Release: Xtags 2.0 for InDesign CS5/CS5.5/CS6/CC

November 25, 2013 by

This major update adds compatibility with InDesign CC, and also includes long-awaited support for object styles and lines. Yes, lines. Woot!


  • Adds support for InDesign CC. The CC plug-in requires a valid Xtags CC-level license. Please contact our sales department to purchase an upgrade license or obtain a free upgrade if you purchased Xtags on or after January 1, 2013.
  • Adds support for object styles. For anchored box tags, the style name parameter follows the boxname parameter. For unanchored box tags, the stylename parameter follows the layername parameter.

    In box tags where an object style is specified, empty parameters now leave the corresponding frame attribute unset so that it defaults to the object style’s setting. In box tags where no object style is specified, traditional behavior is retained where the Xtags default value for that frame attribute is applied as an override.

  • Adds support for the &lb and &lbu line box tags.

    A line tag’s framewidth parameter may be a sublist containing the line weight and a cap style (B for butt cap, R for round cap or S for square/projecting cap). For example, ..., (4, r),... describes a 4pt line with rounded ends.

    The endcap parameter, which specifies the arrow style in QuarkXPress, is matched as well as possible. There are no feathered line end styles in InDesign, so these are mapped to plain. Arrowheads are internally mapped to InDesign’s Curved arrowhead style.

    Optionally, the endcap parameter may be a sublist with two entries. The first entry names the line’s starting point end shape. The second names the line’s ending point end shape. For example, ..., ("Curved","Circle"),... describes a left-pointing arrow with a circle-style tail.

    Note that InDesign lines are exported as end-points rather than as polar coordinates (as they are in QuarkXPress), to more closely match InDesign’s internal line representation.

    Both anchored and as-anchored lines may be used with the recently-added size-to-column sizing spec.

  • Adds relative line sizing, where a relatively-placed line can be sized relative to its reference box. Lines always shrink (like other box types, they never grow) towards their start point (the reference point) and their direction is always maintained.
  • Adds box placement relative to a named box that is on the current page, on the current spread, or anywhere in the document. If the named box is not found, the box creation fails and an error is generated. If the name is prefaced with a question mark, the creation is considered conditional: if the named box is not found then no box is created and no error is reported.

    Where the named box is looked for can be specified by setting a new parameter in the relative reference sub-list to D (to search the document’s layout), S (to search the current spread) or P (to limit the search to the current page). The default search location is the current spread.

    E.g., <&pbu2((0,TL,"sidebar"),0,...)> looks for a box named “sidebar” on the current spread and places this new box on top of it. If “sidebar” isn’t found, the tag fails and an error is generated.

    E.g., <&pbu2((0,TL,"?sidebar"),0,...)> also looks for a box named “sidebar”, but if one can’t be found no error is issued.

    E.g., <&tbu2((0,TL,"?background",P),0,(1,R,0),(1,R,0),...)> searches the document for a box named “background” and creates a same-sized text box on top of it.

    Note that you can name a box on a master page and then position boxes on each document page relative to where the named master page box lies. This could be handy when tagged elements’ placements need to be determined by the layout rather than the tags. For example, something like


    might be used to place a left-page footer only on left pages. Since no box named “left-page-footer” would exist on the right page master, the tag would silently fail on right-side pages.

  • Adds the U box flag, which may be used to send a relatively placed unanchored box behind (under) its referenced box. If both the U and K (send to back) flags are specified for a relatively-placed box, the K flag will be ignored.

    For example, the tags sequence:

    <&tbu2((0,TL,"fancybox",S),0,(1,R,0),(4",S,6),0,0,,...)>Some text.<&tbe>

    would create a text box aligned with (and as wide as) the current spread’s “fancybox”, shrink the box’s height to its contents, then slide a same-sized picture box in behind that text box to provide a background graphic.

  • Adds support for InCatalog’s new key from text ˄ key type, represented as U (upwards) in the InCatalog &Ce() link tag.
  • Fixes face toggling (<I> and <B>) of fonts that have unconventional PostScript names, like “AldaOT-RegularItalic” for Alda Italic.

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