I think we have all been there. I know I have certainly asked people to review and comment on a few topics og content components, only to be confronted with the fact that context is needed.

Well, even though I have been working with components  for more than 15 years…to be honest, I have been doing updates of components myself and realized that I need more context to do a proper job. And sometimes it is bit of a clunky process to open or preview one component at a time from a map editor.

So this has left me with two choices:

  1. I can provide the full document on the side, and ask the reviewer to update the componente while getting the context from the full document.
  2. Or I can provide the full document, and tell the reviewer to forget about the components. I’ll just ask the reviewer to write comments and amend the full document. 

None of these solutions are ideal.

If I go with the first solution, the reviewer will have to jump back and forth between the component and the full document. That will be a pain for the reviewer.

If I go with the second solution I am left with the job of having to update the components myself when I receive the full document from the review including comments and changes. This is time consuming and prone to error.

Fortunately, this problem is nolonger there. Now there is a third option. Now I can actually provide the reviewer with a full Word document for commenting and updating, and I can automate the process of getting all the changes back into the components in my topic library. And I am achieving instant single sourcing where a component is reused across multiple maps. 

Publish Compound Docs and Sync Components

A new feature in Dx4 allows you to achieve this this third option. It is called Sync Component.

To be perfectly honest it actually starts in the publishing of the full document into a compound Word document. By just setting a checkmark the DxPublisher not just assemble the components into a full document and style it according to your preference, it will also include hidden information in the output Word file for each section about the source component for it.

This allows you distribute a full document to reviewers freely. You can drop it in review SharePoint site, attach it to an email or include it in any kind of workflow you want to kick off.

Now the reviewer will have the full context of the document. The start and end of component are highlighted with a frame to help the reviewer understand the scope of each component. Other than that, it is just good ol’ Microsoft Word. The author can change the content, add comments and use change tracking as in any other Word-based review.

When you receive the document, review comments have been accepted and rejected, and the content is in the state you want it, you can automatically send the updated versions of the content back into the component library… while you are getting coffee. No risk of errors in transfer of comments and update phrases. You get the exact content for each component in the full compound document in your updated version of the component in your topic library. Any reused component will be ready for publishing in all of the maps using it – instantly and in the new updated version. all components are visible as a frame on the content to help the reviewer understand the scope of the component. But other than that, it is just a good ol’ Word document. The review can make changes, add comments and use change tracking, and do anything you would do in an review of a any Word document.