Release: Xtags 3/4.0.2 for InDesign CS/CS2

December 6, 2007 by

These early releases of Xtags added quite a few small features, but mostly fixed bugs in the initial release.

Note that this includes all release notes back to the original Xtags 3.0 for InDesign CS.

Changes at 3/4.0.2 release

  • Since InDesign won’t break on special space characters (en space, flex space, punctuation space, etc.), like QuarkXPress does, Xtags now follows any such character with a zero-width space (on which InDesign will break) so long as non-breaking hasn’t been specified. For example, a <\q> tag now generates two characters, a four-per-em-space followed by a zero-width-space, while a <\!q> tag will still generate just a four-per-em-space character with the no-break attribute applied.
  • Baseline-aligned inline frames may now be offset up to 11 inches below the baseline.
  • Fixed a long-standing problem where placing an unanchored box relative to the most-recently anchored box would instead either place that box relative to the most-recently created unanchored box or issue the error “No such previous box” if there was no such most-recently created unanchored box.
  • Fixed a problem where support for all flavors of line-ends (DOS, Unix and Mac, introduced back in beta 2) wasn’t working with tagged text files imported via scripting. This was causing text to import without paragraph-level formatting (as if the Include style sheets checkbox were deselected.
  • Worked around an InDesign problem where vertically-centered text in baseline-aligned inline text frames (created via &tb) were being drawn top-aligned.
  • Fixed a problem where <B>, <I> and <$> were not working consistently with Adobe Garamond Semibold.
  • Fixed a long-standing smart quotes problem where quotes immediately following paragraph style callouts were producing close quotes rather than open quotes.
  • Fixed a problem where displaying a filename with an empty filename extension like mytags. would crash the Get Text with Xtags… dialog. (Mac OS only)
  • Fixed a problem where the Get Text with Xtags… dialog wasn’t always showing valid tagged text files as selectable. (Mac OS X 10.4 and later)
  • Fixed a problem where forced leading on an anchored frame that had been shrunk to fit its contents was using the frame’s original height instead of the shrunken height.
  • Text in an anchored frame that has been shrunk to fit its contents no longer starts partway down the frame.
  • Fixed a problem where paragraph tags between an anchored text frame’s final carriage-return and the <&te> tag were being applied to the last paragraph. Such paragraph tags are now properly ignored.
  • Xtags no longer causes a crash if a script makes a layout selection (select text frame 1 of document 1, for example) rather than a text selection (select text of text frame 1 of document 1) prior to invoking Xtags.
  • In addition to English, Xtags now recognizes French and German-localized QuarkXPress Passport-standard color, frame style and language names.
  • The default text wrap setting for baseline-aligned anchored frames has been changed from item to none in order to bypass an InDesign composer limitation which was blocking vertical justification in text frames containing one or more anchored frames with item text wrap. Since InDesign’s composer flows text around the part of the anchored frame extending above the baseline (as if it were a character), the text flow resulting from this change should remain the same as it was before. The default text wrap setting for ascent-aligned anchored frames is still item.
  • Values specified as picas are now recognized even if they contain only a points component. For example, while the values 0p6 and p6 both specify six points, using the latter no longer results an error.
  • Hidden text tags in QuarkXPress-generated tagged text (<A(...)[...]>) no longer produce errors and are instead silently ignored (since there’s no corresponding construct in InDesign).
  • Fixed a problem which caused Xtags to issue a “missing composer” error instead of a “missing language” error.
  • Improved support for toggling font faces when using Adobe Janson. Note, however, that Xtags is only able to toggle bold and italic on the fonts that InDesign itself is able to toggle bold and italic (via Cmd/Ctrl-Shift-B and Cmd/Ctrl-Shift-I, respectively).
  • Xtags now recognizes German-localized QuarkXPress standard color and language names. For example, “Gelb” will now be treated as “Yellow” (so long as the document doesn’t already contain a swatch named “Gelb”).
  • Added compatibility with our InData product such that XPress Tags-bearing data may now be imported by InData (versions 3.1.3b2 and 4.1.3b2 or later).
  • Fixed a problem where shrinking an anchored frame to fit its picture with a tag like <&pb((346,S),(300,S),,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,"foo.tif")> was giving the contained image a non-zero vertical offset such that the top of the image was being cropped. Now the frame is properly resized and the vertical offset is left at zero unless otherwise specified.
  • Shrinking a frame that strokes its path with the [None] swatch to its contents no longer leaves a small gap between the picture and the right and bottom edges of the frame.
  • We’ve changed the <\!s> tag so that it generates a space with the no-break attribute applied rather than injecting a single “hard” space character since the latter turned out to be non-justifiable (and therefore differed from Xtags for QuarkXPress).
  • All flavors of line-ends (DOS, Unix and Mac) are now handled properly.
  • Unicode text files may now be imported so long as they begin with the appropriate byte order mark (BOM) to signal their Unicode-ness. For example, a UTF-8 encoded tagged text file would need to begin with the three character sequence 239 187 191 (that’s character #239, character #187 and character #191).
  • Added support for old-style Mac font names (platform font names) in order to improve compatibility with tags generated by QuarkXPress or previously targeted to QuarkXPress.
  • PostScript font name handling has also been improved so that a font whose family name differs from its PostScript family name is no longer ignored. For example, a font like STHeiti Light with family name “STHeiti” may now be selected using its PostScript name “STXihei”. Previously, the tag f"STXihei" would have resulted in a “font not found” error.
  • Xtags now takes steps to ensure text placed in created frames is displayed correctly. Before, the contained text would ignore a frame’s non-rectangular shape, text inset and vertical justification until the user manually nudged the settings via the Object > Text Frame Options… dialog.
  • Fixed a problem where sizing a text frame to its contents could result in overset text if the frame had non-zero text inset applied.
  • Text surrounding an ascent-aligned anchored frame should now correctly
    flow around the frame rather than thru it. This addresses a long-standing InDesign CS problem where the only workaround was to always use baseline-aligned anchored frames. (CS only, not CS2)

  • Unanchored oval frames are now placed correctly. Before, oval frames were always being created on the pasteboard.
  • Fixed a problem where the checkboxes in the File > Get File with Xtags… dialog would become unselectable, might disappear, and were just plain flaky in general. (Windows only)
  • A parameter error in a frame creation tag now (correctly) aborts the creation of that frame.
  • Resolved several minor memory leaks.

Changes at 3/4.0.1 release

  • The Xtags 4.x series now runs under InDesign Creative Suite 2 (CS2).
  • A new <\e> tag inserts an End Nested Style character. (CS2 only)
  • A font specified by just a family name now maps to that family’s plain style (whether explicit or implicit). For example, “Helvetica” becomes “Helvetica-Medium” rather than some other seemingly-random variant like “Helvetica-Narrow”.
  • Fonts may now be specified by their PostScript names in addition to their user-visible names.
  • Fixed a problem where the Get File dialog could display garbage in its file types list. (Windows only)
  • QuarkXPress standard color names (“black”, “blue”, etc.) are now supported. Note that a document swatch with the same name as one of these standard colors will “win”.
  • Baseline-aligned anchored text frames created with a vertical alignment other than “top” now display their contents using the requested vertical alignment. Before, InDesign was reluctant to display the applied alignment until the user had manually changed either the frame or its content.
  • Fixed a problem where the superior text attribute, once on, couldn’t be turned off.
  • Added automation/scripting support. For Windows, we’ve added a method to both the application and the document objects:
    void getTextWithXtags(
      [in] VARIANT From,
      [in, optional] VARIANT_BOOL QuoteConversion,
      [in, optional] VARIANT_BOOL ErrorReporting,
      [in, optional] VARIANT_BOOL DocumentUpdating);

    For Mac OS, the event (found in the Basics Suite) is also available at both the application and document level:

    get text with Xtags from <alias or string>
      [quote conversion boolean]
      [error reporting boolean]
      [document updating boolean]

    As with Xtags for QuarkXPress, these entry points require a current document and a selected text frame.

  • Fixed a problem where imports into an existing paragraph would remove applied character settings.
  • Fixed a problem where error strings supplied by scripts and our facade interface weren’t always correct.
  • A font specified as a font family without any explicit style is now treated as an implicit plain style request so that, as in QuarkXPress, the tag <f"Times"> will actually call out “Times-Roman” (for example).
  • Fixed a sporadic problem which was causing the creation of unanchored boxes placed as anchored boxes (i.e. with the x and y parameters left empty) to fail.
  • Unanchored boxes are now placed in front of existing boxes by default. Previously, they were always being placed behind existing boxes.
  • Added support for the send-to-back K flag, used to place new unanchored boxes behind existing boxes.
  • Unanchored boxes placed as anchored boxes (i.e. with the x and y parameters left empty) are now positioned as they are in Xtags for QuarkXPress where the top-left corner is aligned with line’s height rather than with the font’s ascent. (This difference is really only apparent if theline contains a baseline-aligned anchored object.) That Xtags for QuarkXPress aligns to the line height rather than the font’s ascent (as the documentation states) is probably a bug, but in the interest of cross-application compatibility we’re going to mimic that behavior in Xtags for InDesign.
  • Fixed a problem which was causing unanchored boxes placed as anchored boxes (i.e. with the x and y parameters left empty) to be positioned incorrectly if the paragraph’s style differed appreciably from the No Paragraph Style’s style.
  • Fixed a problem with the <f$> tag which prevented subsequent <I> and <B> tags from working properly.
  • Fixed a problem where typeface names containing their weight (e.g. “45 Light Oblique”) were always being treated as plain even if they were really bold or italic (or both). This caused the <I> in the tagged text "The <f"Univers 45 Light Oblique">quick<I> brown fox..." (which should have toggled italics off) to be ignored.
  • Worked around an InDesign issue which caused the tag <f"Univers 45 Light Oblique"> to emit an error even when the font was present. (This doesn’t appear to be a widespread problem; we only saw it happen with “Univers 45 Light Oblique”.)
  • The non-breaking space tag <\!s> now emits a Unicode “hard space” rather than a normal space with the no-break attribute applied. This change allows InDesign to display the space as a special glyph when Show Hidden Characters has been selected.

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