Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

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Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby Joywriter on Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:49 am

When authoring in FLARE, I want an automated way to identify new topics that were added to the project so that I can go back only to those new topics and edit/revise/remove them as necessary. Scenario, the all familiar addition of new topics for new versions ... only to suddenly have them identified as not making it into the product and consequently they must be removed ... or edited accordingly. How are you working with this situation in Flare?
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Re: Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby RamonS on Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:50 am

One way is to apply conditional tags. That way you can mark and identify topics. You don't have to do anything else with the conditional tag. That is a goofy workaround and it for sure would be nicer to have a status field that automatically gets populated as "New" when adding a topic. If this is something you'd like to see in Flare then send MadCap an enhancement request here:
http://www.madcapsoftware.com/bugs/submit.aspx
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Re: Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby LTinker68 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:44 am

There is an option when creating a topic, I believe, to have it "Marked as New". That puts a special icon next to that file when you insert it in the TOC and build the output. The idea is to let your users know which files are new since the last version, but you could use it to find the new files, so long as those files have been added to the TOC. Once you've finished modifying/reviewing the file, you remove the "Mark as New" option from the topic's Properties screen.
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Re: Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby Joywriter on Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:39 am

Thanks Lisa, I looked at this and Mark as New is a function for topics in TOC properties.

Is this possible to get the results I want? :idea:
1. Create a new TOC
2. Create a new style called Conditional Text and apply style to topic
3. Identify the MyWebHelp target's new TOC to return ONLY the new one new style (Conditional Text0 in the new TOC.

Actually, it would be better of course to have the new style NOT be named conditional text but the version description.
Ideally, the TOC would return ONLY the new version files I've added and I could identify which ones were new.
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Re: Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby LTinker68 on Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:49 am

There's nothing quite like what you want to do. Nothing that says to build output using only those files created after such-and-such a date.

But, if you create a custom condition tag called "NewTopic" or "NeedsReview". When you create a topic, you apply that condition to the topic and you add the topic to the main TOC. You create a new target that includes that condition and excludes all other conditions. When you build that target, you end up with only those topics that have that condition. The TOC will reflect only those topics because all others were excluded so their TOC entries were excluded. If a topic passes the review, you remove the condition. If it doesn't pass the review, you keep the condition. You'd also have to set up all other targets to exclude that condition so that your real build doesn't include any topic still in review.

The only downside to that option is that if you didn't include the topic in the TOC, then you'd have to use the search or index options to get to the topic, so it may not be as obvious that you have/haven't reviewed all the new topics.

Another option is to use a custom print target. All of the online outputs automatically include all of the topics that haven't been excluded from the build, but the print outputs only include the topics that are in the TOC. Create a new print target called "NewTopicsReview". Create a new TOC for that print target called "NewTopicsTOC". As you and the other authors create a topic, you add that topic to the NewTopicsTOC. You'd still want to add the topic to your regular TOC, or maybe don't add it yet but add a line at the top of the new topic that indicates where it's supposed to be placed in the help. Anyway, before you do the next public release, you build the NewTopicsReview target to get a print output of the topics that have been added to the NewTopicsTOC. If a topic is considered ready for release, then you add the topic to the main TOC and remove it from the NewTopicsTOC. If it's not ready, you put a condition on the topic to exclude it from the normal (public release) output. It'll still remain in the NewTopicsTOC so that you know to come back to it after the next release.
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Re: Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby Joywriter on Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:43 pm

Thank you LTinker68. I've created a conditional text tag called 8.2 version. I created two test topics and applied that condition to the those topics and added the topics to the main TOC. I created a new 8.2 target that includes the new 8.2 condition and excludes all other conditions.
Now, there aren't any other conditions in the project except for my test ones.
I expected to see for that build, just those two files in my TOC but didn't? I saw everything. :shock: This would be a terrific workaround if I can get it to work!
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Re: Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby LTinker68 on Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:12 pm

That's because I forgot to include a step. :( Sorry

By default, if a topic doesn't have any conditional tags applied to it, then Flare will automatically include the topic. If it has a conditional tag applied, then it follows the rules of what's included/excluded in the targets.

The step I forgot is that you need to create another new conditional tag, perhaps name it "Ready" or "Done" or "Approved". Whatever. Apply this conditional tag to all topics that are approved for release. Then in the "newTopicsReview" target, you exclude the ready tag.

Basically, every single topic has to have at least one conditional tag applied to it. You can have more than one tag applied, so you can have a topic that's marked "ready" and "online only".

You can apply the new conditional tag to all the topics at once by going to View > File List, selecting all the files, then right-clicking and selecting Properties (or click on the Properties icon in the File List pane). Then select the ready tag and click Ok.
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Re: Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby Joywriter on Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:36 pm

Thanks so much Lisa. I did go back and apply a new conditional tag to all the other topics and it worked great. Do you know, or can you anticipate how this might work when condition tags are applied to other content beside main topics (such as paragraphs or when/if steps are revised or changed)?
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Re: Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby LTinker68 on Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:52 am

That's a tad bit trickier. You can do it by inserting a bookmark at the point of the topic where the new content is, and then you can create a TOC entry that points to that bookmark, but that really only works well in online output, because print output will print the whole topic and not just the bookmarked text. (Actually, that's a guess since I've never tried that, but considering that there's no "end" tag for the bookmark, then the guess is reasonable, although it could decide to print everything from the bookmark to the next entry in the TOC. You'd have to test that.)

And, of course, you'd have to adjust the topic-level conditional tag so that it indicates that it's changed content, since the topic-level conditional tag will override whatever conditional tags are in the topic.
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Re: Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby Joywriter on Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:13 pm

Thanks again Lisa! The online part of applying a Bookmark would work for us since we are using it merely as a tool to identify new content added and use a Target's TOC. Not sure of what you mean by adjusting the topic-level conditional tag and the topic-level conditional tag overriding whatever conditional tags are in the topic.
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Re: Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby LTinker68 on Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:48 pm

Joywriter wrote:Not sure of what you mean by adjusting the topic-level conditional tag and the topic-level conditional tag overriding whatever conditional tags are in the topic.

Say you have two paragraphs in your topic, one is marked "online only" and one is marked "print only". If there is no conditional tag applied to the topic file itself (i.e., the color chip next to the topic in the Content Explorer is blank) then the conditional tags inside the topic control which content is displayed in the output (depending on how the target is set up, of course). However, if you apply a "online only" conditional tag to the topic file itself, then that topic will only appear in online content, even though you have "print only" content inside the topic, because the topic-level tag takes precedence over the content-level tag.

You can have a different or additional conditional tag at the topic level, such as "ready for production". In which case, your online target needs to be set to include "online only" AND "ready for production", and the print target needs to be set to include "print only" AND "ready for production". In that case it'll follow the topic-level conditional tag and the content-level conditional tag, because they're not in conflict.

Hopefully that made sense.
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Re: Identify new topics added to project to remove/edit as neede

Postby Joywriter on Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:01 pm

Thanks again, Lisa. This does make sense ... have to read it several times and apply it for it to sink in! :wink:
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