Im trying to create a course catalog layout using XML. I go through the steps of creating basic layout tagging it and mapping styles. When I go to import xml I select "clone repeating text elements," "only import elements that match existing structure," and "Do not import contents of whitespace-only elements." Nothing happens. My dummy contents is still there.

Is it a problem that some course date in the catalog contains certain child tags while others don't? For instance one course might have a fee tag while another doesnt. Would Indesign just skip over those tags or would that mean that they don't have the same structure?

1 Answer 1


Only reason why InDesign wouldn't load incoming xml tags is as you selected "only import elements that match existing structure" so if you end with no contents loaded at all, that could mean your incoming xml file is totally made of non compliants tags. Otherwise you should have some contents loaded somehow. Do you mind sharing some screenshots or idml files for a deeper introspection ?

  • here is a link to a screen shot of before the import. and a pdf of the document after the merge. I have also included the xml file. drive.google.com/open?id=0B5cm4cpfH2d1UTZ6NzQwSXFwc0U Jun 8, 2016 at 19:59
  • sorry you should be able to open files now Jun 8, 2016 at 21:10
  • So I looked at your files. I think that in order to get repetition you need to redesign your xml file. getting InDesign to duplicate nodes require that you set a very generic and iterative "module". This is something I introduced in a blog post of mine : ozalto.com/en/5-errors-you-will-do-with-indesign-xml see item #5.
    – Loic
    Jun 8, 2016 at 21:32
  • So if there are empty cells in the spreadsheet from which i generate the xml, i should fill them with a place holder character (N/A) to be removed later in Indesign through Find/Change? that way the structure stays consistent? Jun 8, 2016 at 21:43
  • Generally i prepare my generic module with all possible child nodes. Then i set clone repeated... & remove contents that do not match incoming structure. That's how i get clean and customized repetition
    – Loic
    Jun 8, 2016 at 21:46

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