XML and Indesign

New Here ,
Sep 02, 2022 Sep 02, 2022

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Hi!

I am having a list of vocabulary in two different languages.  I can convert it easily to xml but after that I don´t know how to proceed in indesign to get a nice list of vocabulary. Anyone can help? Do you know any tutorial?

thanks in advance

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Feature request , How to , Import and export , Type

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Community Expert ,
Sep 02, 2022 Sep 02, 2022

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Can you maybe tell us more about what you're trying to do? I do multilingual stuff all the time in InDesign, and I wrangle multilingual XML all the time, but if what I wanted to make was "a nice list of vocabulary" I would assume that XML wouldn't have anything to do with it. 


What are your sources? You have lists of vocab in two different languages... in MS Word? In separate InDesign documents? In Excel spreadsheets? 

 

What's your target? Are you trying to make instructional materials to be reproduced in hardcopy for an in-person class? A glossary for translators?  A PDF to be distributed via email?

 

 

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New Here ,
Sep 03, 2022 Sep 03, 2022

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Hi!
My source is excel or access, where I am having an increasing list of
vocabulary. I export it to xml and then I import it from indesign.
I want to make a glossary just for personal use at the moment.
In excel I am having some columns which I am not interested in for printing
purposes.
How can I filter the xml?

If you are making multilingual stuff in indesign, how do you manage to have
different corrections.?

Thanks a lot for your interest
Silvia

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Community Expert ,
Sep 03, 2022 Sep 03, 2022

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I expect that you chose XML export to get your data out of Access not because you needed to, but because so many workflows rely on XML to move data from one domain to another. I often do that myself, but I don't try to bring XML into InDesign when there is an easier way, and in your case there are at least two easier ways. (Because usually I have to transform the XML using XSL transforms, and that's just more work that I'd have to do, if there is not an easier way.) 

 

If you are dealing with an Access database, XML export looks like a good place to start. However, if you were required to export XML from Access to bring into ID, then the stage to exclude some of the data would be at the XML generation stage, or even before, where you would write a query to hit the DB for the data you'd be exporting. Doing it after you've exported your data can certainly be done, but it's so much easier to exclude stuff while you're making the XML than it is to remove stuff from the XML once exported from Access. 

 

On the other hand, I bet that Access can export CSV, just as Excel can. If you can export your data in CSV (or tab-delimited, that would work just as well), then you can use InDesign's Data Merge feature to bring the data in. Much easier to use than InDesign's XML import tools, in my opinion. 

 

Here's the documentation on XML import

Here's the documentation on Data Merge

 

Note that the Data Merge documentation is like one fifth as long as the XML Import documentation!

 

There may be good reasons why you'd want to use XML Import. For example, if I were working on a dictionary, for example, I'd very much want to use XML Import, as I could map XML tags to styles in InDesign. That would make sense due to the very large number of entries I'd expect in a dictionary (like, a whole language's worth of words, right?). But for a bilingual glossary for my own personal use, I'd rather use Data Merge, as it'd be much faster to set up. 

 

To exclude some columns from Data Merge is very easy. In Excel, you fill out the A row to have unique column names. I'm imagining EnglishTerm, FinnishTerm, and FinnishDefinition, here. Maybe your database also has EnglishDefinition or ItalianTerm and ItalianDefinition, for example. So if I wanted to exclude the Italian term and definition, I'd make a layout in InDesign that had the placeholders only for the columns I want to use, so:

 

<<EnglishTerm>>   <<FinnishTerm>>   <<FinnishDefinition>>

 

Then, when I ran the merge, only those three columns would be used. 

 

Lastly, I'm not really sure how to answer this question:

quote
If you are making multilingual stuff in indesign, how do you manage to have different corrections.?


I think of InDesign as a tool to manipulate designs, not as a tool to manipulate data. Because I have no idea what you're doing, I can't guess at what kind of corrections you're talking about, or how best to implement them. My experience  (15 kilobytes of raw text describing my own personal horror stories of Native American dictionary layout go here) is that it's best to make one's changes as far upstream as possible. So, probably in your Access database, I'm guessing. However, that might not be your question at all! So, if you'd like me to share some linguistic review workflow suggestions, just tell me more about what you're trying to do. A lot more. Like, a lot lot more. Feel free to write it in a non-English language, if it's easier for you, and we'll see how well the machine translation works in these forums. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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