WebFlow / InDesign Server Setup



Example where InDesign Server is part of the workflow - shown in the red circles.


Combining InDesign Server with WebFlow makes it possible to automate InDesign documents and control them via WebProof.

  • Note: There are many ways to customise, and the functions with combinations mentioned in these examples are based on best practice. 

The server can handle multiple processes simultaneously, such as several uploads and also Direct InDesign Corrections, if this is installed.
Depending on the InDesign document sizes, the server hardware capability and the potential to have multiple users working on the same file, we recommend that larger publications are separated into smaller parts – preferably as spreads. Uploading excessively large documents can cause the server to crash, especially if the Direct InDesign Corrections are used at the same time.
Note: When using Direct InDesign Corrections, the InDesign document is locked, preventing the Designer from opening it simultaneously.

Required files installed on the server:

  1. The same PDF Presets as used on the workstation. 
  2. The same ICC Profiles as used on the workstation. 

See more about the integration process.

PDF Export
PDFs are created automatically with InDesign Server, via an InDesign Plug-in or hot folder. Time previously spent exporting PDFs is saved, and the process is standardised. If the set-up is combined with a Pitstop Server, documents are preflighted at each upload, minimising the risk of errors. See more.

A: Upload via Plug-in to InDesign server 
The workstations integrate with WebFlow via hot folders on a mounted drive.
After the user clicks Upload in the Plug-in panel, the InDesign Plug-in sends an XML file to the server. The XML file contains information about the document’s location, status code and page range.

Remember these settings after installation of the Plug-in, and refer to general guidelines about setup and upload:
1. “Send To” Details: Choose "Send To: InDesign Server" and browse to the InDesign Plug-In hot folder on the production server. Example:"W-drive/WebProof Hotfolder/Webproof InDesign Plugin" folder. (See Plug-in guide, STEP 6)
2. Choose the correct upload status according to your status flow under "Default Status" . (See Plug-in guide, STEP 7)
3. If you need to upload to different upload status codes, check “Choose status at upload?” (See Plug-in guide, STEP 8)
4. Adobe PDF Preset – Use your high-res PDF preset. (See Plug-in guide, STEP 9)

B: Upload via drop folder 
Creating a PDF can also be automated by dropping the InDesign documents into a server hot folder from a mounted drive. With this function, the pages are uploaded to the correct page numbers by reading the file name. Several hot folders, each with specific settings, can be made.

1. Dropping the file "Summer2017US_02_03.indd" will automatically upload to page 2–3 with status code "PROOF 1" in the WebProof project "Summer2017US".
2. If you drop the same file again later, a new page version will be added to page 2-3 in the same project with status code "PROOF 2".

Direct InDesign Corrections
With this module, the function is available if the set-up of the Role allows it after upload to a specific status code.
See more about Recommendations (top of page).
See more about how this function is used.

  • IMPORTANT: When a document is uploaded for proofing via the server, the InDesign document must not be edited, renamed or moved before the status code and task are changed back to Designer. 


Catalogue Builder
Publications can automatically be produced by the click of a button – without the need for a designer.
Both InDesign documents and PDFs can be automatically created with this module. Best practice is to integrate with a client's own ERP/campaign briefing system, image database and/or InDesign templates.

How to use the system:

  1. Templates are first prepared by a designer. The templates can then be updated and approved prior to every new campaign when needed. 
  2. When the campaign data (including texts, prices, item images and graphics/logos) is being prepared, the user chooses the desired template from a list and clicks a “Send to WebProof” button, which triggers the flow to create the publication. 
  3. After a short while (depending on size and number of pages), the document is produced as a pdf ready to be viewed in WebProof and the user is automatically sent a notification
  4. Further changes can be made by users in local systems (ERP/campaign briefing system or image database) and a new version can then be sent to WebProof. 
  5. When the publication is approved by the user, further adjustments can be made by other collaborators by using Direct InDesign Corrections or the designer could edit any documents and upload new versions to WebProof. 

How it works:

  1. The campaign data XML (including texts, prices and paths to the InDesign templates and images/graphics) file is sent to WebFlow from the client ERP/briefing campaign system. 
  2. The XML file is translated to WebFlow code via Stylesheet. 
  3. The converted XML file is merged with the InDesign template and a new Indesign document is produced as a PDF file. 
  4. The publication is uploaded to WebProof and the user is automatically sent a notification

Set-up preparations (all in cooperation with WebProof):

  1. The client makes sure the internal systems to deliver the campaign data with the appropriate text, prices and images/graphics is properly structured. 
  2. The client can choose to create either a “Send to WebProof” trigger button and/or a template selector in their own system. 
  3. Client designer creates the InDesign templates. 
  4. WebProof creates the module and flow in WebFlow
  5. WebProof creates the stylesheet that convert the clients system code to WebFlow code. 

See more about Catalogue Builder here.

Font uploader
The fonts used in the production documents via InDesign Server need to be uploaded from Workstation to the Windows/InDesign Server. The WebFlow application controls the fonts and only activates the fonts used by InDesign Server jobs.

1. ZIP one or more Mac/Win fonts and drop the ZIP file into the “InDesign Font HotFolder” located in the WebProof folder on the workshare.
2. WebFlow will automatically convert any non-compatible fonts to Windows fonts and install them according to this setup.

  • Note: A Font Error Status (L/F - ERROR) means a font is missing. 

LF Error Status codes



  1. Any page(s) uploaded with missing links and/or fonts will result in L/F - ERROR in WebProof (1). A report identifying the missing links (3) and/or fonts can be found in the “Error missing Font(s) or Link(s)” folder (2). 
  2. Resolve by adding the links or upload the missing fonts to the “InDesign Font HotFolder” and upload again. 

Wrong upload status code
The set-p can be customised to display an error status code in WebProof, if a page(s) is uploaded to the wrong status code. This is to ensure that designers upload to the right status code according to the relevant Statusflow.

PDF Output
The flow can be customised to output PDF files in different ways:
1. The files will always be written to the same fixed folder on your server.
2. The files will be written to a folder called "PDF" in your original document folder.
3. The files will be released to a defined local folder, FTP server, email, etc when a specific status code in WebProof is changed.

Server folders
The WebFlow Server with InDesign Server and workstations (with local InDesign) needs read/write access to the same documents. WebFlow also needs to integrate with Workstation users via flow hotfolders.
Both the WebFlow server and workstations have access to these folders on the production drive.

An example of root folder structure:

  1. Production drive/Production: You use this folder for your work documents and links. 
  2. Production drive/WebProof Hotfolder: This contains folders that are integrating with WebFlow. 
  • Note: The folders must not be deleted/renamed. 

An example of important subfolders:

  1. WebProof Hotfolder/Error missing Font(s) or Link(s) folder:
    If you get an L/F - ERROR status code after you upload, you will find the report detailing the error in this folder. See more. 
  2. WebProof Hotfolder/InDesign Font HotFolder [ZIP] folder:
    Hotfolder for Font uploader. See above. 
  3. WebProof Hotfolder/WebProof InDesign Plugin folder:
    Your workstation InDesign WebProof Plug-in is connected to this folder, and it is used to send XML files to WebFlow every time a document is uploaded. 
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