InDesign Documents with Tagged XML or Visual XML

  • Across offers two basic ways of translating INX files:
  • with Visual XML
  • and with Tagged XML.

These two types mainly differ in how they process and display formatting and structure information in the form of XML tags.

The tags as such are not displayed in the Visual XML mode. Depending on the definition of the XML attributes and elements in the Visual XML template, the tagged areas are displayed in a special style in crossDesk. The styles used in the source text must also be used in the translation.

Depending on the definition of the XML attributes and elements in the Tagged XML template, the Tagged XML mode allows the tags to be displayed in crossDesk. The tags used in the source text must also be used in the translation.


The Tagged XML mode enables more flexible editing of XML documents, as any additional tags not contained in the source text can be inserted in the translation if necessary.

The two following figures demonstrate the different XML modes:

Visual XML
Tagged XML

For processing INX files both as Visual XML and Tagged XML, an XML document template INX is available. The corresponding template should be selected during check-in of INX documents.


The definition and, if applicable, processing of the XML templates takes place in the respective Visual XML and Tagged XML sections under Tools > System Settings > Document Settings.

To prevent the INX templates from being damaged or functionally impaired by faulty customization, they are write-protected and cannot be customized. If you still want to edit the templates, you can first export it and then re-import it using the respective buttons. These re-imported templates are no longer write-protected and can be processed.

When creating a project, select whether you want to process the XML file with Visual XML or with Tagged XML via Open as in the drop-down menu when selecting the XML document to be translated.

If you always use the same mode for processing INX files, you can set it as default. In this way, you no longer need to set the mode manually when selecting the documents in the Project Wizard. In the document settings template select INX as document extension and associate it with the requested mode (Visual XML or Tagged XML).


Visual XML vs. Tagged XML

  • Processing INX files as Tagged XML is usually more efficient and more comfortable:
  • InDesign files often consist of several layers. These layers may, for example, contain comments. In the case of multilingual InDesign files, every language may occupy a separate layer. Layers that are locked or hidden in InDesign are ignored during check-in to Across as Tagged XML.
  • Regular expressions can be used, e.g. to hide or lock numbers in tables.
  • The paragraphs are sorted in line with the layout and not in the order of creation as with Visual XML.