Manage compound and multi-page assets managing-compound-assets

Adobe Experience Manager Assets can identify if an uploaded file contains references to assets that already exist in the repository. This feature is available for supported file formats only. If the uploaded asset contains any references to Experience Manager assets, a bidirectional link is created between the uploaded and referenced assets.

Besides eliminating redundancy, referencing the assets in Adobe Creative Cloud applications enhances collaboration and increases the efficiency and productivity of users.

Experience Manager Assets supports bidirectional referencing. You can find referenced assets in the asset detail page of the uploaded file. In addition, you can view the referencing files in the asset details page of the referenced asset.

References are resolved on the basis of path, document ID, and instance ID of the referenced assets.

Adobe Illustrator: Add digital assets as references refai

You can reference existing digital assets from within an Adobe Illustrator file.

  1. Using Experience Manager desktop app, fetch the digital assets on the local filesystem. Navigate to the filesystem location of the asset that you want to reference.

  2. Drag the asset from the local folder to the Illustrator file.

  3. Save the Illustrator file to the mounted drive, or upload to the Experience Manager repository.

  4. After the workflow completes, go to the asset details page for the asset. The references to existing digital assets are listed under Dependencies in the References column.


  5. The referenced assets that appear under Dependencies can also be referenced by files other than the current one. To view a list of referencing files for an asset, click the asset in the under Dependencies.


  6. Click View Properties from the toolbar. In the Properties page, the list of files that reference the current asset appear under the References column in the Basic tab.

    view the references of Experience Manager Assets in References column in asset details

    Figure: Asset references in asset details.

Adobe InDesign: Add digital assets as references add-aem-assets-as-references-in-adobe-indesign

To reference digital assets from within an InDesign file, either drag assets to the InDesign file or export the InDesign file as a ZIP archive.

Referenced assets already exist in Experience Manager Assets. You can extract subassets by configuring InDesign Server. Embedded assets in an InDesign file are extracted as subassets.

If the InDesign Server is proxied, InDesign files have their preview embedded within their XMP metadata. In this case, thumbnail extraction is not explicitly required. However, if the InDesign Server is not proxied, thumbnails must be explicitly extracted for InDesign files.

When an INDD file is uploaded, the references are fetched by querying assets having xmpMM:InstanceID and xmpMM:DocumentID property in the repository.

Create references by dragging assets create-references-by-dragging-aem-assets

This procedure is similar to add digital assets as references in Adobe Illustrator.

Create references to assets by exporting a ZIP file create-references-to-aem-assets-by-exporting-a-zip-file

  1. Perform the steps in Create workflow models to create a workflow.
  2. Use the Package feature of Adobe InDesign to export the document. Adobe InDesign can export a document and the linked assets as a package. In this case, the exported folder contains a Links folder that contains subassets in the InDesign file. The Links folder is present in same folder as the INDD file.
  3. Create a ZIP file and upload it to the Experience Manager repository.
  4. Start the Unarchiver workflow.
  5. When the workflow completes, the references in the Links folder are automatically referenced as subassets. To view a list of referred assets, navigate to the asset details page of the InDesign asset and close the Rail.

Adobe Photoshop: Add digital assets as references refps

  1. Use Experience Manager desktop app to access Experience Manager Assets. Download and reveal the assets on local file system. Use the Place Linked functionality in Adobe Photoshop. See place assets in desktop app.

  2. Save in Photoshop file to the mounted drive or upload to the Experience Manager repository.

  3. After the workflow completes, the references to existing Experience Manager assets are listed in the asset details page.

    To view the referenced assets, close the Rail in the asset details page.

  4. The referenced assets also contain the list of assets they are referenced from. To view a list of referenced assets, navigate to the asset details page and close the Rail.

The assets within compound assets can also be referenced based on their Document ID and Instance ID. This functionality is available with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop versions only. For others, referencing is done on the basis of relative path of linked assets in the main compound asset as done in earlier versions of Experience Manager.

Create subassets generate-subassets

For the supported assets with multi-page formats — PDF files, AI files, Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote files, and Adobe InDesign files — Experience Manager can generate subassets that correspond to each individual page of the original asset. These subassets are linked to the parent asset and facilitate multi-page view. For all other purposes, the subassets are treated like normal assets in Experience Manager.

Subasset generation is disabled by default. To enable subasset generation, follow these steps:

  1. Log into Experience Manager as an administrator. Access Tools > Workflow > Models.
  2. Select DAM Update Asset workflow and click Edit.
  3. Click Toggle Side Panel and locate the Create Sub Asset step. Add the step to the workflow. Click Sync.

To generate the subassets do one of the following:

  • New assets: The DAM Update Assets workflow executes on any new asset that is uploaded to Experience Manager. Subassets are auto-generated for new multi-page assets.

  • Existing multi-page assets: Manually execute the DAM Update Assets workflow following either of the steps:

    • Select an asset and click Timeline to open the left panel. Alternately, use the keyboard shortcut alt + 3. Click Start Workflow, select DAM Update Asset, click Start, and click Proceed.
    • Select an asset and click Create > Workflow from the toolbar. From the popup dialog, select DAM Update Asset workflow, click Start, and click Proceed.

Specifically for Microsoft Word documents, execute the DAM Parse Word Documents workflow. It generates a cq:Page component from the contents of the Microsoft Word document. The images extracted from the document are referenced from the cq:Page component. These images are extracted even if sub asset generation is disabled.

In the Create Sub Asset Process - Step Properties in Process Arguments, you can specify the number of sub-assets that Experience Manager generates. The default value is 5. To generate all the sub assets, leave the field empty. If the field has negative, then no sub assets are generated.

View subassets viewing-subassets

The subassets are displayed only if the subassets are generated and are available for the selected multi-page asset. To view the generated subassets, open the multi-page asset. In the upper-left area of the page, click Option to open left rail and click Subassets from the list. When you select Subassets from the list. Alternately, use the keyboard shortcut alt + 5.

View subassets for a multi-page asset

View pages of a multi-page file view-pages-of-a-multi-page-file

You can view a multi-page file, such as PDF, INDD, PPT, PPTX, and AI file, using the Page Viewer feature of Experience Manager Assets. Open a multi-page asset and click View Pages from the upper-left corner of the page. The Page Viewer that opens displays the pages of the asset and the controls to browse through and zoom each page.

View and see pages of a multi-page asset

For InDesign, you can extract pages using InDesign Server. If the previews of pages are saved during InDesign file creation, then InDesign Server is not required for page extraction.

The following options are available in the toolbar, in the left rail, and in the Page Viewer controls:

  • Desktop Actions to open or reveal a specific subasset using Experience Manager desktop app. See how to configure Desktop Actions if you are using Experience Manager desktop app.

  • Properties option opens the Properties page of the specific subasset.

  • Annotate option lets you annotate the specific subasset. The annotations you use on separate subassets are collected and displayed together when the parent asset is opened for viewing.

  • Page Overview option displays all the subassets simultaneously.

  • Timeline option from the left rail after clicking Option to open left rail displays the activity stream for the file.

Best practices and limitation best-practice-limitation-tips

  • Subasset generation can be very resource intensive on any Experience Manager deployment. If you are generating subassets when complex assets are uploaded, then add the step in the DAM Update Asset workflow. If you are generating subassets on-demand then create a separate workflow to generate subassets. A dedicated workflow lets you skip the other steps in DAM Update Asset workflow and save computational resources.