Home Forums General XMetaL Discussion Locating styling of elements in CSS and CTM files Reply To: Locating styling of elements in CSS and CTM files

Derek Read

Reply to: Locating styling of elements in CSS and CTM files

The DITA functionality is not designed to be modified using XMetaL Developer. It uses some advanced techniques that XMetaL Developer can't help with (particularly the scripts that are loaded). In order for you to really do what you are asking I think we would need to make the DITA authoring functionality available as an XMetaL Developer project, but there isn't one. We have many developers working on different parts of it using all kinds of different tools and the system is highly modular, so the way it is pieced together doesn't lend itself to being an XMetaL Developer project.

For a standard customization (anything people create for authoring other than DITA) you would start by making a new project in XMetaL Developer (in this case a “document customization”) using the File > New menu item in Visual Studio, and then adding a DTD or XSD to it. Then you would either build new CSS and CTM files from scratch or import existing ones (the document customization wizard gives you that option). Then using this project you can debug it from Visual Studio's debug menu (or F5). That launches XMetaL Author and loads the customization. When you do this those two extra menu items will appear in the Edit menu in XMetaL Author.

The good news is that due to the way the DITA CSS files are organized it is easy to locate the selector for any given element (if it has one). I would recommend using Visual Studio's search (or even a tool like Notepad++ for anyone without Visual Studio) to search among the DITA CSS files for the name of the element you are looking for. Even though the selectors we have defined for DITA don't use the element name (they use DITA class attribute values in order to support specialization) a comment containing the base element name is usually right next to the actual selector.