Our layout technology is now capable of creating complex layouts, such as those used in textbooks, largely automatically. We are currently working on several projects in this area.
Naturally, the technology uses XML – in particular DITA 1.3 – as a popular format that is often used for displaying textbook content in a media-neutral manner.
The portamis LA Engine is used to determine the page content for textbooks. We decide the arrangement of the tasks and exercises using topological rules that are based on length and fit. The centrepiece of the technology is the creation of the IDML at the end of the automatic process. By using an example InDesign document in which the styles and page templates are defined, the user can influence the final appearance of the publication.
Topological rules and the creation of the final formats are largely independent. This makes it possible to create layouts for other formats besides book pages using the same rules.
At the end of the process, the user is able to carry out the finishing touches in InDesign. Our Layout Memory technology is even capable of making these manual changes reusable, so that the changes are made automatically in subsequent publications.