Problem statementTheoretically, the <xref> tag can contain plain text. It must therefore be possible to write something like:
The authoring tool we use at work (Arbortext Editor) very decidedly does not think so.
<xref format="html"href="http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/c8bi/v8r4m0/topic/com.ibm.swg.im.cognos.ug_fm.8.4.0.doc/ug_fm_id21834Troubleshooting.html#Troubleshooting" scope="external">Troubleshooting guide</xref>
WorkaroundStep 1: Insert a <desc> tag inside the <xref> tag, type something within the <desc> tag (it shows up as hovertext in transformed output), and then type something just outside the <desc> tag but still within the <xref> tag. Like this:
MusingsI am fairly sure the problem is not a DITA bug but an Arbortext Editor bug. Anyone seen anything similar?
Post script,2 days after original postSee an alternate solution here.
Another post script, 20 days after the original postThe Arbortext people found this blog post and offered to help but by that time I had already found a solution. I am impressed by their follow-up - they are really trying to keep track of user pain points and minimising the attendant frustration. Thank you Arbortext (and Liz Fraley).
I'm still not sure, though, if it's not an Arbortext bug. The error message box is captioned "Arbortext..." and it has a bug number. The problem was I couldn't find a list of error messages (and possible resolutions) in the Arbortext help. Per my understanding, the problem seems to be - text selected within an xref tag cannot be overwritten; it can be removed only if it is not selected AND some other text is typed in AND the "generate referenced text" button clicked again. Maybe it's not a bug. But as far as I know, a standard method of deleting text is by overwriting it. Maybe an error message section in the help docs would help?