Jaxe configuration files

Author: Damien Guillaume


When creating a new document with Jaxe, it is necessary to choose a config file.

Jaxe's config files are used to specify the GUI to edit XML documents with Jaxe, for a given XML language. This covers informations about the XML language, saving options, menus (especially to insert the elements), display types for the elements, possible exports, and all the strings used in the interface, depending on the user language.

Config files are located in Jaxe's config directory, and their names end with "_config.xml". Old Jaxe config files (before Jaxe 3.0) had a name ending with "_Jaxe_cfg.xml". They can be converted to the new version with an export menu in the File menu.

It is possible to open an XML schema with Jaxe and to "export" to a config file. This automatically creates a config file that will make edition in Jaxe possible for the schema, but the automatic guesses for the display types are often bad or insufficient : this export should not be considered a method to create config files, but it could be used to start the creation of a config file from a particularly complex schema.

Definition of the XML language

Element definition

Element tree

Element tree under Language :

File saving options

Element definition

Element tree

Element tree under Saving :


Menus defined in config files are displayed above Jaxe's text area. They are not mixed with Jaxe's menubar, which is above (on top of the screen on Macs).

Element definition

Element tree

Element tree under Menus :

Node display

An essential feature in Jaxe is the possibility to display and edit XML element in different ways, whatever their types in the XML schema. For instance, a table element can be displayed as a table, and an element linking to an image can be displayed as an image. The objective is to ease document editing, without losing of sight their semantics : elements will not be displayed as they will be seen in web pages or PDF documents, but simply with a user interface making edition easier and highlighting the meaning of the elements.

Element definition

Element tree

Element tree under Display :

Display types

Type Description Display
division Two bars extending to the window's right side, clearly separating large areas in the document. images_types/division.png
area Two tags and carriage returns, to separate areas smaller than with division. images_types/zone.png
string Two tags to identify a small string, without any carriage return. images_types/string.png
empty A single tag, typically for an empty element. images_types/vide.png
table Spreadsheet style table display (with the Swing component JTable). Handy for tables of numbers, but does not allow the use of XML elements inside the cells (use text table to do that). images_types/tableau.png
text table Table display allowing the use of XML elements inside the cells. Also handles the rowspan and colspan attributes to gather cells vertically and horizontally. images_types/tabletexte.png
style For use in the case (very rare if the XML language encodes the meaning as opposed to the presentation) where an XML element only conveys a style information. Displays the characters in the chosen style (bold, italic, ...), without any tag. An alternative is to use the string type, which can also use a style, but displays the tags. images_types/style.png
file Displays an image based on its path on the disk coming from an attribute of the XML element (to be defined). It is possible to copy/paste images and Jaxe will automatically create the XML element and the image file on the disk, using the first element of type file. images_types/fichier.png
symbol Displays an image chosen within a set of images in an image folder. images_types/symbole.png
list For an element representing a bulleted or ordered list. The sub-element must use the item type. The tags are displayed as for area, with a '+' button to create new items. images_types/liste.png
item List item in a list displayed with the list type. Displayed with bullets or numbers, depending on the list type. images_types/item.png
simple type Displays an element having a simple value, in a small panel. Usable only for the elements with a simple type in the XML schema. The precise display (text field, menu or checkbox) and the validation are done based on the XML schema constraints. images_types/typesimple.png
equation Displays the image of an equation. The equation can be edited by a simple click on the image, with a dialog showing at the same time the text of the equation (using a very simple syntax specific to Jaxe) and the corresponding image. images_types/equation.png
form Displays an element and all its sub-elements as a form, with a field for each sub-element. Beware not to use this type with elements that could have an infinitely deep subtree ! images_types/formulaire.png
plugin If you want to define your own Jaxe element, it is possible ! See the section "Creation of new Jaxe elements" in the developer guide for more information.

Parameters can be specified for some display types, with the Parameter element under Element display.

Display types division and area can have a parameter specifying the name of the attribute to use as a title for the element display.

Display types file and symbol must have a parameter specifying the attribute with the file name.

Display types table and text table must have parameters specifying the elements for the rows and the cells.

Display types style must have a parameter specifying the style.

Display types area and string can have a parameter specifying the style, a parameter with the font family, and a parameter with the font size.

Display types equation must have parameters specifying the attributes to use for the equation text and the image filename.

Here is a list of all the parameters:

type parameter name description
division and area titreAtt attribute for the title
division, area, string and empty attributsVisibles displays all the attributes on the start tag (true|false)
table and text table trTag element for a line
table and text table tdTag element for a cell
table and text table thTag element for a header cell
text table colspanAttr attribute to merge columns
text table rowspanAttr attribute to merge rows
text table alignAttr attribute to align text
list typeListe type of list (POINTS|NUMEROS) (bulleted/ordered)
style, area and string style GRAS (bold) | ITALIQUE (italic) | EXPOSANT (superscript) | INDICE (subscript) | SOULIGNE (underlined) | BARRE (strikethrough)
area and string police font family
area and string taille font size
file and symbol srcAtt attribute with the file name
plugin classe Java class derived from JaxeElement
item image1 first bullet image
item image2 second bullet image
equation srcAtt attribute with the image filename
equation texteAtt attribute with the equation text


Element definition

Element tree

Element tree under Exports :


All the texts (also called strings) may have to be changed in the interface created with the configuration. Either to improve readability without having to change the schema, or to provide an interface in another natural language for the same schema. Texts may also have to be provided for a set of languages, so that users can edit the same documents, with the same Jaxe configuration, but with an interface entirely in their native language.

For these reasons, the Strings element represents a set of strings for a given language and country, and it is possible to specify several in the same config file. On can use for instance language="pt" country="BR" for Brazilian Portuguese, or just language="en" so specify English without any precision about the country.

You may have noticed that the real config file XML elements have French names, even though you see them in English in Jaxe and in this documentation. This is because the config file for config files is using these Strings elements to define titles to use for elements when the user's system language is English.

Element definition

Element tree

Element tree under Strings :