What's New in Oxygen XML Author 20.1

June 15, 2018

Related version: 20.0    

Version 20.1 of the Oxygen XML Author includes numerous productivity improvements, DITA publishing was updated to make the WebHelp output compliant with the Section 508 accessibility standard, making it accessible for people with disabilities, and publishing DITA maps to PDF using CSS styles can be applied on HTML5 as intermediate format, thus reusing the HTML5 WebHelp publishing CSS styles. As usual, this version also contains numerous new add-ons, API, and component updates.

To enable simple and streamlined collaboration, our new product called Oxygen Content Fusion is now available. It can be used from Oxygen XML Author to share XML content with reviewers and contributors, providing them access to a snapshot of your content from any device and without any installation. You can then easily merge their changes back into your original content.

There are changes in:


Add-On for the New Content Fusion Collaboration Platform

A free add-on is now available that connects Oxygen XML Editor/Author to an Oxygen Content Fusion server (either your own Enterprise/On-Premise or our Public/Hosted server). Once installed, a task manager view is available in Oxygen XML Editor/Author where you can create review tasks that will include documents to be uploaded for review. You can share a URL to such a task with your collaborators, who will be able to review or contribute to that content in their browser. Finally, you can easily integrate the remote changes back into the original files in Oxygen XML Editor/Author.

You can get started by evaluating Oxygen Content Fusion free for 60 days!

DITA Authoring

Improved DITA Reusable Components View

The Components tab now includes an option to switch to a Compact mode, thus presenting more components in the visible area. The search for reusable components was optimized to increase its speed.
Improved DITA Reusable Components View

More Validate and Check for Completeness Checks

Various improvements and fixes were added to the DITA map validate and check for completeness functionality. For example, it now reports if you have topic references inside a map reference (such topics will be ignored by DITA-OT during publishing).

Resolve References

A new action called Replace All References with Content is available when editing DITA documents. It replaces all referenced fragments (keyrefs, conrefs, or conkeyrefs) in the current document with the actual referenced content.
Resolve References

Extract Topic References into a New DITA Map

An Extract to New DITA Map refactoring action was added in the DITA Maps Manager, available from the contextual menu. It creates a new DITA map, inserts the selected topic references inside the new map and the selected topic references from the initial map are replaced with a reference to the newly created map.

Convert Nested Topics to New Topics

A Convert nested topics to new topics refactoring action was added in the DITA Maps Manager, available from the contextual menu. It detects the inner topics in a DITA topic and extracts them as new topic files, removes them from the topic, and adds topic references to the newly created topics, as children of the corresponding topic, in the map.

Preview and Convert Markdown to DITA Using Lightweight DITA Standards

The DITA preview of the Markdown editor is synchronized with the DITA Open Toolkit used for publishing. For example, you can add DITA-OT 3.x support by installing our special add-on and then select it as the default publishing engine in the DITA preferences page. Afterwards, if a DITA Map opened in the DITA Maps Manager contains a topic reference to a Markdown file, you can change the value of its format attribute to mdita. Then, when you open that document in Oxygen, the DITA Preview pane will show the Markdown content obtained by converting it according to the Lightweight DITA MDITA encoding rules. Converting the Markdown file to DITA will apply the same conversion rules.

Alternate Style for Hiding Prolog Section

The Styles drop-down menu now includes an alternate style labeled + Hide Prolog that can be selected to hide the DITA prolog element when rendering documents in Author mode.
Alternate Style for Hiding Prolog Section

DITA CSS-based PDF Publishing

PDF Output based on HTML5 and CSS

The new DITA Map PDF - based on HTML5 & CSS transformation scenario can be used to convert DITA maps to PDF. This scenario uses an HTML5 intermediate format similar to the one generated for the WebHelp transformation. It makes it possible to reuse the CSS styles between the two transformations.

Publishing Templates for PDF Transformations

You have the ability to create publishing templates and to use them in the DITA Map PDF - based on HTML5 & CSS transformation scenario. The same publishing template package (CSS files, media resources, XSLT extensions) can now contain both PDF and WebHelp Responsive customizations allowing you to easily bundle and share both customizations as a single publishing template. You can find more details in the technical documentation.

DITA to Responsive WebHelp

Accessibility Support

Oxygen XML WebHelp Responsive is compliant with the Section 508 accessibility standard, making the output accessible for people with disabilities. All the WebHelp Responsive components (such as the menu or table of contents) are designed to comply with the accessibility rules. The Oxygen user's manual contains some writing guidelines to help with creating accessible documentation.


WebHelp now uses XSLT stylesheets from the DITA-OT HTML5 plugin to generate output instead of the XHTML plugin.

WebHelp Responsive Macros

WebHelp Responsive now supports macros that allow you to insert variable text inside the output pages. More specifically, what you can add includes: localized content, system properties, environment variables, timestamps, and XPath expressions executed over the current DITA map or topic.

Contribute JavaScript AMD Modules in the Output

WebHelp Responsive now provides the ability to contribute custom JavaScript Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD) resources in the output. This can be achieved by referencing it in the Publishing Template descriptor file. By using this approach, when you want to customize the output you are no longer required to alter WebHelp's core JavaScript libraries.


To offer the benefit of more rapid release cycles, some new functionality was added using the Add-ons support.

Git Plugin Fixes and Performance Improvements

The add-on that adds support to work with a Git repository from within the application was updated to contain various performance optimizations, faster credential detection, bug fixes, and the ability to check out a specific branch when cloning a repository. For more information, see https://github.com/oxygenxml/oxygen-git-plugin.

Updated DITA OT 3.x Add-on to DITA OT 3.1

The add-on that adds support to publish DITA content using DITA OT 3.x was updated to use DITA Open Toolkit version 3.1 and the latest Oxygen WebHelp Responsive plugins. For more information, see https://github.com/oxygenxml/dita-ot-3x-plugin.

Embed Images as Base64-encoded Inline Data

A new add-on is available that contributes a contextual menu action to embed all images referenced in a DITA, DocBook, or XHTML document as Base64-encoded inline data. It's helpful if you want to transfer a document with image references over media designed to deal with textual data and you want to ensure the data remains intact, or if you do not want any external dependencies for your document but you still want to use images. For more information, see https://github.com/oxygenxml/oxygen-embed-images.


Allow Reusing Answer to Ask Editor Variables in Multiple Places

The new ${answer(@question_id)} editor variable can now be used in conjunction with the ${ask()} editor variable to ask the end users a question and afterwards use the provided answer in multiple places in new file templates, code templates, or various other XML fragments.

Execute Multiple Actions Sequentially in the Button Group Form Control

The Button Group form control now accepts the oxy_compount_action function within an oxy_action_list function, making it possible to execute multiple actions sequentially.


New cellFragment Argument for InsertTableOperation in DocBook

The ro.sync.ecss.extensions.docbook.table.InsertTableOperation API has a new argument, cellFragment, and its value will be inserted in every cell of the table in DocBook.

Component Updates


Updated the built-in Saxon engine to version

Eclipse 4.8 Photon

The Oxygen Eclipse plugin was updated to officially support the latest Eclipse version 4.8.

Calabash 1.1.21

Updated the Calabash engine to version 1.1.21.