Multiple TOC or 2 projectfiles using the same source?

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Multiple TOC or 2 projectfiles using the same source?

Unread postby VincentBevort » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:09 pm

Hi,

I have a project describing two models of the same product. The reason for one project was that about 90% of the content is the same for the models.
Up to now this worked fine but now we need to create t separate manuals for each product. I could do this with includes and builds but the problem is that I still have the same title and version for both documents. As I need to publish them on our website I need different names for each model.

When trying multiple TOC's I still only get one set of configurations
I now think about using two projects using the same source (XML, pictures and all) and only include the parts I need in each project.
The thing is: I don't know what happens in the background. E.g. Of the helpproject.xml file is only one copy for both projects.

Another option I am thining about is using two folders where one folder (project 1) only contains the for this product specific files and the other (project 2) contains all. I than point to that folder for the common tocics.
Does this allow me to edit the common topics from project 2 in project 1?

What is the best way to go?

It would be great to have separate configuration setting for each TOC like Title and Version
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Re: Multiple TOC or 2 projectfiles using the same source?

Unread postby Tim Green » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:47 pm

Hi Vincent,

VincentBevort wrote:When trying multiple TOC's I still only get one set of configurations

What exactly do you mean here? What do you mean by "one set of configurations"? From your description multiple TOCs sounds like the ideal solution, but I need to know a little more about what you are trying to achieve here.

I now think about using two projects using the same source (XML, pictures and all) and only include the parts I need in each project.
The thing is: I don't know what happens in the background. E.g. Of the helpproject.xml file is only one copy for both projects.

You definitely can't have two projects sharing the same topic files directly in the same folder. That is absolutely taboo and would not work. What you can do is insert the topics from one project in another project as snippets. You create a new topic in the second project and then insert the topic file from the first project there as a linked snippet with the From File option, selecting the topic file in the \Topics folder of the other project. Then you still only edit the topic in one place, but the topic has its own ID in the second project. In addition to this you can also put additional material before and after the snippet in the same topic, if necessary.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: Multiple TOC or 2 projectfiles using the same source?

Unread postby VincentBevort » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:27 pm

Hi,

I'll try to explain the issue with the configuration

If I have a project it consist of several parts.
    The default TOC
    The topic
    ..
    The configuration
In the configuration I can set the Title and the version
If I add a new TOC this will also use these fields.

What I need is a title, version, and variables for each TOC
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Re: Multiple TOC or 2 projectfiles using the same source?

Unread postby Tim Green » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:37 pm

Hi Vincent,

You can't have two sets of configuration settings in one project directly. However, you can achieve this with the Publishing Task Manager, which allows you to define any number of different publishing configurations (called actions) in a single task. Each action defines the output folder and name, skin used, table of contents used, build options, and any number of custom variable definitions, which you can also load from a list. So you can set different settings for the TITLE, AUTHOR, COPYRIGHT and other variables for each publishing action. Then you can publish both versions at the same time in one simple operation. See this chapter in the help for full details:

https://www.helpandmanual.com/help/inde ... _tasks.htm
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Re: Multiple TOC or 2 projectfiles using the same source?

Unread postby VincentBevort » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:47 am

Thanks Tim,

Sounds the way to go. I will give this a try.
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Re: Multiple TOC or 2 projectfiles using the same source?

Unread postby Rainer Oehry » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:34 pm

Hi Tim,

there is one configuration item missing from the options in the Publishing Task Manager: modifying the Project Search Path.

I use certain images in different resolutions or with slightly different content depending on the publishing task. They have the same name, but are stored in different folders. Instead of just starting the whole task, I have to use a cmd batch that repeatedly copies the respective image files into the Search Path folder and then starts the next individual Publishing Task action.

I believe we have already discussed this issue before, and you were deliberating whether the Search Path could be made configurable too. I still would very much appreciate that!
Regards,

Rainer
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Re: Multiple TOC or 2 projectfiles using the same source?

Unread postby Tim Green » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:46 pm

Hi Rainer,

The Toolbox application included with the Premium Pack add-on allows you to add a Project Search Path setting to a skin, which does not normally have one. You then create two copies of the skin, one with the search path for one set of images, the other with the search path for the other set. Here too, the images must have exactly the same names. This is the basic procedure:

  1. Open the skin in the Premium Pack Toolbox utility and select the Project Options button.
  2. Enter the alternative search paths in the Project Search Paths entry. Click on the Help button for details.
  3. Save the skin in your project folder. This is ESSENTIAL: The alternative search path in the skin will only work correctly if the skin and the project are in the same folder.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: Multiple TOC or 2 projectfiles using the same source?

Unread postby julio » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:21 pm

Before this feature of multiple TOCs was implemented in H&M, I had a similar problem: two products sharing the same base and they must have separate manuals. My solution was:
  1. Create a project called simply manual.hmxp with all contents for both products and custom builds for PRODUCT_A and PRODUCT_B.
  2. Create two projects, product_a_manual.hmxp and product_b_manual.hmxp, also with the same custom builds. Each project only contains a link to all topics on manual.hmxp. In each one of these projects, I added information for the specific product (such as title) and, when compiling, I used the /I parameter to create both outputs (/I=PDF,PRODUCT_A and /I=PDF,PRODUCT_B for example).

That still works now and is very easy to maintain, I rarely edit individual projects, because all editing is performed on manual.hmxp, as long as I keep a tight control over which information belongs to which product.

VincentBevort wrote:Hi,

I have a project describing two models of the same product. The reason for one project was that about 90% of the content is the same for the models.
Up to now this worked fine but now we need to create t separate manuals for each product. I could do this with includes and builds but the problem is that I still have the same title and version for both documents. As I need to publish them on our website I need different names for each model.

When trying multiple TOC's I still only get one set of configurations
I now think about using two projects using the same source (XML, pictures and all) and only include the parts I need in each project.
The thing is: I don't know what happens in the background. E.g. Of the helpproject.xml file is only one copy for both projects.

Another option I am thining about is using two folders where one folder (project 1) only contains the for this product specific files and the other (project 2) contains all. I than point to that folder for the common tocics.
Does this allow me to edit the common topics from project 2 in project 1?

What is the best way to go?

It would be great to have separate configuration setting for each TOC like Title and Version
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Re: Multiple TOC or 2 projectfiles using the same source?

Unread postby VincentBevort » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:49 am

Hi Julio

It's now even simpler then your way:

Just create custom builds as you do
Set the topics specific for a build to be included only in that build
Set specific texts in common topics with the IF - EndIF for each build or leave parts out as you want.

Then go in to the publish page and select the Task Manager (upper right corner)
Create a task for the document to publish and add actions for each type you want to publish. In these action you select the build you want to use.
You also can set a different output name and folder this way.

No need for several project files ( as Tim suggests we should not do)
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Re: Multiple TOC or 2 projectfiles using the same source?

Unread postby julio » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:48 pm

Yes, I implemented all these suggestions, but there was an option, I believe it is Extended .HHP settings on Configuration - Publishing Options - Microsoft HTML Help, in which I could not use an IF or a custom build, so I decided to use that approach.

VincentBevort wrote:Hi Julio

It's now even simpler then your way:

Just create custom builds as you do
Set the topics specific for a build to be included only in that build
Set specific texts in common topics with the IF - EndIF for each build or leave parts out as you want.

Then go in to the publish page and select the Task Manager (upper right corner)
Create a task for the document to publish and add actions for each type you want to publish. In these action you select the build you want to use.
You also can set a different output name and folder this way.

No need for several project files ( as Tim suggests we should not do)
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