System Settings: DST > Visual XML

By creating a template for XML documents, you can determine how elements and attributes are used to generate and display paragraphs in crossDesk. Moreover, use of templates is recommended especially in order to ensure user-friendly translation of XML documents and to exploit the full potential of the translation of XML documents in Across.

In Across, XML documents can be edited in two different ways: as Tagged XML or Visual XML. Information on the differences between these two types is available here.

Elements indicate which tags occur in the XML document for description. A definition such as <!ELEMENT·title>·means that in this XML document there is an element title that is marked by the tags·<title></title>.

Attributes always appear within a start tag and can have different values. In <p align="center">Text</p>, <p> is the element and align is an attribute that can appear within the <p> element. center indicates that the text is center-aligned.

Before you set up the project, define any needed inline elements and add them to the template in order to ensure correct display of the source and target documents. For example, inline elements may cause a certain word within a string to appear in bold type. Usually, elements always consist of a start tag (e.g. <i>) and an end tag (e.g. </i>).

The following example shows an inline element embracing the word "boldface" (b for bold; the <p> and </p> tags mark the beginning and end of the string or paragraph):

<p>This is <b>boldface</b>.</p>

If the inline element is not defined in advance, the Source View will split the sentence into two parts:

This is a



For easy identification, inline elements are displayed in color, bold type, and italics in the Target Editor.

Across already contains the following Visual XML standard templates:

Default template
For XML files, only contains two entries
For translating Windows Installer files with crossTransform
For translating configuration files with crossTransform
For translating Adobe InDesign files with crossTransform
For translating Adobe InCopy files with crossTransform
For translating Portable Object files with crossTransform
Contains an extensive list of elements and attributes. For example, it contains the element cite, which marks a citation, or the attribute dir, which indicates the directionality of the language used in the element.

To prevent the standard templates from being damaged or functionally impaired by faulty customization, they are write-protected and cannot be customized. If you still want to edit the templates, you can first export it and then re-import it using the respective buttons. These re-imported templates are no longer write-protected and can be processed.

The standard template as well as newly created templates already contain the elements for comments, processing instructions, and internal entities, for which you can select the manner of representation in crossDesk.

In the Visual XML settings section, you can also add, edit, or delete elements and attributes manually.

Via Load you can select an XML document that will subsequently be checked in. The elements and attributes contained in it will be inserted in the template. You can select whether XML attributes should be taken into consideration when the file is checked in to Across.

Because of the fact that XML attributes are often not supposed to be translated and that XML files often contain a lot of attributes, it can be a good idea to exclude XML attributes when checking in, especially when considering Across performance.

The following file formats can be imported:

Normal XML file
Document type definition: Defines the structure, the elements and the attributes of XML files.
XML Schema description file. Within XML-Schema it defines the structure, the elements and the attributes of XML files.
XML files from the company Schema
Configuration file

You can import additional XML-based document formats by selecting the option All files - process like XML in the drop-down list during the document selection.

The individual icons are explained below:

icn_dst_visual-xml_element-attribut Element or attribute
icn_dst_visual-xml_tag-typ Tag type
Exclude from check-in
Inline elements are subordinate elements. They do not create a new line in the text.
Raw displayed as read-only (e.g., index marks)
Raw displaying the tag content (e.g., index marks)
icn_dst_visual-xml_maximale-zeichenanzahl Maximum number of characters
icn_dst_visual-xml_besondere-schriftart Special font
No special font assigned
Special font assigned (for displaying text between the tags)

Apart from the attributes and elements that have already been inserted in the template, the following XML instructions and information are also available and can be customized via Edit if required:

Standard processing
Processing instructions
internal entities
Encoding instructions

Click Add to add an XML node.

Enter a name for the node and under Type, select whether it is an element or an attribute. The option Exclude from check-in allows you to define whether this node is excluded at check-in. Select an element or attribute type (Normal, Locked, Hidden, Inline or Raw) from the drop-down list.

For raw elements, you can also determine that the content is to be displayed instead of the tag names, and that the content is to be interpreted as plain text. In this way, the XML control characters contained will not be converted to character entities.

If you wish, you can use the Content Properties tab to determine the maximum length and a special font and style for the text that appears between the tags. If a longer text is entered in crossDesk, an alert will be displayed. Additionally, you can select a special font and formatting.

The Configure Button

Click Configure to make further changes to the Visual XML templates.

Alias text for write-protected raw elements

In certain XML-based file formats (e.g., INX files), individual characters can be displayed in a special way. For example, the copyright symbol © can be displayed as a placeable with the content <across_pcnte>SRTm</across_pcnte> in Across. Via Alias text for write-protected raw elements, you can determine the character(s) this text is to be substituted with. To do this, click the respective button, click Add, and enter the content of the placeable and the alias text.

Use immutable preview

Usually, the Visual XML preview of a document is different from a checked-out document: even if a document has an unavailable DTD or a syntax error in the DOCTYPE definition, Across will correct this by means of minor modifications in order to provide the preview nevertheless. By activating the option Use immutable preview, you can determine that the document is not modified for the preview; thus, the result when saving the preview will be the same as when the document is checked out.

Entitize unsafe characters

By activating the option Entitize unsafe characters, you can determine that unsafe characters are to be entitized at check-out. Unsafe characters are characters that can be interpreted either as text characters or as XML syntax elements. For example, the quotation marks " in the XML attribute <font size="10pt"> represent XML syntax elements. However, in the sentence Click "Enter"., they represent part of the text. Examples for other unsafe characters: < and >. If this option is activated, these unsafe characters will be entitized at check-out (e.g., " to &quot, < to &lt;, and > to &gt;) if they are located between external tags and therefore must be interpreted as text characters. This approach ensures that unsafe characters will be interpreted correctly. An incorrect interpretation could result in invalid XML files.

Handling white spaces

XML editors often insert special white spaces such as soft line breaks and tabs in the documents in order to present a more "plastic" structure, thereby improving the visual makeup of the documents. However, these white spaces are not relevant for the translation and merely generate an unnecessary processing overhead. You can now determine that these special white spaces are to be kept or "normalized". The option Treat boundary space as parts of a paragraph allows you to keep white spaces at the beginning and end of paragraphs. On the other hand, the option Normalize white spaces allows you to convert both external and internal white spaces to a normal blank spaces in the first step, that is to normalize them, and then to summarize several spaces to a single space.