Back in January, we posted a DPS tip about using a sidecar.xml file as a method to streamline metadata input, as well as to add and manage properties for all the articles in a folio. (See TFP’s DPS Tip: Using a Sidecar File for Metadata Import for more information.)

Now, with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite v31, there’s a new sidecar.xml file format that includes specific pathnames to InDesign documents. It can be used to not only add and manage article properties, but also to import multiple alternate-layout InDesign articles and files from different locations into your folio. Here’s an example of what this type of file looks like:


When you’re importing files into your folio and select Import Article from the Folio Builder panel menu, Import Using sidecar.xml is now an option. When you select it, you need to specify a sidecar.xml file that includes specific pathnames to files.


Important notes about the sidecar.xml file formats:

  • Use Import using sidecar.xml only to import the new sidecar.xml file that includes pathnames to specific documents.
  • The two sidecar.xml formats are not interchangeable.
  • The original sidecar.xml file is used for importing multiple articles and must be stored inside the root folio folder.
  • A path-based sidecar.xml file is used for importing InDesign documents with alternate layouts and for importing files from different locations.
  • This method works only for InDesign CS6 and later.

For information about using the new sidecar.xml file to import documents with alternate layouts, and for a sample XML file to download and edit, see Adobe’s page on importing articles using path-based sidecar.xml files.

Check out TFP’s DPSCreate™ Handbook or DPSCreate™ App for more details about building interactive iPad apps.

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Note: Information contained in this post is current as of DPS v31. Visit the Technology for Publishing blog at for the latest info on Adobe software releases and functionality.

Posted by: Monica Murphy

Monica Murphy has worked in the publishing industry for over 30 years supporting publishing operations of various sizes. In her role as Technical Product Manager for Technology for Publishing, she shares her publishing application expertise supporting a broad range of publishing clients in InDesign best practices, cross-platform content workflows, and InDesign Template strategies. Her weekly tip and blog posts have a committed following in the InDesign community, and as a long-time participant in the InDesign pre-release community, she regularly analyzes and provides feedback for upcoming features. Monica manages the authoring and publication of Technology for Publishing’s handbooks on InDesign, InCopy, and other associated titles.