in Localization Tips, Technical Writing


Looking for an XML editor can be very difficult. The process of researching the many different brands and options on the internet and evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of each can be a time consuming process. Allow us to make your XML search easier and read on for a comprehensive introduction to several Extensible Markup Language (XML) editors on the market today, to help improve the flow of your content creation process.

Adobe Framemaker XML Author

Arguably the most popular XML editor on the market today,  Adobe Framemaker XML Author is an authoring and publishing tool that helps customers create and manage multilingual content. It has advanced DITA capabilities and can publish content in a variety of ways including: Mobile App, PDF, EPUB, and responsive HTML5. As an established tool, it has a large user base, training material, and extensive online support.

Furthermore,  it offers bidirectional language support, but only for certain languages (Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew) at this time. The primary drawback is the price. It’s expensive, which makes it difficult for small businesses to afford. However, if price isn’t an issue and you’re in the market for a solid authoring tool, then Framemaker is an excellent choice.


Available as a web-based platform, FontoXML  helps users develop intuitive (structured) authoring tools for people with no knowledge of XML or any other technology that comes with structured authoring. FontoXML has the following functions:

  • Allows authors to copy and paste content from Word, PDF or HTML documents
  • Validates content in real-time
  • Merge overlapping changes
  • Insert content easily
  • Work with multiple documents.
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With the FontoXML DITA edition, writers can create DITA content with little or no knowledge of DITA or XML. So if you’re looking for a simplified XML editor, FontoXML might be the software you’re after.

Madcap Flare

Wildly popular with technical writers, Madcap Flare allows users to create, manage and publish content for a variety of formats, including print, online, desktop, and mobile. The company, Madcap Software, provides extensive training material and online support. Madcap Flare sports advanced tools to aid collaboration between authors, SMEs, and other content contributors.

Built on open source standards, such as CSS, HTML, and XML, Madcap Flare supports both Asian and Eastern European languages and makes it easy for customers to migrate legacy content from other applications.  However, Madcap Flare is expensive and some users complain that it’s not as easy to use as Framemaker.

oXygen XML Author

Another popular XML editor is oXygen XML Author. Their website touts it as “a comprehensive suite of XML authoring and development tools.” Designed to accommodate a large number of users ranging from beginners to XML experts, oXygen is available on multiple platforms, all major operating systems, and as a standalone application. In addition, it allows customers to dynamically hide content by switching  to different filtered views. oXygen is affordably priced also offers smart content management tools.

XML editors come in many shapes and sizes. To select the best editor for you, first determine if you’d prefer a desktop-based, web-based, or Word-based platform. Next, determine the functionality that is most important for your organization. You can also look to see if there are any editors specifically designed for your industry? For example, Author-it is an XML editor catering chiefly to the life sciences industry. Afterwards, determine how much you are willing to pay for an editor. And finally, search online for the product that best suits your parameters.

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Written by Stuart Schuman – Technical Writer at CSOFT International


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