How to select your DITA linguistic review tool

How to select your DITA linguistic review tool

[DITA Loc Wire series] In two previous posts, How CMS and TMS architecture impacts localization and How to secure the quality of your DITA translation with in-country experts, we stressed how important it is to perform a linguistic review – even if you are not in a regulated industry.

Several elements are key to a successful linguistic review

First of all, the reviewer should be a subject matter expert (SME), who is native in the target language and fluent in the source language. Second, the reviewer should work on the content in its final form (or close to it) and in a user-friendly environment. They are typically neither DITA experts nor translators. Lastly, the Translation Memories (TMs) should be continuously updated with the review feedback so that the translators can learn from the comments. The loop enhances translation quality while decreasing the review effort.

You can choose one of four tools to carry out a linguistic review

Bilingual Microsoft Word file

Linguistic review for most formats is based on a bilingual MS word file generated by the translation management software (TMS), where all sentences are displayed in a source and target table. The reviewer corrects as needed using the track changes feature. The file is imported into the TMS and TMs are updated.

Review the published output from CCMS

The translated content is pushed into the CCMS, which publishes the content. The reviewers access the published output in PDF format or in a web viewer. They flag the required changes, which are entered in both the translated topics and the Translation Memories. As a variant, the changes are entered in the TMs and the content is translated and checked once more.

XML preview in the TMS

The translated topic is displayed in the TMS through a transformation of its content (XSLT) so that, for instance, tables are shown as tables. Links or inclusions are indicated. TMs are automatically updated.

DITA publishing of bilingual files

The DITA content is published using DITA OT, with links, graphics, and content inclusion. It is made available in HTML5. The reviewers access using a simple browser and can edit the content in its published output. The TMs are automatically updated.

Bilingual Word File


Most reviewers know how to use MS Word.


  • Does not work well with XML in-line tags (variables, conrefs, conditions, etc.).
  • Does not provide any context (title, table, image).
  • Requires exchanging files manually
  • Can create encoding and language issues depending on MS Word settings.

Review in CCMS


  • The layout corresponds precisely to the final layout (images, fonts, etc.)
  • The reviewer uses a simple tool (PDF reader or Web Viewer).


  • Only one language displayed
  • Source and target version might diverge (structure and content)
  • Re-used content is reviewed many times (and maybe modified many times)
  • Reviewer only reviews with one set of conditions
  • Updating TMs is a tedious process (and sometimes not even performed).

 XML preview in TMS


The content is formatted (tables, lists, titles).


  • The reviewer needs to know how to use the Translation Workbench,
  • The reviewer needs to know DITA tags,
  • The links, references, conditions and images are not included.
  • DITA bilingual publishing – Augmented Review


  • The reviewer only needs a web browser,
  • The reviewer sees bilingual content as it looks when published with images, inclusions, and links,
  • The reviewer is directed to review only the new content,
  • The reviewer can see and filter each condition.


The formatting is not exactly the final one (fonts, colors).

You’d like to find out more about DITA bilingual review? The solution, also known as Augmented Review, is provided by WhP and requires no software license. Click here for more information.

Recent posts