Sample Creation

Use the Digital Hub to create a design sample.


When .docx is converted to IDTT or ScML in the Digital Hub, the intermediate step is the creation of a sam file. This is the file used to generate the design sample output. This procedure presumes that this process will begin with a composed .docx file.

A single sam file is the required source for the Sample Generator.

Planning and Approach

The Sample Generator can only approach the input in standardized ways. For more information on what the Sample Generator can provide, see the documentation here.

In many cases, use of both the complete output and the sample output will be best to produce a design that includes all elements appearing in a publication.


1. Upload Files

Upload the .docx file.

For e-book samples, upload images, CSS, and fonts to be embedded, if any.

2. Process the Complete File

Adjust any settings for the full output. The Sample Generator will use the same settings used in the main project.

Tip: Enable Compose Language Styles for any file that may require special font settings for foreign language text. This feature is available on conversions from Word to IDTT and conversions from sam to ScML.

Process the .docx file to the desired format (IDTT, ePub, or HTML).

Click the Sample Generator button to bring up the interface.

Pull the front matter and one complete chapter for inclusion in the design sample. Pull any other complete sections to be included in the design. Save as a separate file.

3. Choose Counts

This is a list of all of the paragraph styles in the book, in the order in which they are encountered. The default is that one instance (the first instance) will be included in the sample output. Select 0 to exclude a style or increase it to get more examples, up to “include all.”

Use the plus and minus buttons to select the number of each element to be included in the sample output.

For each number, an instance will be added to the Rearrange Elements column.


  • Include all chapter titles so that all are available for the design to show which is the longest line.
  • Include all tables so that the most complex table(s) can be used in the design sample.
  • If pulling the front matter from the full IDTT output, exclude front matter elements from the sample output.

4. Rearrange Elements

By default, this list is locked, preserving the order of the original document. If needed, unlock and drag elements to be in a different order in the output. Once this field is unlocked, additional instances added through the Choose Counts interface will be included at the end of the Rearrange Elements list.


  • Arrange all of the ct, ctfm, and ctbm instances in a row.
  • Arrange lists in first-middle-last order.
  • Place “aft” and epigraph styles to occur after heads.
  • Add p paragraphs or heads between other elements in order to show their spacing above and below.

5. Make the Sample

Select the output type and click Make Sample.

Click Download Sample.

Note: This file is not associated with the main project and can only be downloaded from here.

6. Produce and Review the Design

Typeset Sample: Flow the IDTT file derived from the full IDTT conversion into InDesign, if needed. Flow the sample IDTT into InDesign.

E-book Sample: Review the ePub using devices and apps. Adjust the CSS and rezip using the ePub Rezipper tool.

Review using the Design QC Checklist.

Note: In the list of special characters, apply the appropriate character style to any characters that do not render properly. The style will be available in the character style sheet and included in the list of character styles being used.

Tip: To obtain additional file information, review the “stats” from the Digital Hub for the main document. This gives a list of all styles and special characters used, as well as their frequency.

7. Option: Produce Design Guide

For a print design, a design guide with each style labeled may be created by adjusting the sam file with regular expressions and processing it to IDTT.

Note: The following search interferes with tables. If tables are to be included in a design guide, add them separately.

Add head markers (sh style used here):

Find: ^([ ]+)<([^>]+)>
Replace with: \1<sh>\2</sh>\n\1<\2>

Process the revised sam file to IDTT.

Flow this IDTT into a new InDesign document.

Load all styles from the design file.

Define the sh style for the added heads.

Other Uses

In addition to supporting the creation of full designs, the Sample Generator may be used to support existing designs or isolate an element in order to modify or test a CSS on a small file.

  • Produce a Design Guide to support an existing design sample.
  • Output one or more examples of all paragraph and character styles present in a sam file.
  • Isolate and output all instances of a particular paragraph style.
  • Isolate and output all tables.
  • Isolate and output all special characters.