Meeting: Round table discussion – importing DITA into InDesign

We had an interesting discussion dealing with how to best import DITA files into InDesign (specifically CS4 and CS5). It was a very hands-on meeting, with a real-world project as the test bed.

Like most DITA-type projects the important thing is the preparation. Importing the actual DITA files is as simple as File > Import XML, and then dragging and dropping elements onto the artboard.

Create Paragraph tags to match your DITA tags and use Structure’s Map Tags to Styles to create a table that brings in the formatting easily. To modify the text, just edit the paragraph style.

When adding multiple DITA files, use Append when adding to an existing flow (good for columnar text) and use Merge when creating a new flow (good for individual text boxes).

Notes provided by Joanne Grey