Home Forums General XMetaL Discussion Using attribute description files with custom Schemas (xsd) Reply To: Using attribute description files with custom Schemas (xsd)

Derek Read

Reply to: Using attribute description files with custom Schemas (xsd)

Depending on what the documentation looks like you might implement something similar to what we have done for our DITA authoring solution. In that solution pressing Alt+F1 runs a macro that:
1. Gets the current element's name using the Selection.ContainerName property.
2. Generates a link based on that name.
3. Opens a CHM file and navigates to the topic for that element based on the link.

Something similar could be done with HTML files or possibly files in a different format. For DITA this was fairly easy to do because the documentation was organized (for the most part) so that the filename for the topic that describes each element is the same as the element name itself and we were able to easily generate a CHM file from the XML source provided at OASIS.

The Resource Manager can also host ActiveX controls. Hosting Internet Explorer (in this case the WebBrowser control version of Internet Explorer installed on all versions of Windows) in the Resource Manager would allow you to open a local HTML page or a page hosted on a website or a page generated from script. What is displayed there could be altered based on the current selection in the document (again probably using Selection.ContainerName). This could be triggered explicitly by a user clicking a button or pressing a shortcut key combination or such a macro could be placed inside the On_Update_UI event so that it constantly updates the information whenever the Selection moves.

There is also the API Application.SetStatusText() that lets you display text in the status bar area. This could be used in a similar fashion to the previous suggestion, but the amount of information you could provide would be limited to a short text string.

I can think of some other options (including launching a browser externally, putting content into an XFT form, launching some other software if the documentation is in special format) but these are probably the easiest to implement and possibly the least intrusive / most intuitive for a writer to use.

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