Thursday, March 20, 2014

Top 4 Web based XML Editors

Why web based XML editing?

Publishing natively from XML still is the best solution for publishing demands. Not only if you want to publish to print. Products will be more functional if they are formatted on basis of their meaning, and not their HTML appearance.

For years, XML editing was cumbersome. Costly, non-intuitive XML editors drove all but the most technical editors crazy, and induced Tag-Terror in others. Plus, they needed to be installed on your local system.
Many developers have tried to use Word as an XML editor, but only the bravest have succeeded. Applying schemas after a submit, or translating Schemas to Templates all resulted in much manual correction or unsatisfied editors.

The dream remained of a Web based XML Editor with the following qualifications:

  • WYSIWIG editing
  • No local installation
  • Can be used by many authors 
  • Minimal training necessary
  • Guaranteed schema compliance

Xopus was one of the first Bracket-free online XML Editors, but there are more contenders now. A concise overview of the top web based XML Editors (and not just DITA!):


Xopus was one of the first real web based XML Editors. It received huge attention. Eventually early adapters noticed that it still enforced XML rules. It did not provide MS Word-like editing – as can be expected, but it was clearly a big step.
Xopus was acquired by SDL last year, probably to support the new LiveContent product. Version 4.3 of Xopus was launched in February 2014.


The second half of 2013, FontoXML was launched. FontoXML offers a very intuitive interface and some really nice real-time features.


In 2013, Appsoft launched Xeditor. Also a very user friendly web based XML Editor.


<oXygen/> is known for its XML products, but it has also seen the need for online editing. An Author Demo Applet for editing DITA can be found on the <oXygen/> website.

You choose!

Which XML Editor suits your needs best depends on your specific editing needs, but I am happy that there are multiple vendors now wanting to suit your XML Editing needs.

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