Join Chad Chelius for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Clone Repeating Text Elements, part of Creating an InDesign Booklet Using XML.
- Okay, this is where the magic happens and all of the hard work we've been putting into this project comes together. As I said before, Clone Repeating Text Elements replicates the formatting applied to the tagged place order text in our InDesign layout. There are a few other options we're going to want to enable along with this one. So, let's go ahead and finally import the XML content into our layout. Now, I'm beginning this video with the clone.indd file already opened. And I'm going to make sure that I don't have anything selected in this document and I'm going to choose File, Import XML.
Now, in the 05.02 folder I'm going to select the SeedInventory_images.xml file and in the Options in the lower left I want to make sure I show my XML Import Options and I want to make sure that Merge Content is enabled. So, I'm going to click the Open button and this is going to bring up my XML Import Options dialog box. Now, for this initial import the only thing that I'm going to enable is Clone repeating text elements. So, I'm going to go ahead and click OK and InDesign is going to import the XML into this document and as I start scrolling down you're going to notice here that all of the content is here, you can see my sunflowers, my marigolds, all of the different flowers that I need are imported and exist in my layout.
The problem is it doesn't look the way I want it to. You'll notice in this content all of those spaces that we talked about before, that the Oxygen XML Editor uses to properly format the content, are being imported into InDesign and I don't want them. So, I'm simply going to press Undo, Command Z on Mac or Control Z on Windows, to undo that import and we're going to do it again adding an additional option. So, if I go to File, Import XML.
We're going to select that XML file again and choose Open and I'm going to turn on Clone repeating text elements, but I also want to choose Do not import contents of whitespace-only elements. Now when I click OK we're going to get a much better result. You can see that all of my content is importing as expected and as I scroll down you can see that all the elements are here, all the different categories. But when I get to the very bottom you're going to notice something somewhat peculiar because here we have our zinnias and the rainbow mix is just replicated in all these areas.
And so, that's because there's another option that we want to enable. So, let's undo that one more time. And I'll scroll back up here and choose File, Import XML. And this time we're going to turn on Clone repeating text elements, Do not import contents of whitespace-only elements and Delete elements, frames, and content that do not match the imported XML. So, now when I click OK you're going to notice that all of my content is here and as I get down to the very bottom where we saw those repeated items they no longer exist in my document.
Now, I want to be straight with you, there's always a small amount of clean up that's going to be required, you know. So, for example, these bulleted items, I want them to go across two columns so I'm probably going to have to change the height of that frame. And I've got some extra tagged content at the very bottom here that I'm going to have to delete. But by and large we've essentially automated the creation of all these pages and their content as well. So, as you can see by defining the proper import options we can automate the creation of the majority of this project.
It may require a little bit of trial and error when you implement this into your own workflow, but with the right settings you'll save an amazing amount of time and effort in your own projects.
In these tutorials, Chad Chelius explains what XML is and then walks through the entire process in InDesign, from setting up the document and tagging the content, to cleaning the data and fine-tuning the layout. He also offers tips for saving your work in an InDesign template, to regenerate directories when new entries are added, update catalogs seasonally, etc. By the end of the course, you should be able to use this workflow to speed up data-heavy design jobs, big and small.
- What is XML?
- Transforming XML
- Displaying tag markers
- Setting up an InDesign document for XML import
- Creating styles
- Tagging content
- Mapping tags to styles
- Importing XML data in InDesign
- Applying master pages
- Creating a table of contents