Faster Way to Add Cross References?

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Faster Way to Add Cross References?

Postby Mishou6779 on Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:54 am

Hello fellow technical communicators!

I use both MadCap Flare and Freshdesk by Zendesk.

In Freshdesk, I can click a button titled TOC, and any of the H1, H2, H3, etc., that are in the article I've written will automatically be generated into a lovely little TOC in the article, wherever I put the cursor. It's instant, easy, and like magic. :lol:

I want a TOC in each online help topic, but I want it two ways. First, for me, in my topics that are long, so that while I am writing, I can get a visual on everything I've added to the one long topic (I don't want to scroll--what can I say? I'm lazy). Second, for my customers, so they can more easily navigate long topics once they are published.

I know that in Flare, for published output, I could use a mini TOC proxy, and I would like to do that, but can't seem to get it to work for my (I realize it's deprecated--I'm working on pushing my company into 2021) WebHelp output. I've also tried it using tripane HTML5 output and can't get it to work there either. I've double-checked that I am using the correct template (formerly master) page. And I've double-checked that I have the mini TOC proxy in my template page.

Any tips for navigating in-progress help topics and for troubleshooting mini TOC proxies would be appreciated.

Thank you!
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Re: Faster Way to Add Cross References?

Postby robdocsmith on Sun Oct 10, 2021 5:43 pm

For output, a minitoc proxy I think is the only way to go unless you're happy to hand copy headings and manually insert links. You could feasibly put together a table or div containing the links. But I think that would be a pain to maintain. Or if you're a coder then perhaps you could create a javascript that would make a minitoc on the fly. That's beyond my abilities though.

As for help on Mini-tocs... Not sure what the issue might be:
  • Does the toc depth of the minitoc have sufficient levels to capture the headings on the page?
  • Do any of the heading styles you are trying to capture include mc-heading-level: 0; ?
  • Are the styles defined for MadCap|miniTocProxy and p.MiniTOC1 etc and none of them set to display:none;
  • Does a preview of the topic using your target show the minitoc on the page?

For browsing a topic during creation, the only thing I can think of is... if you're in the web layout, you can click to collapse all headings. Or individually collapse headings with Alt+Shift+C (or right-click the heading and choose Collapse). That way you might be able to get an overview of the topic without seeing all the content. It works in print view too, but doesn't always work as expected. I think because of the page layout interpreting how the text is displayed.

Sorry it's not that helpful...

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Re: Faster Way to Add Cross References?

Postby Dave Lee on Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:40 am

A mini TOC proxy (in web outputs) will only display items that you've actually included in the TOC - e.g. links to child topics, or bookmarks in the current topic.
The mini TOC proxy (in web outputs) will not automatically generate a list of links to headings in the current topic.

You can do this in Flare using a menu proxy set to display (headings), but that only works for HTML5 and not WebHelp. Perhaps another reason to move away from WebHelp.
This is only generated in the output, so wouldn't help you when editing the source.
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