Teaser: IDML Extension for Pimcore

The German software company Bit&Black is developing an extension for Pimcore that enables Pimcore users to export content as an IDML document. The extension complements the existing PDF export function.

Effortless transfer of information to layout programs

Thanks to the IDML extension, data can be transferred from Pimcore to Adobe InDesign from CS4 (version 6) or other layout programs e.g. QuarkXPress (from version 2018) and Affinity Publisher (from version 1.8) without any configuration effort.
This means they can be integrated into a final drawing process or other processing steps. It is not necessary to install a plug-in, for example, in Adobe InDesign itself.

Intelligent functions for designers

The IDML extension carries out a holistic conversion of the content from Pimcore. This means that the content is restructured as required by a designer in a layout program such as Adobe InDesign: Formats are defined, content is transformed. All information about the appearance of the document available in Pimcore is converted into formats for paragraphs, characters, objects, tables and cells. Their settings are intelligently inherited so that changes to the design can be carried out easily afterwards. A good example of this is the basic font, which is only defined in one format and is inherited from there in all other formats.
Wherever possible, content is placed regardless of format and behaves in a »responsive« manner. This ensures that changes, such as shortening or lengthening a text, affect all subsequent content and elements. The extension can transform different page layouts, for example, continuous text, table set, and multi-column layouts.

The used Google Fonts can be integrated automatically. They are then in the folder named »Document fonts« after downloading and are automatically activated by Adobe InDesign when the document is opened. (This behavior can differ in other layout programs.)
The extension makes use of variables and automation functions of the layout programs, for example, for pagination, running headers, and tables of contents. This means that later changes to the layout can be implemented without errors.

Use of the extension in Pimcore

The IDML extension is an enterprise extension for which Pimcore must be used with the enterprise subscription.

After the installation, an additional button is available in the object editor with which the conversion can be started. After the conversion is complete, the content is available for download as a ZIP archive. In addition to the IDML file, this also contains a folder named »Links«, which contains all the media used, and a folder named »Document fonts«, which contains all the fonts used. Thanks to their names, Adobe InDesign automatically recognizes both folders. Media and fonts are then automatically made available when opening an IDML document.

Conditions, support, and development

The IDML extension can be obtained annually using the subscription process. Minor updates and patches will be made available during this period. The semantic versioning provides certainty about the compatibility of the extension with all other components.
Bit&Black from Stuttgart (Germany) is responsible for the active development, support and sales of the extension. The company answers the digitization questions of the printing and media industry by developing intelligent layout systems. Support for the use of the extension is available here at any time. More information is available at www.bitandblack.com.

IDML files can also be generated without Pimcore

The IDML extension is an extension of the »HTML-to-IDML« framework. The core of the software is the widely used »IDML-Creator«. The IDML functionality can, therefore, be integrated and used independently of Pimcore in a wide variety of environments.

Availability of the IDML extension

The development of the extension is currently in the beta phase. It is expected to be available by the end of 2020.
Are you interested or have suggestions? Feel free to contact us using our contact form! We are looking forward to early adopters and your feedback. 

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Tobias Köngeter
  • CEO, BIT&BLACK
1 articles by this author

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