Articles in InDesign CS5.5

Yesterday, I posted about a host of features in InDesign CS5.5 that streamline your EPUB workflows. Today let me try and add some details.


All the buzz about Articles in InDesign CS5.5 probably makes you believe that this feature will only come in handy if you are creating EPUBS. Articles can be used for more than that!

Articles provide designers and production artists an easy way to create relationships among page items. These relationships can be used to define:

  • Content to be included for export to EPUB, HTML, or Accessible PDFs
  • Define the order of the content

You can create articles from a combination of existing page items within a layout, including images, graphics, or text. Once an article has been created, page items can be added, removed, or re-ordered. While you can create articles manually by dragging one or more page items to an article in the article panel, you also have mechanisms for adding bulk content to an article including adding all selected content to an article, or adding an entire document to an article.

The XML structure panel within InDesign provides another mechanism to decide the order of the content to be exported to the EPUB, HTML and Accessible PDF exports workflows. The article panel is designed to be simpler, easier to use, and more accessible option, for users not inclined to use XML. However, the ability to use the XML structure panel has NOT been removed, but is now an option alongside the use of the Article Panel during the export process.

Articles panel

Articles panel in InDesign CS5.5

Articles panel in InDesign CS5.5

Articles panel popup menu

Articles panel popup menu

Article panel with a few articles

Article panel with a few articles


, , , ,

  1. #1 by Richard on May 26, 2011 - 10:13 am

    I cant find the “articles” panel. I’m new to InDesign and I’ve spend hours looking but I cant fine it /:-?

    • #2 by Vikrant on May 26, 2011 - 10:15 am

      In InDesign CS5.5, choose Window > Articles. The article panel should show up.

  2. #3 by Richard on May 26, 2011 - 10:14 am

    And re: your bolog I dont see any way to be notified when there is a responce to my question. Not that you owe me an answer but it would be nice.

  3. #4 by Max on June 14, 2011 - 9:56 pm

    Same here, just got a PC version of CS5 and articles panel doesn’t even exist in the windows section. Can’t find it anywhere.

    • #5 by Vikrant on June 15, 2011 - 10:53 am

      Articles have been introduced in InDesign CS5.5. Maybe that’s why.

  4. #6 by Frederick Yocum on July 19, 2011 - 12:19 am

    Is the Articles panel part of a move away from using XML for structure /export-ability to documents?

    • #7 by Vikrant on July 19, 2011 - 1:30 am

      It’s actually another way to achieve the same goal. If youre using xml workflows nothing has changed.
      This is an easier, non-coding way to do it.

  5. #8 by phiNDsum1 on December 8, 2011 - 11:13 pm

    Hi Vikrant,

    I’m hoping you may be able to shed some light…

    CS4 – I have implemented a tag structure in InDesign CS4 and initiated the PDF “use document structure” in the page properties of the exported PDF but the PDF document will not follow the reading order specified in the InDesign structure panel.

    CS5.5 – I upgraded to InDesign CS5.5 as there has been great mention of the “leaps” forward in creating accessible documents. I have created 2 InDesign documents.

    1. I stripped the Structure out of the document and created articles in the new “Articles Pane”. I have followed the instructions for creating accessible PDF documents (selected “use for reading order” in the “Articles” option dialogue, completed PDF touch-ups {turned on “use document structure” in page properties, etc}) but still – PDF does not follow reading order created with InDesign.

    2. I left the “structure” in tact and also used the “Articles Pane” for all content in the InDesign CS5.5 document. Exported to PDF. Followed touch-up sequence – PDF still will not use structure order created in InDesign document.

    Also running into errors with passing accessibility tests. Example: Vector graphic (with text wrap) has Alt text appended to it through InDesign “Object Export Options”, it is present in the PDF as well (by mousing over the image and in the tag properties) but the accessibility report (PDF, 508 and WC3) lists the image with no alt text.

    Another InDesign CS5.5 error when creating accessible documents occurs with the new “image anchor” process (which is an incredible leap forward from the old CS4 way). The problem – text wrapped images lose their ability to margin the text away from the top of the image when the “image anchor” is set.

    Thank you for any insight.

  6. #10 by mdparker26 on March 27, 2012 - 2:57 am

    I am running into a similar problems to phiNDSum1 where the reading order view in the PDF doesn’t follow the Articles in InDesign. Do you have any ideas on why this would be happening?

(will not be published)