Software to create complete and sophisticated layout documents

DATAform Add-on is a fully featured database publishing tool with these main features:

Create QuarkXPress or InDesign documents

With a DATAform Add-on any programable database can be used to create complete and sophisticated layout documents. With DATAform Tags any QuarkXPress or InDesign boxes and all of their properties can be defined as ASCII-text and created in the layout program. There are more than 70 DATAformTags to deal with almost every aspect of a QuarkXPress or InDesign document, such as

Export QuarkXPress or InDesign documents

To update your database DATAform Add-on translates the layout document or parts of it into a DATAformTags text file again. The ASCII-file contains all information about the document and the database is able to reimport and maintain every piece of information, such as

  • create new documents
  • create new pages
  • create boxes with over 70 specific properties
  • create boxes on a specific page and position
  • create text boxes with any formated content
  • create picture boxes, load, scale, offset the picture
  • create chained text boxes over many pages
  • create anchored text and picture boxes or linesreimport all document properties
  • reimport the new page position of each box
  • reimport over 70 properties of each box
  • reimport the text of all text boxes optionally with XPressTags or InDesignTags
  • reimport the picture paths of picture boxes
  • reimport all scaling and offset specifications of pictures
  • reimport the complete chaining information of chained text boxes
  • reimport all anchored boxes and lines and their anchor position

By using just one ASCII-file you can create an entire catalogue - ready to print or ready for manual finishing by the designer. The database made boxes and contents can be modified in layout program like any other hand made boxes.

The third main function of a DATAform Add-on is the updating of layout documents. If the contents of the database was changed, e.g. due to a new set of prices, the database updates the QuarkXPress or InDesign document. The designer’s finishing or work remains unchanged and just the contents of boxes will be replaced.

There is a special interface for the 4D database development system ( to facilitate the use of DATAform functionality in your database. This interface is also included as a text file. If you prefer another database than 4D to build up your database publishing system you may use it as a coding script. The entire interface can be downloaded here.

The entry mask of Dataform:

The list on the left side contains all text and picture frames. Each row of this list becomes a frame in QuarkXPress or InDesign.

On the right top are six fields, for example for order numbers, sort keys, material groups. Beneath is the format field for text style or chart formatting.

Under the asset list the activated picture is shown. Clicking on the picture opens the light box with all pictures of the article.


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