The INX2FO solution is designed to be used on both - the designer workstation and the production
server. The process of using the solution consists of two stages:
designing the report using Adobe InDesign;
using the designed report in INX format and INX2FO stylesheets on the production server with
RenderX XEP XSL-FO formatter, to generate PDF documents dynamically filled with data from the
external XML data source.
The report designer may use the external data source to preview the resulting document PDF format
using the INX2FO stylesheets with XEP formatter on the workstation too.
Also you can generate resulting documents (static or with dynamic data) on the workstation.
At first you have to open INDD or INX document which you want to convert. If this document
merged with external data source check whether this data base file exists and correctly bound to
this document. For additional information about data merge see Adobe InDesign documentation
and INX2FO data binding usage. Also check Data
binding dialog settings for data merged document - here you can specify output folder or path to
existing data source file and set a range of records for generate.
Using Preview button on the main panel of INX2FO Plug-In you can generate and see a data
merged document with first three records only from input data source. This makes possible a one
click fast preview of the resulting document even with a large data source bound to it.
Check whether the source document is opened and all required fields on Settings and Data binding
dialogs are specified correctly. Now you are ready to start converting the active document. Click
Run transformation button on the INX2FO Plug-In’s main panel and wait until transformation
finished. Current converting status will be displayed at INX2FO Plug-In’s main panel field during
After transformation finished you can see at INX2FO Plug-In’s main panel results field either success
message or short error description depending on convertion results. any errors occurred you can review the transformation details in log file. To open log file click Open log file button on the
Plug-In’s main panel.
You can render PDF or PostScript file from INX document using INX2FO Plug-In.
Open or create new document in InDesign.
You are ready to generate a resulting document – just click Generate Resulting Document button.
If your PDF file is formatted successfully you can find it in directory that specified in Formatting settings dialog. If PDF file is not created you may see log for transformation errors. To see the log use Open log file command. For more information, refer to XEP documentation.
To view or preview resulting PDF you need a PDF viewer, for example Adobe Acrobat Reader
You can render PDF file from INX document with data binding using INX2FO Plug-In.
To obtain PDF file you need to perform the following actions:
Create a new document in InDesign and fill it with desired content (don’t use any data bound objects).
Select specific CSV file as data source to the document.(Menu Window -> Automation -> Data Merge).
In opened window choose Select Data Source (see Fig.2) and select correct csv or txt data source file.
Data Merge window will contain all available data source fields. Use drag and drop to take necessary data source fields to corresponding text objects on current document. These fields will be displayed as <<field name>> (see Fig.3). After document is processed with INX2FO stylesheets, the fields will be replaced with values of corresponding records from data source.
It is important to know that there are several ways to make data binding with InDesign.
After you have bound CSV file data with your InDesign document, you can choose data binding mechanism, from one of the following:
Make the document with data merged using InDesign, and then convert it to XSL-FO using INX2FO stylesheets. This variant is simpler but needs much resources - all generated pages (e.g., 1000, 10000 or more) need to be placed into the InDesign application and then to INX file. This needs a lot of memory and CPU time.
Make only template in InDesign, and generate full document with data using only INX2FO Plug-In. This variant is more powerful, fast and scalable. But to do it, you should convert your InDesign data source file to XML-file (see INX2FO data source format
section of the “INX2FO User Documentation Part II - Data Binding and Barcodes” for details). Then generate a resulting document with INX2FO Plug-In using data binding mechanism to make sure that it is an easy way to get perfect documents.
After the document is prepared you may generate a preview – just click Preview to see first pages (the actual number of pages could be set up in settings dialog) with dynamic data embedded by clicking on a preview button on a plug-in panel. The resulting shortened document will be automatically opened with an associated viewer application.
If you satisfied with the preview, you may run the resulting document generation, by clicking on Run transformation button.
Prior to insert a static barcode into the InDesign document, you need to create a barcode XML data
definition file, using one of the predefined templates. The XML data definition file is used to extract
data. The templates are available in the folder:
[INX2FO installation folder]\templates\barcodes\
Each template file corresponds to a specific type of barcode. It contains a single (sample) XML node
that defines all possible tags for the barcode to be rendered by INX2FO stylesheets.
This variant is quite similar to the previous. The whole procedure of the barcode embedding is all
the same with only a few differences. There is one more XML file (in addition to the primary data
source XML), which contains the secondary barcode parameters. The structure of the XML is the
same as in template files, located at [INX2FO installation folder]\templates\barcodes.
To create a dynamic barcodes with data-merging capabilities, you need to have a data source in
XML format and a CSV representation of that data source (a first XML record in a CSV format) for
the InDesign to be able to use it in its data-merging mechanism (at the document design time).
The XML data source should have all the barcodes parameters represented as attributes. The
attributes names should be the same as in the corresponding type of barcode template (see [INX2FO
installation folder]\templates\barcodes folder for templates).
The example of the valid XML data source with barcodes shows the barcode definition cells on the
column level and on the row level (see the listing).
If a cell in a row has some attribute missing, the value will be taken from the corresponding column
<?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”UTF-8”?>
<cell3 cellType=”barcode” type=”Interleaved2of5” module=”0.33mm”
<cell5 cellType=”barcode” type=”Code128”>Barcode2</cell5>
<cell2>This is a barcode #1</cell2>
<cell3 cellType=”barcode” module=”0.35mm”
<cell4>This is a barcode #2</cell4>
To set up dynamic barcodes with external data source follow these steps:
Generate a XML data source using your database engine in the form described above.
Now you need to generate a CSV representation of the data source with a single record
for the InDesign to be able to map the data fields. To do that you can create a CSV file
manually with the columns names taken from the XML file columns node and the values
- from the first row node.
After the CSV file is created - you need to select it as a data source for Data Merge. By
using command Select Data Source on the Data Merge panel (see Fig.2).
When the data source is selected, all available data fields will be displayed in a list.
You need to drag and drop each data field on the required text frames.
Now you can generate the resulting document with external data source as was described earlier (see “How to process sample document with INX2FO data binding mechanism” section of the “INX2FO User Documentation Part II - Data Binding and Barcodes” for details)
Follow 1-4 steps of the previous chapter (Setting up the dynamic barcodes with external
Now you need to run File -> Import XML command and import previously prepared XML
template file. This file should contain a XML node for each barcode.
In this step you need to create an association between the template and the data merged
into the document. To do this, in XML view expand each barcode node and double click the
dbFieldName attribute to edit its value. You need to specify a data merging field name as
a value of the attribute (see Fig.6.).
After the associations to all barcode producing data fields are set up, you may drag each
barcode node (from XML view) and drop it to a required text frame where the barcode is
expected to render.