Using a local helper application for external editors you can edit arbitrary documents directly on the BSCW server. The helper application has to be installed on your local computer. For direct editing of a document, the helper application is called from within the browser; the helper application then starts the local editor suitable for the particular document type and writes the results back to the BSCW server during and after editing. Depending on document type, you may use as editor text processors like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer, graphical editors or spreadsheet programs.
If you want to employ this method of direct editing, you proceed as follows:
• Installation of the helper application for direct editing with external editors on your local computer.
• Configuration of your personal preferences so that the helper application starts the suitable local editor when you are directly editing documents of a certain type.
• Direct editing via Change Edit for document types configured accordingly.
BSCW supports as helper application the Zope External Editor Client which is also used within the content management framework Zope (http://www.zope.org). The Zope client is available for the Windows and Linux platforms. After download and installation the Zope client is ready to use; all usual document types are preconfigured.
Download the Zope client for your platform from
• Install the Zope client on your local computer (on Windows e.g., start the downloaded setup program and follow the instructions of the installation wizard).
If you use specific network connections (e.g. a proxy server), you may have to further configure the Zope client. How to do this and links to more details on the Zope client are to be found on the BSCW website under http://www.bscw.de/english/externaleditor.html.
Select the document types that you want to directly edit in BSCW with local applications – the external editors.
• Select Options Preferences in the top menu and go to the subsection ‘File Handling’ of the section ‘General’ of the action form.
• Under External editors, select those document types for which you want to activate direct editing with local (for BSCW external) editors via the Zope client, e.g. MS Office files or OpenOffice files. If you select ‘plain text’ here, text documents are no longer edited using the simple text editor integrated into BSCW, but using your local text editor via the Zope client.
• Confirm with [OK].
For direct editing of BSCW documents via the Zope client you proceed as follows.
• Select Change Edit in the action menu of a document for the type of which an external editor has been configured.
• Your browser will now ask you what to do with the working copy of the document: open, store or cancel. Confirm opening with Zope External Editor. With some browsers you may suppress this dialog in the future by checking or unchecking a corresponding option.
• Now, the local editor corresponding to the document type is started with the current document; the document itself is locked within BSCW.
• After editing, you store the document using the “Save” operation of the editor and close the editor. You will then be asked by the Zope client to confirm the end of editing. Afterwards, the original document is replaced by the edited document – with versioned documents a new version is created – and the document is unlocked again.