XMetaL Tips and Tricks

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

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    XMetaL® Author Essential 16.0 Release Notes

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    XMetaL® Author Essential 16.0 Release Notes


    XMetaL Author is the leading authoring application for organizations using any XML document type. 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 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.

    Markdown support

    XMetaL now supports Markdown syntax. You can write documents in Markdown as well as convert documents into Markdown and convert Markdown documents into HTML and Docx.

    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.

    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).

    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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