Versioning of multiple PDF outputs in one project

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Versioning of multiple PDF outputs in one project

Postby Tobias on Tue Sep 20, 2022 1:29 am

I´m a new Flare user and currently the only technical author in our team. I create user manuals (PDF) for special purpose machinery. My current plan is to create one project that contains all user manuals. I´m writing one master manual an created a variable "Version", which I inserted e.g. into the title page.
For each of our machines sold I will have to modify some content and give each machine user manual its own version number.
Is there a best practise for managing the version numbers of the different user manuals?
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Re: Versioning of multiple PDF outputs in one project

Postby ajturnersurrey on Fri Sep 23, 2022 7:24 am

In that sort of situation I would use a target for each customer.

So, customer Joe gets the target 'Product X User Guide - Joe' initially at version v1.0 (set in the target). Joe's manual contains an extra topic about some special beta-test features that are only in his version of 'Product X User Guide'.
Customer Bob gets the target 'Product X User Guide - Bob' initially at version v1.0 (set in the target). This is a default version of 'Product X User Guide'.
... this way, when things change on those beta-test features you can easily come back make a change and rebuild and reissue Product X User Guide - Joe at version v1.1, without changing or reissuing Bob's version

The open question is whether you have all of these targets using one master TOC, and conditions on the topics, so that the right ones get included in each manual type, or whether you set up a separate TOC for each target. (In this case the beta-test features topic would be conditioned 'Joe only', and Bob's target would be set to exclude items conditioned 'Joe only'). That decision comes down to the complexity of your situtation. I think that using conditions with a single TOC can be the most slick. But if there are too many subtle variants this can get out of hand. In the face of too many options I would make fewer errors with one TOC per target.
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Re: Versioning of multiple PDF outputs in one project

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Mon Sep 26, 2022 4:40 am

Beautifully put, ajturnersurrey, that's how I'd approach it too.

And when it comes to managing version numbers, consider using a variable. You can modify a variable for a specific target when necessary, so in the Joe target the version number could be 1.2 and the Bob target could have version number 1.1. Your title page will just contain "Widget User Guide [[[version variable]]]" and the number that appears changes depending on what you set on each target.
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