Smart Content Designer User Guide

Box-tagging for Content Flow

Box-tagging means designating an element or a chunk of content to an area on your master page. After you have created a master page with placeholder boxes, you can start tagging these boxes/placeholders with the sections of the content model you bound to your QuarkXPress project through the Smart Content Style Guide palette.

To tag boxes of a master page with the sections of the bounded content model: 

  1. From the header ribbon bar, select Windows > Smart Content Style Guide to open the Smart Content Style Guide palette.

    The Smart Content Style Guide palette lists all the sections (and their elements) of the content model that you bound to your current QuarkXPress project in the first pane. The second pane of the Smart Content Style Guide palette displays the list of all types of elements that you can add within the selected section.

  2. From the first pane of the Smart Content Style Guide palette, drag and drop the section elements (title and body) to the boxes/placeholders on the master page.

  3. Select an element (you have tagged a box with) in the second pane, and then select the icon  against the element to enable the third pane (Default Rule). 

  4. In the third pane (Default Rule), select the styles you want to apply to the selected element.

Alternatively, if all the content of your document has the same style (especially in the case of text-based documents), you can simply create a single automatic text box and directly tag the content model in it instead of tagging individual sections to individual boxes. 

Smart Content Style Guide Palette Operations

The Smart Content Style Guide palette also contains the operations for the following structured authoring elements:

  • Table of Content

  • Index

  • Meta as Content

  • Schema update

  • Template Variable

Table of Content

QuarkXPress allows you to generate a table of contents for your document by indexing all the sections within a  document. You can create a table of contents only for automatic text boxes, whether the sections of your document flow across several automatic boxes or within a single automatic text box.

To display the table of content, you have to create a dedicated text box in your QuarkXPress project. If you want to display the table of content on a separate page, create a dedicated master page for the table of contents and put it at the top of the master pages for the body content of your document. 

To create a table of content for your document: 

  1. Select the text box in which you want to flow the table of content.

  2. Go to the Smart Content Style Guide palette and select the Table of Contents icon  to open the Table of Contents dialog. 

  3. In the Table of Contents dialog, provide the following values:

    1. Title: Modify the default title "Table of Contents", if you want to.

    2. Style of Title: Select a character style for the text of the table of contents.

    3. List Style: Select a list style for the table of contents.

  4. Select the button Ok.


QuarkXPress allows you to generate an index for all the references you have used in your document. You can create and generate the index in the same manner you create and generate a table of content (by creating an automatic text box and then configuring the index settings through the Smart Content Style Guide palette); however, indexing is beyond the scope of the example discussed in this guide. 

For more information on indexes, see the QuarkXPress User Guide.

Metadata as Content

Smart Content Designer allows you to use the values of attributes (metadata) such as data-time, language, author name, and so on as content in published outputs.

For example, if you want to display the authors' names in the section About Team (a section in your content model) in the published output. To do so, tag the box of your master page in which you want to display the authors' names with the respective attribute (let's say Authors) and Smart Content Designer automatically maps the values defined for the attribute Authors in the source document on your QPP NextGen server and displays the values in the section About Team when you take an output.

The process is as follows: 

  1. In the Smart Content Style Guide palette, select the button  Show/Hide Meta to enable the Meta tab amidst the section elements tabs - Title and Body.

  2. Select the Meta tab of the section, which contains the attribute you want to use as content. In the current scenario, the attribute Authors is the metadata of the section About Team.

  3. In the expanded Meta pane, select the + icon against the attribute you want to use as content (Authors) to expand the pane Default Rule that contains the tabs Style and Format that contains several styling (character style, text shading, color, and so on) and formatting (based on the attribute's data type such as number, string, date-time and so on) options that you can apply to your metadata.

  4. Drag and drop the metadata in the box of the master page where you want to display its value in the output.

  5. Since the attribute Authors may contain multiple values, add a delimiter under the tab Format to separate the values. 

  6. Open the palette Smart Content Preview to view the published values.

Style and Format Metadata

Smart Content Designer provides several styling and formatting options for metadata you use as content. These options are as follows:

  • Character Style: Allows you to use a character style available in your QuarkXPress project.

  • Text Color, Opacity, and Shading: Allows you to manage color, opacity, and shading of the metadata text.

  • Substitute value: For the data type Strings, allows you to use a substitute value to display in the output. For example, if in the source document, the attribute Language has the value "en", Smart Content Designer will pass the value "English" instead for publishing.

  • Date/time format: For the data type date, time, and date-time, allows you to apply different date and time formats. 

  • Delimiter: Allows you to set the value of the separator if the metadata contains multiple values. You can use the comma, space, newline character, or any other character as the delimiter. 

Apply Conditions to Metadata Use

After you have configured metadata as content, Smart Content Designer allows you to display, do not display, or do not display the metadata in the output based on a condition.

  • Enable Content: This is the default selection, that displays the metadata in the output.

  • Disable Content: This option does not display the configured metadata in the output.

  • Disable Conditionally: This option displays/does not display metadata in the output based on a condition. 

To disable the use of metadata as content based on a condition: 

  1. In the Meta pane of the Smart Content Style Guide, select the icon  next to the metadata that you want to disable conditionally.

  2. In the expanded menu, select the option Disable Conditionally to open the Smart Content Condition Builder dialog.

  3. In the Smart Content Condition Builder dialog, provide the following values based on your condition (for example, you do not want to display the name of the user Alan Doe from the list of Authors): 

    1. Under the column Data, select the metadata you want to disable conditionally (Authors).

    2. Set the value of the column Function as Value.

    3. Set the value of the column Operator as Has. 

    4. Select the value under the column Value which you do not want to display in the output (Alan Doe).

  4. Select the button Ok.

Additionally, you can apply style and format the metadata based on a condition.

The process is as follows:

  1. In the Smart Content Style Guide, click on the pane label (Default Rule) to expand the Conditional Styling fly-out dialog and select the option Add Condition to open the Smart Content Condition Builder dialog.

  2. In the Smart Content Condition Builder dialog, name the condition, and provide values for each column based on the condition. For example, display the metadata in the color magenta if the metadata contains a specific value (Alan Doe).

  3. Select the button Ok.

  4. In the Default Rule pane, under the Style tab, select the condition you just created and then apply the text color. 

Rules of Using Metadata as Content

The use of metadata as content is governed by some rules. Knowing these rules allows you to correctly use the metadata and easily debug any flaws in your design related to metadata. 

These rules are as follows:

  • You can only use the metadata you define at the section level (content model node), not at the element level, except tags. For example, you cannot use the metadata you define for the paragraph of a section. 

  • You can use the section-level metadata for the following element types: 

    • Paragraph

    • List

    • Table

    • Region

    • BodyDiv

  • You can use element-level metadata as content only for tags, which remains the same irrespective of the content model and section you use it in.

  • You can use different values for an attribute for the same element in different sections or different instances of the same section. For example, you want to display section A of your content model twice in the output - once in English and once in Spanish along with the field Language with the respective language's name. You can use the attribute Language to be shown as content in section A and pass a different value (English and Spanish) for its different instances.

  • Currently, you can use only the following types of metadata as content: 

    • Single value attributes: For an asset, the attribute Creation Date can only be a single value.

    • Multi-value attributes: For an asset, the attribute Department can have multiple values such as "Engineering", "Research & Development", and so on.

    • Groups: The attribute Contributor can have multiple fields and values in it. For example, Contributor {Name: John Doe, Department: Engineering, Email:}

  • You can only use the metadata of the following data types as content: 

    • String

    • Boolean

    • Integer

    • Decimal

    • Time

    • Data

    • Date-time

Update Schema

The button Update Schema  allows you to import any changes that you may have made to the content model, which is bound to your QuarkXPress project, in Quark Publishing Platform NextGen. 

To import the changes in the content model in your QuarkXPress project: 

  1. After you have saved the changes to your content model in Quark Publishing Platform, in the Smart Content Style Guide palette select the update schema icon to open the Update Schema dialog. 

  2. In the Update Schema dialog, select the button Ok

You can update a content model, in the same manner, you create it. For more information, see the section Define Smart Content Schema > Create a Content Model

Template Variable

Through template variables, QuarkXPress allows you to display the value of an attribute from the Quark Publishing Platform server in the output. Template variables can be default platform variables (for example, creation date) or you can also define your own custom variable. You can use template variables in content variables when you want to output different values based on different contexts. However, the topic is beyond the scope of this guide. 

For more information, see the section Content Variables in the QuarkXPress User Guide.