XML, short for Extensible Markup Language, – celebrates its birthday and DOCUFY celebrates, too! That’s right, because we’ve both been around for 20 years now. Our declared goal then as now: To optimize editorial processes based on XML as a pioneer. Reason enough for us to travel to Prague from 8 to 10 February for the meeting of XML friends. There we not only met well-known people from the XML universe (Michael Kay from Saxonica, Tony Graham from Antenna House, Norman Walsh – inventor of the DocBook format and many more), but also had the opportunity to discuss interesting application examples from various fields as well as ideas and approaches around XML.
Explaining complex issues in a simple way – often a very difficult task. Images can help illustrate what you want to say. Because you know: A picture says more than a thousand words! Especially in technical documentation graphics are used to put things in a nutshell. The reference of the graphics to the descriptive text is important. These references are created using item lines and/or item numbers, the so-called callouts. With COSIMA Release 7.0 you now have an integrated callout editor at your disposal with which you can easily add position numbers to your images yourself.
Is there a technical writer out there who wouldn’t want to concentrate exclusively on content while the content management system takes care of all of the (annoying) details such as layout corrections as if by magic? The latest release of COSIMA 7.0, which we also presented at the tekom trade fair in Stuttgart, now makes it even easier to work with our software, namely with three new features:
IGEL makes it possible to write on graphics: quickly and easily
IGEL is the name of our new tool that you can use to add item numbers to graphics and images in COSIMA directly. You simply open the image in the corresponding editor, which provides you with all of the tools that you need to add, align, shift, delete or copy position numbers. Existing images without callout information can also be transformed into IGEL images – that is, ‘igeled’ – during the editing process. You can zoom in and out of the image to work with precision. And: You can also use the information from the position numbers to automatically create image legends.
Click here to read more about IGEL.
Maintenance tables automatically linked to instructions
New automatically generated maintenance tables also save you time and effort. In COSIMA, semantic tables that can be edited with maintenance activities and maintenance intervals are automatically generated as maintenance tables. This makes life easier for service technicians, because individual maintenance steps are now linked to the specific instructions in COSIMA. Checkboxes show which maintenance activities need to be performed at which maintenance intervals and can be processed directly.
DOCUFY Layouter: the tool to design
Carrying out comprehensive technical documentation for every conceivable machine variant in just a few hours, automatically publishing the information in a perfect, CI-compliant layout, on a mobile device or as a PDF… This is the ideal way to work for a technical writer. DOCUFY Layouter makes this dream a reality. Although the tool is a standalone product and not a COSIMA feature, the DOCUFY layouter offers significant added value in editorial work, and it should not be missing from the list of novelties in combination with COSIMA.
Using DOCUFY Layouter, you can easily design PDF output layouts (and TopicPilot layouts in future too) all on your own. DOCUFY Layouter can be used to quickly and easily carry out and save things like the design of cover elements and the positioning of company logos on the title page; adjustments to font, text colors, tables or the way that security and warning information is presented; and changes to headers and footers. The result: an automatically coherent appearance for all published documents. This cloud solution is ready to use and can be used without any installation or any internal IT input. (DOCUFY Layouter will be available from 2018.)
For further information on DOCUFY Layouter click here.
Digitalization? Industry 4.0? Take a step into the digital future with COSIMA
With all releases, our goal is to provide our users with even more benefits while making it easy for them to perform complex tasks. With COSIMA 7.0, technical documentation has moved even further into the age of digitalization and industry 4.0. And that’s important, because technical documentation is facing new challenges: Standardized products manufactured in large batches are increasingly becoming a thing of the past, making the document-based writing process more and more cumbersome. You can use COSIMA and its new features to create an Information Space [Link] that allows you to precisely address specific units of information and each of their variants. This makes it possible to automatically create product-specific information ad hoc and then publish it in different media using TopicPilot [Link]. This means that with COSIMA you can be sure that you will be able to keep working efficiently and in compliance with the law, even in the face of great diversity, equipping you to face the challenges of Industry 4.0.
Imagine there is a change in corporate design at your company. Maybe the change is only a general attempt to optimize existing layouts. Maybe it entails a completely new corporate identity with a new logo and different colors. Or maybe your company has a new division that makes new products. Any change, no matter what kind, will have a direct impact on your technical documentation. The cover page needs to be redesigned, and the way headers and footers look will change – as will headlines, safety notices and warnings. It is practical when technical writers can make these layout changes themselves, without any programming skills or troublesome extra work.
Hello TopicPilot Users (and Soon-to-be Users),
Searching and finding is exactly what TopicPilot was developed to do. Now you no longer have to start at the beginning every time you want to search for something. Faceted searches have always been a quick way of limiting the number of hits in TopicPilot. The solution also supports the use of QR codes and external links to help you access specific information quickly. Still, filtering can sometimes take a lot of time and effort.
In 2015, the SIEMENS AG Locomotive Documentation department wanted to introduce a Component Content Management System (CCMS) to optimize its editorial process and chose COSIMA go! from DOCUFY. In this article, system administrator Tobias Zieringer describes the introduction of the system:
… I had only just arrived in the office when my mobile rang. The sales department wanted to know when the documentation for our new customer would be ready, oh, and they needed replies to the review comments from last week as soon as possible.
My colleague gave me a questioning look: “How will we have time to introduce a new CCMS? What are the aims of the new system? Should we choose an off-the-shelf product, or start from scratch? And how does publication configuration even work?”
“Enough questions, let’s just get started,” I replied: “There no such thing as the perfect moment!”