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Subject: InDesign IDML output

Hello Everyone,

I've just made an attempt to export my simple document into InDesign via

Intro (you can skip it)
It was intended for small private project - monograph. It is mostly a plain
text, several pictures, tables, but many footnotes. The source is maintained
in DocBook. It can be easily exported into HTML, PDF or ePub. I've
considered to create a standard book from it. I like good typography so I've
tried to reuse my data in InDesign with all the features it offers. Because
of the huge amount of footnotes I've choosen the way via IDML, not simle
copy/paste. It was also nice XSLT challenge :-)

Export into InDesign was discussed several times [1, 2] and there is also
Wiki page available [3]. I've based my work on XSL-FO output. For this
proof-of-concept with very limited resources I reject an idea to implement
everything so I've concentrated mainly on the limited vocabulary used in my
document. The rest was removed.

Templates are capable to convert the entire document into the single story.
If this XML file together with other resources is packed, it can be imported
into InDesign. This works with my document, but as I said before, its
structure is very simple.

Quite soon I've realized that InDesign's GUI is very restrictive. You are
loosing control which you have with XSLT. Yes, you have better control over
page breaks, orphans, line breaks. But features not available you simply
cannot fake. I am used to using the customization of XSLT a lot and I know
that almost everything is possible. In InDesign my hands are bound. Several
examples: forget footnotes in tables (or use nasty workaround [4]),
footnoterefs, automatized linking from text to footnote and back (not so
important for me now as I want just the printed output). How about
restarting footnote numbering with every chapter? No. Use something like
titleabbrev just for TOC? No.
I am fan of InDesign from its birth, but now I am annoyed as I will have to
reject its amazing typography. Footnote and TOC processing is too simple for
my needs. I have to admit that footnotes isn't feature used very often in
the graphical design, but for me it is really crucial (so stopper).

I have created the set of templates, which can be further improved. If you
accept InDesign limitations and your documents are simple enough, you can be
happy with them. They need additional polishing and explanation (on the WIKI
page ?).

If you are interested, please let me know.


[3] http://wiki.docbook.org/topic/DocBookInDesign
[4] http://forums.adobe.com/message/1317014

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