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Derek Read

Reply to: customizing stylesheet

If all you are doing is making modifications to the CSS used for authoring then add any overrides into end of the CSS file in the folder for the specific topic type you wish to change the styling for. For example, if you are authoring to the DITA 1.2 spec, to modify the CSS for “task” do it here (assuming you are using the 8.0 release):
C:Program FilesXMetaL 8.0AuthorDITAXACs1.2tasktask.css

To make changes that affect all topic types add overrides to one of these files:

C:Program FilesXMetaL 8.0AuthorDITAXACs1.2ditabaseditabase-base-override.css
C:Program FilesXMetaL 8.0AuthorDITAXACs1.2ditabaseditabase-derived-override.css

Keep in mind that standard CSS cascading rules apply. In the case of my earlier example the main CSS file for task is C:Program FilesXMetaL 8.0AuthorDITAXACs1.2tasktask.css. If you open that file you will see which other files are imported and in which order. In all cases you want whichever selector you create to be loaded last and be at least as specific as the selector that it is overriding.

If you are working with XMetaL Author Enterprise and authoring DITA you should not be modifying the DITA DTDs directly. What you've stated suggests that might be what you are considering. That is not supported. You can “specialize” the DITA DTDs and that is fully supported. If you have a specialized DITA DTD then follow the instructions in the help (F1) under Working with DITA >  DITA Specializations. That discusses how to configure XMetaL Author Enterprise to recognize your specialized DITA DTD.

All of the above applies to an installation where a CMS is not being used. If you are using a CMS then you should follow any instructions provided by the CMS vendor for their integration with XMetaL Author Enterprise. CMS integrations with XMetaL often have specific requirements. Some of them store XMetaL “customizations” in the CMS itself and deploy them to your local machine and in that case you will need to make modifications to the copies of any files stored in the CMS rather than the local copies.