Home Forums DITA and XMetaL Discussion Anyone use CGM graphics with XMetaL? Reply To: Anyone use CGM graphics with XMetaL?

Derek Read

Reply to: Anyone use CGM graphics with XMetaL?

XMetaL Author has native support for the following image types: BMP, EPS, GIF, JPG, ICO, WMF, EMF, PNG, TIF, PCX, TGA.

For any other format, including formats like CGM (or SVG, HTML, PDF, Excel, Word, SWF Flash, MPEG video, or practically any other file format that has a suitable viewer available) it is possible to embed a control capable of rendering that file format. This is what has been done for XMetaL Author Enterprise for DITA documents to allow SVG images to be viewed inline while editing. The DITA customization embeds Internet Explorer in this case and relies on it to render the SVG. This is why a 'plug-in' for IE that can render SVG is required. We chose to embed IE because there are several different plug-ins for IE so that makes it easier to do the plug-in installation.

We have quite a few clients that have integrated 3rd party CGM viewers into their XMetaL document customizations as part of the work they needed to do to configure the product to work with their DTD (I'm talking non-DITA here). We also have clients that are rendering PDF and Excel files inline (referencing them in a similar way to images). But again, some customization work was required.

This is not something we have chosen to do for DITA yet because there has not been a big demand for CGM in DITA that we are aware of. If you have a pressing need for it our Professional Services team could be contracted to create a solution for you. A decision on which CGM viewer to use would need to be made and perhaps some other things would need to be ironed out.

With DITA there is also the question of how to handle a particular image format when generating output. There are solutions available with the DITA Open Toolkit to handle embedding of SVG in various output formats. I'm not sure how CGM would be handled in this case, but perhaps that is not a concern for you at the moment, or perhaps that is something you have already solved.