How to use MPS Tags to style variable data

MPS Tags are a set of pre-defined style tags that can be included in your data files to control the styling of data as it is imported into a document (bold, italic, point size, color, font, etc). MPS Tags is an exclusive feature supported by DesignMerge, Index Builder, and other Meadows software products.

MPS TAGS SPECIFICATION

MPS Tags are a custom set of style tags that can be included in text files or in database fields to control the styling of data as it is imported into a document. To use the feature with DesignMerge Pro or DesignMerge Catalog, all you need to do is set the Filter selection for your Variable Link to use MPS Tags, as shown below:

 

When your data is imported, any MPS Tags contained within the data will be applied automatically. Please see the table below for a complete list of all supported MPS Tags. You can also download a sample document and data file that demonstrates how to use the MPS Tags feature.

Tag Description

Style Attribute Tags

Unless specifically noted, all of the Style Attribute Tags have been implemented using a toggle behavior by default (e.g. <B> enables bold text, and <B> toggles the attribute off, and <B> toggles it back on again, etc.)

In addition, and as an option, the Bold, Italic, and Underline tags can also be explicitly cancelled when preceded by a slash (e.g. use <B> to enable Bold text, and </B> to cancel the Bold attribute).

<P> Plain - Cancels the following attributes if currently in effect (Bold, Italic, Underline, Superscript, Superior, Subscript, Strike Thru, All Caps, Small Caps)
<B> or <b> Bold (toggle or cancel)
</B> or </b> Cancel Bold
<I> or <i> Italic (toggle or cancel)
</I> or </i> Cancel Italic
<U> or <u> Underline (toggle or cancel)
</U> or </u> Cancel Underline
</> Strike Thru (use <P> to cancel)
<K> All Caps (use <P> to cancel)
<H> Small Caps (use <P> to cancel)
<+> Superscript (use <P> to cancel)
<-> Subscript (use <P> to cancel)
<V> Superior (use <P> to cancel)

Paragraph Alignment Tags

All paragraph-level MPS Tags, including those related to Paragraph Alignment, must appear at the start of the text for a paragraph. Therefore, MPS Tags for paragraph-level attributes will be applied only when the receiving Text Link is positioned at the beginning of a paragraph in the document. If the Link is not positioned at the beginning of a paragraph, the Link will omit any MPS Tags that are for paragraph-level attributes and those attributes will not be applied.

<*L> Left-Align Paragraph
<*R> Right-Align Paragraph
<*C> Center-Align Paragraph
<*J> Justify-Align Paragraph

Paragraph Style Sheet Tags

All paragraph-level MPS Tags, including those related to Paragraph Style Sheets, must appear at the start of the text for a paragraph. Therefore, MPS Tags for paragraph-level attributes will be applied only when the receiving Text Link is positioned at the beginning of a paragraph in the document. If the Link is not positioned at the beginning of a paragraph, the Link will omit any MPS Tags that are for paragraph-level attributes and those attributes will not be applied. NOTE: If you run into any issues with Paragraph Styles not being picked up properly (e.g. being overridden by a Character Style sheet), try adding a prefix of "<@[None]>" to your Variable Link setting).

@: Apply No Style (Reset existing Paragraph Style Sheet)
@$ Apply Standard/Normal paragraph Style Sheet
@ParaStyleName: Apply Paragraph Style Sheet named ParaStyleName

Character Style Sheet Tags

Character style sheets can be included anywhere in the data, including at the start of a paragraph.

<@CharStyleName> Apply Character Style Sheet named CharStyleName

Font, Point Size, and Color Tags

When entering the name for a Font or a Color, please be sure to use inch use inch marks (") and not proper quote characters when bracketing the font name in your data.

<f"Font Name"> Change fonts to Font Name.
<z###.##> Change point size to ###.## (e.g. 12.5)
<c"Color Name"> Change color to Color Name.

Special Character Tags

Following is a list of special characters that can also be embedded inline with your data.

<#9> Tab
<\n> Shift (Soft) Return
<#13> Paragraph (Hard) Return
<\-> Hyphen
<\h> Discretionary Hyphen
<\a> En Dash
<\_> Em Dash
<\e> En Space
<\m> Em Space
<\#> 3-per-Em Space
<\$> 4-per-Em Space
<\^> 6-per-Em Space
<\8> Figure Space
<\{> Hair Space
<\[> Thin Space
<\p> Punctuation Space
<\f> Flex Space

Examples

The download file contains a sample InDesign document and data file that demonstrates the use of all MPS Tags codes.

MPS Tags Sample Click here to download the MPS Tags sample file