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Adobe InDesign integration with Booktype’s publishing platform

Yes, you can benefit from Booktype’s collaborative, online tools and use InDesign for the final touches.
Yes, you can benefit from Booktype’s collaborative, online tools and use InDesign for the final touches.

Booktype is a book production platform, allowing you to export your book into a print-ready PDF or a digital format. We believe Booktype makes beautiful books. Others believe you need Adobe InDesign to make really beautiful print books. Because we listen to you (and don’t like to argue), we have added Adobe InDesign as an export channel to Booktype. Yes, this means you can now benefit from Booktype’s collaborative, online book production features and still use InDesign for the final touches. This post tells you how book designers and corporate publishers can benefit from this new feature.

Just to recap: out of the box, Booktype already supports hybrid publishing in many formats including PDF, EPUB, MOBI, HTML and the generated books are compatible with all major platforms for e-books and print-on-demand. You could say Booktype is the web-based equivalent of a desktop publishing software (DTP) for hybrid publishing. Booktype is also commonly used by self-publishing service providers like Books on DemandTwentySix, or epubli. Self-publishing authors can use Booktype for free at the Omnibook platform www.omnibook.pro.

How to export to Adobe InDesign

Adding Adobe InDesign to your workflow is advantageous if you have your corporate design ready in an InDesign template. Then, Booktype becomes the centralised book production platform where you can import Microsoft Word documents, to the proofreading, all the editorial work, add and resolve comments - until the book is ready for shipping. At that point, you select “Publish” at the top right of the editing screen and select the output channel “Adobe InDesign (ICML)”.

Booktype will export the entire book and a chapter by chapter version of the book in a large ZIP file. This ZIP file will also contain all the fonts and raw images that were used in this book.

Adobe InDesign and the ICML format

Styles are exported from Booktype to InDesign ICML. In this example: bold and italics. Designers only need to provide character and paragraph styles.

Styles are exported from Booktype to InDesign ICML. In this example: bold and italics. Designers only need to provide character and paragraph styles.

Booktype does not export an InDesign file. It exports the entire book in Adobe’s InCopy Markup Language (ICML), a standard defined by Adobe allowing the easy migration of content between InDesign documents.  If you are a book designer, chances are you have never heard of InCopy. If you are designing magazines with more than one contributor, chances are you work with InCopy every day. In short: The ICML file contains relevant information about the content and formatting as well as relative links to media.

Using ICML file to migrate content to InDesign has the advantage that the content can flow into an existing InDesign IDML document. In other words: If you have a book layout in InDesign, you can add content in chapters - or entire books - by placing ICML content inside your project. Especially, if you take individual chapters from different books and compile them in one book, the fact that the content flows into any InDesign page sizes is a blessing. 

This is similar to placing DOCX files in InDesign with one major advantage: the images referenced in ICML are 'raw' whereas the DOCX images are embedded in the DOCX file - and depending on the editor that was used to create the DOCX file, you never quite know what conversion has been applied to the image.

If you start from scratch, follow the below step to import an entire book into a new InDesign document.

Adding pages automatically when importing ICML

The following tutorial was tested in production using InDesign CC 2017.

InDesign's 'Smart Text Reflow' functionality allows to automatically create pages when importing a document, such as an ICML file. Here is a simple example, assuming you start a new document: Create new document

  • Make sure 'Number of pages' is set to 1.
  • Activate 'Primary Text Frame'.
  • Create document by clicking 'OK'.
 

Create a new document with 'Number of pages' set to 1 and 'Primary Text Frame' activated.

Create a new document with 'Number of pages' set to 1 and 'Primary Text Frame' activated.

Edit preferences

  • Select 'Preferences > Type...' from the dropdown menu.
  • Activate the 'Smart Text Reflow' section.
  • Select where you want pages to be added automatically.
  • Select if you want to 'Limit to primary text frames' or also reflow into other text frames.
  • You can also select if empty pages should be deleted.
  • Click 'OK' to close the preferences.

Smart Text Reflow in InDesign will automatically add pages when you flow text into your layout.

Smart Text Reflow in InDesign will automatically add pages when you flow text into your layout.

Place document

  • Place the ICML document in the first page of the new document.
  • Select 'Place' to import the ICML content.

 

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