2023 December Release

InDesign Server Integration Permanent link for this heading

Currently, the InDesign Server 2022 version is supported in the system.

Use by the administratorPermanent link for this heading

Administrators are authorized to store individual configuration files for their Multichannel Publishing solution.

Create production servicePermanent link for this heading

A production service allows the creation of publications from products. General, global settings can be maintained at this point, e.g. to store customer-specific fonts or profiles. To create a production service for the InDesign Server, proceed as follows:

  1. Navigate from the Publishing Dashboard to the Publishing Configuration using the „Switch to Configuration “-action.
  2. Navigate to the list of "Production Services".
  3. Create a new production service via the "Create Production Service" action.
  4. Select "InDesign 2022 Production Service" from the list of services.
  5. In the next step, name, fonts and ICC profiles as well as an Adobe color settings file can be stored for the production service. If required, different configurations can be created for several production services.
    • Fonts
      Click on Add entry to add fonts from your network environment. If you want to link fonts from the DAM, please
      select Search and add. The font will later be sent to the production service for processing.
    • ICC Color Profiles
      Click on Add entry to create new ICC color profiles (.icc). If you want to link color profiles from the DAM, please select Search and add.
      Note: If you produce with an ICC profile for the first time, the production will take much longer then consecutive productions, because the registration of the profile on the server takes some time.
    • Adobe Color Settings File
      You can upload a color settings file via the "Select file" entry. Here you can store a .csf file, which you can get from local Adobe applications by saving the color settings.
      Note: For the creation of a PDFX3 or PDFX4 via the .joboptions file a color profile is mandatory.

After confirming the configuration by clicking "Next", the newly created production service appears in the list of production services and is usable.

Create a layout templatePermanent link for this heading

Automated rough typesetting of text and placement of images is based on prepared Adobe InDesign templates. These templates are specially prepared Adobe InDesign files that can accommodate content such as XML, images, or Word files during automated production using a defined structure.  
You can create empty frames or fill them with placeholders that are overwritten during automatic rough typesetting. You can store a layout template as follows:

  1. Navigate from the Publishing Dashboard to the Publishing Configuration using the “Switch to Configuration”-action.
  2. Navigate to the list of "Layout Templates".
  3. Create a new layout template via the "Create Layout Template" action.
  4. Select "Adobe InDesign Layout Template” from the list of templates.
  5. In the next step you can define the Name, the Production Service from chapter Create production service and the actual .indd file.

You can find out how these InDesign files have to be structured and what needs to be considered in chapter Prepare InDesign files.

Configure mappingPermanent link for this heading

To achieve the highest possible quality of automated content placement, a set of rules can be defined that describes how media and XML content should be displayed in InDesign. This includes the assignment of elements to certain style sheets in InDesign, but also allows the insertion of breaks or scaling of referenced image content.

These rules are described in JSON format and stored in the form of a mapping.json file at the layout template.

Example of a mapping.json file:


  "blockElements": [
      }, "xpath": "//p",
      "style": "paragraph_style"
  "hyperlinkElements": [
      "}, "xpath",
      "style": "blue_style"
      "destinationUriAttribute": "blue_style"
  "inlineElements": [
      }, "xpath": "//bold",
      "style": "fg-green"
  "insertCharsOnXMLElementPosition": [
      "elements": [
      }, "insertElement": "000D",
      "insertPosition": 1482843494
      "elements": [
      }, "insertElement": "000D",
      "insertPosition": 1482778228
  "resizeImagesToFixSize": 50.0,
  "tableCellElements": [
      "xpath":"//xpubtabledata//cell[@align = 'left']",
      "style": "cell-align-left"
      "xpath":"//xpubtabledata//cell[@align = 'right']",
      "style": "cell-align-right"
      "xpath":"//xpubtabledata//cell[@align = 'center']",
      "style": "cell-align-center"
      "xpath": "(//xpubtabledata//cell)[position() = 2 or position() = 3]",
      "style": "fg-green"
  "tableElements": [
      }, "xpath": "(//xpubtabledata)[5]",
      "style": "alter-color"
  "tableWidthConfigs": [
      }, "xpath": "//xpubtabledata",
      "value": 100.0,
      "unit": "percent
      }, "xpath": "(//xpubtabledata)[3]",
      "value": 90.0,
      "unit": "percent

A mapping file can contain the following components, depending on the content to be placed:

blockElements, inlineElements, hyperlinkElements, objectElements, insertCharsOnXMLElementPosition, resizeImagesInTableToFixSize, resizeImagesToFixSize, tableCellElements, tableElements and tableWidthConfigs.

Each term in plural form expects a JSON array as value, in singular form a scalar value.

  • Mapping block and inline elements
    If you want to format the XML data from an Xeditor document to be placed, this can be done by mapping existing InDesign paragraph or character styles. For this you need a definition for blockElements and inlineElements respectively. Both arrays contain elements of the StyleElement type, which consist of an xpath / style tuple. The values are mandatory. In the mapping.json example shown above, all elements <p> are assigned the “paragraph_style” format. The text paragraphs marked with <bold>, on the other hand, are to be displayed with the character format "fg-green".
  • Mapping tables
    The relevant properties of mapping.json for table layouts are tableCellElements, tableElements and tableWidthConfigs.  
    An array of tableWidthConfig objects consists of the three mandatory properties xpath, value, and unit. This can be used to set the width of all tables that the xpath expression matches to the relative width (expressed as a percentage) of the enclosing text frame. In the example above, this is set to 100% for all tables except the third table, which is set to 90%.
  • Mapping object styles
    The mapping of object styles to information from the XML is done via objectElements. This can be used, for example, to implement info boxes or similar highlighting of text sections by mapping an XML element to an object style via the xpath and style properties.  
  • Mapping of hyperlinks
    In addition to the properties for xpath and stlye, a hyperlinkElements definition also contains the destinationUriAttribute property, which describes in which attribute of the source document the URI of the link is to be found. Assigning a character format using the style element is optional.
  • Mapping of image behavior
    Images that are referenced in the XML content can be placed automatically. To define the size of images in the text flow or within a table the properties resizeImagesToFixSize and resizeImagesInTableToFixSize are available. The value of these properties is a floating-point number that defines a fixed size in mm to which the image should be scaled. An example can be found in the sample JSON file in this paragraph.  
  • Inserting breaks and other characters
    insertCharsOnXMLElementPosition allows you to insert characters such as breaks between paragraphs, which by definition are not included in an XML file. The mapping in this case consists of the definition of the element or elements in the elements property, and the character to insert in the insertElement property. Here a UTF-8 character in 4-byte notation is expected. The insertPosition property can be used to control whether the character should be inserted after, before, at the beginning or at the beginning of an XML element. The expected values of this property (1482778228, 1482843494, 1483042404, 1482844014) are derived from the InDesign script API and can be viewed here.: new window

To use the mapping.json file on a template, do the following:  

  1. Open the properties of the layout template by right-clicking on the template under "Properties".
  2. In the dialog under "Mapping", click on "Select file".
  3. Choose a mapping.json file from your local system and upload it.
  4. Release the layout template for use again

Creating a Deployment FormatPermanent link for this heading

To be able to trigger an overall production consisting of all layouts of a product, you need a Deployment Format that is available on the InDesign Server. To create a Deployment Format, proceed as follows:  

  1. Navigate from the Publishing Dashboard to the Publishing Configuration using the Switch to Configuration action.
  2. Navigate to the list of "Provisioning Formats".
  3. Create a new provisioning format using the “Create Provisioning Format” action.
  4. Select "InDesign 2022 - Deployment Format" from the list of services.

In the following dialog, a name and a joboptions file for deployment format can be stored. You can freely select the name of the delivery format. This will then be offered to users of the Multichannel Publishing solution as an option when they create a publication. The file with the extension .joboptions can be configured and exported via a locally installed InDesign. For more information, see the Adobe Help pages.  

Share Deployment FormatPermanent link for this heading

Before the delivery formats are available to the user, they must be approved. A list of the delivery formats can be found in the detailed view of the Xpublisher configuration. Proceed as follows for releasing them:

  1. Navigate to the list of "Deployment formats". All new formats that are not released are marked with a warning triangle symbol. Changed formats that are not yet released are marked with a circle symbol with three dots.
  2. Right-click the deployment format you want to share.
  3. Select the "Share for use" or "Share again" option.
    Note: Alternatively, you can use the actions from the Actions menu in the left pane of the user interface.

Assign Deployment FormatPermanent link for this heading

Deployment formats can be selected when publishing defined products. Since not every delivery format makes sense for any product, these are not available across the board, but are restricted via the product type. The relationship between project type, product type and delivery format can be found in the Multichannel Publishing User Help (User Help: new window).

User perspectivePermanent link for this heading

Users can use the layout templates and Word, Xeditor, or image assets from the DAM to drive automated preproduction directly from the Multichannel Publishing solution. This automated typesetting of content and pre-placement of images does not require a local InDesign license and is possible even by users without expertise in Adobe products.  

Working in the Structure Tree and FlatplanPermanent link for this heading

As soon as you open a product that contains print components, you can use the InDesign Server integration. To do this, proceed as follows:

  1. On the Multichannel Publishing dashboard, navigate to the list of projects
  2. Open a product from the list by left click
    Note: The product type of the product must have assigned print components
  3. Next to the action bar you will now see the structure tree of the product, while in the large window area next to it you can see the Flatplan.
  4. To add new components, select the product in the structure tree (entry at the very top) and click on the "Add Predefined Components" entry.    
    Note: Some components are already created automatically when the product is created, if this has been defined by an administrator for the product type you chose.
  5. Select the component in the structure tree and choose the action "Add Layout Template". In the following dialog, select one or more templates from the list and confirm with "Next". The template will be inserted at the next possible position (below the last template of the current component).
    Note: In addition to layout templates, sections and blank pages can also be added using the corresponding actions. Sections can structure layout templates and blank pages, while the latter serve as placeholders and can later be enriched with a layout.
  6. Once you have added layout templates to the structure tree, you can select them with a left click.
  7. In the action menu of the layout template, you now have the option of assigning one or more Xeditor documents, images or Word documents from the Digital Asset Management via "Add Content".
    Note: The images and texts are always placed in the frames in the order in which they appear in the list.
  8. After you have added content to the layout template, you can use the Place Content action to start automatic pre-production.
    Note: You can continue working while production is running. A gear icon in the structure tree next to the layout template indicates whether pre-production is still in progress.
    When finished, you will see the updated PDF preview of the layout and the gear icon will disappear. In case of an error, a red warning icon is displayed and an administrator can view an error report in the layout template properties.  

If you work with several InDesign files in a structure tree, it can happen that the preview is not up-to-date. Especially if you insert additional pages or layouts before an existing and set InDesign file. The page numbering, for example, might be wrong in the preview.

Place content againPermanent link for this heading

Please note that you can re-run the automatic rough set at any time, for example, if you have changed the order of the contents or exchanged them.
Note: To change the order of content or layouts in the Structure Tree, you can either drag and drop or use the Swap with Predecessor and Swap with Successor actions in the context menu.

Write XML content back Permanent link for this heading

If you have made text changes in the local InDesign application that originate from XML content, you have the option of writing these changes back into the Xeditor Document. This roundtrip also makes it possible to errors that were corrected in the last instance, i.e. in the layout. To update an Xeditor document from a layout, proceed as follows:

  1. In the structure tree of the product, select the Xeditor document below the layout in which the correction was made.
  2. Open the context menu by right-clicking on the Xeditor document.
  3. Select "Write XML back”.   
    Note: A gear icon indicates that the operation is still in progress. Once the icon disappears, the Xeditor document has been successfully updated. In case of an error, a red warning icon is displayed and an administrator can view an error report in the Xeditor document properties. Writing back is only useful if XML content was previously placed in the InDesign document.