DITA and XMetaL Discussion

XMetaL Community Forum DITA and XMetaL Discussion Is it possible to modify Pagination in XMetal?

  • hema

    Is it possible to modify Pagination in XMetal?

    Participants 1
    Replies 2
    Last Activity 9 years, 7 months ago


    XMetal seems to do a good job while creating HTML output.

    However, the PDF output can use some pagination – for example, I have a super-task Topic Reference and several Task topicrefs under this. Is there a way I can make each Task to start on a new page? right now, they all flow one after the other, but there is too much white space.
    Also, I need to have images for some tasks. And, I am unable to edit the pagination such that the image and the relevant content come on the same page in the PDF. the lead-in content is on one page and the image is on the next page.

    Is there a way to align text by adding line / page breaks?

    Appreciate your response.

    – Hema.


    Derek Read

    Reply to: Is it possible to modify Pagination in XMetal?

    The simple answer is yes, you can, but this is actually a fairly complex task (that luckily would only need to be done once).

    It will require modification of the XSLT files that the DITA Open Toolkit uses to generate XSL:FO which is then fed into the PDF engine (which in most cases if you are using XMetaL Author Enterprise will be RenderX XEP but it might be Adobe FOP or Antenna House XSL Formatter, the last of which must be installed separately). The exact changes will depend on exactly what you need and the “deliverable” being used to generate your PDF (XMetaL Author Enterprise includes 5 and each is driven by different XSLT files).

    If you don't have anyone in house that is familiar with making modifications to the DITA OT you might consider hiring someone that is, and several of our partners specialize in this type of thing. One of these is Scriptorium but there are others. I mention them because they have written a number of whitepapers and have recorded webinars on related topics (these are generally overviews and do not get into specifics due to the fact that each client will have specific requirements). See http://www.scriptorium.com/category/resources/xmldita/ditaot/

    An alternative, if you wish to avoid making changes to the DITA OT, is to use the integration that Turnkey has made for XMetaL Author Enterprise for their PDF engine called “Topleaf”. Information on that is located here: http://forums.xmetal.com/index.php/topic,2257.0.html Some people feel the DITA OT is too complex (requiring knowledge of XSLT for all outputs and XSL:FO when it comes to PDF) and that the code supported by Topleaf is easier to learn and work with.

    If you are using a CMS together with XMetaL Author Enterprise you may wish to approach the vendor of the CMS system as well. Some of our CMS partners integrate (or can integrate) the DITA OT into the CMS itself, and in some cases the way the CMS functions may also affect how changes to the DITA OT need to be coded.


    Derek Read

    Reply to: Is it possible to modify Pagination in XMetal?

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