XMetaL Tips and Tricks

XMetaL Community Forum XMetaL Tips and Tricks XMetaL® Author Enterprise 16.0 Release Notes

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    XMetaL® Author Enterprise 16.0 Release Notes

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    XMetaL® Author Enterprise 16.0 Release Notes


    XMetaL Author is the leading authoring application for organizations using any XML document type, including the most complete support for the Darwin Information Typing Architecture, or DITA. XMetaL Author also helps you maximize content reuse through tight integration with content repositories, and address advanced publishing requirements with an extensible publishing framework.

    With this version, XMetaL Author introduces linked document archiving, inline attribute editor, support for application-level XMetaL Application Customizations (XAC), XMetaL SharePoint Online (Cloud) Integration support, restoring the last selection in an opened document and a new XMetaL API for running macros asynchronously when XMetaL enters an idle state or when triggered by external events. For a complete list of new features, see New features.

    New features

    XMetaL integration with DITA-OT 3.6.1

    This integration includes performance enhancements such as processing in parallel and in memory as well as an updated preview of features for the latest draft of the upcoming DITA 2.0 standard.

    The performance benefits of parallel processing depend heavily on the source file set, the DITA features used in the project, and the computer doing the processing, but under the right circumstances, you may see notable improvements.

    In-memory processing provides performance advantages in I/O bound environments such as cloud computing platforms, where processing time depends primarily on how long it takes to read and write temporary files.

    XMetaL SharePoint Online (cloud) integration

    XMetaL SharePoint Online (Cloud) Integration, including the following features:

    • Navigation
    • Versioning operations
    • Importing
    • CMS operations
    • XMetaL-CRCL integration
    • Search operations
    • App configuration
    • SharePoint 2013 on-premises server support

    Archiving linked documents

    An XMetaL tool with the following features:

    • Create a backup (zip) of files opened in XMetaL editor, including referenced content and images
    • Archive XMetaL “Find in files” cross-files operations found files including referenced content and images
    • A simple user interface for setting reference attributes
    • Re-locate referenced files to a subfolder of archiving documents
    • Send a created zip file via email as an attachment

    Additional options for archiving let you:

    • remove files manually,
    • add to archive-only files with specific extensions (e.g., find and archive images only),
    • include all files in subfolders of archiving documents in the archive, and
    • find or select a common folder for all archiving documents.

    Inline attribute editor

    An XMetaL tool with which you can edit attributes in the element that is under the cursor. All actions can be completed via keyboard only.

    Additional options for editing attributes include the following:

    • Finding an attribute by name or description
    • Showing an attribute’s description
    • Selecting an attribute description topic in the DITA Language Specification help system (DITA users only)
    • Customizing a list of predefined values
    • Sorting
    • Running custom macros for predefined attributes
    • Deleting attribute from element
    • Generating a unique ID
    • Utilities for managing reference attributes

    Restoring the last selection after opening document

    The XMetaL options dialog contains a setting that allows you to move a selection to the selected point before the document was closed. Changing this option requires restarting XMetaL.

    Updated file open, save and insert image dialogs

    The updated dialogs extend support for file system navigation, finding, filtering and previewing content.

    Supporting application level XMetaL Application Customization (XAC)

    XMetaL handles “*.xac” files in the “Author\StartUp” folder.

    XMetaL API for providing asynchronous operations

    The API enables you to run XMetaL macros when XMetaL enters an idle state or when triggered by external events, e.g., “specific time elapsed”, specific file(s) changed or specific application terminated.

    Here are some scenarios that an XMetaL customization developer can achieve via macro scripts:

    • Select a word in an open document – specify the file path that receives proposed alternatives for a selected word – run third party application passing word and file path as parameters – continue editing in XMetaL – after application completed or file changed events – run macro that moves selection to selected word – reads file with alternatives – show alternatives to user.
    • XMetaL monitors the status of specific files in folders. Changing specific files via third party applications triggers running the XMetaL macro asynchronously. The XMetaL macro script reads the contents of the file that triggered the event.

    RunMacroOnIdle – runs the XMetaL macro script asynchronously after XMetaL has entered to an idle state. Optional parameters specify additional delay time and a VARIANT-type parameter that can be passed to the macro.

    RunAfterProcessDone – runs the XMetaL macro script asynchronously after a specific Windows process was terminated and XMetaL has entered to an idle state. Optional parameters specify a VARIANT-type parameter that can be passed to the macro.

    AddFileChangeMacro – runs the XMetaL macro script asynchronously after predefined file(s) were changed and XMetaL has entered to an idle state. Optional parameters specify the full file path or pattern and a VARIANT-type parameter that can be passed to the macro. XMetaL provides additional default parameters containing the full path of the file that triggered the event.

    Additional XMetaL APIs “IsProcessRunning”, “TerminateProcessEx”, “RunAfterProcessDone2”, “IsFileChangeMacro “, “RemoveFileChangeMacro” allow you to maintain a customization based on an asynchronous event.

    Known issues

    Tools > Options dialog accelerators don’t work sometimes

    Some property pages within the new unified options dialog won’t respond to keyboard shortcuts until focus is moved into the embedded XFT form that is on the active property page. This limitation relates to Windows’ handling of embedded ActiveX controls.

    Generate Output fails if filenames or paths contain a mix of Polish characters and spaces

    The DITA Open Toolkit included with the software fails to generate output if any of the filenames or paths contain Polish characters AND spaces. The only workaround at this time to adhust filename and paths to exclude spaces OR put all the files into the same folder.

    Docking action indicators don’t display in the correct location on systems with text size set to something other than 100%

    With the introduction of High-DPI support in Windows Vista, certain settings can cause the application to not render properly. In particular, setting a text size value to something other than 100% can result in the application having drawing issues when resizing a docking panel or moving it to another docking location.

    To workaround this issue, adjust the custom text size settings so that the system uses Windows XP scaling (Windows Vista and Windows 7).

    Shortcut key doesn’t work after moving focus to Map Editor with XMetaL Navigator

    Shortcut key doesn’t do anything after moving focus into the Map Editor using the XMetaL Navigator feature. To work around this, please press the <Tab> key once and try your keyboard shortcut again. If it still doesn’t work repeat pressing <Tab> key and trying your shortcut key until you get some action.

    WebHelp output’s Print function doesn’t work for local files

    When opening a local copy of the WebHelp output into a web browser, especially Google Chrome, clicking the “Print” button results in no action. This behavior is typically the result of a web browser’s “same-origin” security model for local files versus files loaded over http.

    This behavior can be worked around by running a local web server or deploying the WebHelp webhelp_out folder’s contents to a web server and navigating your browser to that web server location.

    DITA for Publishers outputs are disabled

    The D4P outputs (i.e. Kindle, ePub, et al) are currently disabled because the plugin is not compatible with the DITA Open Toolkit version integrated with XMetaL. The timeframe for a new D4P plugin release is not known at this time.

    When using DITA 1.3 XML schemas, reusable component feature is disabled

    XMetaL’s reusuble component feature has not been setup for the DITA 1.3 XSDs. As a result, related menu items like Reuse > Create Reusable Component are disabled.

    WebDAV lock cannot be obtained for document just opened

    When a document is opened from a WebDAV server into XMetaL Author Enterprise, an error message maybe displayed stating that the WebDAV lock could not be obtained. This issue is due to the DITA MapEditor feature preprocessing the document’s XML with our XMetaL XML processor (XMXML). XMXML contains a lot of the same code as XMetaL Author including the WebDAV locking logic and as such, XMXML ends up obtaining the WebDAV lock first.

    To work around this issue, the DITA options must be changed so that ditamap files open into the XML view by default. To change this setting, select the Tools > Options… menu item and select the DITA category’s Map Editor tab. On the Map Editor tab, adjust the “Open DITA maps in the:” drop-down list so that “XML view” is selected. Click OK to accept the changes and restart XMetaL.

    Note: The DITA feature does not support WebDAV out-of-the-box. A WebDAV capable XMetaL connector is required to use the DITA feature with a WebDAV server.

    The x64 Cameras In Focus and Meeting Minutes samples have some features that don’t work

    A few of the Cameras In Focus and Meeting Minutes sample’s features rely upon Microsoft components that do not have an x64 equivalent (e.g. MSScript.ocx, MSCAL1.ocx). Yet other features rely upon a x64 version of Microsoft Word to be installed on the computer. In the x64 version of the software, these samples have been removed from the Help > Samples submenu to avoid issues. You can still invoke either samples template but please use caution when running these samples as they may not gracefully degrade when invoking features with a dependency on these 3rd party items.

    Built-in toolbar auto-layout on first launch

    When XMetaL Author is started for the first time, the built-in toolbars will each be docked on a separate row. Custom DTD-specific toolbars will be docked more efficiently (i.e. multiple per row) providing there is enough horizontal space to do so. Once toolbars have been reorganized (by dragging them around), their positions will be remembered. This vertically oriented auto-layout for built-in toolbars will also take effect any time the XMetaL Author workspace is reset, which is done by holding the Ctrl key down at startup.

    Child submenus/menu items not copied when moving top-level menu buttons

    Moving top-level menu buttons will not copy the child submenus or menu items. Similarly, moving submenu items will not duplicate those child items.


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