Cross reference without link?

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Cross reference without link?

Postby rjplano on Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:52 am

Maybe a silly question, but is there a way to go about duplicating content from one location to another without making a link to the original location? Meaning I want a paragraph in Topic A to be duplicated in Topic B, but I don't want the content in Topic B to be a clickable link. I suppose that's pretty much what a snippet would do, but in my case the number of snippets required would make it a maintenance nightmare (at least 20 topics, each with five snippets), so I was hoping for more of a cross reference type solution.

Thanks!
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Re: Cross reference without link?

Postby doloremipsum on Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:30 pm

I think that you do actually want snippets - this is exactly what they are designed for! But if you must, maybe you could try the paratext format in an xref, which apparently should display the text of the bookmarked paragraph. However, it will still hyperlink to the original, since that's the entire point of an xref.

I would recommend using snippets for this, even if it seems like creating a lot more files. If you organise them in a sensible way the first time it shouldn't be difficult to maintain (e.g. sort them into subfolders by subject). And if you need to open and edit a snippet, you can just locate it in a topic and open it with CTRL + Click.

(ETA: even if the paratext xref does work as intended, it can only do paragraphs which you might find a bit limiting eventually)
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Re: Cross reference without link?

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:22 pm

I agree re snippets.

If there are tiny differences between the topics that means you need different snippets, you should also look at snippet variables.

Imagine you are describing how to make a drink, and depending on which drink you're making the ingredients change slightly. (This is very cut down - in real life you'd have several paragraphs in each snippet where just one or two words are different, but this should give you the idea how you can use snippets and snippet variables.)

Snippet 1: To make [[(1) DRINK NAME]], heat [[(2) LIQUID]] in a [[(3) VESSEL]].
Snippet 2: Get your [[(4) CONTAINER]] ready, add [[(5) INGREDIENT]] and pour on the [[(2) LIQUID]].
Snippet 3: Sprinkle [[(6) EXTRA]] on top.
Snippet 4: Your [[(1) DRINK NAME]] is now ready - enjoy!

For this example create a variable set called, say, "ingredients" that include snippet variables (numbered in the above example).
To describe how to make hot chocolate, create the topic "chocolate.htm" add all 4 snippets. Adjust snippet variables in the topic: 1 = "hot chocolate", 2 = "milk", 3 = "saucepan", 4 = "mug", 5 = "chocolate powder", 6 = "marshmallows". Before snippet 3 add "Squirt on some cream for extra luxury".
To describe how to make cinnamon coffee, create the topic "cinnamon coffee", add all 4 snippets. Adjust snippet variables in the topic: 1 = "cinnamon coffee", 2 = "milk", 3 = "saucepan", 4 = "mug", 5 = "espresso", 6 = "cinnamon".
To describe how to make black, unsweetened tea, create the topic "black tea.htm", add snippets 1, 2 and 4. Adjust snippet variables in the topic: 1 = "black tea", 2 = "water", 3 = "kettle", 4 = "teapot", 5 = "tea leaves". Add another step after snippet 2 about pouring the tea from the pot into the teacup.

Does that help you see how you can use snippets and snippet variables to make lots of similar but very slightly different content? You could use the same snippets to describe all sorts of hot drinks, limited just by your imagination.

I use this exact technique in one of my projects with great success, as I just have to maintain a small number of snippets which might be used in loads of topics, and I know that whenever I'm describing a certain step, all my topics are consistent.

So although it might be a bit of a faff to create the building blocks in the first place, snippets with snippet variables are really powerful and can save you lots of effort in the long run.
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Re: Cross reference without link?

Postby rjplano on Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:53 am

Muffin,

I love, love, love snippet variables and use them whenever I can. In this particular case, though, the snippets will for the most part be completely different from each other and when they are similar, I would still have to go to each location and set the snippet variable conditions correctly. I'm going to give the separate snippet technique a try, see how that goes.

Thanks very much for the input, though.
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