Manual Designer - Assigning pages

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Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Ga Bowen » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:57 pm

Can you assign pages designed in the Manual Designer to each Topic?

For example, here how do I assign the Title 2 template to just the Definitions & Abbreviations Topic (which includes the 2 child files)?

Image
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Tim Green » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:37 pm

That's not how it works. All the topics from your project will be automatically inserted in the Topics section, organized in chapters as they are set up in the project. The point of Manual Designer is to create the additional print-style content that is required for a PDF, like back and front covers, a print-style table of contents at the start and so on. Assigning existing topics to those pages would be redundant.

That being said, you can insert topic files from your project or XML snippet files in PDF template pages, but you will almost never want to do that with a topic that is included in the project table of contents (redundant, repetition). Instead, you create a topic file without a TOC entry in the Project Files > Topic Files section of the project and insert that. This allows you to insert content with formatting that is not possible directly in Manual Designer, or content that is different for every project (you create the same topic in each project with different content).

There are restrictions on this: The main one is that you can only insert content that will fit on a single template page, because it will not flow to other pages. Also, you can only insert single topics -- a topic with sub-topics wold be impossible and wouldn't fit anyway.

The function in Manual Designer is Insert > Insert Text Snippet. See Designing a Template > Inserting Objects in Pages > Snippet Objects in the MD help for full instructions.
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Ga Bowen » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:29 pm

OK, I think I got most of that.

But if Print Manual Designer (PMD) is just for a Master page, TOC, front and back covers, I don't understand what creating a tab in PMD does. What are the Title1, Title2, Foreword etc tabs for if they can't be assigned to anything?

I think I'm missing something obvious! :oops:
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Tim Green » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:57 pm

The additional tabs are simply additional pages that you can add to your template. You don't have to add them, but you can. You can put whatever you like in them, including topics from your project with the text snippets function, so that is actually covered as well. The standard ones also contain things that you will almost always need, like the table of contents, keyword index, a foreword (which can also contain a snippet from your project), cover pages for top-level topics (the "Top Level Intro" section) and so on.
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Ga Bowen » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:23 pm

Sorry, but I don't really understand how H+M determines what template goes where.

Using my previous example, is this scenario possible for pdf output?

Topic 1 - Title 1
Topic 2 - Title 2
Topic 3 - Title 3
Topic 4 - Title 4

or

Topic 1 - Title 1
Topic 2 - Title 1
Topic 3 - Title 1
Topic 4 - Title 1

Frustrating as it feels like this is my last hurdle!
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Tim Green » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:42 am

Hi Ga,

Sorry, but I don't quite understand what you are trying to achieve here. I have the impression that you started your own imagined idea about how the PDF template should work before looking at it and you are still trying to force that idea onto the way it actually does work, and that is causing confusion and misunderstanding.

You need to look at the PDF template as a separate document. Each of the sections (tabs) in the template is a page in that document, with three of them being special pages: The Table of Contents, Topics and Keyword Index. All the other sections are entirely generated by the template itself and have no direct connection to your project, except with variables or snippets that you choose to insert there.

The TOC section generates a print-style table of contents from the captions in the table of contents in your project. Only plain text comes from your project here. The formatting of each entry is defined by the six levels that you define in the template (the six bands), allowing you to have different formatting for topics on each of the six supported levels. You can also add numbering, which is created in the template and doesn't come from the project.

Similarly, the Topics section generates the pages from your project and inserts them in the PDF, and adds headings that are also formatted according to the topic level. And the Keyword Index section adds a keyword index if applicable (only if you have added index keywords in your project), with formatting and layout as defined in the template.

Using my previous example, is this scenario possible for pdf output?

Your first example is normal and that is how it is done: Each topic has its own level. Your second example is not possible. You can't assign the title from another topic to a topic. Each topic has its own title.
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Ga Bowen » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:19 pm

Thanks for your time, Tim. I appreciate this may be a little bit frustrating for you!

Sorry, but I don't quite understand what you are trying to achieve here. I have the impression that you started your own imagined idea about how the PDF template should work before looking at it and you are still trying to force that idea onto the way it actually does work, and that is causing confusion and misunderstanding.


This is my fault as I've not explained it very well.

You need to look at the PDF template as a separate document. Each of the sections (tabs) in the template is a page in that document, with three of them being special pages: The Table of Contents, Topics and Keyword Index. All the other sections are entirely generated by the template itself and have no direct connection to your project, except with variables or snippets that you choose to insert there.


How do I connect these sections to the project then? Can I create and connect new sections? If they cannot be connected, what is their purpose?

The TOC section generates a print-style table of contents from the captions in the table of contents in your project. Only plain text comes from your project here. The formatting of each entry is defined by the six levels that you define in the template (the six bands), allowing you to have different formatting for topics on each of the six supported levels. You can also add numbering, which is created in the template and doesn't come from the project.


Understood. Thanks.

Your first example is normal and that is how it is done: Each topic has its own level. Your second example is not possible. You can't assign the title from another topic to a topic. Each topic has its own title.


What I am trying to achieve is to have each main topic have a different look. For example each topic would have a different logo on the page.

What I meant was, can you have the following scenario:

Topic 1 - Print Manual Designer, Tab 1
Topic 2 - Print Manual Designer, Tab 2
Topic 3 - Print Manual Designer, Tab 3
Topic 4 - Print Manual Designer, Tab 4

Sorry for any confusion.
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Tim Green » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:34 pm

Hi Ga,

How do I connect these sections to the project then?

Again: You do not connect them to the project. The ones that are connected, are connected automatically when you publish with the template. Their contents flow into those pages (Table of Contents, Topics, Keyword Index) when you publish. The other sections are separate pages that you design in Manual Designer.

Can I create and connect new sections?

Once again: Yes. Pages > Insert Page.

If they cannot be connected, what is their purpose?

Whatever you like. You are the author. Using the word "connecting" is creating confusion, like someone trying to eat clear soup with a fork. You don't "connect" anything, but you can insert content from your project with variables. For example, there is a cover page, into which you can insert the title of the project and other content with variables. Similarly, you can also have a foreword page into which you could insert a foreword from the project with a text snippet, as I already explained.

What I meant was, can you have the following scenario:

No, you cannot do that. Once more: ALL the topics in your project are formatted by the Topics tab. No other section in the template has ANY effect AT ALL on the topics. So all topics have the same basic page layout. You can't change that. What you can change is the formatting of the topic titles, for which you have six options. But you can't assign these to specific topics. The levels are used for topics on those levels in your project. So all top-level topics have titles formatted with the level 1 formatting, all second-level topics have titles formatted with the level 2 formatting, and so on.
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Ga Bowen » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:57 pm

I understand how it all relates.

If I opened the Print Manual Designer and there was only the sections/tabs of TOC, Topics, Keyword Index then I would be fine.

You say the new sections can be used for whatever I like. Can you give an example of where adding an extra section/tab in Print Manual Designer does something?

I understand all the things I can't do, I just want to know what I can do.
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Tim Green » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:41 am

Ga Bowen wrote:You say the new sections can be used for whatever I like. Can you give an example of where adding an extra section/tab in Print Manual Designer does something?

Additional foreword page. A page containing your user license text -- if you insert it with a text snippet from your project you can also have a different version from every project.

Ga Bowen wrote:I understand all the things I can't do, I just want to know what I can do.

Imagine you have a notebook of blank pieces of paper. You can write or draw on them in any way you like. Same thing. 8)
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Ga Bowen » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:32 am

Tim Green wrote:Additional foreword page. A page containing your user license text -- if you insert it with a text snippet from your project you can also have a different version from every project.


How does this page get into my pdf output? How do I decide where it goes?

Ga Bowen wrote:Imagine you have a notebook of blank pieces of paper. You can write or draw on them in any way you like. Same thing. 8)
[/quote]

So on a new section/tab I've written a poem and added a picture of a dragon. Specifically, what can I do with this content and how would I do that?
Last edited by Ga Bowen on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Tim Green » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:43 am

So on a new section/tab I've written a poem and added a picture of a dragon. Specifically, what can I do with this content and how would I do that?

Well, then when you publish your PDF you will get a page with a poem and a picture, in that position, in the PDF file.

The option to create additional pages is probably not used very often and only for special requirements.

It would be most common in combination with the text snippets function. This allows you to create a topic file in your project that is not included directly as a topic, but is inserted in one of your template pages (either an existing one or an additional one that you create). You insert the name of the topic ID as the source for the snippet. Then if you create a topic file with the same name in every project, you can automatically insert different content in this position every time you publish a different project with the same template. Each project would insert its own version of the topic file in that location.

Text snippets also allow you to insert formatting in template pages that cannot be achieved directly in Manual Designer itself, which only has quite limited text formatting features for text objects. In a snippet you can use all the formatting available in the Help+Manual topic editor.
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Ga Bowen » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:06 pm

Tim Green wrote:

It would be most common in combination with the text snippets function. This allows you to create a topic file in your project that is not included directly as a topic, but is inserted in one of your template pages (either an existing one or an additional one that you create). You insert the name of the topic ID as the source for the snippet. Then if you create a topic file with the same name in every project, you can automatically insert different content in this position every time you publish a different project with the same template. Each project would insert its own version of the topic file in that location.

Text snippets also allow you to insert formatting in template pages that cannot be achieved directly in Manual Designer itself, which only has quite limited text formatting features for text objects. In a snippet you can use all the formatting available in the Help+Manual topic editor.


OK, I understand now.

The tabs are just there to help you visualize everything. Nothing happens until you add your code/snippets/variables which in turn can be manipulated to display what you want.

Thanks Tim. I appreciate you taking the time out to get me over this last hurdle. :D
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Tim Green » Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:21 pm

Tim Green wrote:The tabs are just there to help you visualize everything. Nothing happens until you add your code/snippets/variables which in turn can be manipulated to display what you want.

That is not correct. Code, snippets and variables are additional content that you can add to the sections. There is no requirement to add them, except in the three automated sections where some variables are required (Table of Contents, Topics and Keyword Index). As long as the sections shown in Manual Designer are active (Pages > Page Options > Print this Section) what you see will be exported to PDF as a PDF page. If you only add text and other content that you edit in Manual Designer to the other you can do that as well. For example, it is quite possible to create the cover page manually, without any variables at all. Then you would have to enter the title of the project manually, and you would not be able to use the template for other projects without changing it, but it is quite possible.

I strongly urge you to consider reading the Manual Designer documentation. Most of your questions would have been unnecessary if you had taken the time to do that. 8)
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Re: Manual Designer - Assigning pages

Unread postby Ga Bowen » Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:27 pm

Is there hidden documentation?

Searching only points towards this:

http://www.helpandmanual.com/help/hm_advanced_templates_pdf.htm
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