Editing Files

Two different file editing modes (Content and Code) are offered in Central for content files (e.g., topic, snippet) and some project files (e.g., condition tag set, variable set). By default, files such as these open in an easy-to-use light-weight editor. The Edit Code tab is for advanced users who prefer to edit in XML code directly. Both modes of the editor are equipped with basic editing tools. Some files (e.g., page layouts, stylesheets) can be opened in the Edit Code tab only.

Permission Required?

Authoring is available to users with the Author status. By default, users with Author status have the following permissions set:

  • If this is deselected, then viewing files in a read-only mode is allowed. On the left side of the page, the Files vertical three-dot menu is not available.

  • If this is deselected, the XHTML in the Code view is read-only.

    Editing code is regarded as a capability for an advanced user. If not done properly, the code can become malformed quickly. Administrators can prevent users from editing the code by deselecting the Edit Code permission.

In addition, AI Assist involves the following permissions:

  • This is required to integrate a ChatGPT account with a Central license in the license settings.

  • This is required to use AI Assist (and therefore ChatGPT) when modifying topics and snippets.

    Note Even if this permission is enabled, ChatGPT does not scan anything on your computer. The only information ChatGPT can acquire from you is what you enter manually into the prompt when using AI Assist. If your company has strict policies against AI or ChatGPT, simply do not use it.

For more information about permissions, see Setting User Permissions or Setting Team Permissions.

How to Edit an Existing File

  1. On the left side of the Central interface, click Projects.

  2. Select a project to open it.

  3. Click the Files tab at the top of the screen.

  4. (Optional) From the drop-down at the top of the interface, select a branch for the edits.

    Using the Files page you can expand folders and select a file to view or edit.

  5. From the left side of the page, expand the existing folders to navigate to a file.

  6. Select a file. It displays on the right side of the page.

    Using the Files page you can expand folders and select a file to view or edit.

  7. Click the Edit button. The preview area turns into an editor, and the options at the top of the editor change to Edit Content and Edit Code so that you can edit the content or markup. Use the toolbar to manage the content. See Editor Features and AI Assist.

    After selecting a file you can edit it in Content or Code mode.

    Note Alternatively, you can right-click the file, and from the context menu, select Edit. This also puts the Files page in editing mode.

    Note You can toggle between the editing modes at any time. If you switch and then close or commit a file, then the next time you open the editor, it opens to the last mode you left off.

  8. When done, select Commit. (Alternatively, you can select Cancel and close out of the page to back out of editing mode.)

  9. In the Create New Commit dialog, verify the file's path, and in the Commit Message field enter a (required) comment for the commit.

  10. Click Commit.

Editor Features

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AI Assist

AI Assist is the name for the integration of artificial intelligence (AI)—and specifically ChatGPT—into MadCap Central. If you connect your ChatGPT account to Central via an API key, you can use this feature. See AI Assist.

What’s Noteworthy?

Note For the authoring feature to work properly, your project must be single-bound to Central as the primary source control provider. The authoring feature does not support dual-bound projects.

Note Since Central is a remote repository, those who use Flare after changes are made in Central, need to synchronize their remote and local repositories. See Source Control and MadCap Central.

  • Central side Content is authored and committed to the project in Central.

  • Flare side To interact with updated content in the Flare application, use source control to pull changes from the remote repository and sync it to the local repository.

During the synchronization process, keep the following in mind.

  • If two authors are editing the same file, at the same time, but one is working in Flare and the other is working in Central, then there may be conflicts when trying to synchronize the repositories. These conflicts can be resolved using the source control features in Flare.

  • If two authors are both working in Central and are simultaneously editing the same file, then the first person to commit the file has precedence. When the second person commits their file, they will be alerted to the issue and prompted to refresh to get the latest files.

Note Keep the following in mind when loading files:

  • The file size limit is 500 KB. This limitation helps prevents issues.

  • If changes approach the limit, a message warns you.
  • If edits exceed the size limit (or if the file starts out already over the limit), an error displays. If you are on the Content tab, the error is triggered when you attempt to commit the changes or switch to the Code tab.

  • If you are on the Content tab and see the error message, you can make edits to reduce the file size and then commit the changes.

  • If you are on the Code tab and see the error message, you can still edit the file and commit the changes, but you cannot switch to the Content tab.