Cross-references handling in- and out-of-TOC topics

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Cross-references handling in- and out-of-TOC topics

Postby JRtechw on Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:31 pm

Using: Flare 12 r2 on Windows 8.1.

Output: Single-sourced to HTML5 Top Nav (whole project) and PDF User Guides (chunks of project divided functionally).

Problem:

Like many of us, I have topics that are published to more than one User Guide PDF. For example, a configuration article that appears in both a post-install general setup guide and a targeted configuration guide.

Like this:

TOC 1: Contains Topic A, Topic B, Topic C, Topic D, Topic E -> PDF Guide 1.

TOC 2: Contains Topic A, Topic B, Topic F, Topic G, Topic H -> PDF Guide 2.

Say that a xref in Topic A points to Topic C.

If possible, I’d like to be able to handle the case of pointing to an ‘in-TOC’ topic and an ‘out of TOC’ topic with the same xref instance.

So:

In PDF Guide 1, this xref should appear as ‘See Topic C on page xx’.

[mc-format: '{b}{paratext}{/b} {pageref}';]

The same xref in PDF Guide 2 should appear as ‘See Topic C in the online knowledge base for more information’.

[mc-format: 'See {b}{paratext}{/b} in the online Knowledge Base for more information.']

Is this actually possible, or the fevered dreams of a madman? I guess I’m asking: Is there a way to ‘know’ or calculate at build time if a xreffed topic is in the target’s TOC or not, and direct Flare to an appropriate style to use?

Given that you need to manually update xrefs to non-TOC topics, I strongly suspect not, but thought I’d toss the idea out there. The least-effort solution I’ve come up with is having two xrefs side by side, one conditioned ‘InTOC’ and the second ‘NotInTOC’, and switching on and off at the Target level. But it would be sweet to be able to handle both scenarios with just one xref definition.

Thanks for any ideas.

JR
JRtechw
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Re: Cross-references handling in- and out-of-TOC topics

Postby SKamprowski on Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:14 am

Hi,

from my understanding, Flare only supports cross-references to a topic inside the same project. So, for PDF 2 I suggest to use hyperlink function in order to link to your online Knowledge Base. With appropriate conditions in Topic A this should be possible.
Kind regards,
Sabine Kamprowski
DocToHelp MVP
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Re: Cross-references handling in- and out-of-TOC topics

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:43 am

JRtechw wrote:... The least-effort solution I’ve come up with is having two xrefs side by side, one conditioned ‘InTOC’ and the second ‘NotInTOC’, and switching on and off at the Target level.
JR

That's exactly what I do (though my differences are whether a topic is used in help only or PDF output, but it's the same idea.)

Sorry not to be able to offer anything helpful, but sometimes a bit of empathy can be nice. :)
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Re: Cross-references handling in- and out-of-TOC topics

Postby JRtechw on Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:00 pm

Thanks Choccie, I kind of figured I was asking the impossible. I get that it's logistically impossible to keep non-TOC xrefs up to date automatically in the topic viewer. I'm just curious that there's no way to know at build-time if a xref destination topic is in a target's TOC. It might go against the original spirit of xrefs, but I"m all about consolidation.

Cheers,

JR
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