The print front end for your headless CMS – tohoop

How to add professional print integration to your WCMS

The print front end for your headless CMS – tohoop

Publishers have to be able to simply display content on a wide variety of platforms. This article from ppi Media shows how to add professional InDesign integration to a web content management system (WCMS) such as WordPress or Drupal or a headless CMS.

When it comes to publishing, everyone is talking about ‘headless CMS’ right now. While a classic WCMS captures and stores content in its back end and displays this content in format templates via a link to the front end, the front and back end are decoupled in a headless CMS. Instead, applications and websites can access the content from the CMS via an interface and display it individually. One of the advantages of a headless CMS is the fact that the content stored there can be displayed on one or more websites and also used in native iOS and Android apps. This makes headless CMS architecture appealing to mobile and web developers and digital publishers. But can print also be effectively integrated into a (headless) WCMS?

Print’s not dead

We [ppi Media] have developed a solution called ‘tohoop’ (low German for ‘together’) which enables your WCMS to be conveniently connected to InDesign. tohoop is not only a WordPress-to-InDesign solution – it can also be used with Drupal and other systems. As an interface, tohoop is ultimately a print front end for a headless CMS architecture. This is how we integrate the print channel in a digital publishing environment to support all publishers who want to efficiently create print publications from their content held in a WCMS as a central content platform.

Efficient workflows for layout designers and editors

An integral component of the solution is our tohoop planner, a browser-based planning tool that makes it incredibly easy to create and manage publications. Each page can be linked to an InDesign page layout that a designer sets as a template. Of course, other templates can also be created for different pages or documents.

As part of our solution, editors continue to use their trusted online editor in the WCMS and simply create a print version with the tohoop plug-in, which is then assigned to a sample layout. This allows them to adjust their texts according to the print layout specifications. Online-specific content is automatically ignored.

This makes it easy for layout designers to find an article from the WCMS using the content search in the planner and then drag and drop it onto a page to mold it into the pre-defined layout. Our tool even transfers formatting from the CMS and intelligently converts it into InDesign formatting. And if a picture doesn’t look quite right or the text is too short and the heading is too long, this is where the tohoop features come into play as a WCMS plug-in… The planner can be used to open the article in print layout view within the WCMS, allowing each individual line of text to be edited. And an InDesign client doesn’t even have to be opened for minor alterations to the layout, as this can be done in the planner itself using the ‘page layout’ feature, which is a kind of slimmed-down version of InDesign. Needless to say, the tool also enables the fully free layout of all articles in InDesign. By the way: Ads can also be managed using the tohoop planner.

Bottom line

tohoop is not only a WordPress-to-InDesign solution – it also adds a professional print channel to every (headless) WCMS. The tohoop planner makes it easy to create publications and editors can tailor their print content in the WCMS. Layout designers and editorial teams can collaborate efficiently and remotely with tohoop. More information:

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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