Xtechwriter: the efficient way to create, edit and publish large technical documents


The latest version of Fabasoft Cloud from July 2021 offers a number of useful features. The highlight for July is the all-new Xtechwriter, providing major support for creating and editing the kind of standardized and structured content that technical documentation typically involves. In addition to that, this next update will include integration with Microsoft Office for Microsoft Word Online and Microsoft for Mac. Additionally, upgrades such as adding a signature folder for digital signatures will ensure that working with Fabasoft Business Process Cloud is always smooth and efficient.

Create collaborative documents in XML format with Xtechwriter

Fabasoft Xtechwriter allows you to easily and collaboratively create structured documents in XML format – no XML knowledge required. XML documents allow you to create media-neutral content, write semantic markup, process your content automatically, and publish it more efficiently.

The Xtechwriter manages so-called Xtech documents, which are XML format documents based on the Lightweight DITA schema. These documents are created and edited using Xeditor. (Note: Fabasoft Xtechwriter requires a separate license. To learn more, please send a brief email to [email protected])

Standardized format templates create a uniform layout

The referenced stylesheet dictates the XML schema as well as the presentation of the media neutral Xtech documents being created. Users also have the option to add their own style sheets and customize them using CSS specifications. These templates define the appearance of the document in Xeditor and in the output PDF, maintaining a consistent layout in all your technical documents.

Reuse content in various documents

To harness the full potential of content reuse, information can be structured and divided into chapters. In turn, text modules and fields can be assigned to any chapter so that users can reference content in multiple documents later. The chapter structure is clearly displayed as a tree structure both in the Fabasoft Business Process Cloud web client and in the Xeditor table of contents.

Figure: The well-organized table of contents can be viewed in Xeditor at any time.

If you make a change to a single chapter that has been linked, that change will automatically be applied to all linked documents. Warnings referenced in a user manual, for example, may also appear in other documents. Xtechwriter has you covered, making sure your content is always consistent, consistent, and up to date.

In Xtechwriter, we distinguish two types of text modules:

  • Chapter text modules for entire chapters, including chapter titles and structures

  • Paragraph text blocks for paragraphs, tables, lists, etc.

Initiate processes on individual chapters in documents

Another advantage of Xtechwriter is the interdepartmental collaboration on a single document. Multiple people can easily work on different chapters without having to view or lock the entire document. Additionally, users have the option to initiate review and approval processes for individual chapters.

Publish different variations of documents simply and easily

Xtech documents can also be published as PDF documents. In this process, Xtechwriter integrates the basic data (from a technical database, for example) and the conditions of the individual chapters and text modules. This approach means that users can use a format template to generate an out-of-the-box user manual using built-in master data and release the most recent version daily.

The solution includes a post approval process, which can be easily replaced with a custom process if desired. All the generated publications are available in the file repository, which provides traceable documentation showing which version was used when and where.

Integration with Microsoft Word Online and Microsoft Word for Mac

The latest version of Fabasoft Cloud from July 2021 now offers Microsoft Office integration with Microsoft Word Online and Microsoft Word for Mac.

The following features support you in Microsoft Word Online and Microsoft Word for Mac:

  • Send a link: Speed ​​up collaborative work with your colleagues and share documents with just a few clicks.
  • See on the web: Click “View on Web” to quickly access the file in the cloud and complete other work steps.
  • Insert text: Speed ​​up document creation by linking cloud text modules to Microsoft Word.

Additional functions – insert field, replace text module placeholder, etc. – are available to work with Microsoft for Mac.

Microsoft Word Online

To use the integration in Microsoft Word Online, you need to download the Office add-in “Fabasoft Cloud” from the Microsoft Store and then insert it in Microsoft Word Online under “Insert”> “Add-ins”.

Microsoft Word for Mac

The Fabasoft Cloud client must be installed to use the integration with Microsoft Word for Mac. Once that’s in place, simply add the Microsoft Store ‘Fabasoft Cloud’ Office add-in to Microsoft Word for Mac.

Digitally sign documents even faster

The latest version of Fabasoft Cloud from July 2021 brings a range of new options to make it even easier for you to apply digital signatures to your documents.

Pre-defined signature areas for perfectly placed signatures

These predefined areas determine both the size and the position of the visual signatures. Simply run the “Define Signature Areas” context menu command on a PDF document to pre-position signature areas in the document.

Double click on a signature area to choose the appropriate signature from the dialog box and the signature will be inserted in the desired area. If more than one signature is required, it is not necessary to continue scrolling – one click takes you directly to the next signature.

Figure: The blue sub-frame is not visible in the final document.

Sign multiple documents in just a few clicks

A signature folder can be used to combine multiple documents from the same file and then visually sign them. This means that you don’t have to sign each document individually. To start the signing process using a signature folder, select “Extras”> “Prepare signature folder” from the context menu. As an alternative, users have the option of using the “Prepare Signature Package” activity, which is available for BPMN and ad hoc processes.

Improved search portal speeds up document retrieval

Starting with the Fabasoft Cloud release of July 2021, Fabasoft Business Process Cloud contains a separate “Search” card in the “Home” tab that takes you to a redesigned search portal. Here you can select restrictive search criteria before the actual search. These filtering options greatly simplify large-scale document searches by limiting the search – to individual team rooms, for example.

The search portal offers the following search criteria by default:

  • Where (for example in ‘Purchases’)

  • Dated

  • Type (for example, Microsoft Word document)

  • Included in the team room (for example, team room “Sales team”)

  • Application-specific search criteria

You can see a detailed description and other new features of the Fabasoft Cloud July 2021 release here.

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