Questions from Customers: File Format Support

Questions about file formats range from what any particular product supports to what formats can be converted by the Arbortext tools

This week’s topic: File Formats

Questions about file formats range from what any particular product supports (editing, illustration, publishing, cms) to what formats can be converted by the Arbortext tools. Today, we’re talking about both of these and where each falls into the bigger picture.

Question: Supported formats in CMS

What file formats does Arbortext Content Manager import into XML?


There are no limitations on file type storage in Arbortext Content Manager.

It does not convert file formats. Another module within the Arbortext suite of products, can import/export the following file formats: Word, PDF, XML, RTF, Framemaker, Interleaf, text, and anything that can handle regular expressions.

Question: Batch operations

Can you import files in batches, including metadata?



Question: Graphic Formats support in Arbortext Content Manager

  1. Does Arbortext Content Manager support the Visio format (vsd) as a source graphic file?
  2. Please list all graphic formats that the Arbortext Content Manager supports at this time.


  1. Yes.
  2. There are no limitations on file type storage for the CMS.

Question: Digital Asset Management (DAM)

  1. Does Arbortext Content Manager support specialized capabilities that can deal with rich media, such as film and video?
    1. For example, can it support formats, such as wav, mpg, etc.?
  2. Can it integrate with specialized content creation programs such as Adobe desktop and server applications, Quark XML Author, Flash, and 3D applications?
    1. Can it manage huger files and apply metadata at varying levels within a file?
  3. Can it display visually rich display results, including the “looks like” requirement?
  4. Can it recognize and manage/adapt to/use specialized metadata formats, such as ITPC?
  5. Can it output a wide variety of formats
  6. Can it seamlessly hand off data to programs that can easily perform the transformation?
    1. Therefore the CMS must be able to provide the correct variant of a file, such as RealPlayer, QuickTime, MediaPlayer, NTSC, PASL, based on included metadata in real time?


Arbortext Content Manager supports storage of multiple objects. The usage of the end object is more a function of the editing or viewing software to be used than the CMS itself.

Question: Conversion of file formats

  1. Can you convert a MS Word file or an unstructured Frame file or any other formatted document and convert it to XML?
  2. In other words, does the Arbortext Content Manager support conversion of content?
  3. If yes, what formats?
  4. How clean or problem-free is the converted document in your opinion?


  1. Yes.
  2. Yes
  3. Import/Export supports FrameMaker, RTF, Word, Interleaf, other XML
    NOTE: You can also copy/paste directly from Word and Excel into the Arbortext Editor
    NOTE : You can use Data Merge to directly interact with Excel or other OODB-accessible applications
  4. That depends on how rigorous your authors were in the original source documents. The conversion pipeline can be interacted with to improve converted output.
  5. To see it in action, watch the “Fuel Injection: Creating Dynamic Documents with Arbortext Data Merge” video in the Arbortext Monster Garage

Question: Assembly/DITA Maps in ACM

  1. Does the Arbortext Content Manager include support for virtual/compound documents that are assembled to a publishing event/request?
  2. Can you create automated query-based content assembly?


Creating map documents directly in the CMS is coming in the Pine release and is already available in the Service Manual Information System application. Arbortext Content Manager is starting to blur and challenge the lines drawn in the sand by traditional, separate, stand-alone vendor products (CMS, Editing, Publishing).

Question: Format Support in IsoDraw

  1. What graphics formats does IsoDraw support?


Arbortext IsoDraw CADprocess renders standard graphic formats including: WebCGM, XCF(XML), CGM versions 1-4, SVG, PNG, JPEG, DWG, IGES, DXF, HPGL, Adobe Illustrator®, WMF, EPS, TIFF, PICT, PCX, BMP, CALS Raster, Text excerpt, Interleaf ASCII, and FrameMaker MIF.

Additionally, 3D files may be exported as IsoDraw .iso, .wrl or .obj files, and intelligent graphic object content is provided in text formats or XML in support of interactive graphics standards. Arbortext IsoDraw CADprocess exports to PDF, 3D PDF and U3D, with no additional software required.

The software supports native Pro/ENGINEER and ProductView files, as well as other standard 3D CAD formats that include: IGES, DWG, DXF, VRML, OBJ, STEP, VDA, SAT, or Parasolid. Using the PTC ProductView Adapters, Arbortext IsoDraw CADprocess also supports UniGraphics, SolidWorks, CATIA, JT and IDEAS formats.

Question: Format Support in Arbortext Editor

What graphics formats are supported in Arbortext Editor?


Supported graphics formats for Arbortext Editor include:

  • Bitmap *.bmp
  • Graphics Interchange Format *.gif
  • IsoDraw Graphics *.iso *.isoz
  • JPEG *.jpg
  • Portable Network Graphics *.png
  • Product View Graphics *.edz, *.pvz
  • Scalable Vector Graphics *.svg
  • Tag Image File Format *.tif, *.tiff
  • Vector Graphics *.cgm, *.eps

Adepters Code Archive Expands to Include IsoDraw Macro Code Contributions

Adepters Code Archive expands user-driven contributions to include IsoDraw macro code thanks to Trevor Hendricks at Kohler.

Today, the Adepters Code Archive expanded to include IsoDraw code for the first time. Thanks to Trevor Hendricks from Kohler, last month’s speaker for the Arbortext PTC/User Group.  Trevor Hendricks is the master of all things IsoDraw at Kohler — and everywhere else. Everyone in the IsoDraw community looks to Trevor for advice, suggestions, and guidance. Trevor has always been found at the forums at and now he’s joining the Adepters Code Archive.

His presentation last month was well attended and appreciated by the attendees. He has enormous amounts of advice for handy macros to have on hand and tips for smooth operations that improves adoption by authors and deployment (and subsequent support) by staff.

Today, he sent some macro code for us to post (while he’s getting all set up). Here’s what he sent:

  • Resize to Frame: Resizes a selection to fit the frame
  • Update Preferences: Cleans up a .iso file to fit your preferences (handy when getting files from outside vendors)

Thanks, Trevor and we’re looking forward to benefiting from your experience on Adepters!

Arbortext IsoDraw and Windows 7

Tips for staying up to date with maintenance releases; support for Arbortext IsoDraw on Windows 7

IsoDraw 7.1 M30 is fully supported on Windows 7. There are no issues revising IsoDraw illustrations created in any of the earlier versions using IsoDraw 7.1. You can also save backward if required; however, we always recommend saving in the current version.

If you’ve got active maintenance, you can always find system requirements and support information at > Support > Product Support Centers > Arbortext > Related Resources – Help Centers > Arbortext IsoDraw.

Expand Arbortext IsoDraw and you will find current release notes in PDF. Near the top of the IsoDraw 7.1 M30 Release Notes you will find the system requirements. For those on older versions of IsoDraw you can learn about new capabilities here as well.

One last thing for people on active maintenance: we recommend you review your account settings. You can be notified whenever there are product updates.