What's New in Oxygen XML Author 19.0

April 5, 2017

Related versions: 19.0     19.1    

Version 19.0 of the oXygen XML Author brings you a variety of new features and improvements that focus on productivity, efficiency, and simplicity.

This major release includes numerous productivity improvements for DITA, updated support for DocBook 5.1 features, enhancements to the search mechanism in WebHelp, a new built-in CSS to PDF processing engine called Chemistry, additional features for the Markdown editor, and much much more. As usual, this version also contains numerous new API and component updates.

There are changes in:


Fast Create Multiple Topics at Once

The new Fast Create Topics feature allows you to quickly create multiple new topics at once and you can specify their hierarchical structure within the DITA map at the time of creation. A common use-case for this feature is when you need to insert a new chapter or section with multiple topics and you have the structure and titles planned out in advance.

DITA Reusable Components View

The DITA Reusable Components view collects all of the keys that are defined in the root map and presents them in a dynamic table allowing you to easily find the key you need, using filters and several sorting options. Once you find a key, you can insert it as a link or variable reference, using the contextual menu, or you can drag and drop or double-click on a key to create a key reference in the fastest way possible.

Convert between DITA Topic Types

A new feature was added that allows you to convert an existing DITA topic to a different topic type. For example, you can convert a DITA Task to a DITA Topic and vice versa. Behind the scenes, Oxygen will map the structure of the original DITA topic to a structure that fits the new topic type.
Convert between DITA Topic Types

Introducing Chemistry - Built-in CSS-based PDF Processor for Publishing DITA to PDF

Our early access CSS-based PDF processing engine, called Chemistry, is available to make it easier to obtain customized PDF output using CSS. To use it, modify the built-in DITA Map to PDF WYSIWYG transformation scenario and in the Parameters tab, change the css.processor.type parameter to "chemistry". Because this is experimental/early access functionality, we will appreciate your feedback.
Introducing Chemistry

Master Files Support for DITA

The DITA master files support allows Oxygen to automatically determine dependencies between files. Now you can define DITA maps as master files and when you move or rename resources, Oxygen will automatically update the references to those resources. It even works when you move multiple resources.

Improved DITA Map Validation

Some DITA processors do not work correctly if resources are located outside of the folder that contains the DITA map. The Validate and Check for Completeness action contains a new option, called "Report references to resources outside of the DITA map folder" that check for such resources.

Content Completion for IDs in Text Mode

When inserting DITA conkeyref and keyref attributes in Text mode, you need to specify an ID pointing to a specific element in the referenced topic. Now the Content Completion Assistant presents all the element IDs from the referenced topic, thus you can easily select a correct ID value.
Content Completion for IDs in Text Mode


Support for DocBook 5.1

Oxygen DocBook framework was updated to support DocBook 5.1. This includes new file templates for Assembly and Topic documents, updated CSS for visual authoring, schemas, and XML catalogs for the 5.1 specification.

Publish Tracked Changes and Comments to PDF Output

A new transformation scenario, DocBook PDF (Show Change Tracking and Comments), was added to allow you to include comments and tracked change information in the PDF output for DocBook 5 documents.
Publish Tracked Changes and Comments to PDF Output

Multimedia Support in DocBook

Oxygen now includes actions to easily insert references to video or audio content in DocBook documents. The visual Author editing mode displays the multimedia content and allows you to play it in-place. On the publishing side, the multimedia content will appear in HTML and PDF output.
Multimedia Support in DocBook

Markdown Editor

Improved Markdown DITA Profile

Markdown can be used directly in DITA-based systems, and Oxygen provides a variety of features to help you in this case. The DITA preview shows how the Markdown will look when used in a DITA system and code templates allow you to insert DITA-specific fragments such as various topic types, sections, or examples.

See the Structure in the DITA and HTML Preview

When Markdown is used, it will get converted to DITA or HTML. If the resulting DITA or HTML structure is important, then you can see that directly in the preview area of the Markdown editor using the Tags Display Mode drop-down menu to control the amount of markup that will be displayed.

Visual Author Editor

Create Custom Form Controls Using HTML and JavaScript

Create your own custom form controls without having to use the Java-based API. You now have the ability access the Oxygen environment by using the built-in oxy_browser form control that loads HTML and executes JavaScript. For example, you could change attributes values, insert XML fragments, or open a new editor without having to use an API.

User-Defined Placeholders

When an element is empty, Oxygen presents a placeholder text to inform the user what should be added inside that element. You now have the ability to specify this placeholder text directly within a document, using a processing instruction, thus helping authors understand what content they should include in that particular element inside that specific document.


Search Auto-Completion

Keywords and documentation titles are displayed while you are typing in the search field in WebHelp output. This improvements helps you to construct better search queries.
Search Auto-Completion

Phrase Search Support

The WebHelp search engine was improved by adding the ability to do phrase searches. By entering a phrase inside quotes, you can search for documents that contain that exact phrase, rather than single keywords.

Improved Sorting for Search Results

The WebHelp search engine was improved so that the most relevant results are presented at the beginning.

Show Missing Terms for Search Results

When you search for multiple terms, some of them may not appear in some of the results. The WebHelp search results now display the terms that were not found in that particular document next to each result.

Search Results Pagination

The results presented after a search action are now divided and presented in multiple pages.

Moved from WebHelp Mobile to WebHelp Responsive

The WebHelp Mobile publishing output for DITA and DocBook has been deprecated because of the better alternative provided by the new WebHelp Responsive system, designed for flexibility and modern features.


Drag&Drop or Copy/Paste to Reference Media Files in DITA, DocBook, and XHTML

You can now drag (or copy) media files from your system explorer (or the OxygenProject view) and drop (or paste) them into DITA, DocBook, or XTML documents, and Oxygen automatically creates the corresponding XML markup to reference those multimedia files.

3-Way Directory Comparison Tool Redesigned

The 3-Way Directory Comparison tool was redesigned to provide a set of merge actions that you can select to automatically integrate changes made by others with your local changes.

Automatic Spell Checking in Review Comments

The Automatic Spell Checking feature now also works when you add, edit, or reply to comments in Author mode or the Review view.
Automatic Spell Checking in Review Comments

Shorter Startup Time

The startup time when you start Oxygen has been improved by up to 25%.

Improved Editing Support for Java Properties Files

Oxygen now has better editing support for Java properties files with automatic unescaping and escaping of characters that are outside of the ISO-8859-1 range.

Support for Media Objects in XHTML

You can easily insert video or audio content in XHTML documents. The Author mode displays the media content and you can play it in-place.


A detailed list of all changes to the Java API can be found here.

Set the Default Action for Double-Clicking Callouts

A new method, getDefaultAction(AuthorAccess, AuthorPersistentHighlight, List<AbstractAction>), was added to the CalloutActionsProvider API and it allows you to return the default action that will be invoked when the user double-clicks a callout.

Get Application Name and Type

Added new API, ApplicationInformationAccess.getApplicationName(), that returns the name of the application. It is usually the title shown in the title bar of the main application (for example, Oxygen XML Editor, Oxygen XML Author, etc.) Also added the ApplicationInformationAccess.getApplicationType() API that returns the application type (for example, XML Editor, XML Author, etc.)

Custom Attributes Editor API Improvements

The CustomAttributeValueEditor API has been improved and it now also works by pressing an "Edit" button in the Attributes view and the in-place attributes editor.

Provide Actions to be Contributed in Content Completion

A new method, getContentCompletionActions(AuthorAccess, int), was added to the AuthorActionEventHandlerBase API and it can be used to provide a list of actions that will be contributed to the list of proposals in the Content Completion Assistant.

Create UI Tables Similar to the Ones in oXygen

The new ro.sync.exml.workspace.api.standalone.ui.Table class was added that allows you to create table UI elements that have the same look and feel as those in Oxygen and you can incorporate them in your own custom views and panels.

Notification when URLs and Files are Pasted/Dropped in Text Mode

Added new TextPageExternalObjectInsertionHandler API that provides notification when URLs and files are pasted or dropped into Text mode.

Group Actions in a Drop-Down Menu Button

Added the ro.sync.exml.workspace.api.standalone.ui.SplitMenuButton API class that allows you to group actions in a "split menu button" (a combination of a button and a drop-down menu) on a toolbar.

Get License Registration Name

Added new LicenseInformationProvider.getLicenseRegistrationName API, and it returns the registered name that the software is licensed to.

Results Panel Manager

Added the ResultsManager API, and it can be used to present messages and problems in a results panel, select results, listen to result selections, get all results (or selected results), remove results, and customize the contextual menu in the results panel.

Component Updates

Exist 3.0

Oxygen now supports working with the latest Exist 3.0 database.

Saxon Updated to

The Saxon library was updated to the latest Saxon 9, version

DITA OT 2.4.4

Oxygen now comes bundled with the old stable DITA OT 1.8 and the new DITA-OT 2.x version, which is now updated to DITA-OT 2.4.4.

DITA For Publishers Plugins Updated to 1.0.0RC26

The DITA For Publishers Open Toolkit plugins (used to generate EPUB output and convert MS Word documents to DITA) have been updated to version 1.0.0RC26.

DocBook XSLT Stylesheets 1.79.2

Updated the DocBook XSLT stylesheets to version 1.79.2.

EpubCheck 4.0.2

The EpubCheck tool that is used to validate Epub files was updated to version 4.0.2.

DITA OT OOXML Plugin 1.2

Updated the com.elovirta.ooxml DITA OT plugin that is used to convert DITA to OOXML to version 1.2.

Calabash 1.1.15

The bundled Calabash XProc engine has been updated to version 1.1.15.

jQuery 3.1.1

Updated to latest jQuery version (v3.1.1).

XSpec 0.5.0

Updated XSpec framework to the latest version (0.5.0).

Neko 1.9.22

Updated the Neko library that is used to convert HTML to XHTML to version 1.9.22.

Apache Ant 1.9.8

The Apache Ant library that comes bundled with Oxygen was updated to version 1.9.8.

Markdown Plugin for DITA OT 1.2.3

Updated the Markdown plugin for DITA OT to version 1.2.3.

TEI Schemas 3.1.0 / TEI Stylesheets 7.42.0

Updated the TEI schemas to version 3.1.0 and TEI stylesheets to version 7.42.0.