Table of Content


Total CMS is used to manage print publication pages that are created in Adobe InDesign software. uses a proprietary software interface (plugin) for InDesign to interface with Total CMS.  Output Methods, stored in an .xml file, serve as the conduit (or connection) to BLOX Total CMS Admin where InDesign Settings are set, and PageTracker  and Assignments are accessed and managed.  If a Hosted BLOX CMS platform exists, the e-Editions that are created in PageTracker, are transferred to the Hosted platform (website) via Syndication or Site Tags.  

The InDesign Integration is done with a BLOX Total CMS Menu that is added to the InDesign Menu within the application.  It is built with a custom build of various scripts that make up the Menu specific to your site's needs.  The version of InDesign you are working with also is a factor in what can be used to build out the menu.  This BLOX Total CMS Menu interfaces from InDesign to BLOX Total CMS Admin, both Appliance and Hosted environments.

InDesign Application Integration

InDesign-BLOX Login

Open InDesign.  


If there is a newer version of Adobe InDesign available, you'll receive a message similar to this before a login prompt appears.  Click OK.


Select the BLOX Server you want to log into.  Enter your login credentials and click OK.


If there are multiple domains on the server, select the one you want to log into and click on Select Domain.

BLOX Total CMS-InDesignLogin.png

If you receive an error message similar to the one below, the files required for the BLOX Interface to work are either missing or not located in the directory specified in the path that was put in place during the BLOX Total CMS installation/setup process.  See your network administrator or contact Customer Service - (800) 293-9576.

BLOX Total CMS-InDesignLoginError.png

InDesign-BLOX Menu Options

The Total BLOX CMS software interface with Adobe InDesign is specific to each site.  Those are determined on a 'per site' basis.  All of this is covered in the on-site training by the BLOX Total CMS team. Documenting all of this is the equivalent to documenting all of BLOX CMS as we do now, however, BLOX Total CMS team covers that. For the purpose of this discussion, a few things to point out are:

  • Asset Manager – Used to manage assets created in BLOX CMS or BLOX Total CMS that get pulled onto a page during the Page Creation phase.
  • Documents
    • New From Template – Select the version of CS your InDesign is in.
    • Output – Various Methods are available and an Update utility that pulls in the new ones.
    • Check-Ins & Check Outs – Equivalent to a locked asset in BLOX. Check-in = Locked | Check-out = Available.
  • Documentation – PDF Files done by BLOX Total CMS Team
  • Utilities – A few are used to manage Agates (automatic tab stops and merges)

InDesign-BLOX Asset Manager

Asset Manager is customized to be site-specific.  Training on how to use the BLOX Total CMS Admin and Asset Manager are covered during the final phase of the BLOX Total CMS installation prior to going live on BLOX Total CMS.  The purpose of this documentation is to give you an overview of what makes up Asset Manager.  What is shown here may or may not be available on your BLOX Total CMS Menu.

BLOX Total CMS-AssetMgrMenu.png

In order for you to access Asset Manager, you must first have a page opened in InDesign and a Text Box drawn on the page somewhere (it can be edited later).  Once that is done, you then click on BLOX Total CMS Menu.  Asset Manager opens. 

Note:  This may take a couple of seconds depending on network speed and traffic as a 'call' is being made to the Appliance (server) where the scripts reside that generate the BLOX Total CMS Menu.


The default screen for Asset Manager is the Basic Search option.  Enter your Search Terms and click OK.


Search Results are returned.  The Preview window on the right shows Budget information and the story in an HTML format.


The Advanced Search option works in a different way. Starting with the Search Options, you select the Option (first drop down arrow) field, then select the Option Type.  You hit Enter and the Option is added below.  The next Option becomes active.  Repeat the process until you've selected all of your Search Options.  When done, click on the Search button on the left under Search Terms.  Results are displayed for you to select from.  Make your selection and click on OK on the bottom left.  The story will be placed in the Text Box you added to the page and is now ready to be worked in InDesign.


You can also search for content being pulled in via Syndication.  Use the Search Terms, select an asset, and click OK.


Preferences are established during the installation process but can be modified by your Template Master.  They are options set for how assets are pulled into Search Results:

  • Columns - What is allowed in each column such as Agate, Child Count, Headline, Flags, etc..
  • Display Order - Define the display order of assets.
  • Column Widths - Defines the column width for various properties such as headline, notes preview, and section.
  • Set Order - Sort by Type, Depth, Priority, Slug, Start Time, and Title and then Ascending or Descending.
  • Include - Options to include Child Related Assets, Content Related Assets, and Search Results.

Preferences Asset Preview Options:

  • Location - Allows you to see the preview of assets to the right in the Asset Manager or in a separate Preview tab, and to determine how relatively wide the preview pane is when viewed in part of the Basic Search window.
  • Data - Allows the user to decide what information - workflow, depth, notes, etc. - will appear in the preview.
  • Display Order - Allows the user to choose in what order the information is displayed in the preview pane.  This is disabled by default.
  • Syndication - Allows the user to import assets from syndication just by clicking them (Allow Multiple Imports). Users can have assets marked with the placed icon (Indicate Placement).  Users can also view downloaded syndication assets selected in the Search Results before the Import button appears (Import During Preview).