Creating a Personalized Product with Adobe InDesign®/XMPie UDirect®


Below is a basic overview of creating personalized products using InDesign® and the XMPie uDirect® software.  For more information on creating templates, consult your InDesign® and the XMPie uDirect® user manual(s). The XMPie uDirect® manual can be retrieved here image6.gif.   XMPie's website contains several tutorial templates that can assist you in getting more comfortable with using the plugin.  Visit their download center to obtain the tutorials.


Using Adobe InDesign®, create your design.  Include static elements (which appear on every template) and insert the XMPie® variable elements (the text and graphics the users will enter on the web form).


There is an 8-page-limit when working with XMPie® documents.


NOTE: NowPrint currently supports uploading an InDesign® CS4, CS5, CS5.5, and CS6 file.


Depending on the changes made by Adobe® on new versions of Adobe InDesign®, there is potential that features in earlier versions of the InDesign files may no longer function as expected. If you see problems with older versions of InDesign templates after having upgraded to a newer version, it is recommended that you re-save the file in the newer InDesign version and re-upload the file.


Design Guidelines


2        Some factors that impact the performance speed of your web-to-print experience are the size and complexity of the documents that are uploaded. In this document, we have provided some guidance and tips that will help you create and upload optimized dynamic document files.  Topics include the following:


4        • Use Transparency Effects with Care

5        • Optimize Transparency Issues

6        • Production Options for Managing Transparency

7        • Note Text Wrapping with Variable Objects

8        • Choose the Right Type of Image Assets

9        • Utilize Text File Assets Caching for Variable Text

10     • Note Table ADOR Objects Uniqueness

11     • Use the Right Fonts

12     • Consider General Prepress Tips

13     • Optimizing Documents for Web To Print



16     Use the following steps to create a document using the XMPie® uDirect plugin:  


  1. Create your template in InDesign®



In the business card example above, the following elements are static:

In the example below, the following elements are variable:




  1. Using Microsoft Excel®, create a CSV or XLS file containing the variable elements for the personalized product.





  1. In the XMPie® uDirect or uCreate plug-in, link to the CSV or XLS datasource to create the XMPie® ADOR (or variable) objects to be used in the design.




  1. Highlight the text to be made variable.

  2. Click the corresponding field in the Data Merge window.

  3. Repeat steps four and five for all the variable data fields.




  1. Right click on the data field.
  2. Click Edit modify the QLingo scripts to modify the field rules.  See the XMPie Overview section for common QLingo rules.




  1. Add the desired Dynamic Story Properties using XMPie® to apply any text overflow, copy fit rules and/or any suppression of trailing spaces for empty fields.
  2. Using InDesign® and XMPie®, insert the variable ADOR objects for the graphics and text associated with the personalized product (this example only shows text).




  1. From the XMPie® DataSource, you can test your data in the InDesign layout to confirm all content flows as desired.  Select Data Source from the UDirect window.  
  2. Use the arrows to scroll through the data records to test the template.




  1. Once the design is complete, click the uDirect menu.
  2. Select XMPie® Exchange Export.....




  1. Change the Save as Type to a .cpkg campaign file.  
  2. Click the Save button.


Note:  If the file is saved in the Preview mode.  The last record displayed is what will be displayed as the image sample for the catalog in NowPrint.

  1. This will package up your fonts, images, design, datasource and XMPie® plan file.
  2.  It can be uploaded into NowPrint to create the web form.



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