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x4o: A New Generation of Structured Content Authoring

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An Industry Leader with a Unique Solution

x4o Version 5 represents a new generation of structured content authoring software, from the industry leader since 1993 in the development of structured content authoring technology for Microsoft Word.

x4o preserves the complete Word authoring experience. Users can work with the complete feature set of Word while authoring in a fully functional structured content authoring environment. The authoring process is complemented by a simple and flexible repurposing function that enables output for any requirement— XML, PDF, print, web, e-books, etc.

The x4o tab added to the Word ribbon, as shown above, is user-configurable. Functions can be easily added or removed, to allow any combination of authoring, managing, reviewing, or publishing content.


The x4o Theory of Operation

Any technology that successfully addresses a complex requirement must be based on a sound and clear theory of operation.

XML is used for the exchange of information, at any level of complexity, between systems. Schema files provide rules about the naming and organization of the XML content.

The unlimited range of current and future systems require a solution that is as flexible as possible, and compliant with any correctly formed schema. OOXML (Office Open XML) is the world’s most widely-used, comprehensive set of technical elements.

Technical elements are used for the identification of content for presentation purposes: e.g., paragraphs, emphasis, tables, lists, citations, footnotes, etc. They are generic; all documents use them in full or part. Microsoft Word is an authoring application that provides support for these elements.

To deliver maximum value, an x4o application manages the business elements and
defaults the technical elements to Word. Business (semantic) elements are for the
identification of content of interest that has a specific business purpose: e.g., part
number, active ingredient, reusable sections, etc.

In a production environment, many different XML formats are used, depending on the application requirement. Using Word to save content in OOXML format makes it easy to transform the content, using XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations), to the desired target mark-up (format).

This leaves formatting to Word’s native behaviour. The x4o application focus is on
“high-value”, semantic elements that unambiguously identify data in the document.
This theory of operation satisfies the target requirements of the x4o solution:

• maximum ease-of-use via a familiar, ubiquitous tool (Microsoft Word)
• maximum functionality, flexibility, and extensibility of structured content authoring applications.