Proofing an XSL-FO Stylesheet

Posted on 14. Sep, 2012 by in Blog

Proofing a PDF produced from an XSL-FO stylesheet is tedious, eyeball work and some people get caught up on the content instead of how it is rendered.

When I review outputs for new stylesheets, I lay out printed pages and do a style-to-style comparison. I also use the following checklist to help make sure I hit all the page elements.

  • Cover (front/back/inside)
  • Blank pages (covers/odd-even pages)
  • Inside pages (no header/footers)
  • TOC (check against text, product header, chapter names, chapter numbers, dot leaders, position on page, page numbers, part number, index, warranty)
  • Chapter pages (title position, chapter number, mini-toc)
  • Headers (position, product)
  • Footers (position, page number)
  • Page design attributes (page margins/lines/graphic margins/gutters/side heads)
  • Figure numbers/captions (position, consecutive, restart, wrap text)
  • Text headers (L1, L2, L3, L4)
  • Lists (list types, position, numbers, bullet types, nesting)
  • Consecutive numbering (list, figures, chapters)
  • Tables (position, columns, padding, titles, lines, numbered lists, bullets)
  • Text attributes where applicable (bold, italics, bold/italics)
  • Menu keys (bold, italic)
  • Messages (single quotes)
  • Section reference (double quotes, italics)
  • Safety notice/messages (position/size/type/signal word)
  • Index (check against text, chapter numbers, dot leaders, position on page)
  • Trademark Information
  • Images (size, scale, clarity, position, margins, callouts, full/in column))
  • Image legends (numbered, space, position)
  • Chapter names
  • Chapter numbers
  • Index (letters, chapter number-page number, primary/secondary, wrap)
  • Font checks – E-scale checks
  • Bookmarks in PDF generated
  • Page breaks/bumps

Since every stylesheet produces a custom output, customize the checklist for specifics. Nested lists, for example, may be deep with appearance depending on where used.

Prrofing an automated stylesheet is not really different than any other formatted page. Get it right and leave it alone!

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