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Author Topic: context-sensitive text formatting of DITA output  (Read 2782 times)

Posts: 1

« on: August 08, 2011, 10:08:06 AM »

I am a former user of structured FrameMaker 9.0, where I learned to use the EDD file to

modify element definitions as well as tweak text formatting rules that used element context

to determine the attributes (font, indentation, color, size, etc.) of the text that appears

in the output format (PDF in my case). A rule, for example, would determine the proper

formatting of a <title> element based on its position in a ditamap hierarchy.

  I am now authoring DITA topics with XMetaL Author 6.0.2. I need to know what files perform

the same text formatting decisions as the Frame EDD file. I have studied various CSS files

but don't see any context rules in them. I have read some of the DITA Open Toolkit

documentation, which refers to XSLT files rather than CSS, for transforming source XML to

output formats such as XHTML, PDF, or CHM.  I need a clear introduction to the options

available and recommended for customizing text formatting to achieve an attractive and

consistent appearance for our help files.
Derek Read
Program Manager (XMetaL)

Posts: 2621

« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 12:42:55 PM »

The DITA Open Toolkit does not have a direct equivalent to FrameMaker's EDD file. The DITA Open Toolkit primarily uses XSLT (as you have read) and for a few complex things when generating PDF files it relies a little bit on Java.

As the DITA Open Toolkit is 3rd party software we do not attempt to document how to make changes to it. You may wish to search for solutions that sound similar to your needs on one of various forums, or post your specific questions there. The following two DITA OT forums are fairly active:

The first is more active as the audience is wider and generally discusses DITA in general. Though it doesn't deal with the DITA OT specifically, many (seems like most) of the discussions center around ways to customize it as well as problems with it. It is probably best to write questions with the assumption that the reader will not have access to or know anything about XMetaL.

The second is more specific to XMetaL + DITA and often has questions and answers about customizing the DITA OT (the majority are of this type in fact).

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