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Oxygen XML Editor provides a Styles drop-down menu on the toolbar that allows you to select one main (non-alternate) CSS style and multiple alternate CSS styles. This makes it easy to change the look of the document as it appears in Author mode and the output without having to continually edit the CSS stylesheets.

An example of a common use case is when content authors want to use custom styling within a document. You can select a main CSS stylesheet that styles the whole document and then apply alternate styles, as layers, to specific parts of the document.

Managing the CSS Styles

The main and alternate styles that are listed in the Styles drop-down menu can be controlled in the Document Type configuration dialog box. To access it, follow these steps:
  1. Open the Preferences dialog box .
  2. Go to Document Type Association.
  3. Select the appropriate document type and click the Edit button.
    Important: If you do not have access rights to the folder where the framework files are stored, you can either elevate read/write permissions on that framework folder or you can extend the framework and customize the CSS stylesheets in the extension. If you want to share the customized extension with the rest of your team, see Sharing the Extended Framework.
The CSS styles (CSS files) associated with the particular document type are listed in the CSS subtab of the Author tab.
Figure 1. Main and Alternate CSS Styles in the Document Type Configuration Dialog Box

You can Add, Edit, or Delete styles from this dialog box to manage the main and alternate styles associated to the particular document type. You can also change the order of the styles by using the Move Up and Move Down buttons. This will also change the order that they appear in the Styles drop-down menu. The alternate styles are combined with the main CSS sequentially, in the order that they appear in this list. Therefore, if the same style rules are included in multiple CSS files, the rules that are defined in the last alternate style in this list will take precedence, since it is the last one to be combined (applied as a layer).

The URI column shows the path of each CSS file. The names listed in the Styles drop-down menu match the values in the Title column. The value in the Alternate column determines whether it is a main or alternate CSS. If the value is no it is a main CSS. If the value is yes it is an alternate CSS and the style can be combined with a main CSS or other alternate styles when using the Styles drop-down menu.
Note: To group alternate styles into categories (submenus), use a vertical bar character ( | ) in the Title column. You can use multiple vertical bars for multiple submenus. The text before each vertical bar will be rendered as the name of a submenu entry in the Styles drop-down menu, while the text after the final vertical bar will be rendered as the name of the style inside the submenu.

Example: Suppose that you want to add two alternate stylesheets in separate submenus, with the Title column set to My Styles|User Assistance|Hints and My Styles|User Actions|Inline Actions, respectively.



Oxygen XML Editor will add a My Styles submenu with two submenus (User Assistance that contains the Hints style, and User Actions that contains the Inline Actions style) in the Styles drop-down menu.



The Enable multiple selection of alternate CSSs checkbox at the bottom of the pane must be selected for the alternate CSS styles to be combined. They are applied like layers and you can activate any number of them. If this option is not selected, the alternate styles are treated like main CSS styles and you can only select one at a time. By default, this option is selected. There are also a few options that allow you to specify how to handle the CSS if there are CSS styles specified in the document. You can choose to ignore or merge them.

The following rules apply for merging CSS styles:
  • CSS files with the same title will be merged.
  • CSS files without a title will contribute to all others.
  • They are merged sequentially, in the order that they appear in the list.

Using the Styles Drop-down Menu

You can use the Styles drop-down menu to select a main css style that applies to the whole document and then select one or more alternate css styles that behave like layers and are merged sequentially with the main style. Each of the styles that are listed in this drop-down menu have a corresponding CSS file that defines how your documents are rendered in Author mode and in the output. Also, the selections from this drop-down menu are persistent, meaning that Oxygen XML Editor will remember them when subsequent documents are opened.

Main CSS Style

The main styles are listed in the top section and each of their corresponding CSS files are primarily used to render basic things such as the font and background of the document. You can only select one main style at a time.

Alternate CSS Styles
The alternate styles are listed in the bottom section and their corresponding CSS files are used to render numerous different types of things in the document as they are merged with the selected main styles. You can select as many alternate styles as you wish. If you are unsure about how each of the styles with change the look of your documents based solely upon their name, there is no harm in selecting them to see the difference. You can simply deselect them to revert to the previous look.
Note: If you deselect the Enable multiple selection of alternate CSSs option in the CSS subtab of the Document Type configuration dialog box, the alternate styles are treated like main CSS styles and you can only select one at a time.

EXAMPLE: CSS Styles in DITA

Oxygen XML Editor comes with a set of built-in CSS layer stylesheets for DITA documents (as well as some that are specifically for DITA maps). In the subsequent figure, a DITA document has the Century style selected for the main CSS style and the alternate styles Full width, Show table column specification, Hints, and Inline actions are combined for additive styling to specific parts of the document.
Tip: The Hints style displays tooltips throughout DITA documents that offer additional information to help you with the DITA structure. The Inline actions style displays possible elements that are allowed to be inserted at various locations throughout DITA documents.
Figure 2. Styles Drop-down Menu in a DITA Document