Xtags for InDesign or QuarkXPress turns simple tagged text into complete, complex documents. What if you could have a software robot that obeyed a simple tagged text file format (and not some XML monstrosity) to create formatted document contents? And, what if, using this single format, you could produce either Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress documents as needed? Xtags lets you build documents with anchored and unanchored objects, sise the objects to fit the frames (or vice versa), apply master pages or spreads at any point, use macros for brevity and power and translation tables for easy conversion, giving you serious layout power and much more!
In this case study, Mark Jockin, CEO of Pre1 Software in Portland, Oregon explains how Em Software’s Xtags product became a backbone of the Pre1 newspaper software sold to hundreds of publications across the Americas.
In 1999, Pre1 first sold its newspaper software to an alternative newsweekly in Portland, Oregon. Today, more than 400 titles are printed using Pre1’s SmartPublisher with more coming online each month. By now, literally millions of ads have been converted into print. Xtags made it all possible.
Pre1’s mission is to streamline workflow for publications by integrating into one product multiple business processes vital to newspaper and magazine publishers. For the most part, every publication works the same. The sales reps sell ads, the accountants collect money and the production department builds the ads. When deciding how to unite these various disciplines in a single software product for newspapers and magazines, Pre1’s challenge was which technologies to count on to get the job done.
For contact management, sales, accounting and reporting, Pre1 chose to build a custom FileMaker solution. A big piece of the puzzle, however, was converting largely unformatted classified ad data into stylised output designers would be proud of.
We’ve all seen the back of various publications on the newsstand: the classified ads are filled with different fonts, sises, images, borders, highlighting, you name it. To handle all the different possibilities Pre1 needed a highly adaptable solution.
Using Xtags, SmartPublisher offers extremely configurable output satisfying the needs of a host of newspapers and magazines:
Designers set the look and feel of their classified ads by entering familiar production settings or style names:
Ad takers then select the options the advertiser would like to see such as borders, backgrounds, images, bolding, font and size, etc.:
At press time the entire classified section can be exported with one click and imported into either QuarkXPress or InDesign using Em’s Xtags Plug-in, yielding pages of ads with almost no work by the design team. It’s truly a thing of beauty!
Xtags is designed for picture-based data publishing, complex book building, classified ads building, code conversion and much more and has been in production use at thousands of sites, world-wide, since 1992. Find out more about what Xtags can do for you!