Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

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Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

Postby Gewesen on Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:13 am

I'm new to Flare, and my first assignment is to create a company glossary to be delivered in HTML5. Each term is a separate topic. Sorry in advance for the length of this post.

I need the navigation to list topics by category, where each topic might include a definition specific to multiple categories. I was given a prototype Flare project where the TOC includes books for each category, and each book includes all applicable topic entries. I'd like a solution less dependent on manually copying/dragging the same topic into multiple spots in the TOC.

Can I "mark" a single child TOC and/or topic files in some way so that topics are automatically pulled in to the locations in a parent TOC where they occur?

This is what I'm aiming for, though I know using conditions tags in this way doesn't work:
PARENT TOC
All (links to child TOC - no condition set)
Dept. X (links to child TOC - condition X set)
Dept. Y (links to child TOC - condition Y set)

CHILD TOC
* Topic A (flagged for condition X only)
* Topic B (flagged for condition X & Y)
* Topic C (flagged for condition Y only)

Resulting navigation:
All
* Topic A
* Topic B
* Topic C
Dept. X
* Topic A
* Topic B
Dept. Y
* Topic B
* Topic C

Maybe I'm limited to identifying topics (via file tags?) that belong to different books/categories so they can be manually copied to the various locations in the TOC? Sounds like a pain to me. I've done some searching and either I haven't seen a streamlined solution or didn't understand it when I did see it.
Any help is much appreciated.
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Re: Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

Postby Gewesen on Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:14 am

Now am trying to find a way to indicate where the file goes in the TOC that is visible in both Content Explorer and the TOC. This would make it at least a little easier to identify the files that need to appear under a particular book (category) in a TOC and drag them en masse to those locations in the TOC.
  • To be visible in both Content Explorer and a TOC, conditions have to be set separately at both the file level and in affected TOC - double work & prone to error.
  • File tags don't show up in the TOC view.
  • I don't see how using snippets w/ or w/o conditions would make things easier.
  • I can create a report that shows conditions and file tags, but i have to go through the report and manually make any necessary changes - a pain & prone to error.
Not sure where to go from here.
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Re: Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:34 am

Hmm... Not quite sure I understand what you're trying to achieve. As I see it, you want to create THREE separate outputs: one that contains all the terms, one that contains only terms for Dept X and another containing only terms for Dept Y. You would do this using three separate targets, with different conditions excluded, but you can use a single TOC with conditions applied to the topics depending on how they're needed.

Let's look at the conditions you need:

Applies to all departments - no condition needed.
Applies to X only - condition DeptX
Applies to Y only - condition DeptY
Applies to both X and Y - condition XandY (but see below)

Note: there are several ways to do this. Using a condition XandY approach should work when you have just a few possibilities but can get a bit complicated if you have more than about two departments and some topics are needed in some departments but not others.

TOC looks like this:

Topic A - condition DeptX
Topic B - condition XandY (Note: you might be able to do it by not having this condition and applying both DeptX and DeptY conditions instead, and using the Advanced bit of the Conditions tab on the targets. It might be a bit excessive if you only have two departments but if you ever need to have more than two it's a much better approach.)
Topic C - condition DeptY

If using XandY condition, targets are conditioned like this:

Target All has no conditions set.
Target Dept X has conditions DeptY EXcluded and DeptX INcluded.
Target Dept Y has conditions DeptX EXcluded and DeptY INcluded.
Note: In general I try to only use EXCLUDEs, as I find it too easy to get confused when using both INclude and EXclude, but if you only have a few departments, it might work for you.

OR if not using condition XandY:
Target All has no conditions set.
Target Dept X has conditions set using the Advanced Editor as: Exclude (DeptY and not DeptX).
Target Dept Y has conditions set using the Advanced Editor as: Exclude (DeptX and not DeptY).
I advise you do this bit slowly with the Help file open beside you, as it can get a bit confusing until you get your head round it (I'm still trying to get my head round it!)

Hope that helps.
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Re: Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

Postby Gewesen on Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:08 am

CMuffin - thank you for your reply.
The problem is that this is one target - a single HTML site that features navigation for all terms, all categories, and all departments. The navigation in the prototype I was given looks like the attached graphic (not sure how to make that a bit smaller). Sorry if my verbal description was insufficient. A topic file might appear under several category or dept. entries in the navigation.
I'd like to create that navigation in the most streamlined and automated way possible, to reduce manual work and human error.
MadcapExample.JPG
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Re: Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:38 am

Would this be a sensible place for merging outputs? Is it even possible to merge HTML outputs? An expert needs to answer this one.

Or using snippets for your definitions rather than topics, but that too would require lots of manual fiddling around.
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Re: Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

Postby ecjoe on Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:21 am

Yes, it is possible to merge outputs in HTML5. Merging outputs sounds like it would work in this scenario. However, it is not the cleanest solution. Unfortunately, I can't think of a better automated solution. Perhaps somebody else can chime in.

1. Create a master TOC for all terms. Add this TOC under the "All Terms" book.
2. Apply conditional tags to each terminology topic (e.g., Date and Customers).
3. Create a HTML5 target for each unique category/department. Each target should leverage the master terminology TOC created in step 1. Include the desired conditional tags (e.g., Date and Customer) and exclude all other tags. FYI, untagged topics will be included in the output but won't be displayed in the TOC. Avoid adding this unnecessary content by tagging all topics in the project.
4. From the TOC, add a merged output for each unique HTML5 target under the corresponding category/department.
5. Batch build all HTMl5 targets.

If my instructions are correct, the end result of the above procedure should accomplish your goal. New topics should automatically appear in the correct location if you add them to the master terminology TOC and then make sure that the correct conditional tags have been applied to them.

Joe
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Re: Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

Postby Gewesen on Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:12 am

ecjoe:
Thanks for the help! I had wondered about merging targets, but had no clue if that was possible or how to proceed. I'll give it a try.

cmuffin:
Thanks for voicing the suggestion to merge output. Maybe that's what piqued ecjoe's review of the post.

Much appreciated!
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Re: Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:54 am

Glad I could help. I got MOST of the way there! Have a great weekend.
Started as a newbie with Flare 6.1, now using Flare 2019r1.
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Re: Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

Postby ecjoe on Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:35 am

No problem. FYI, make sure to set each target's Output File option to a unique name. Flare complains if you try to merge multiple outputs with the default name.

Joe
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Re: Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

Postby Gewesen on Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:52 am

I am at this moment reading "Merging Output at Runtime Using HTML5" in Flare online help. I hope to put your instructions to good use.
ecjoe and cmuffin, I hope you have a relaxing weekend!
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Re: Automatically pull a topic in to multiple TOC locations

Postby Gewesen on Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:04 am

Oops. Switched to "Merging Flare Projects Using Targets."
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