INX Output

AH Formatter V6.6 can output INX (InDesign® Interchange File).

Customers must purchase “AH Formatter INX Output Option” to output INX. See also Antenna House website for more details.

Features of INX Output

INX is the XML file that is used to interchange between InDesign®, or other products such as InCopy®, Golive®. INX format keeps all of the InDesign® objects and properties as XML elements or attributes. AH Formatter generates INX file from the AreaTree that is the intermediate format of the formatting.

By outputting INX files, AH Formatter enables the content to be changed or enhanced using InDesign®.

INX output mode

In InDesign®, objects that holds text are called text frames. AH Formatter INX Output Option has three kinds of text frame generation methods that can be specified by the Command-line Interface or the Option Setting File at output. To determine the correct output setting consider the In -Design® task you wish to perform.

  1. Text area output mode

    This mode generates text frames from a text area. The text area corresponds to the fo:inline in XSL-FO. This mode converts most closely to the formatting result of AH Formatter. Sometimes the different decorated successive inline areas are divided into multiple text frames in the INX output. Thus, it is more difficult to edit using InDesign® with this mode.

  2. Line area output mode

    This mode generates text frames from line area. The line area corresponds to the each line generated from fo:block in XSL-FO. This mode enables line editing easier than Text area output mode. But the conversion accuracy can degrade.

  3. Block output mode

    This mode generates text frames from block area. The block area corresponds to the fo:block in XSL-FO. Editing in InDesign® is easiest using this mode. However the conversion precision is the least reliable of the three modes.

Comparisons of the three conversion mode choices from the perspective of layout reproduction and ease of editing are as follows:

Layout reproduction

Good          Limited
1   >   2  >  3

Easiness of edit

Good          Limited
3   >   2  >  1


The following are restrictions in INX output concerning XSL-FO elements and properties. These restrictions concerning XSL also exist in the related CSS formatting.


  • Texts and images in a table cell are converted to InDesign® anchor objects and the conversion mode is restricted to the Text area output mode within the table cell.
  • Due to the difference of character placement between AH Formatter and InDesign®, text in a cell can sometimes extend beyond the frame.


  • Border styles other than double, dashed, dotted, dot-dash, dot-dot-dash are outputted as solid.
  • Borders other than table cell are implemented using the Indesign® line tool.
  • Border assignment for fo:table is ignored.
  • Diagonal borders are only effective with table cells only.
  • Rounded corners is not supported. The converted result is a square.


  • Since graphic size cannot be correctly converted to INX, the user must resize the graphic object by hand within InDesign®.
  • Supported raster graphic formats are BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF and GIF. Supported vector graphic are WMF, EMF and EPS. Vector graphics such as SVG, MathML, CGM are not supported. In addition, PDF is rasterized when it is converted to INX which can cause the quality of embedded graphics to degrade.
  • INX output does not support background-repeat="repeat".
  • Graphic files are embedded in the INX file.


  • Due to the differences in character placement between AH Formatter and InDesign®, occasionally the text frame cannot hold all of the texts. In this case, user must enlarge the text frame by hand.
  • If letter-spacing is specified, a text frame is made for every character.
  • Occasionally the display result differs between AH Formatter and InDesign®, if text-align="justify" is specified in FO and the text contains U+200B.


  • If a non-existent font such as bold MS-Mincho is specified in XSL-FO, it will cause a warning error when InDesign® reads the INX file. An alternate font is selected automatically by InDesign.


  • Leader styles supported are double, dashed, dotted, dot-dash, dot-dot-dash, dots, use-contents. Others are interpreted as solid.


  • PDF book mark becomes unstructured.
  • INX output does not support printer marks.
  • INX output does not support document information.
  • INX output does not support annotation.
  • INX output does not support ICC Profile.
  • INX output does not support complex script language such as Hebrew, Arabic, Thai.
  • Ligatures are not supported.
  • Variation Sequence is not supported.
  • The EUDC, end user defined character, is not supported.
  • If a line has line number (axf:line-number), the output mode is fixed as text area output mode.
  • If an overline and underline are specified at once, the underline takes precedence since in InDesign®, the overline is part of the under line.
  • If text and graphics exist in the same line, the output mode is fixed as text area output mode.
  • XSL-FO can define multiple page size masters in one document, but it is not supported with InDesign®. INX Output Option adopts the first used page master when outputting INX file.
  • Each element in a table cannot be rotated.