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Serna Free XML Editor... An easy-to-use WYSIWYG XML editor intended for students, open-source projects, and other non-commercial uses. Authors with virtually no XML experience can start working with structured content in a familiar environment that looks much like a conventional word processor. Serna employs XSLT and XSL-FO to render documents in print-like appearance. This approach gives a lot of opportunities for document rendering, such as localized generated content, profiled views, composition of a document from multiple chunks, in-line attribute editing, and others.

Serna offers exceptional DITA 1.1 support and comes with more...

What's New

Version 4.2:
  • Added PDF publishing with Antenna House XSL Formatter.
  • It is possible to specify multiple search paths for plugins in the Preferences Dialog.


Mac OS X 10.4 or later

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Serna Free XML Editor User Discussion

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Iliketrash Member IconReview+205

I hate to waste any more time with this application writing a review but here it is anyway. This giant (218 MB) turd amongst other giant turds (DocBook-capable XML editors) is possibly the least objectionable of the group. It is one of those cross-platform Java trainwrecks that require lots of handholding just to work and then the interface sucks. There is no way I could possibly describe all the problems with this but I'll just mention this: How in hell can anyone in 2011 ship an OS X application that doesn't anti-alias on-screen text? What kind of fancy programming is required to undercut what happens automatically with respect to font rendering?

BTW, I'm commenting on versions 4.2 and 4.3 (not mentioned on MacUpdate but available from the developer's web site).

There is a free version that costs $795 less than the "enterprise" version--that that kind of detail is missing from the Macupdate site is reflective of the lack of attention to detail that is in the software itself.

To get PDF output, you have to download FOP, an open source project, build it, and install it in a path that Serna can find. If you don't know what that means, then that makes you a normal user that expects that It Should Just Work but the Serna developers apparently don't want you to have life that easy.

Having said all these nasty things, the product does seem to work although I haven't tested or used it extensively. So I guess that remark I'll just shut up and give it two stars.

Oh--like the other poster said, you will get a hidden dialog box behind the splash screen if ~/Library/Preferences/something_with_serna_in_it doesn't like you, like for instance you installed Serna in another location before installing it this time. Best advice--delete this prefs file before installing anew.

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Version 4.2
Mystery Tramp Member IconComment+122
Mystery Tramp

Quite possibly, this is a great app, but it needs more testing, at least on Snow Leopard.

When the application runs, you get a big, lovely splash screen with the company logo and that's it. Only a single menu loads, which only allows the user to quit (the preferences command is grayed out).

If you enter Expose, you'll find out that there's a dialog box complaining that a catalog file doesn't exist, but it's behind the splash screen so you can't dispatch it. The only option is to Force Quit.

One other thing ... this app needs 227 MB on your hard drive. That's an awful lot of real estate. Just wish it worked.


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Version 4.2
There are no Ratings for this App yet.
> 2 1


Current Version (4.x)


Downloads 3,091
Version Downloads 2,146
License Commercial
Date 15 Oct 2009
Platform OS X / Intel 32
Price $749.00
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