InDesign based XML-First workflow


A fast publishing workflow solution based on InDesign with a focus on speed-to-market at reduced costs and workload was the need of the hour for a leading University Press. The project involved a large series of A Level and Further Math AS/A Level resources for schools, with tight publication deadlines and schedules. For the AQA side of the course, we were asked to do the typesetting and ePub conversion for a large amount of content in a short timescale. The challenge was to meet their exacting professional standards for all the titles by implementing a XML-first approach to origination that captures changes and allows for valid XML round tripping. It should support multiple e-delivery formats (Print PDF, eBook PDF, ePub, MOBI, EDUXML, HTML5 and QTI XML) as well.


Using a combination of a true XML-first workflow with InXML tool (our patent-pending automation tool for XML based pagination process in Adobe InDesign) and a streamlined workflow for EduXML, we provided a solution that enabled significant cost savings and led to efficient resource optimization for our client.Backed by a decade of experience in handling publishing requirements of varying sizes and work processes, InXML tool has been developed with the intention of delivering maximum benefits for the publisher. It is based on single-source publishing, enables to output content quickly and easily in several electronic formats (ePub, HTML, PDF) while yielding updated XML with final files.

InXML automatically took care of nested styles, multiple master pages, character styles, image placement, and other design elements. It is DTD-agnostic so that validated XML based on client's DTD or schema was integrated into the InDesign application prior to pagination. Styles were then automatically applied using client-approved template or design. Math equations in MathML were also converted on the fly using client-preferred plug-in (supported plug-ins are PowerMath, InMath, MathMagic, Math-Type).

Due to the complexity and variety of content published by the Press, for the XML infrastructure, an XML model named EduXML was designed using a progressive-structural-semantics strategy. It was intended to provide a consistent framework across all education content and also enable repurposing content objects between publications. The EduXML creation and style processing was included in our XML first workflow and by using InXML tool, the productivity of performing the time consuming document layout tasks was vastly improved.

With our solution, the turnaround time was reduced by more than 60%. Our Workflow management system also played a key role to adeptly integrate resources with the relevant production tools (through technology and automation) expediting the production process and providing a faster path to content delivery.


Received with many thanks indeed. I greatly appreciate the speed with which you have supplied this.

Thanks for all your support and effort.

Please extent my appreciation to the team I realize that this was a particularly complex job!

Cambridge University, UK