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Oxygen XML Author provides an intuitive, dynamic, and easy-to-use Markdown editor for writing and converting Markdown documents. It is a split-screen editor with two panels that are synchronized in real-time. The left side is a simple text editor that is specially designed for writing Markdown syntax. The right side is a WYSIWYG style preview of how changes will look in the output.

Markdown Text Editor Pane (Left Side)

The left pane is a simple text editor that is refined to accept Markdown syntax. At the same time, you still have many of the actions, options, and features that you are used to when editing any other type of document in Oxygen XML Author.

The features of this special editor that are unique for Markdown documents include:

WYSIWYG Preview Pane (Right Side)

The right pane is a WYSIWYG Preview pane that shows a visual representation of how changes made in the left-side text editor will be converted to HTML or DITA output. The changes you make in the text editor are parsed continually and they are immediately visible in the Preview pane. There are two tabs available in the Preview pane, one for visualizing DITA output and one for visualizing HTML output. You can switch between the two tabs at the bottom of the pane.

The Preview pane includes the following unique features:
  • WYSIWYG Visualization - This pane presents the Markdown syntax from the left-side text editor in a visual WYSIWYG style interface that is automatically synchronized as you type.
  • Export Options - The DITA tab includes a contextual menu action to export (convert) the current Markdown document to a DITA topic. Similarly, the HTML tab includes a contextual menu action to export (convert) it to an XHTML document.
  • Automatic Validation - As you edit Markdown documents, they are validated automatically. The conversion engine constantly tries to parse your changes and if a change results in an error that prevents the parser from converting the syntax, an error message will be displayed in the Preview pane or Results view at the bottom of the editor.
  • Print Feature - The Markdown editor includes a Print action that is available in the contextual menu and it allows you to configure options for printing the current document as you see it in the Preview pane.
  • Preview Markup - The Markdown editor includes a Tags Display Mode drop-down menu that is available on the toolbar and it allows you to control the amount of markup that is displayed in the Preview pane.
  • Specialized DITA Features - The Markdown editor includes some unique, specialized features to integrate it with the powerful DITA support in Oxygen XML Author.
Figure 1: Markdown Editor in Oxygen XML Author