General XMetaL Discussion

  • linjinwei

    How to indent text?

    Participants 8
    Replies 9
    Last Activity 13 years, 7 months ago

    A simple question – How do you indent text? Or maybe how do you add spacing?

    Everytime I highlight the text i want and click the indent icon, it give me a warning, telling me to select at least 1 list item. My guess is that indent can only be used on ordered/unordered list. If this is so, how do you remove the numbering or bullet point?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply

    mag3737

    Reply to: How to indent text?

    With formatting-related questions, there will always be different answers depending on whether you are talking about the appearance within the XMetaL editor, or the appearance in your final output (and whether it's PDF, HTML, or other output formats).  I assume that you are asking about your final output, and that you want PDF.

    I find it's helpful to think of things this way:  When you are creating content and XML markup in XMetaL, you are not creating output.  You are creating input that will shortly be used by another process to create output.  If you're using DITA, that other process is the DITA OT (“Generate output” in XMetaL).

    With that in mind, your question becomes “what elements or attributes can I use that will result in having indented text in my output?”

    Then the answer depends on your output type.  Different output types — even the different PDF types — may have different appearances for the exact same markup.  Unfortunately, I don't know any elements that are rendered as indented text in the PDF output.  (But there are many DITA elements that I don't know all about.)  The element comes very close — it's rendered as indented in the XMetaL Enhanced PDF output (and also in the HTML output), but in the PDF it has a box drawn around it.  This means that to achieve your goal may require modifying the XSLT transformations in one of the output types.

    Reply

    linjinwei

    Reply to: How to indent text?

    Wow..too much information. Sorry but I am still very new to XMetal and XML. I dont even know what does DITA stands for…

    Basically my struggle is due to the limitations that XMetal allows me to do. Like I am unable to create spacings between text or indent them.

    Indeed I am trying to create the input to solve this, and that is why I am stuck due to my lack of knowledge.

    Any hint?

    Ok i tried out the . Yes it does show a box. How do i get ride of it?

    Reply

    Su-Laine Yeo

    Reply to: How to indent text?

    XMetaL can indent text, however because you're working with XML which separates meaning from formatting, there is a slightly different way of thinking to get used to. In XML, instead of saying, “indent this text”, you say why you want the text to be indented and you set up stylesheets.

    There are many reasons you might want text to be indented. E.g.
    – It's a paragraph within a bulleted list
    – It's a secondary bullet within a bulleted list item
    – It's a third-level heading and you want to distinguish it from second-level headings
    – It's an ordinary paragraph, and you want all paragraphs to be indented more than they are now
    – It's a long quotation

    Once you know the purpose of formatting a particular piece of text, the next step is to find out what element type or structural form in your XML language (in your case, DITA) best matches that purpose. E.g. DITA has a structural concept that bulleted lists can contain paragraphs. If you're new to DITA, this is probably the hardest step, but it's really important. Can you explain why you want the text to be indented?

    If you're using the right element types in the right locations, XMetaL's default stylesheets might indent it automatically. If not, please post an example of what you want indented (including the tags), and someone will explain how to change the stylesheets.

    Reply

    linjinwei

    Reply to: How to indent text?

    Well I need to create a documentation that looked like this:

    [img]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/1017/ammvl5.th.png[/img]
    The document has indentations without bullet points or number list. How do I do that?

    Reply

    Su-Laine Yeo

    Reply to: How to indent text?

    Can you post a bigger and higher-resolution screenshot? The easiest way is to attach the file to a post directly. I can't read the screenshot that you posted.

    Reply

    linjinwei

    Reply to: How to indent text?

    Sorry for that. I can't attach the file because it is a pdf file, and has many other things inside.

    The Red line shows the level of indentation.
    [img]http://img383.imageshack.us/img383/7513/ammdb4.png[/img]

    Reply

    mag3737

    Reply to: How to indent text?

    The indentation you are showing here is not something you should be trying to do directly in XMetaL.  The page you've shown from your Table of Contents should be automatically produced by the transformations (XSLT) that generate your output.  These transformations are not (strictly speaking) part of XMetaL, but part of the DITA Open Toolkit.

    XMetaL does include the DITA OT and give you easy access to it — that's what is happening when you do “Generate Output” and select your output type — but you have probably noticed that the Table of Contents in your output, by default, looks VERY different from what you want.

    As has been suggested in [url=http://forums.xmetal.com/index.php?topic=50.0]http://forums.xmetal.com/index.php?topic=50.0[/url], making modifications to the DITA OT is one of the most difficult things you will need to do in this new XML universe.  You will need much more help than we can hope to give you on this forum.  I urge you to look for additional resources, including outside consultants (available from JustSystems and many other companies) to help you with your needs.

    Reply

    Su-Laine Yeo

    Reply to: How to indent text?

    I agree with mag3737's that the questions you've been asking are the hardest ones – you've really jumped in the deep end, so don't get discouraged!

    A variety of companies offer consulting services in setting up XML publishing systems. Many, if not all, are willing for no charge or for a nominal fee to do an initial assessment of your requirements and help you understand what it would take to meet them. The good news is that once a publishing system is set up, you probably don't need to have those highly technical skills on-site.

    Reply

    linjinwei

    Reply to: How to indent text?

    I managed to find a workaround solution by using Definition List. Works fine.

    Thanks for trying to help 😀

    Reply

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