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Tag, You're It - Using Tagged Text

Tagged Text for Desktop Publishing File Exchange

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Tagged Text Example

Tagged Text includes formatting tags that tell how the text should appear.

Tagged text is text that includes with special codes (tags) that define how the text will display and print.
Tagged text is one way to exchange files between programs when you need to import or export text with formatting. While tagged text may not fully preserve your layout, it can save time by allowing you to keep certain character-level and paragraph-level formatting and other information about the appearance of the text.

Tags are a type of code. A specific set of tags make up a markup language that describes how to format and display text and sometimes graphics. HTML, used for making Web pages, is a type of markup language (that's what the ML stands for). If you know HTML you're already familiar with tagged text.

The major desktop publishing applications have their own set of tags used to markup text. These tags tell programs such as QuarkXPress or PageMaker what fonts to use, how to format paragraphs, where to insert inline graphics, and where to apply certain styles.

See What Tagged Text Looks Like in QuarkXPress, Adobe PageMaker, and Adobe InDesign

Why Use Tagged Text?
Not everyone will want or need to use tagged text but it can be a valuable addition to your desktop publishing arsenal.

  • Tagged text allows you to exchange formatted text between normally incompatible desktop publishing applications on the same platform.

  • Tagged text allows you to exchange formatted text between normally incompatible desktop publishing applications on different platforms.

  • Make global changes to large documents quickly using search-and-replace with tags.

  • A user can do the bulk of their text work in any word processor or text editor (not just the more popular programs), add the appropriate tags, then import the text to a desktop publishing application for final layout and tweaking — with the bulk of the formatting already done.

  • Formatting tags can be used to export data from database and spreadsheets programs and import into a desktop publishing application for formatting.

Formatting Tags in DTP
Both Adobe PageMaker and Adobe InDesign can read tags from QuarkXPress. Adobe InDesign can also read tags from PageMaker. Add-ons and XTensions can extend or enhance the ability of one program to read tags from another program. If you know the tag set for a particular application you can create tagged text in any word processor or text editor.

The best way to learn and become familiar with using tagged text is to export a file from your desktop publishing application as tagged text. Open the file in a word processor or plain text editor and see how the tags are formed and used. Read the help files of your application for a table of supported tags and to see how your program imports and exports tagged text. Try all the options.

Pick Your Path to Desktop Publishing
Get Started:Basic Guidelines and Requirements for Desktop Publishing
Choose Software:Desktop Publishing and Design Software
Make Something: Things to Make Using Desktop Publishing
Tips & Tutorials:How to Do Desktop Publishing
Training, Education, Jobs:Careers in Desktop Publishing
In the Classroom: Back to School With Desktop Publishing
Use Templates: Templates for Print and Web Publishing
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