What is the importance of keeping the .idml

Community Beginner ,
Jan 11, 2022 Jan 11, 2022

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Hello Adobe Support Community,

My name is Daniel. I'm a single salesmen by trade and I love learning new pieces of software.  I'm a SalesForce admin.  I love to learn and I'm usually good at learning new UI.  Yet, when I signed up for an InDesign licence with Adobe I thought I'd catch the wave quickly.  It is not the case.  I just can't get to do everything I want with InDesign and as quickly as I would have liked.

 

Therefore, I had to hire a designer to help me speed up my process of creating a two pager for a sales pitch I'm preparing.  I attach the piece so that you can see what and where I'm at so far in that endeavour.

 

Please forward my use case to someone else if you feel that other person can be of assistance.

 

Here is my case:

I received my first draft from that designer in Sri Lanka.  Of course, I am planning to edit the content, make some changes to the piece, etc  The one question I have is this.

 

Considering that I received the .zip file of my first draft with three files and two folders:

 

  • file number one: .indd
  • file number two: .idml
  • folder one: the fonts
  • folder two: the source images

 

I searched information about this .idml file and the purpose of it and I got this explanation of both file extensions:

  • The .indd file stores a lot of data from the resources used within the file and the most memory intensive of these are the graphics.
  • The .idml file is essentially a text document 'describing' our InDesign file rather than the file itself.

My question is this:

 

If I modify the text in the .indd file, how can I make sure I did not loose the integrity of the full project?

 

I want to make sure that my changes will be compatible with other technical persons who open my project for let's say, printing the said flyers.

 

Do you understand my question?

 

Thank you very much.

Daniel.

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Community Professional , Jan 11, 2022 Jan 11, 2022
If I understand your question, one important use of .idml is to allow users with earlier versions to open the file. When you complete your edits, send back the .indd file, but also, do a File menu > Save As and choose Format "InDesign CS4 or earlier." Send both files and the other party can open either one, since both will contain your edits. That way, if you are, for example, using ID 2022 and they are on ID 2020, they can open and use the .idml file.

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Adobe Community Professional , Jan 12, 2022 Jan 12, 2022
Your printer would be more concerned about the pdf file. Ask them for a joboptions file that contains all the settings to export out a pdf and use that joboptions file during pdf export to create the pdf as per the needs of your printer. The package is meant more to share the files across to team members who are likely to make edits in the document When you use File>Package you need not worry about checking the files produced in the package folder everything will be there and it will be the ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2022 Jan 11, 2022

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If I understand your question, one important use of .idml is to allow users with earlier versions to open the file. When you complete your edits, send back the .indd file, but also, do a File menu > Save As and choose Format "InDesign CS4 or earlier." Send both files and the other party can open either one, since both will contain your edits. That way, if you are, for example, using ID 2022 and they are on ID 2020, they can open and use the .idml file.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 12, 2022 Jan 12, 2022

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Thank you @Diane Burns and @Manan Joshi your answers are very appreciated: your both angels and fast to reply to my help msg 🙂  If I recap and work a little bit and actively on my active listening skils, here is what I retain:  I don't have to worry about editing the IDML file I received when working in my INDD file.  Having said that, when I send the completed version to my printer (doing a File menu > Package) I must make sure I have both the .indd and .idml in the .zip folder.  Of course, I will also need to make sure the folder contains as well my images and a .pdf.

 

Q: Does this mean that the .idml file contains an xml?

 

Daniel.

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° )

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2022 Jan 12, 2022

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Having said that, when I send the completed version to my printer (doing a File menu > Package) I must make sure I have both the .indd and .idml in the .zip folder.  Of course, I will also need to make sure the folder contains as well my images and a .pdf.

No, the only file you should send is the PDF. Your printer does not need anything else, but he should give you the precise tech specs of the PDF he needs.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2022 Jan 12, 2022

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  • Your printer would be more concerned about the pdf file. Ask them for a joboptions file that contains all the settings to export out a pdf and use that joboptions file during pdf export to create the pdf as per the needs of your printer.
  • The package is meant more to share the files across to team members who are likely to make edits in the document
  • When you use File>Package you need not worry about checking the files produced in the package folder everything will be there and it will be the latest version of the document
  • Now regarding IDML being an XML file. Yes it is a collection of XML files that describes every aspect of the INDD file. Now this fact should not concern someone who is only willing to use the InDesign application, however if you still want to see just open IDML file with a zip.utility and it will show you all the XML files it contains.

Hope this clears all your doubts. Feel free to ask if you have any other questions

-Manan

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2022 Jan 11, 2022

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As rightly mentioned by @Diane Burns the main reason to send IDML in such a case is to allow a perosn with an older version of InDesign to open the file. Having said that, later versions of InDesign i suppose CC2021 onwards also provide us a conversion service that prompts(on document open) to convert the INDD file into one that is compatible with your version of InDesign. For ex:- if you try to open up an INDD file created using CC2022 in CC2021 you can use the conversion service to convert the file into CC2021 compatible INDD file.

Also while sending an INDD file to another person, use File>Package this will create the whole bunch of files i.e. indd, idml, fonts, links and pdf so that the reciever has everything she/he needs. Also by doing this you don't need to worry about updating the IDML file as its automatically created mimicing the state of the INDD file.

-Manan

 

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