Common Questions: Arbortext Editor

Today, we’re answering questions about Arbortext Editor

This week’s topic: Arbortext Editor  

Something that a lot of people don’t realize, but that Arbortext customers cherish, is that every part of the Arbortext Editor UI — everything you can do in the Editor — is reachable through the extensive, well-documented, API. After the huge success of last month’s webinar, we’ve decided that we’re going to start talking a lot more about this next year. Keep your eyes open for some real fun centered all around getting under the hood with Arbortext in the months to come…

Today, we’re answering questions about Arbortext Editor.  As always, remember to send us your questions or add them to the comments!

Question: DITA Relationship Tables

How do you operate relationship tables?


Relationship tables are part of the OOTB DITA Application. Relationship tables are primarily manipulated in the source content.

However, the information in relationship tables can be inserted/extracted from source files and into the metadata in ACM if configured to do so. (Any metadata or element data can be configured in this way.)

Question: DITA Cross References

How do you indicate the cross-reference to other topics?


Cross-references are supported through the constructs available for cross referencing and linking provided by the DTD or schema.

Question: Drag and Drop

Can you use drag and drop for cross-references?


Drag and drop in the Editor is for moving content. You can navigate to and choose the link target from inside the Resource Manager and automatically insert it into your document.

When you drag and drop in Arbortext Editor, the cursor will change. If the DTD allows you to drop into the new location, you will see a green checkmark attached to the cursor. If the DTD does not allow insertion at that point, you will see a red circle with a slash through it. If you can merge the content, you will see a blue plus symbol.

You can drag and drop from the Resource Manager into your topic map.

Question:  Automation

Are the contents in a relationship table automatically updated when a writer changes the draft?


Relationship table contents depends on whether you have both authored the content and designed the stylesheets appropriately to take advantage of automatically, updated, generated text and linking capabilities as defined by the DTD/Schema.

Question: Editing Topic Glossary and Index Terms

Can you edit glossary and index terms at the topic level?



Question: Editing Global elements

Can you edit glossary and index terms across all the topics in a map?


Yes, through the Resolved Document for Editing.

You might want to watch the recording of the webinar we did on DITA styling in Arbortext for a short discussion of both the Resolved Document for Editing and the Resolved Document for Styling.

Question:  Integration with ACM

Can you edit all the glossary or index terms for more than one map? In other words, do you support annotated glossaries/indexes whereby the CCMS “knows” that glossary/index entries may appear in multiple deliverables that have been combined as a single concatenated book or as a single book that has Parts?


Yes, through the integration of Editing, Publishing with ACM. ACM may or may not be aware of included glossary terms depending on whether or not you have configured it to pull that information out of the source files.

Indexes are no different than glossary entries or other elements in an XML source file.

If you have a map of maps, you can also take advantage of the Resolved Document for Editing.

You might want to watch the recording of the webinar we did on DITA styling in Arbortext for a short discussion of both the Resolved Document for Editing and the Resolved Document for Styling.

Question: Differences between Documents

Does Arbortext have a diff function?


Comparisons between source files are handled in the Editor. Yes, you can compare two files in the editor.

Question: OTK Integration

Does the Editor have a technical service menu for DITA Open Tool Kit?


This is not provided out of the box. However, since the User Interface is completely customizable, this could be easily added to the menu.

Arbortext Editor is completely compatible with the DITA Open Tool Kit.

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Author: Liz Fraley

Liz Fraley has founded two companies, sits on the boards of three non-profits, and is constantly coming up with new ways to share knowledge in the technical communications and content industries.