Multi-Channel Publishing for the Daily Racing Form

DPCI helped the Daily Racing Form to automate the creation of page layouts through XML and Adobe InDesign scripting

Daily Racing Form (DRF), "America's Turf Authority Since 1894," has provided horse racing fans with industry news and deep statistical analysis for over 116 years. Beginning as a four-page broadsheet publication, DRF now produces up to 2,000 unique pages of statistical and editorial copy every day, in as many as 25 daily editions, 364 days a year.

To generate horse race results pages for the print publication, DRF utilized QuarkXPress 4 with a set of proprietary XTensions on MacOS 9 to automatically import scores into a layout, evenly spaced on each page. Then, DRF would manually create and place race horse biographies, called “closer look”, associated with each race. This manual process was time consuming and further stressed an already tight production schedule. Since Mac OS 9 is a deprecated operating system and creative staff was utilizing Adobe InDesign for all other print pages, DRF was looking for an Adobe InDesign solution that would provide additional features while running on more modern hardware.

First, DPCI analyzed DRF’s current process for creating the race results pages. The workflow included generating XML from a variety of different sources. DPCI worked with DRF to determine the best XML schemas to automatically import content into InDesign.

Once the XML schemas were finalized, DPCI developed custom scripts for Adobe InDesign to allow DRF to dynamically generate layouts from XML feeds. In addition to the tabular race results data, the scripts automatically placed the “closer look” information for different horses into the appropriate location based on which race the horse was associated with. DPCI also created custom templates so the data could be placed into a variety of different layouts.

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With DPCI’s help, DRF now has an automated process to quickly create horse race results pages in Adobe InDesign CS6. This has allowed DRF to retire legacy Mac OS hardware and free up some time in the production schedule while also providing greater flexibility for creating custom dynamic pages through XML to InDesign scripting.

Read more about how DPCI helped DRF transform its print and Web publishing workflow using the K4 Publishing system and the Drupal Web content management system.