What's New in Oxygen XML Webhelp 23.1

March 4, 2021

Related version: 23.0    

Version 23.1 of Oxygen XML WebHelp offers some very exciting enhancements and customization possibilities for the premier publishing solution for modern web-based help documentation.

Some of the new version highlights include:

  • New transformation parameters and HTML fragment placeholder parameters to open up a myriad of additional possibilities for customizing the look and style of your output (e.g. you can integrate a custom search engine or add custom content to background areas that were previously inaccessible).
  • The rendering of the various types of DITA <note> elements was redesigned to make them stand out and more visually appealing.
  • You now have the ability to add a component in your WebHelp output that links to the PDF equivalent of the documentation.
  • This release also includes various bug fixes and component updates.

You can visually customize the web help HTML output using Oxygen Styles Basket, a free web-based visual tool that helps you fine-tune the CSS that is used by Oxygen XML WebHelp to produce web help output and by Oxygen PDF Chemistry to produce PDF.

The Oxygen WebHelp can now be used with the Oxygen Feedback 1.4 block-level comments functionality to form a flexible review solution, allowing users to add and manage comments contextually at a specific location within the WebHelp page where block elements appear. The Feedback Comments Manager plugin for Oxygen XML Editor/Author integrates also the block-level comments functionality, making it easier to locate the exact content source referenced by a particular comment and streamlines the process of making changes to the source document in response to the provided comments.

Responsive WebHelp

Add and Manage Comments Contextually

If you integrate Oxygen Feedback into your WebHelp output, your users can now add and manage comments contextually at a specific location within the output page where block elements appear (e.g. section, paragraph, list, or table elements) without having to scroll to the comments area at the bottom of the page. This means that the feedback is more precise and it is easier to perceive it in the intended context. For technical details, see our user guide topic: Block-Level Comments.

Automatically Convert HTML Fragments to Well-formed XML

The webhelp.enable.html.fragments.conversion transformation parameter was added and when set to true (the default setting), the transformation will automatically convert contributed content to well-formed XML. If set to false, the transformation will fail if any included HTML fragments are not well-formed.

Access More HTML Fragment Placeholder Possibilities

If you use custom HTML fragments to customize various components in your WebHelp Responsive output, you now have access to more placeholders for your custom fragments, opening up new customization possibilities.

Integrate a Custom Search Engine in Your WebHelp Output

It is now possible to integrate a custom search engine into your WebHelp Responsive output with the help of two new transformation parameters. The webhelp.fragment.custom.search.engine.results parameter can be used to replace the search results area with custom XHTML content, while the webhelp.fragment.custom.search.engine.script parameter can be used to replace the built-in search engine implementation with your own custom one.

Content of DITA Note Elements Now More Distinguishable

The rendering of DITA <note> elements in the WebHelp output was redesigned to make the content within the note even more noticeable. The various icons used for representing the types of notes were modernized and the content within the note is now enclosed in a stylish highlighted box that helps make your documentation more visually appealing.
More Options to Control Email Notifications

Add Link Component in WebHelp Output to Open PDF Documentation

It is now possible to add a component in your WebHelp output that links to an external PDF resource. For example, it could link to the PDF equivalent of the documentation. This is achieved by configuring some new transformation parameters and the link component is added in the header/breadcrumb stripe, next to the navigation links. For details, see How to Add a Link to PDF Documentation.

Oxygen Styles Basket

The new Oxygen Styles Basket is a handy web-based visual tool that helps you to fine-tune the CSS file that is used to customize your PDF or WebHelp output. You simply pick and mix aspects from galleries to add and adjust the rules in your custom CSS file. Watch this video to see a visual overview of the tool.

Component Update: DITA Open Toolkit 3.6

The DITA Open Toolkit version used for publishing DITA WebHelp content was updated to 3.6. You can also set the store-type=memory parameter to reduce the publishing time.

Deprecated Transformation Scenario: DocBook WebHelp Classic with Feedback

The DocBook Webhelp Classic with Feedback transformation scenario is now deprecated. The WebHelp Classic output for DocBook can now be integrated with the new Oxygen Feedback commenting platform instead.

Deprecated Support for Internet Explorer

The support for Internet Explorer is now deprecated. Full support for Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari remain intact.