Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Hidden InDesign Characters

An interesting aspect I have come across when trying to introduce InDesign into workflows is the use of "hidden characters" in the exported xml and InDesign Interchange formats that denote line and paragraph breaks. Viewing in UTF-8 they are completely hidden, changing to an ANSI view they are displayed as "รข€©" - thats without the speech marks.
This can cause issues when using an XSL transformation to generate data for use within InDesign. Without these hidden characters all paragraph and line breaks cease to exist in the document.
The initial trick I used to to get around this was to include a named template thus:
<xsl:template name="break">
This was called each time a paragraph break was needed.
More recently I have found that using the character entities &#x2028; (for a paragraph break) and &#x2029; (for a line break) does the same trick.

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