XML Typesetting from Columns Design Ltd, Reading, UK

XML Typesetting for paper and on-line publishing via XPP – a high-end automatic system with a world-wide user base, and Adobe InDesign

Columns Design Limited, an innovative pre-press company based in Reading, UK, have more than three decades of industry experience within the core Columns team, combined with the most modern technology in both desktop and high-speed automated XML typesetting. We are renowned for very high-quality work, guaranteed on time, all throughput is fully auditable and traceable.

Our customer service is highly regarded - it is reliable, pleasant and professional.

    We can provide any combination of the following services, customized to suit your requirements:
  • Project management and consultancy, concept to printing
  • Packages that include all aspects of production from concept to the delivery of bound copies and return of data.
  • Pre-press preparation and planning
  • DTD production – this will enable you to standardize your styles throughout your production and ensure all your books have the same high quality style and appearance
  • Data capture and conversion
  • Data manipulation and remapping – for example, we convert Word files to XML, pdf to XML and xml files back to Word
  • Manipulation, origination or scanning of graphics
  • Copy editing
  • Text mark up or electronic styling
  • Typographic design for book jackets and text – from enhancing your own specification to complete design
  • Extraction of specifications from one software system for reuse on another system.
  • Proof reading
  • Indexing
  • Web-service typesetting for publishers to use remotely with their own XML or Word files
  • Output from your completed title in PDF, XML, HTML, plus InDesign or Styled Word files for reuse.

Our team is fully trained in pre-press design and production for mono and colour work. We offer a range of in-house and associated services that ensure projects are developed within budgeted costs and planned delivery dates. Great care is taken to ensure that the customer brief is followed, while at the same time consideration is given to the printer you will be using, ensuring the best use of design to achieve a cost-effective product. We have extensive experience of design and production within many different markets.

XPP is the best in class software for sophisticated publishing requirements and has a worldwide user base including government, military and commercial clients. This software automates the page layout, assembly and handling of complex documents and data encompassing multiple languages, graphics, tables, equations and elaborate footnotes with ease. Loose-leaf production and contents, tables and index extraction can be automated.

The use of XML enables the standardisation of your styles for a more professional end product, whilst still applying your corporate identity. Data can be returned to you in any combination of XML, HTML, InDesign or Word formats. Your editors benefit from working within a structured data environment, allowing them to enhance the quality of the end product. Time and cost can be reduced by the use of Web Services, which allow you to typeset to page over the Web as many times as necessary, at no cost.

The benefits of XPP include lower cost than traditional typesetting; better time management; increased volume capacity; high level of consistency and improved flexibility and accuracy.

Our experts can deal with the substantial volume conversion of Word or RTF files to XML, aided by a large and comprehensive library of conversion modules. We can assemble sophisticated conversion routines that meet the most demanding requirements, including all features of RTF tables, multi-column text, outlines, styled text and other complex structures. We can then, if required, reconvert from XML into a standardised, style-driven RTF application (such as Word). Using this method, authors and editors can continue to use Microsoft Word, while your business can enjoy the benefits of XML.

This process is largely automated but uses some manual conversion procedures. The combination of processes means that complex structures and hierarchies can be safely and efficiently converted from PDF to XML. The automation of the procedure makes conversion a viable option for businesses with documents held in PDF and PostScript format. It also means the portable benefits of PDF documents can be enjoyed alongside the business benefits of XML Typesetting.

Web Services

After we have set up your typographic specification, you will have secure online access to our XPP typesetting system, and can then process your XML data, styled Word files and graphics to page in draft format, as often as necessary, at no cost. The PDFs of your data are e-mailed back to you within a very fast time, and any errors in your data structure are analysed, and an error report is automatically sent to you. This service allows you to:

  • Test the structure of your data by running it through Web Services at any time. Any styles that are not in your specification will show as an error. This gives you control against any ‘rogue’ styles that may slip in and keep your house standards.
  • Make continual updates and corrections in the live electronic document. An editor can make any number of changes to their Word file and rerun these at no extra cost
  • Receive real time feedback from Web Services – leading to a faster learning curve and technology adoption.
  • Web Services use the latest technology and are brought to you in collaboration with XyVision / XySoft. Columns Web Services site is regarded by XyEnterprise as one of the most comprehensive in the World.

© Columns Design - XML Typesetting in Reading, UK