I am planning an implementation of a database populated catalog via XML. This will be my first such implementation and I'm struggling with one aspect of this.
How do I deal with styled text in the middle of a copy block? How can I make sure it comes in via XML as styled. I was thinking I could insert InDesign tags into the flow.
Our workflow has copywriters composing text in a web tool which will feed a database. That database will export XML and be pulled into a string of text boxes in a spread of the catalog. Copy may subsequently be changed, exported again, and pulled in again. Later in the flow, we hope to make changes only on the spread and then export it back into the database.
I don't see a convenient way to deal with styled text in the middle of an element. For example, suppose a book name appears in the middle of a sentence. We would want it to appear in bold or italics. Is there a way you would recommend for our copywriters to indicate this so it can be pulled in and be automatically styled on import?
Suppose styling happens later in the flow, is there a way to export this in XML so it can be preserved in the database? Can we combine InDesign tags (my first efforts at this haven't given me much hope we can)?
You should be able to combine tags just fine. Define <italic> and <bold> in your copywriting/database workflow/XML (the process will vary widely by tool selection). The end result should be the export from your db of something approximate to <br /><br /><stuff><br /><item>Item Number <bold>One</bold></item><br /><item>Item <italic>Number</italic> Two</item><br /></stuff><br /><br />Map those new tags to appropriate character styles in InDesign for both import and export, and you should be golden.