XML affects how the data interacts with the layout and how it generates the dynamic content. The Import command can be found in three different places. First, it's under the File menu. You can also find the command in the Structure pane, in the Structure pane menu. Finally, you can right-click on the root element and choose Import XML from there as well.

The XML Import Options dialog is probably the most important dialog you'll interface with working with XML. If you want to import the entire XML file, uncheck all the boxes. When you click OK, the XML will be imported into the Structure pane. All the data within the XML file will be here. Other options are also available. If you want to create a link with the XML file on your hard drive, choose this option.

To modify the XML on import, you can choose an XSLT. An XSLT can be embedded in the XML itself or you can browse for one on your hard-drive. When we create an XML layout in advance, we can clone the repeating text elements. If you want to filter the data in the XML by the layout, choose Only import elements that match the existing structure. Then only the elements that are in your layout placed on the page will be imported. If you are importing data into tables, choose Import text elements into tables if the tags match.

We'll cover this in more detail later. We've been talking about whitespace in your XML file and whitespace in your document layout. If you want to make sure that your XML lands in your text placeholders properly, choose Do not import the contents of whitespace-only elements. This will eliminate or strip out all the whitespace within your XML file. Sometimes, even when this option is checked, those invisible elements can mess up your XML import. If you notice that the XML is imported improperly, check your file for these hidden elements.

I like to use WordPad or TextEdit to see if they are existing in the file. At times, there are placeholders in your layout that do not have a corresponding XML data element on import. By choosing Delete elements, frames, and content that do not match your imported XML, any of the placeholders in the layout that don't have a corresponding data element in the imported XML will be deleted from your layout. So you don't have an empty frame, or a frame that has incorrect data in it. Finally, choose Import CALS tables as InDesign tables if your XML data contains CALS table data.

We are going to discuss CALS tables and InDesign tables later. So these are the various options you can choose while you are creating an XML workflow. It's important to understand each of these as they affect your layout and how they affect the dynamic content that flows into your document. Once you've imported the XML, it's time to move it into your layout and we are going to cover that next.

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InDesign CS5: Dynamic Publishing Workflows in XML

57 video lessons · 11722 viewers

Jim Maivald
Author

 
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  1. 2m 15s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 10m 5s
    1. Introduction to XML technology
      1m 28s
    2. XML terms and rules
      6m 23s
    3. Comparing XML with HTML
      2m 14s
  3. 22m 58s
    1. XML creation basics
      3m 16s
    2. Creating XML in Microsoft Office
      13m 25s
    3. Creating XML in Adobe Dreamweaver
      3m 40s
    4. Creating XML in XML editors
      2m 37s
  4. 14m 52s
    1. XML editing basics
      5m 23s
    2. Creating new elements and structures
      2m 57s
    3. Using Find and Replace to modify XML
      6m 32s
  5. 2m 4s
    1. Revealing the Structure pane
      56s
    2. Revealing the Tags panel
      24s
    3. Revealing tag markers and tag frames
      44s
  6. 24m 38s
    1. Importing XML using the Structure pane
      2m 4s
    2. Revealing XML content
      1m 14s
    3. Identifying XML elements, attributes, and comments
      1m 50s
    4. Adding, moving, and deleting new XML elements
      1m 39s
    5. Untagging elements
      1m 12s
    6. Mapping tags to styles
      2m 37s
    7. Mapping styles to tags
      6m 1s
    8. Adding untagged items
      2m 31s
    9. Understanding and modifying tagging preset options
      57s
    10. Exporting XML
      4m 33s
  7. 25m 5s
    1. Working with the Tags panel
      2m 27s
    2. Tagging, retagging, and untagging text
      6m 12s
    3. Tagging and untagging text/graphic frames
      3m 52s
    4. Creating a parent and child (nesting) element structure
      6m 1s
    5. Mapping tags to styles and vice versa
      2m 53s
    6. Specifying tagging preset options
      3m 40s
  8. 15m 43s
    1. Importing XML into InDesign
      3m 16s
    2. Moving elements into a layout
      2m 22s
    3. Importing XML into tables
      4m 32s
    4. Creating tables with XML
      3m 29s
    5. Importing CALS tables as InDesign tables
      2m 4s
  9. 51m 48s
    1. Overview of XML-based layout strategies: Frame vs. Flow
      4m 39s
    2. Identifying structure from imported XML
      3m 58s
    3. Building Frame layouts with imported XML
      5m 17s
    4. Building Frame layouts from scratch
      3m 55s
    5. Building multipart Frame layouts from scratch
      4m 19s
    6. Understanding the Flow layout method
      8m 49s
    7. Building Flow layouts with imported XML
      10m 5s
    8. Building Flow layouts from scratch
      7m 22s
    9. Building multipart Flow layouts from scratch
      3m 24s
  10. 8m 20s
    1. Applying an XSLT to change the order of XML elements on import
      4m 24s
    2. Applying an XSLT to change the order of XML elements on export
      3m 56s
  11. 16m 34s
    1. Overview of DTD technology
      3m 29s
    2. DTD terminology
      3m 51s
    3. Overview of DTD syntax
      3m 30s
    4. Using a DTD in an XML workflow
      5m 44s
  12. 12m 49s
    1. Sequencing product sheet data
      4m 33s
    2. Creating product sheet placeholders from imported XML
      4m 59s
    3. Importing XML into the completed product sheet
      3m 17s
  13. 5m 44s
    1. Setting up your file for XML
      3m 18s
    2. Importing a file into a completed layout
      2m 26s
  14. 42s
    1. Goodbye
      42s

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