Collaboration – Love it or Hate it?

by Liz Fraley, CEO of Single-Sourcing Solutions

This month I wanted to find out if you have come to love or hate collaboration in any of it’s forms.  I’m a big experimenter which often means I’m a big collaborator.

In January’s TC Dojo, we had Karl Klashinsky do a session on Git, the open source software version control system. He mentioned something in passing that software developers take for granted but that technical writers resist: the idea of continuous commits. In other words, commit early and often.

For Techcomm folks, providing access to in-work content has been traditionally a difficult activity. Writers tend to wait until something is done before anyone sees it. We like to pretend to the outside world that our work “sprung complete from [our] mind into the repository in utter perfection with each concept fully thought out” (Seth Robertson).

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Sudden Error Message while updating in ACM? Don’t Panic!

Do you keep seeing an error message after you’ve updated your workspace? Don’t worry we’re going to explain why this happens and what it means. Step-by-step photos demonstrate how error messages appear when you’re simply trying to update a file.

Below I’m going to show step by step how an error message while updating can occur. Following these steps does not fix the error message, it simply explains how and why this happens. Let’s figure it out!

  1. In your workspace check the box next to the file you’d like to update. Click update.

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Keep it Up-To-Date! Organize Your Workspace List in Arbortext.

Below I’m going to demonstrate how to customize your workspace list so that you can see if any of your documents are out of date. Being able to quickly see which files are out of date will help to save you time and ensure that you’re always working on the updated versions.

  • Open your working copy and click on Product Name to the right of ‘products’. In this example ‘Niagra’ is the product.

Customize 1


  • Open the ‘All’ drop down menu then click ‘customize’.

Customize 2

  • In the workspace-listing window select the two discs at the top in the ‘All’ column.

Customize 3

  • Create a name and description then click step 4(Set Column Display)

Customize 4

  • Under ‘Available Columns’ scroll down and select ‘Out of Date’. Click the arrow that points to the right to add to the ‘Selected Columns’

Customize 5

  • The ‘Out of Date’ column is now in the ‘Selected Columns’ box. Move the ‘Out of Date’ status to the top of the list by clicking the box to the right. It should be second from the top. Click ‘Finish’

Customize 6

  • You will now see which files are out of date by viewing the workspace through the customized list you just created. Select the list in the ‘Pick a view’ drop down menu.

Customize 7

  • A clock will appear in the ‘Out of Date’ column for any documents that are out of date.

Customize 8

Now you can quickly find which files are out of date and update them quickly and easily. This will also help to prevent working on files which aren’t up-to-date yet.