9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 1, 2011 9:07 AM by John Hawkinson

    pmtags to tagged text

    nace_tech

      Hello all, we have a system that exports data in PMtags for Pagemaker 6.5 and then our graphics dept can easily import this data formatted into a pagemaker template file.  I'm attempting to convert this process to indesign cs5.  I was wondering what the correct approach would be to go about this.  It's a small multi page table of contents type doc.

       

      I was curious if i should pursue a pmtags plugin for indesign, converting the application to export the data in tagged text instead of pmtags, converting the application to export in XML instead of pmtags, or another method.  (i'm not a designer, i'm a sys admin).  Any direction would be appreciated.

        • 1. Re: pmtags to tagged text
          Harbs. Level 6

          I'd think the best way to go would be to have your system create the InDesign tagged text instead of thr PM variety.

           

          I leue of that, you can convert the tags possibly with an XSLT transformation?

           

          Of course, you can write an InDesign script to parse the PM tags and bring the text in (either by converting it to ID tags, or bringing the text in directly).

           

          I think a full-blown plugin is definitely over-kill...

           

          Harbs

          • 2. Re: pmtags to tagged text
            [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

            PMtags are definitely pedestrian, when compared to InDesign INX (or -- complicated beyond my ken -- IDML).

             

            It shouldn't be too hard to plainly import the tagged text as plain text into ID, then replacing all of the tags with a script.

             

            Some background info can be read here: http://www.adobe.com/products/adobemag/archive/pdfs/9607dsok.pdf (the writer sounds a bit familiar )

            • 3. Re: pmtags to tagged text
              John Hawkinson Level 5

              Writing plugins is not for the faint of heart -- don't do it that way.

              How modular is your existing application? Given the relative simplicity of PMTags and Indesign Tagged Text, I think you're probably best off modifying your app to use ID tagged text directly, or writing a trivial sed script to do so.

               

              Introducing XML in the middle wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but I suspect you won't thank yourself for the added complexity...

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: pmtags to tagged text
                nace_tech Level 1

                Thanks all, I'm not clear about "convert the tags possibly with an XSLT transformation"  or using a sed script.  Would these options be a type of converter?  Or is the syntax of pmtags and tagged text so similar that i can just do a find and replace of the PMtags to their indesign equivalent?

                 

                Also, I'm not sure about where the template doc gets it's formatting.  I have a data source file that has PM tags, but no spacing/formatting.  Then i have a pm file as the template that has some layout but i'm not finding any placholders or color settings.  Then when i place my data source file (with just data and PM tags) it magically has bold and color etc..  in it.

                 

                I"ve opened the finished doc in indesign and exported as tagged text and there's a ton more data than i put into the doc.  i was thinking this way I could translate the settings/tags into indesign tags and then just strip the data out to put the tagged text tags into my application, but there's a lot of formatting and color in the indesign version that i'm not sure where to put -ie in the data source (which i don't see it in my original pm source file) or the indesign template (which i don't see any formatting or placeholders in).  perhaps they used quark?

                • 5. Re: pmtags to tagged text
                  [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                  Perhaps we're unintentionally flooding you with possibilities

                   

                  I'm not clear about "convert the tags possibly with an XSLT transformation"  or using a sed script.  Would these options be a type of converter?

                   

                  XSLT is a transformation syntax, to convert from one type of XML to another. PM Tagged Text is not quite valid XML, but it might be close enough to work. sed is a general purpose (?) scripting (??) language (?) of which I know the name but not much else ...

                   

                  ... I'm not sure about where the template doc gets it's formatting.  I have a data source file that has PM tags, but no spacing/formatting.  Then i have a pm file as the template that has some layout but i'm not finding any placholders or color settings.  Then when i place my data source file (with just data and PM tags) it magically has bold and color etc..  in it.

                   

                  Yes, that's how it works. Other than InDesign ...

                   

                  ... there's a ton more data than i put into the doc.  i was thinking this way I could translate the settings/tags into indesign tags and then just strip the data out to put the tagged text tags into my application, but there's a lot of formatting and color in the indesign version that i'm not sure where to put ...

                   

                  with PM Tagged Text, all you have to supply is the plain text, with some markers for style names and some local formatting. The styles should be defined in the PM file in which you import the text.

                  The InDesign INX file, on the other hand, is a complete representation of a document, including all of its styles, pages, text frames, illustrations, et cetera.

                   

                  For your purpose, it would seem enough to have a simple script that should be run after you import your "tagged text" into an InDesign document. With a script you can search for any of the pre-defined tags, and replace them with the correct paragraph style or formatting. It should be a piece of cake and a walk in the park all rolled into one, really. All we need is a list of the tags that you are using, and their purpose, if not clear from the name.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: pmtags to tagged text
                    nace_tech Level 1

                    OK, the thing i'm worried about is that it sounds like to get the same process - our application spitting out something that can go right into indesign - would mean we would now have to include all formatting in the datasource, not the template, is this correct?  Sounds like a pain in the butt.  Assuming this file can be converted, would we still need to prep an indesign template for some sort formatting a head of time? or get the simple data into an indesign doc and then add spacing/colors/formatting afterwards w/ the program?  (seriously, thank you for the help)

                     

                    As far as a script, here is an example of our data

                     

                    <PMTags1.0 win><B><\<>PageTitle>Big Title
                    <\<>Subtitle>Our Doc Subtitle
                    <\<>Subtitle2>(something in parens under the subtitle)
                    <\<>Heading>        Column Heading            Another Column Heading
                    <\<>Heading2>        something under the column heading    Some more headings under this
                    <\<>Heading>    start of row    Column heading    Column heading    Column heading    Column heading        Column heading
                    <\<>Heading>    secondary heading    value    value    value    value    value    value    value
                    <\<>row1>BIG SECTION
                    <\<>row>Row Value    <B>0    0<B>    0    0    0    0    0
                    <\<>row>Row Value    <B>0    0<B>    0    0    0    0    0
                    <\<>row>Row Value    <B>0    0<B>    0    0    0    0    0
                    <\<>row>Row Value    <B>0    0<B>    0    0    0    0    0
                    <\<>row>Row Value    <B>0    0<B>    0    0    0    0    0
                    <\<>row1>BIG New values

                    • 7. Re: pmtags to tagged text
                      John Hawkinson Level 5

                      No, you don't need to include any of those style definitions in your InDesign Tagged Text

                      (can we say IDTT?) file! You can if it makes sense in your workflow, but normally just skip them.

                      Define your styles in your InDesign template and go from there.

                       

                      You'll just have something like:

                       

                      <ASCII-WIN>
                      <ParaStyle:PageTitle>Big Title
                      <ParaStyle:Subtitle>Our Doc Subtitle
                      <pStyle:Heading>You can abbreviate to "pStyle" too
                      

                       

                      If you're not familiar with XML, I wouldn't touch XSLT with a 10 foot pole, nor INX with a 20-footer.

                       

                      Edit: Correct Pstyle to pStyle (case); not sure if it matters...supposedly not.

                      • 8. Re: pmtags to tagged text
                        nace_tech Level 1

                        awesome, in talking i think what we're going to do is create a template in crystal which is built into our app and make this template look exactly like the finished product is supposed to look like.  Then using crystal we can drop the data source where it needs to be and export as PDF and hand this to our designers.

                        • 9. Re: pmtags to tagged text
                          John Hawkinson Level 5

                          A couple other notes.

                           

                          You can find the IDTT documentation hidden away at http://help.adobe.com/en_US/indesign/cs/taggedtext/indesign_cs5_taggedtext.pdf (or adobe.com/go/learn_id_taggedtext_cs5_en if you like to keep it short).

                           

                          INX was replaced in CS5 by IDML. You still don't want to touch it, but you can stay 12 feet away instead of 20 (estimates may vary).