6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 10, 2013 1:56 AM by François CROCY

    Footnotes and notecalls in XML workflow for InDesign

    François CROCY

      I'm a french typesetter working on a project using XML workflow with a large number of footnotes. I have been searching for hours the right way to prepare the XML workflow so I would get all the notecalls and footnotes once the workflow imported in my InDesign file. Thanks in advance to any helping hand.

        • 1. Re: Footnotes and notecalls in XML workflow for InDesign
          David W. Goodrich Level 3

          No one else has answered so I'll mention that this subject has been discussed over on the Scripting forum.  But if it were a matter of just one project I'd be tempted to make the files of imported XML look like imports of MS Word files with endnotes so I could try Jongware's script for turning Word endnotes into footnotes (to circumvent ID's problems importing Word footnotes).


          Good luck,


          • 2. Re: Footnotes and notecalls in XML workflow for InDesign
            François CROCY Level 1

            Dear David,

            This project will involve a large amount of books (novels, thearter and poetry). My customer will provide both XML workflow and DTD, so working on Word files is unfortunately not concievable. I must find a solution working on the XML workflow (task that will be achieved by my customer). I have found a discussion over this case with a reply from M V SHAJI involving XSLT conversion but I need more informations about the method and the templates that should be used in this XSLT transformation. Thank you for your reply. I will search the Scripting forum as you suggest me.


            Best regards.


            • 3. Re: Footnotes and notecalls in XML workflow for InDesign
              David W. Goodrich Level 3

              I wasn't suggesting you work in MS Word, but in InDesign.  If you read the thread for the Jongware script I mentioned, you will see that it operates in InDesign, converting notes at the end of a story into ID footnotes.  The connection with Word is that the script assumes the ID file looks like an imported Word file with endnotes: i.e., that note numbers in the text are superscripted, and the notes themselves are at end of the story following the exact string "(Endnotes)".  I currently have an XML job with footnotes whose text numbers are superscripts, so I considered typing "(Endnotes)" at the end of the story, inserting the XML file of footnotes, and then running Jongware's script.  It turns out that the book's design is too complex for ID's inflexible footnoting.  But for a less demanding design, this process can accomplish both steps of the "IN-Process" Shaji outlines in the other thread I referenced, creating real ID footnotes without having to come up with an XSLT transformation (which ID can apply during import).


              That still leaves you with Shaji's OUT-Process to get back to XML.  I recall reading somewhere that round-tripping XML through ID might not be reliable, and obviously out-processing footnotes significantly complicates the process.  In the case of the project I'm working on, I don't have to worry because someone else will be tasked with turning my ID files back into XML.  However, because I'm doing footnotes the old-fashioned way -- a separate story threaded across the bottoms of pages -- my non-ID footnotes won't need to be undone. (The XML files I received won't be a fair test of round-tripping thanks to some systematic tagging oddities, which may disguise any anomalies caused by ID's output to XML.)



              • 4. Re: Footnotes and notecalls in XML workflow for InDesign
                François CROCY Level 1

                Hi David.


                Thank you for your reply. At this stage, I must admit that I am a little bit confused. I also have to confess that I am kinda "rookie" with XML (I just followed recently a three days training about XML for publishers. I also read the book by James MAIVALD "A Designer's Guide to Adobe InDesign and XML") and totaly ignorant about scripting in InDesign (but may find my way with the help of the user's manual). I should propably clarify the situation. My task is to create and prepare InDesign structured page-masters for XML import (quite basic designs with a single column text frame, running-heads and page numbers), the main goal being as less "massaging" as possible for the type-setting (which is the main purpose of XML, isn't it?). The InDesign files will then be processed through XSL-FO. So the first step of my job is to figure out how these damn' footnotes should be properly tagged in the XML file (or does it matter anyway?). I suppose (through your answer) that I will have to script afterwards in any case.


                Thank you again for the time you spent and for your help. Forgive my poor and somewhat broken english.



                • 5. Re: Footnotes and notecalls in XML workflow for InDesign
                  David W. Goodrich Level 3

                  I wish I could express myself in another language as well as you handle English -- and my bread and butter is typesetting text that is challenging linguistically.


                  However, I also like to think of my work as setting type, and because I associate XML with robot formatting I am inherently biased against it.  Perhaps I'll learn better, but currently I'm not a good source for information on XML.


                  Still, as I see it XML attempts to come up with a single source for output in various formats.  InDesign is really good for making PDF's ready for the press or for distribution electronically: it defines documents in terms of pages and offers precise control over what goes where on every page.  This is very important in my work, scholarly material that generally includes linguistic oddities requiring absolute control over fonts.  Meanwhile, footnotes -- which of course assume there are pages at whose foot they can sit -- have always been an afterthought in ID, omitted from early versions, and still the subject of many complaints for their inflexibility.


                  Thus two early questions are:


                  1. Is InDesign footnoting capable of doing what you need?  My guess is yes so long as you can tweak in ID; but if not then whoever gets tasked with using the masters you develop may not appreciate having to string a separate story of footnotes by hand across the bottoms of pages.
                  2. Do you need to get from ID back to XML?  I've already mentioned that getting ID footnotes back into XML is a significant issue, but there are other factors: if you use ID PDFs for proofing but the ID files are not going back to XML then corrections must be made to both the XML and ID files.  And whether or not you export ID back to XML you get to figure out which ID tweaks are needed in the XML.


                  Software manuals tend to explain what the software can do and omit discussion of what one might wish it could do.  One of the things I appreciate about Dorothy J. Hoskins's brief 2013 book XML and InDesign is her chapter "What InDesign Cannot Do (or Do Well) with XML," though she this isn't the only place she discusses philosophical conflicts between ID and XML.  She also touches on the value of XSLT transformations and scripting for wrangling XML, and mentions useful tidbits about Maidvald’s book since its 2007 publication.


                  Good luck!


                  • 6. Re: Footnotes and notecalls in XML workflow for InDesign
                    François CROCY Level 1

                    A one year travel in Asia twenty years ago made it clear that mastering a little of english was the main condition to meet foreigners and make friends.


                    I have the same feeling about XML robot formatting. My professional experience seems to be quiet similar as yours (schoolbooks with elaborate design and linguistic oddities making InDesign the best choice to have total control over the job). My customer wished to take advantage of InDesign richness for setting type and page design. This issue over the footnotes handling is leading me to conclude that XML is not yet the best way to automate publication.


                    About the questions you raised:


                    1. InDesign should be able to do what I am expecting, but I think that still some adjusment will have to be done by hand.
                    2. As I mentioned, the ID files will be processed through XSL-FO developped by my customer and (according to him) the footnotes handling shouldn't be problematic.


                    I had a look on Dorothy Hoskin's book. Seems like I will have to sharpen my english and grab my Harrap's dictionnary.


                    Thank you so much for your advice.