Writer demo: Check for local formatting & missing links


In this presentation from the 2024 Pacific Virtual User Group, Guy van der Kolk, Typefi Product Manager, demonstrates two new features in Typefi Writer: check for local formatting, and check for missing links. When enabled in Writer’s workflow options, these features will check your document for soft styles and missing links, then alert you before publishing if issues are found.

This video is part 3 of a 3-part demo presentation—check out part 1 for a look at Typefi’s integrations with Oxygen XML Web Author and Fonto Editor, and part 2 for a demo of the new Index Validation feature in Typefi Writer.


Now that I’m here, that is an excellent segue to also turn on another new feature that we built in an earlier version of Typefi Writer: check for local formatting overrides.

So I’m going to turn on that check box and click okay, and I’m going to actually minimise this document and open up another one that we had for this purpose.

So what is local formatting? By local formatting, we mean from a structural perspective, it’s good that something has a specific tag, but authors use bold and italic buttons.

So what do customers do? Customers use the, click the italic button, or they use a keyboard shortcut control+I, Command+I, or whatever method they use to apply a local override to your content. We refer to it as local formatting, but soft styles is a term that’s used or local styles or those kinds of things.

And it’s important to note that Typefi has full support for working with bolds in italics. So it’s not a requirement to work with character styles or things like that, but from a design perspective, depending on the fonts that are used to generate the PDF, sometimes those fonts do not automatically support applying bold and italic for specific versions.

So from a design perspective, sometimes there is a requirement to use character styles. And so we built in for those customers that have that requirement, we built in an optional verification.

So if we click that Explore Document again, which is the place that you go when you want to check if everything is right, you can click the Explore Document manually to do a manual verification and you can see that we’ve got some issues, but it will also show up when you are publishing.

So when we click the Publish button, let’s say that we’re in a position where we are going to, we’re ready to publish this document. We’ve done our last edits and we want to go and publish. Well, at that point, we have an option here that says “Pre-flight document before publishing,” which means that you want to verify that there’s nothing wrong before you actually run this job.

If you’re in early draft mode, you might turn that off just to ignore the warnings and be able to get your output. But when you’re ready to do your final review, you want to enable this feature to be flagged of any last minute issues that might exist.

So I’m going to click Publish and it’s going to analyse the document and it’s going to come back and tell me that there are validation warnings.

So do I want to continue? I can click OK, and then we will just start the job, but I’m going to click Cancel because I don’t want any errors. And then the Document Explorer is going to open up in a similar method that you saw earlier.

So we’ve got our issues. So let’s take a look at what is being mentioned as local formatting issues. There’s actually two and we separate them out by where they occur.

We can see that there’s an instance of italic applied in the heading because you saw me apply that earlier. And there’s an instance of bold applied in the body text. Why do we do that? Well, there might be different fonts used in different areas of the document, which means that you might need to apply different character styles.

So for the heading, in order to solve this problem, we can go right here in the Document Explorer to the Replace button, and that will open up a dialogue that will allow me to replace that particular piece of content with something else.

I could replace it with nothing which will effectively remove it. That might be useful in situations where authors have applied bold.

Going back to something that Arjeh said earlier, customers will make something look like a heading. So they will select it manually and apply bold to the entire heading, which might not be relevant for us. So we might want to remove that entirely.

But in this case, we are going to choose Heading Italic and click Replace All, which will tell us that one item has been replaced. From a visual perspective, nothing changes because that heading is defined in Word to look italic and bold to match the rest of the thing. But from a structural perspective, we’re now using the right thing.

So if we’re looking at the other one, we have that instance of bold and we’re going to replace that with a character style of bold. Alright, and that is two of our validation issues solved, but we can see we have another one.

I’ll show you how this now, now that the structure is correct, that in a moment when I publish this job that we will have the italic and bold properly applied.

But there is another issue with this document and there is clearly an issue with the links. One of the other options, you may have seen it earlier, is the ability, excuse me, is the ability to Check for Missing Links because there’s nothing worse than running your document and then checking your PDF and finding that a graphic is missing.

And why are graphics missing? Because people are human, we make mistakes. And what we can see here is that there are two missing links. So they’re expected to be in the assets folder, but they’re missing.

So take a look at why that is. I have that doc. I already opened up that Document Explorer window earlier to make sure that it was ready for us. And we can see that what has happened is we’ve got an assets folder, that’s where one set of content is, and we’ve got, somewhere along the process, somebody created a links folder.

That’s the way it goes. I’ve seen it so often where something is put in one place and then later it’s moved to another location and you forget about it, and then you get missing link images.

So being warned about it is one thing, but what do we then do with that missing information?

So obviously I can solve this. If the problem is that there should not be a links folder, then obviously I can solve this problem by cutting and pasting and putting these folders back into the assets folder.

But that will actually not allow me to show you one little cool feature that we built into this. Let’s say that images are missing and you want to point them to the proper location. Well, you can do that by, right from the Document Explorer, double clicking the file and saying, browse from PC.

Sorry, my dog is protesting.

And I can go in here and I can go to the links and I can click the file. What was the one that I was looking for? I click Open and that is taking care of one thing. So I can close this.

And then it is going to ask me, there are other missing files here—do you want to relink them right away? So I click OK, and now our issues here are gone, and if I go and click Publish, there should be no warnings. And in a couple of minutes we will have a PDF output coming.

So these workflow options, thinking about the breakout rooms and the things that we are going to be talking about shortly when it comes to Writer, one of the things, for example, we added that missing links feature based on customer feedback.

And then we demonstrated it and we released it and the response was, “Oh, thank you, this saves us so much time. It’s a brilliant feature.”

And one of our customers said, “But you know what would be really nice, sometimes when we’re publishing we know that links are missing, so we don’t want to be warned about it all the time.” And we were like, huh, yeah, I think that makes sense.

So one of the things that we’re going to be doing in an upcoming version of Typefi Writer is making it so that when you uncheck the pre-flight option that you’re not warned about missing links. Only when you enable it at that point will you be warned.

So that’s the kind of thing, like you come up with a solution, it works very well, but there’s also little pieces of feedback that we can use to improve. So that’s why we’re listening to you.

Anyway, here’s our PDF, and you can see that now thanks to the application of character styles, the italics in this heading have been properly applied. From a looks perspective, you might not see the difference, but now at least we know that there will not be any mistakes with how your content looks, and that is what we aim to do.