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Liz Fraley's Blog

33 posts

In July, I released my first book: Arbortext 101. It's an accumulation of 12 years of hard earned experience and a response to customers coming to us Arbortext environments that were configured more to keep the customer dependent on the consultant than the benefit of the customer saddled with their poor implementation.

 

It's a story we've had repeated time and time again. Customers come to us because they know we want them to succeed like birds learning to fly.

It inspired me to finally write the first book that distills 5000+ pages of product documentation. The first book about Arbortext not written by PTC. The first book aimed at empowering new Arbortext customers so they can get up and running in a day.

 

We're offering the first two chapters for free to anyone who subscribes to the TC Dojo mailing list. If you haven't already, sign up here!

 

The book has 5-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and has been recommended by Arbortext community leaders and Arbortext customers.

 

And I did it all with Styler! Read on to learn how I did it...

 

In this session, we’re going to talk about tables. Want to change the table from a simple block of tabulated data into something pretty and easy to scan? Want alternating colored rows? Want a fancy border around the table? With Arbortext Styler, you have access to the APP Engine for publishing, so you can do all of this and more! Whatever you can dream up to change the look and feel of tables, you can do it in Styler. In this session, we will show you how to get started

 

Key Points:

  • Remember different tables are formatted according to different element rules
    • Just because it looks like a table doesn’t mean it’s a table -- a table is not a properties element, is not a dl element
  • Some things are easy
    • Use boxing properties in the samples directory
  • Some things are hard (alternating row colors)
    • Get help from a mentor
    • Take APP training
    • Submit an Enhancement request to PTC to add the capability in Styler for whatever hard thing it is you’re trying to do!
    • Sample code

 

This session is accessible to Beginners just getting started with Styler Stylesheets

 

View the Recording

The video is now available for viewing: Watch this episode of Arbortext TC Dojo Online on our Vimeo On Demand Channel

TC Dojo Mastermind group members can watch it for free on the forums.

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

In this session, we'll show you some tricks for setting up headers and footers and the content contained in them. Add a rule above or below? Simple! Add a compound page number? A breeze! Make your header stand out with a different font or different size? Piece of cake! Want to add a disclaimer to every page? We'll show you how to do it all. With these tricks, and the ones you learned in the previous session, you can do just about anything you want in your margins!

 

 

This session is accessible to Beginners just getting started with Styler Stylesheets

 

 

View the Recording

The video is now available for viewing: Watch this episode of Arbortext TC Dojo Online on our Vimeo On Demand Channel

TC Dojo Mastermind group members can watch it for free on the forums.

 

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

One of the most powerful mechanisms available to you as a stylesheet developer is the creation and use of property sets. Property sets help you abstract formatting needs into reusable components. Want consistent level 1 headers? Create a property set that you can use every time your stylesheet encounters a level one header, without coding it over and over again or copying and pasting formatting code? Property sets are the keys to the reusable kingdom for a stylesheet. In this session, we’ll talk about the power of property sets and show you how to use them.

 

This session is accessible to Beginners just getting started with Styler Stylesheets

This session is intended for Intermediate users of Arbortext Styler.

 

 

View the Recording

The video is now available for viewing: Watch this episode of Arbortext TC Dojo Online on our Vimeo On Demand Channel

TC Dojo Mastermind group members can watch it for free on the forums.

 

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

In this session, we’re going to talk about the Side-By-Side panel in Styler. We’ll talk about what it means, how best to use it, and how to make it work for you. We’ll show you how to make it look like you’ve got a graphic embedded in a paragraph, with text spilling around it, through the simple side-by-side mechanism. This is but one application of the side-by-side technology, but it’s a good one to get your feet wet with.

 

 

This session is accessible to Beginners just getting started with Styler Stylesheets

 

View the Recording

The video is now available for viewing: Watch this episode of Arbortext TC Dojo Online on our Vimeo On Demand Channel

TC Dojo Mastermind group members can watch it for free on the forums.

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

One of the last things that gets localized is your stylesheet. Stylesheets have generated text and that generated text needs to be translated too. (After all it isn't "Table of Contents" in Japanese.) In this session, we'll show you how to set your stylesheet up for localization. We'll do a quick export of the generated text strings and then an import of the 'translated' strings. And we'll publish our translated document! Sound fun? It's super easy to do. 30 minutes is all you need to understand how it works.

 

This session is accessible to Beginners just getting started with Styler Stylesheets

 

View the Recording

The video is now available for viewing: Watch this episode of Arbortext TC Dojo Online on our Vimeo On Demand Channel

TC Dojo Mastermind group members can watch it for free on the forums.

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

We're launching a new regular, recurring training session to teach Styler. I think you may have seen our Facebook posts about what customers keep bringing to us. Well, we decided to take it into our own hands and start regular training sessions that are fairly time-zone friendly.

 

Tuesday and Wednesday from now until the end of the year, we're going to have an online Styler training session. We've broken it into 8 modules, that we'll repeat and cycle. That way, if you miss one, you can just pick it up the next month.

 

Here's the sequence:

  1. Getting Started (1st Wednesdays)
  2. Creating Page Sets (2nd Wednesdays)
  3. Page Types, Page Regions (3rd Wednesdays)
  4. Generated Text (4th Wednesdays)
  5. Advanced Stylesheet Construction (1st Tuesdays)
  6. Advanced Page Layout (2nd Tuesdays)
  7. User Formatting Elements (3rd Tuesdays)
  8. Advanced Generated Text (4th Tuesdays)

 

Read more: blog.single-sourcing.com

Using workspaces in Arbortext Content Manager (or Windchill) can be a bit confusing. How do you keep it clean? When should you create one? How long should you keep a workspace? How do you know which one to us (if you have several)? And, hey, while we're at it, why might you have several? What is a workspace for anyway? What does it mean? In this session we're going to talk about workspaces in Arbortext Content Manager and Windchill: How to use them effectively and what the best practices are for managing them.

 

 

This session is accessible to Beginners just getting started with Windchill and Arbortext.

 

 

View the Recording

The video is now available for viewing: Watch this episode of Arbortext TC Dojo Online on our Vimeo On Demand Channel

TC Dojo Mastermind group members can watch it for free on the forums.

 

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

To kick off our TC Dojo Arbortext Edition, we took your requests and decided to jump right in to Styler. In this first session, we will show you how to build your foundation for your first Arbortext Style Sheet using the Single-Sourcing Solutions’ method. This is how we create new projects for our customers and this is how we coach and mentor our customers.

 

This session is accessible to Beginners just getting started with Styler Stylesheets

 

 

View the Recording

The video is now available for viewing: Watch this episode of Arbortext TC Dojo Online on our Vimeo On Demand Channel

TC Dojo Mastermind group members can watch it for free on the forums.

 

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

In Arbortext 7.0, creating, editing, and manipulating DITA maps is easy to do! In this session we show you the basics for how it works.

 

This session is accessible to Beginners just getting started with Arbortext and DITA

 

 

View the Recording

The video is now available for viewing from our YouTube Channel!

TC Dojo Mastermind group members can also watch it on the forums.

 

 

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area (or within a short flight), TC Camp is coming up in 23 January 2016.


If you haven't been to an unconference, you should know these aren't like regular conferences. There are no juried presentations. No powerpoint. No waiting through the next session so you can attend the one you're really interested in.

 

You know how it is at a regular conference, the best conversations happen in the hallways. Well, TC Camp is all hallway.

 

Session topics are chosen by you! They're chosen by the attendees on the day of the event. Attendees vote on the session topics. Topics with enough votes get scheduled into the agenda. Because you vote on the session topics, you're guaranteed to find sessions you're interested in! This is one conference where everything is relevant to Y-O-U. And at the end of the day, in the summary session you can hear about what everyone else learned in all the other sessions.

 

Because this is not an Arbortext conference specifically, there's absolutely no guarantee that any Arbortext-specific topic will get into the agenda. If we had enough Arbortext people descending on the event, there would definitely be enough of a critical mass to decide 1-2 topics.


Still, there are plenty of other topics to vote on. TC Camp attendees are made up of content creators, publishers, and the tools people who support them. We get close to 200 people attending, talking, and wrapping their arms around tricky subjects.


Just an event to keep in mind when you're planning your 2016 and 2017 travel. Keep an eye on TC Camp. And, seriously, someone should plan an Arbortext invasion!

We go to XML publishing for a lot of reasons. One of which is to achieve reusability of our information: Write it Once, Use it Anywhere. Often, beginning stylesheet developers will do a lot of repeated style coding to achieve desired output results. This style duplication, like information duplication, makes stylesheets difficult to maintain. Styler makes it easy to avoid this costly maintenance mistake by adding property sets and user formatting elements to your styling toolbox. In this session, we'll talk about how to use property sets to make your styling more uniform and easy to maintain.

 

 

This session is accessible to Beginners just getting started with Styler Stylesheets

 

View the Recording

The video is now available for viewing: Watch this episode of Arbortext TC Dojo Online on our Vimeo On Demand Channel

TC Dojo Mastermind group members can watch it for free on the forums.

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

In this webinar, we demonstrate the DITA feature keyrefs and conkeyrefs in Arbortext. The keyref and conkeyref mechanisms allow you to easily switch variable content. We will demonstrate how to create keys and key references; how to combine keys with maps for easier manageability; and how to use conkey references instead of conref to simplify reuse and manage your content.

 

 

This session is intended for Intermediate users of DITA and Arbortext.

 

 

View the Recording

The video is now available for viewing: Watch this episode of Arbortext TC Dojo Online on our Vimeo On Demand Channel

TC Dojo Mastermind group members can watch it for free on the forums.

 

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

Unhappy Customers are Just the Beginning.

 

A perennial question in the technical communication community is how to justify our work in financial terms that management will understand. One partial answer is to consider potential consequences of putting insufficient resources into technical documentation. What happens if the material is poorly written, or not written at all? Consequences can range from unhappy customers to wasted employee time to debilitating lawsuits—and worse. Joseph Devney uses statistics and real-life examples to illustrate some of the risks of having inadequate documentation.

 

This two-part session is accessible to All technical writers

 

 

About the Visiting Dojo Master

Joseph Devney, M.A., of Linguistic Consulting, is an STC Fellow and president of the Berkeley chapter. He has seen his share of bad documentation, and done his best to improve it. Joe has been a guest speaker at several STC chapters and for other organizations, and taught document design at San Francisco State University

 

 

View the Recordings - This session happened in two parts.

 

Part 1:

 

Part 2:

 

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

The advent of electronic media and particularly the Web has profoundly changed how people seek and use information. Information seeking today is dominated by search, and not by search of individual works, but search of the whole: whole sites, whole doc sets, and, in particular, the whole Web. With search, and with hypertext systems, you don’t start at the top and work down, you dive to the bottom and work your way up or sideways. Despite these changes, much tech comm content is still organized top down and written to be read top down. But content organized top down does not work well for readers navigating from the bottom up. To serve them well, we need a bottom-up information architecture.

 

We have thousands of years of civilization based on organizing information top-down. It is ingrained in our education and our culture, and in our processes and the way we create and manage content. Moving to a bottom-up information architecture is no trivial task, therefore. This first session in the Information Architecture Bottom-up series will look at how top-down organization fails for modern information seekers, and what bottom up information architecture is and how it works. It will also consider when a mix of top-down and bottom-up organization is appropriate.


About The Visiting Dojo Master

Mark Baker, the author of Every Page Is Page One, is a twenty-five-year veteran of the technical communication industry, with particular experience in developing task-oriented, topic-based content, and technical communication on the Web. He has worked as a technical writer, a publications manager, a structured authoring consultant and trainer, and as a designer, architect, and builder of structured authoring systems. It is his firm belief that the future of Technical Communications lies on the Web, and that to be successful on the Web, we cannot simply publish traditional books or help systems on the Web, we must create content that is native to the Web.



This session is accessible to Beginners.

 

 

View the Recordings - Watch All Three Parts!

The videos are on our YouTube Channel:

 

 

About The TC Dojo

The TC Dojo is brought to you by Single-Sourcing Solutions. At the TC Dojo, you pick the topics and we find the experts. Be sure to vote on future TC Dojo webinar topics.

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