CopyFlow Gold for InDesign CC 2017

CopyFlow Gold for InDesign CC 2017 Features:

  • Roundtrip text to translation system in XML, RTF, XLIFF or other formats
  • Preserves all document formatting
  • Thousands of CFG users worldwide
  • Lightweight files, quick and easy to use
  • One click batch process for folders of documents
  • Compatible with most Translation Memory systems
  • Standard UTF-8 encoding
  • Free downloadable demo
  • Quick Online Purchase
  • Other Pre- & Post- Translation Tasks: Set Language, Missing Gylph Check, Clear Override Tools

CopyFlow Gold (CFG) is a plugin extension to Adobe InDesign. It is used to export all the text into formatted text file which can then be translated with a Computer Aided Translation system such as SDL-Trados, or Deja-Vu. After the text is translated it can be batch imported into a new copy of the InDesign document. CopyFlow Gold offers various formats to preserve the typography through the round-tripping process. All exports are sorted in logical order; which greatly facilitates the translation process. The tool is designed to batch process an entire folder of Adobe InDesign .indd files for maximum efficiency. This Quick Reference guides describes the workflows and includes the batch processing of entire folders of InDesign documents.

At purchase time we will email you registration keys to convert your demo software into product.



INSTALLATION — a few clicks

Download the free demo. Then double-click the downloaded .zip file to retrieve the enclosed .zxp file. The .zxp is an Adobe Extension Manager installation file. To install the .zxp use the utlity ZXPInstaller which you can download for free from:

The extension is platform independent. The same extension runs with InDesign on Macintosh and Windows



Once the installation is complete launch InDesign. Under Windows->Extensions you will see ‘CopyFlow Gold’. Click on this item to launch the CopyFlow Gold InDesign Extension panel.

Main Menu

The main CFG panel functions the same as any of the Adobe application windows. You can increase the width to better read the log entries in the text display at the center of the panel. A fly-out menu on the panel itself provides the linkage to the dialogs for clearing all typographic overrides or setting the spell check & hypenation language settings, the preference Settings, the registration activation dialog and a browser based help screen.

CFG InDesign panel and its flyout menu


The nine items which control CopyFlow Gold are shown below. The choices which appear on the fly-out menu and the Settings depend on which export format is selected.

CFG InDesign panel and its flyout menu



In Single File mode CopyFlow Gold exports from the file open on screen. Please use Single File mode to initially become familiar with CFG’s operation.

In Batch Mode it is assumed you have prepared a folder of documents to process. When doing the initial exports, this would be a folder of InDesign documents. At Import time using the Translator’s XML, for example; this would be a folder of translated XML files.



The choice of file format is the first choice to be made. This choice establishes how the program operates.

Why So Many Formats? : Our reasons for offering such a plethora of export/import formats is both historical and for openness – in the hope we may cover interfaces to as many translation tools as reasonably possible. We can describe the relative strength of the formats we support for InDesign – but not necessarily pair them with specific translation tools. Almost all tools now accept XML based formats include XLIFF and almost all accept RTF.

Here is a quick outline of the most popular formats and tradeoffs.

TRANSLATOR’S XML — a great choice for round-tripping accuracy. Typography is accurate after round-trip and all inline/anchored items are supported. TRANSLATOR’S XML is compatible with SDL-Trados Tag Editor 2007 and later; and most other language translation tools. TRANSLATOR’S XML uses a background ‘skeleton file’ to preserve the formatting meta-data. (This format is similar to XLIFF but with a single content element, rather than the XLIFF – source/target structure.)
And like all the other skeleton based formats, this format supports the : one export / multiple imports workflow. You can export English for example; and translate the exported text at one time into French, Spanish Japanese etc — all from the same source export. It is assumed you will use the same format for the entire round-trip: e.g., export->import.

XLIFF — another choice for round-tripping accuracy. Typography is accurate after round-trip and all inline/anchored items are supported. XLIFF is compatible with SDL-Trados Tag Editor and their new SDL Studio. The XLIFF uses a background ‘skeleton file’ to preserve the formatting meta-data.

TRANSLATOR’S HTML — Typography accurate after round-trip and all inline/anchored items are supported. HTML uses a background ‘skeleton file’ to preserve the formatting meta-data.

RTF — although this format is very popular – it is one of the more problematic in round-tripping accuracy. The RTF typography is translated (interpreted) from InDesign to RTF on export and then back on Import. This means typographic attributes which cannot be expressed in RTF are lost in the round-trip; causing ’rounding’ of sizes and perhaps loss of some of the InDesign typographic meta-data. RTF does not support round-tripping of anchored/inline text boxes, and inline pictures are problematic. Really only to be used for the simplest types of work. Uses a ‘named frame’ approach.



Below is an example of the Settings for the formats: XLIFF, Translators’s HTML and Translator’s XML.

CFG InDesign panel after clicking Info button

CopyFlow Gold for InDesign now allows for the simple quick export of all the text in a InDesign document to the standard XLIFF format, as well as to basic XML and HTML formats.

The text segments in the XLIFF/XML/HTML files are sorted in a logical page order representing the natural order the text appears in the InDesign document – top to bottom – page by page. All the text of a document is roundtripped – including text on Master pages, Off page(pasteboard) items and inline/anchored text; as well as Index Captions and items, Section captions, etc.

XLiff files can be opened by most translation friendly editors e.g.,- SDL Trados Tag Editor, Swordfish and others.

XLIFF/XML and HTML all use IDML for the skeleton file format. In each case a link to the exported file’s document ‘skeleton’ is saved in the exported file — so each XML/HTML or XLIFF file knows which document it ‘belongs to.’



1. Open CFG Tool from CopyFlow Gold menu and set the Export Format to XLIFF or XML using CFG Preferences.

2. Adjust Settings (see detail below) and Save.

3. Click Export, you will be prompted to specify a directory in which the XLIFF or XML file will be saved.

Translate XLIFF or XML files with your favorite tools.

4. Click import and select translated XLIFF or XML file

5. After a few minutes a document with the translated text will be opened on your desktop.



See screen shot of Preference Settings above.

Source Language – set the language of the source text. The code which appear to the right of the language menu is written into the XML file as the source attribute. The language menu is created from an editable XML file in the NAPS directory named Languages.xml, edit it to modify the contents of the language menu.

Target Language – set the language of the translated text. The language menu is created from an editable XML file in the NAPS directory named Languages.xml, edit it to modify the contents of the language menu.

On XLIFF Export Copy Source Text To Target – Set this option for use with SDL Trados Tag Editor 2007.

Save Imported Doc With Target Language Name – After import of the translated file a new document is created from the skeleton file and filled with the translated text. If this option is set the document is automatically names and saved with a language code suffix in the Translated Documents directory.

Set InDesign Language Code on Import – After import of the translated file, set the spelling and hyphenation language code on all the text in the document according to the target language code of the imported file.

Remember Folders – CFG will use last designated Import or Export folder.

XLIFF File Extension – Set the file extension of the output XLIFF file.

Set Translated Document Directory – Establish the directory for documents saved with Save Imported option above.

Show Skeleton File Directory – Displays the contents of the skeleton file directory. Skeleton files are intermediate files used in the roundtripping process.



If we view the output XLIFF in a basic XML editor we can see the structure and information embedded in the file.

The <file> tag at the top of the file lists the source and target languages, the exporting application CFG, its version and the date and time the export was made.

The <skl> tag records the location of the “skeleton” file created in the background by CopyFlow Gold. This file is needed at Import time to recreate the InDesign file in the new language. Once a project is completed the excess skeleton files can be deleted.

Each <group> tag represent a text flow( a.k.a. a story) – the text flow is broken into segments (where formatting changes occur). The CFG XLIFF group has an additional attribute “position” . Position can be “Page”, “MasterSpread”, or “Pasteboard”. The normal on page body text will be identified as “page” and he text will appear in virtually the same order as it appears in the document. Text is also sorted by position in the order: “Page”, “MasterSpread”, and finally “Pasteboard”. Groups all have unique IDs.

Each segment of the text flow is called a <trans-unit>. These elements in turn contain the text segments for the source and the target language (the translation). There are two types of trans-units exported by CopyFlow Gold: ‘CharacterSegments’ and ‘Enumerations’. CharacterSegments are normal runs of translatable text. ‘Enumerations’ are special sequences of 4 characters : e.g. ‘SApn’ for special InDesign character sequences: e.g., Automatic Page Number markers, etc. These are not translatable.

xliff xml tags

The XLIFF file format (from version 4.2) begins with the stories (text runs) from the document pages, then the stories from the Master Pages. This is followed by the document specific text elements, such as: custom text variables, Contents and Section heads, index title, index topics, etc.

Editing XLIFF in SDL Trados Tag Editor

The XLIFF files can be opened directly in SDL Trados 2007 Tag Editor. Be sure to set the XLIFF Preference “On XLIFF Export Copy Source Text To Target” before exporting the text. Tag Editor breaks the target segment into a source and target portion for editing purposes.

Tag Edit



MORE INFO: Skeleton Files vs. Frame Naming

CFG uses one of two approaches to round-tripping text: either ‘skeleton file’ or frame naming. XLIFF, Translator’s XML and HTML use a ‘skeleton file’ approach; all the other format files use frame naming.

The ‘Skeleton File’ method simply exports all the text in a document and uses a background ‘skeleton’ file to preserve the formatting meta-data. We map each segment of text data back to its slot in the underlying skeleton file by position, not by label or name – so the segments must remain in the correct order.

In some cases you can reduce numbers of segments by prepping work – e.g., there may be no need to carry kerning across a translation from English to Japanese, so this might be stripped from InDesign pages before export.

In the ‘Frame Naming’ method text frames are either ‘Autonamed’ or individually named before export. Only the named frames (stories) are export/imported. This is the method used with Plain Text, RTF and the Adobe Tag formats.



The other file filters work on the principle of named frames — only named frames (stories) are exported or imported. The frame naming can be done in several ways:

Naming Frames

Text frame (an InDesign story) naming can be done for an entire document automatically or frame by frame by selecting either: Autoname Frames to name all frames in a document in a numerical sequence or Name A Frame to name (or unname) only the currently selected Frame. UnName All Frames – does just that — un-names all the frames in a document.

Frame names are saved in the InDesign document when the document is Saved. It is a good idea to save the document after the naming step is complete.

The frame (story) names are used to match the exported text to the text frames at re-import time.

CopyFlow Golds Preferences

CopyFlow Gold’s Preferences Dialog establishes the export file format, its encoding and other options.

Checking the Remember Import/Export folders options will cause CFG to look for its import files in the last specified Import Folder and put exports in the last specified Export folder. Turn this option off to change the folder locations.

The Tagged Text Prefs button sets the encoding and other preferences for the Adobe Tags formats and the Tagged XML format. These options are the same as for an InDesign Tag file Place or Export — see InDesign help for more detailed information.

The RTF Prefs button establishes the RTF file format import/export options. These options are the same as for an InDesign RTF file Place or Export — see InDesign help for more detailed information.

The Include Master Page Items checkbox either allows or disallows the naming and export of text in frames on InDesign Master pages.

The Do Not Export Empty Stories checkbox either allows or disallows the export of empty story callouts. For translation use – set as checked.

The Do Not Name Empty Stories checkbox either allows or disallows during subsequent AutoNames, the labeling of empty text frames. For translation use – set as checked.



If you are using CopyFlow Gold for language translation with the ‘Single Adobe Tag’, ‘Single RTF File’ or ‘Tagged XML File’ formats, the workflow is:

1.) Open a copy of the document to be translated. Use the “Autoname Frames” menu item to name the text frames. The names are assigned automatically to any frame that contains text. A series of linked text frames (a story) is named as a single item. The story names are established by taking the prefix you enter in the dialog and appending a number.

2.) You can clear any boxes you do not wish to export by unnaming them using the “Name A Frame” menu item. You can also use this same item to interactively name or rename other stories.

3.) Open the CFG Tool palette from the menu and use the Prefs button to set the format you wish to export to and its options.

4.) Use the Export button to begin an export. You will be asked to select a folder to export into, after which the program will export all the named stories with content to individual files (or a single file) in the export folder. As part of the export process, a file extension signifying the export type is appended to the frame name to produce an output file name (e.g., Adobe Hist 2006.rtf).

5.) Save the copy of the document you began with; this preserves the frame names within the document.

6.) Translate the text.

7.) Place the translated file into the folder you wish to use for import and open the InDesign document, re-open the CFG Tool palette, and use the Import button to begin the batch import process. You will be asked to select the folder where the text file resides. CopyFlow Gold will then examine each named text frame and, if it finds importable text of the currently selected format in the selected import folder, the file will be imported into the document. If there is no file matching the name and format in the selected folder, no change will be made to the story.

Using Single Tagged Text File Format

An export/import option is provided to produce a single file of Adobe Tagged Text from an entire InDesign document.

To export to a single tagged text file, use the preferences to select the export filter “Single Adobe Tag File”, then click “Establish Tagged Text Import/Export Preferences” and then the Export button on the CFG Tool palette to start the export. You will be asked once to locate the folder you wish to export to. If you have the Remember Folders preference set, CFG will continue to use this folder as the export folder.

The exported file will be named docname.tag . Each story’s tagged text is delimited by a line which begins with a ‘#’ mark, followed by “storyname=”, followed by the frame name. For example: #storyname=story_25. The hash mark is the first character on a line of text. The frame name is followed by a carriage return. The tagged text for the story follows this line and runs until the next frame tag. (Note: Avoid translating the frame names or Adobe tags.)

With the InDesign file still open, to import a single file of tagged text, with the preference still set to “Single Adobe Tag File,” click the Import button. After a few seconds, the import process should begin. The import process looks through the InDesign document for each of the named frames and tries to find the tagged text with the same frame name within the .tag file. If it cannot find text for a particular frame, it begins to look for the text for the next named frame in the document.



A detailed log file of operation is written for each session. The log file is named “CFG_LogFile.txt” and is stored in the user’s My Documents (Windows) or Documents (Macintosh) folder.

Batch operations use the above logfile as well as: ‘CFG_Batch_Logfile’ and it is stored in the user’s My Documents (Windows) or Documents (Macintosh) folder.

Preferences files and the Languages.xml file are kept in the Naps sub-folder of the applications data folder. On Windows this is usually: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Naps\. On the Macintosh this is : /Library/Application Support/Naps/




CopyFlow Gold for InDesign can also provide word counts, check for missing glyphs, report on a documents structure, clear overrides for better segmentation and set the hyphenation and spelling language. The details of these operations are below: