Create InDesign Templates for PDF Contact Sheets

If your NetX instance is integrated with an Adobe InDesign server, NetX's default PDF contact sheet styling can be substituted with your own custom InDesign templates. These templates should be designed to display both the proxies of the chosen assets as well as attribute fields, in the same vein as the default PDF sheet. If you are a hosted customer who is interested in purchasing the Adobe Indesign integration, please contact your account manager.

Templates created with Adobe InDesign CS6 can be used with both Adobe InDesignServer CS6 as well as Adobe InDesignServer CC. However, templates created with Adobe InDesign CC cannot be used with Adobe InDesign Server CS6.

Creating a template

  1. Create a new InDesign file.
  2. Create a title using the text tool along the lefthand sidebar.
  3. Select the image tool from the lefthand toolbar, then resize and reposition accordingly.
  4. Select the text tool from the lefthand sidebar, then resize and reposition accordingly. Repeat according to the number of attributes you are adding to your template. 
  5. Save your document as a .indt file. 

Image customization

In addition to size and positioning, you can adjust the way content fit into the blocks. The fitting preference assigned to the image block will determine how your assets are proportioned when used to create a PDF in NetX. 

  1. Right-click an image block.
  2. Highlight the Fitting menu item.
  3. Choose your image fit settings.

Text customization

Once text blocks are placed, adjustments to the font type, size, and weight will reflect on your subsequent downloaded PDF sheets. 

When deciding on your template's font settings, keep in mind this will impact the number of characters that will fit in each text block, potentially reducing the number of characters that fit in each attribute field.

Adding content tags

Content tags allow NetX to read each block in order to properly map assets' image and attribute data when creating a PDF. These tags must be specific to the type of content expected in each block.  

  1. Select the Window menu and highlight Utilities.
  2. Click Tags.
  3. Use the middle button at the foot of the Tags panel to add a new tag.
  4. Give the new tag a name.
  5. Select an image or text block to tag.
  6. Right-click the block, then highlight Tag frame.
  7. Select a tag from the list of existing tags to associate with the chosen block. If a block is not linked to a tag, NetX will not be able to map selected images or attributes to those fields.

Title placeholder

Each PDF template must have a text block with the tag indt_title. This is where any custom or default title given to your PDF will be printed.

Image placeholders

In order to place assets in your template from NetX, each image block must be tagged as imagefile. When a PDF is created, assets with thumbnail and preview proxies will display those proxies inside the template's tagged blocks; assets without their own thumbnails or previews will instead use a stock thumbnail. 

Attribute placeholders

In order to display values for any attributes included in your PDF your template requires properly tagged text blocks. Each tag begins with the prefix attr_, followed by a number counting up from 1. For example, if you have three attribute blocks to tag, you would tag them as attr_1attr_2, and attr_3

You can have a maximum of ten attribute fields per template. Additionally, your template will only be able to support up to the number of uniquely tagged attribute fields, i.e. if you have three attribute tags attr_1attr_2, and attr_3, only the first three attributes added to your PDF sheet will display on your subsequent PDF download even if more than three attributes are chosen. 

Additional assets

Once you have created an image placeholder and its accompanying attribute placeholders, you may now duplicate this group to accommodate additional assets. 

  1. Select one of your content blocks.
  2. Select the rest of the blocks to duplicate while holding the Shift key on your keyboard. 
  3. Once you have your selection, copy it using command+c on a Mac keyboard, or ctrl+c with a Windows keyboard. Alternately using InDesign's Edit menu, choose Copy.
  4. To duplicate your copied items, paste it using command+v on a Mac keyboard, or ctrl+v with a Windows keyboard. Alternately using InDesign's Edit menu, choose Paste.
  5. Use the selection tool to drag your new placeholders to their proper location.
  6. Rinse and repeat as needed.

Resolution presets

In addition to the layout and presentation of your PDF template, you can also provide resolution presets options to adjust the quality of downloaded PDFs. These preset options are available based on your property settings, and will be presented while you are selecting your PDF template and attributes. 


On-premise system setup

The information below is relevant for self-hosted customers who want to integrate with their own Adobe Indesign Server. If you are hosted by NetX and wish to use this feature, please contact your account manager.

InDesign server

Custom PDFs require a configured InDesign server. To configure yours, see Integrate Adobe InDesign Server with NetX. To check the status of your InDesign configuration, navigate to the Engines tab of the Systems area. 


Property Description

The value of this property determines which PDF quality presets (if any) will be presented while users are downloading a PDF. Multiple presets are supported when delimited by commas, e.g. High Quality:High Quality Print,Normal Quality:Press Quality,Small:Smallest File Size

Value options: 

  • High Quality:High Quality Print
  • PDF_2001:PDF/X-1a:2001
  • PDF_2002:PDF/X-3:2002
  • PDF_2008:PDF/X-4:2008
  • Normal Quality:Press Quality
  • Small:Smallest File Size

Requires restart? Yes


The value of this property must be false in order to use your custom InDesign template during PDF creation. This property has no effect if an InDesign server is not installed. 

Value options: true / false

Requires restart? Yes


This property specifies where IDS templates are stored on the NetX server.

The recommended path locations are:

/netx/<app-name>/netx/templates/ (for Linux installations)

C:\Program Files\NetXposure\netx\templates (for Windows installations)

Value options: folder path, e.g. /path/to/templates/folder

Requires restart? Yes


When the value of this property is true, attribute names will never appear alongside their values when exporting PDF contact sheets. When the value of this property is false, end users will determine whether or not attribute names will appear alongside values once a PDF sheet is downloaded.

Value options: true / false

Requires restart? No

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