The editing area in oXygen consists of three tabs: the Text editing mode, Grid editor mode, and Author editing mode. By default, oXygen opens the files in the Text editor mode. The Grid editor mode is available when editing files that are recognized as XML.
The tabs are synchronized with each other so that you can quickly switch between them.
Most of the actions available in the Text editor mode are also available in the Grid editor mode, including Undo and Redo support. You can easily identify nodes in a document by using the find and replace action, XPath toolbar, or XPath builder.
XML documents are displayed in the Grid editor mode as a structured layout of nested tables in which the text content can be modified without directly interacting with the XML tags. oXygen displays the child elements and attributes of recurring elements as columns. The tables can be expanded or collapsed to show or hide the elements, as needed. Also, the document structure can easily be changed with drag-and-drop operations on the grid components.
There are two layouts available in the Grid editor mode: the grid layout (attempts to find recurring elements and groups them into tables) and the tree layout (shows the direct structure of the XML document).
By grouping the recurring structures, oXygen offers the possibility to manipulate the data with table-specific operations.
Other operations, available on any node, include node insertion and node deletion.
The grid behaves like a form, allowing you to use common keyboard navigation (arrow keys, page up/down, etc.)
If an edited document uses an XML Schema (or a DTD, Relax NG schema, etc.), you can use the Content Completion Assistant in the Grid editor mode. In the following image, the Content Completion Assistant is used in the Grid editor mode to insert an attribute while modifying an XML Schema.
When inserting an element whose definition indicates required content (attributes, sub-elements, or both), oXygen automatically adds those nodes into the grid.
The Find All Elements action is available in all the XML editor modes (Text, Author, and Grid). It provides an easy way to search for XML elements using a tag name, attribute name, or attribute value.
Unicode is fully supported in the XML Grid editor mode. It is possible to change the text orientation when you are editing XML documents containing right-to-left or bidirectional text.
You can customize the Grid mode's appearance according to your needs. For instance, you can change the font, cell background or foreground color, default width of the columns, or even the color gradients of the table header.
In the following image the grid has been configured to use a high contrast color scheme.