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The Tags Panel Close-up

The Tags panel has second billing in your XML extravaganza, just under the Structure pane. Tags are used to identify every XML element in a structured layout. They can be applied to frames—both graphic and text—paragraphs, sentences, words, and even down to individual characters. Tags can also be empty or wrapped around other elements, as when a child element is nested within a parent element (described in Chapter 1).

Open xml_interface2.indt from the Chapter 2 folder (Figure 2.15).

Let’s dive in and see what you’ve been missing. Figure 2.16 shows how to open the Tags panel, and Figure 2.17 shows the Tags panel.

Figure 2.18 shows how to expose the remaining parts of InDesign’s XML interface, and Figure 2.19 displays how the InDesign layout should look when the XML structure is all turned on. The tag markers appear as colored brackets at the beginning and end of each element. Tagged frames appear as if they are filled with the tag color. All this color is intended as a visual cue to help identify the XML elements. Don’t worry, the brackets and colored frames do not print or appear in exported files, such as JPEGs or PDFs.

Identifying Tagged Elements

Use the Tags panel to identify currently tagged elements (see Figures 2.20 through 2.23)

Creating Tags

Figures 2.24 and 2.25 show you how to create a tag.

Editing Tags

Whoops! We just made a mistake. Notice how all the other XML tags in the panel shown in Figure 2.25 are typed in lowercase? You should open the actual XML file to be certain, but assume for this exercise that Portrait should be lowercase, too. Let’s edit the tag we just created to conform with all the other element names (Figures 2.26 and 2.27).

Loading Tags

Tag names are added to the panel automatically whenever you import an XML file. But this method imports the XML data contained in the file as well. If there is no need for the data, InDesign provides a method for importing only the tag names from XML files and even from other InDesign or InCopy documents (Figures 2.28 through 2.30).

Deleting Unused Tags

You can delete tags at any time within your document, whether they are used or unused. Figure 2.31 illustrates how to delete unused tags.

Deleting Used Tags

Deleting a tag that is currently assigned to one or more elements within your document could damage your XML structure, so InDesign adds an extra step to the process to prevent any trouble (Figure 2.32).

Saving Tags

After editing, renaming, and deleting tags, you may want to share your new list of tags with coworkers or use them in other workflows. InDesign provides an easy way to save the tag list to a separate file (Figure 2.33).

Applying Tags to Text

Tags can be applied to both text and graphics. Open xml_interface_3.indt. Figure 2.34 shows how to apply a tag to text.

Applying Tags to Graphics

To apply tags to graphics, follow Figure 2.35.

Changing Tag Assignments

Figure 2.36 shows how to change tag assignments.

Untagging Graphics and Text

At some point in your workflow, the XML tags and structure may no longer be needed. While tags can sit in graphic or text frames for years without causing you a whit of trouble, InDesign provides an easy way to remove all traces of the XML structure. Figures 2.37 through 2.40 show you how to untag graphics, text, an entire text frame, and everything on a spread, in that order.

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