Q&A: End-to-end automation with eXtyles Arc and Typefi


Typefi recently joined forces with Inera to present a free webinar showcasing a fully automated end-to-end article publishing workflow.

Since we ran out of time to answer all questions from the audience, we’ve teamed up to answer them here!

Read the transcript

But first, some background…

eXtyles Arc by Inera is an automated solution that intelligently structures raw author-submitted Word files and produces semantically rich JATS XML.

Typefi leverages the power of XML and the professional design capabilities of Adobe InDesign Server to enable rapid, multi-format publishing without compromise.

This webinar demonstrates the automated eXtyles Arc process—from unstructured manuscript files to richly tagged and valid JATS XML—and how Typefi enables users to take the XML and produce high-quality print or web PDFs in a matter of seconds!

Typefi and Inera have extensive experience helping scientific and scholarly publishers to dramatically streamline print and digital workflows. Explore our Industry Solutions pages and the Inera website to learn more, or drop us a line if you have questions about this webinar or if you’d like to have a chat about your publishing needs.

Q&A with Inera and Typefi

To what extent can eXtyles Arc automate the tagging of books (particularly curriculum textbooks)? Is it optimised primarily for journal articles?

Inera: eXtyles Arc is currently optimised for journal content. Book content varies widely in its document elements, order and nesting of elements, and metadata requirements—among other things—so automating the identification and tagging of book content is a much more complex task than doing so for journals, which tend to follow more predictable patterns.

Having said that, publishers of longer and more complex content such as books would benefit greatly from an automated workflow, and we are always happy to test eXtyles Arc on book content—in some cases, the base results are strong, and custom work may enhance them.

eXtyles on the desktop can be used to apply editorial style rules. Can eXtyles Arc do the same thing?

Inera: eXtyles Arc can be extended to automatically enforce publisher-specific editorial style requirements.

While the primary goal of eXtyles Arc is to convert unstructured, author-submitted Word files into enriched XML, eXtyles Arc can include all of the same features as the desktop version of eXtyles.

It can therefore be set up to apply house-style rules to ensure consistent terminology and formatting, can automatically copyedit bibliographic references, and can ensure in-text citations are in the proper format and match their cited objects.

Can eXtyles Arc identify other structural objects such as nested lists, block quotes, etc.?

Inera: Yes! eXtyles Arc is designed to identify any document element that may appear in a journal article, including headings of multiple levels, nested lists, display quotes, equations, tables, figures, and so on.

How does eXtyles Arc work with source files that are submitted in LaTex?

Inera: eXtyles Arc works with Word-readable files only, so today, LaTex files would need to be converted to Word for eXtyles Arc to act on them.

Can eXtyles Arc be used to create BITS XML or other types of XML? Can Typefi automate layout from other types of XML?

Inera and Typefi: Currently, eXtyles Arc is built to export JATS XML, since the greatest demand has been for rapid processing and publication of journal articles. However, eXtyles Arc can be configured to export XML according to any DTD or schema (e.g., DITA).

Typefi can automate the layout of whichever XML format is selected by the customer. That includes XML formats based on standards like JATS, BITS, DITA, DocBook, etc., or XML that is based on a custom DTD.

A number of joint customers already use eXtyles and Typefi to automate production using BITS and STS as well as JATS. The challenge in an Arc workflow is not the DTD but the automatic structuring of the more complex and non-standard content found in non-journal manuscripts, which can vary widely from one publisher (or indeed publication) to another.

How do eXtyles Arc and Typefi handle figures that have been designed using floating objects (e.g. shapes, text boxes and Canvas)?

Inera: In these cases, it is necessary to make a PDF of the Word file and clip out these images, or return the Word file to the author with instructions for how to create images correctly for a publication workflow. eXtyles Arc automatically inserts a message in the Process Log file when these objects have been used, so that the need for manual intervention can be automatically flagged.

Typefi: Typefi can accommodate any image format that InDesign supports.

Can Typefi replace author-supplied figures in InDesign with higher resolution figures during the automatic layout process?

Typefi: As long as the higher resolution figures have the same name (or a name with a predictable difference) and are made available to Typefi when the job is run, they can be automatically swapped out.

Can eXtyles Arc and Typefi support tables with embedded graphics?

Inera: Yes, eXtyles Arc extracts all images embedded in the Word file and inserts graphic elements in the XML so that those images can be rendered in the correct locations.

Typefi: Typefi automation also supports the automated layout of tables that contain graphics.

How does Typefi handle lengthy tables that span multiple pages in a PDF?

Typefi: Tables can be made inline or floating.

Inline means they are placed within the text flow, and in that case they would just automatically flow from page to page as needed depending on their length.

Floating means they are placed above the text in a different layer with text wrap. If that is how your tables need to be handled, then Typefi uses JavaScript to handle the continuation so it happens automatically.

How does Typefi avoid widows or orphans, headings not being allowed at the foot of pages, etc.?

Typefi: InDesign has built-in Keep Options as part of its paragraph styles. If that is not sufficient, then Typefi offers the following options.

Most of Typefi’s customers use some combination of these options to automate the correct handling of these pagination requirements.

How do eXtyles Arc and Typefi handle math equations? Does it matter if math equations are allowed to float or if they are inline?

Inera: eXtyles Arc converts inline and display equations created with MathType, Microsoft Equation Editor 3.0, and the Microsoft Equation Builder (aka OMML math) to MathML.

Typefi: Typefi utilises a third-party product called MathTools by movemen. This allows the MathML to be placed as live text, so it is fully editable within the resulting InDesign file.

If math is not able to be converted to MathML or if a customer prefers to treat equations as images, Typefi can also support a workflow that uses equation graphics. The graphics are automatically placed within InDesign and spacing and alignment are configured and automated through the use of the Advanced Math event script.

As for floating vs inline, both types can be handled with Typefi automation. We would just need to understand the design requirements so that the solution could be set up correctly.

You can read more about how Typefi handles math on the Typefi website.

How would eXtyles Arc and Typefi work in a workflow where the customer has an article submission system?

Inera: A submission system vendor can license eXtyles Arc to integrate into their submission system to take advantage of the full suite of eXtyles Arc features as part of their customer services. Services include automatic metadata extraction and reference verification at the time of article submission.

On acceptance, eXtyles Arc can incorporate metadata collected by your online submission system. This is accomplished by sending the XML metadata file from the submission system along with the MS Word file to eXtyles Arc. eXtyles Arc will then automatically incorporate metadata elements that appear only in the XML and not in the submitted Word file, such as ORCIDs, received/revised/accepted dates, and article type. This automatic integration of metadata improves the accuracy and speed of the workflow.

Typefi: Once the XML file is created through eXtyles Arc, it can be pushed to Typefi for automated layout into the desired formats. Typefi can be accessed via an API callout, so it can be integrated with a content or process management system. You can read more about the Typefi 8 Server API on the Typefi website, and a Typefi consultant would be happy to discuss it with you in more detail.

How is metadata for digital content added to the exported files? Does the PDF output by Typefi in InDesign contain the metadata entered in eXtyles?

Typefi: Metadata can be passed through from eXtyles Arc and placed in the final PDF. Typefi Fields are often used within the template to determine where metadata should be displayed (if necessary) within the PDF.

As the file goes through our editorial process, queries are generated for the author. At what point can generated queries be handled in this type of workflow, and how can proof corrections be incorporated?

Inera and Typefi: All eXtyles implementations, including eXtyles Arc, can be adapted to a given publisher’s requirements, and author queries can be handled at various stages of the workflow. Depending on when in the manuscript cycle eXtyles Arc is run, queries can be generated at submission, acceptance, copyediting, page proofs, or some combination of these stages. Queries are automatically inserted as Word comments in the Word file, and they can also be exported as XML comments and displayed in the PDF in various ways depending on your design requirements.

Because eXtyles Arc not only generates XML but also validates it, we generally recommend making corrections at the proof stage in the Word file, re-exporting the XML using eXtyles Arc, and generating a new PDF. Alternatively, publishers can make the corrections in an XML editor and then generate a new PDF.

Either way, generating an updated PDF takes only a few minutes!

A workflow incorporating eXtyles Arc and Typefi allows flexibility for multiple workflows and methods of incorporating copyediting and corrections, depending on the publisher’s goals and requirements.

What if a customer wants to be able to see the changes made to the text and approve or reject changes as the file goes through different stages?

Inera: The default behaviour of eXtyles Arc is to structure a Word file without altering the text. However, the native Word features for document comparison can be used at any time to view changes, and eXtyles also includes its own tools for viewing text changes at different stages of the process.

If changes are made within an InDesign file, can a publisher roundtrip the XML out to ensure the changes are present in the XML as well?

Typefi: Roundtripping is possible, but it is important to consider the types of changes being made when deciding on the best workflow.

Design changes can be made within Typefi InDesign templates or outputs without impacting the underlying content. However, if you are frequently making the same type of design adjustments within a Typefi workflow, there is likely a way to automate.

As mentioned earlier, we recommend making content changes in the original XML file whenever possible. That file then remains the master source for the content and can be utilised for output to multiple formats without separate update processes. Since running a new proof takes seconds to minutes, it is a quick process to generate a new proof.

How can Typefi be utilised in a situation where a customer uses typesetting vendors?

Typefi: Typefi has several customers who have this type of use case. There are various options and approaches for how this might work.

Some customers have licensed Typefi and provide access to the software to their vendors, and the customer is then responsible for their use. Other customers have required or requested that their vendors license Typefi in full or in part.

We are happy to discuss how these options might be evaluated within your organisation.