AdBuilder Administrator Guide

AdBuilder is an add-on module. Please contact your account manager or for purchase inquiries.

AdBuilder provides your end users with customizable digital and print materials using InDesign-based templates. Upload custom InDesign templates and lock down specific parts of the design while leaving certain elements open to customization. End-users can easily swap out images and text and download the design for their own use, without the need for designer intervention. This article covers the setup of templates by an administrator; for information regarding using templates once they are available in a portal, see AdBuilder User Guide .

Before you begin

While an InDesign template may be created using any PPI resolution setting, it should be understood that all Adbuilder files customized via the portal are downloaded using a hard-coded 72ppi resolution. If the InDesign template uses a different PPI setting, it should be tested alongside your regular AdBuilder workflow to ensure that any PPI difference between the template and this hardcoded setting does not affect the quality of the finalized AdBuilder download.

AdBuilder requires:

  • A compatible InDesign document, see Creating an InDesign Template for AdBuilder for more information.
  • A live InDesign server connected to your instance. If you are hosting your own NetX and IDS instances on-premise, see this guide: Integrate Adobe InDesign Server with NetX.
  • All InDesign documents used with AdBuilder must be saved with the version of InDesign that matches the version of InDesign server you are running on your NetX instance, e.g. if your server is using InDesign 2018, you would create and save your template while running InDesign CC 2018. To verify which version of InDesign server your NetX instance is integrated with, see Checking Indesign Server version.
  • A configured portal. If the portal is only used to support AdBuilder, see the walkthrough below on how to configure a bare-bones portal configuration to run AdBuilder. 

Activating templates

In order for your InDesign document to be used as a template, it must be uploaded to NetX and activated for use with AdBuilder.

  1. Upload your indesign documents to NetX.
  2. Use the Systems button in the lefthand navigational sidebar and navigate to the AdBuilder tab.
  3. Use the toggles under the Active column to activate or deactivate a template. If an active toggle is blue, the template is activated; if it is gray, the template is not activated.

Configuring active templates

Once a template is activated, use the action menu and click Edit to configure the template:

    1. Content block: This corresponds to a frame in your InDesign file; the name of each block will be the script label you applied to the frame during template creation. The image icon indicates that this block represents an image frame in the template. Use the drag icon to reorder your blocks. Reordering will change the order they appear to users when customizing their template, but will not affect the actual layout of the template in previews or downloads.
    2. Label: The block name, as it is shown while customizing your template in the portal. This does not need to be the same as your original script label name, though if no label is chosen here the script label will be used by default.
    3. Description: Any additional information you would like to provide your users customizing your finalized template.
    4. Source folder: The source folder for an image block determines the assets available for that particular block. Use the input line to type the name of the desired folder, then select it from the subsequent dropdown once the correct folder appears. Each image block can be configured with a unique folder. This field is required for all image blocks before the template can be saved and used in a portal.

Choosing a source folder for an image block that is either empty or bereft of image assets may cause unexpected behavior. Alternately, folders with more than thirty assets will only display the first thirty assets, according to their asset ID number.

  1. Collapse: This button will collapse the current block editing section so that only the block header is visible. Collapsed blocks can be reordered.
  2. Content block: The icon indicates that the block corresponds to a text frame. Text blocks, like image blocks, use the frame's script label as its name. Use the drag icon to reorder your blocks.
  3. Restriction: Determines whether your end-users will be able to customize the current text block, using the radio buttons available. If a block is Read only, users viewing the template in the portal will be able to see the value for that block while customizing the template, but will not be able to edit the block in any way. Hidden blocks not only prohibit user edits but also hide their default text. A selection of None allows users to apply new text values to the block while customizing the template, though any default text will still appear in the block and will be used if no alternate value is applied.
  4. Text type: Determines the text input style for the block. Box types will be single-line simple inputs; Text areas are larger text blocks that allow for longer text entries and paragraph breaks.
  5. Default text: This text will appear in the current text block's input field by default. If a user does not enter a new value for the block when customizing the template, the default text will be used. If there is no default text, and a user does not enter a value, the script label will be applied instead. 
  6. Outputs: Determines which output file formats are available to users when they download their customized templates. Choose any number of file types between INDDJPGPDF, or PNG
  7. Save Publish: Save any template configuration settings including block order with the Save button. Publish makes your current configuration available in the portal; note that templates may only be published once all image blocks have assigned source folders. Update your template configuration by first saving any changes, then re-publishing the template. 

Portal quick start

  1. Use the Systems button along the lefthand navigational sidebar and select Portals.
  2. Click the upper-left plus button to create a new portal.
  3. Give your new portal a Name. This name will be used for the portal's URL, but may be changed later. 
  4. Use the upper-left preview button to view your new portal.
  5. Access any published templates by clicking the Templates link in the portal header.

Make sure any users who need access to any AdBuilder templates have sufficient permission to view the assets in NetX, or they will not be able to use the template in the portal interface.  


You can further limit your portal to AdBuilder-specific content in the following ways:

Restricting folder visibility

If you would like to limit users' access to non-AdBuilder assets, but still allow them to preview the original assets and any attribute data, you should:

  1. Organize any AdBuilder template files into a single folder structure. Make sure any users who need access to your template files have sufficient permission to view the original assets in NetX.
  2. Change the Folder field under your portal's Visibility section to the top level of your template folder tree.
  3. Change the Search folder field under your portal's Visibility section to the top level of your template folder tree.
  4. Click Save.

The Assets tab along your portal's header will now be limited to AdBuilder-specific template assets, and any searches performed by your users will return only those assets contained in your assigned search folder. Note that if there are template files in your folder structure that have not been configured and published for AdBuilder, they will still be viewable while navigating the portal's folder structure.

Removing the Assets link

To limit your portal exclusively to the AdBuilder feature, remove the Assets tab from the portal's header. This will prevent your users from previewing any AdBuilder template files or their attributes. Note that any AdBuilder users must still have sufficient permission to view the original assets in NetX.

  1. Navigate to your portal setup's Menus tab. 
  2. Use the trash button to remove the Assets field from the lefthand Portal navigation list. It will still be available from the righthand Available links list if you would like to add it back later.
  3. Click Save.

The Assets tab along your portal header will no longer be available to any portal user.


  • If your frames are not appearing as blocks in AdBuilder, make sure that unique script labels are applied to frames prior to uploading the InDesign document to NetX. For more information regarding script labels and applying them to a frame in InDesign, see this guide.   
  • If your template's thumbnail appears as a placeholder thumbnail rather than a preview of your template while viewing gallery and asset detail contexts, check that your initial file has been saved using the proper InDesign version for your InDesign server.
  • If you have configured your template in NetX, but it is not appearing under the Templates tab in your portal, make sure you saved and published your template.


Property Description

If this property is true, AdBuilder will be enabled and you will see its tab when accessing the Systems menu. If this property is false, this tab will not be available. 

Note that this feature still requires a live InDesign server connected to your instance. For more information on purchasing InDesign Server, please contact If you are hosting your own NetX and IDS instances on-premise, see this guide: Integrate Adobe InDesign Server with NetX.

Value options: true / false

Requires restart? Yes

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