CREATING AN InDesign TEMPLATE
Now we’ll look at creating a document with the text formats we need.
Start a new Adobe InDesign document via File → New → Document.
We will focus on the main technical issues related to placing the correct Tags from the product on the format.
The question of the graphic solution is left to the graphic designers.
- You can use fonts available for Windows 10 and those defined under Google. If the customer needs their own – custom – they can be uploaded to a server that supports this functionality. On the other hand, you cannot embed these fonts yourself in an INDD document.
- The second limitation is the use of external links to add a graphic element. This is not supported, so all images, graphics must be pasted in the template, otherwise they will not generate in the PDF.
In the templates, everything has to be post-linked, in the links box we check the option to have all graphics go into the document. Such a complete document needs to be attached to the SilkPLM system and then everything will be properly generated.
In the SilkPLM system we do not change the structure of the XML, it is fixed. In Adobe InDesign, this structure can be changed as needed.
We create a text box and drag the selected tag from the panel Structure and drop in the text box or assign tags to the document from the panel Tags.
The text field will then be filled with all the values and images contained in the structure.
We dragged the whole group – therefore, the frame was filled with all the fields from this group.
At the same time, all tags show up and on the panel Structure and on the panel Tags.
All fields pasted from XML are marked with square brackets and color coded to match the panel Tags.
Note that unwanted characters (such as tabs and paragraphs) may have been inserted next to the imported fields. A useful tool to remove these characters can be found by selecting the text and choosing Edit → Edit in the Thread Editor.
To show hidden characters select the text frame press Text→Show hidden characters.
Removing the selected characters will allow you to properly arrange the text on the designed template and add the fixed elements – below the added text “NAME:”.
As you can see, the Square Brackets specifying fixed data from the product are exactly in the color of the tags – this makes it easier to find the desired data.
Attention! Making changes to the text directly in the text box gives the same results as modifications made in the Thread Editor. Using the Thread Editor, however, we will see full XML field names (not just simple brackets). This expanded form can dramatically simplify the editing process.
We can now customize our fields using Adobe InDesign’s graphics tools (paragraph styles, character styles, border options, etc.). In our example, we removed unnecessary Tags, arranged the content and added labels in front of the fields.
Of course, the graphic design is individually given by the Graphic Designer.
We can also make changes to the fields imported from the system. We will change the style of the tags added next to the NAME label and change the style in the description where the specified item was produced.
Save the document as an InDesign template (.indd format), then close and reopen it.
The close and reopen step is important because now we are opening an unnamed template instead of a named document. This allows us to reuse the template in multiple projects, which is especially useful if you create huge directories, such as having different documents with custom names for each category.