Copy HTML (CHM) page templates between projects

Please post all questions and comments regarding Help & Manual 7 here.

Moderators: Alexander Halser, Tim Green

Copy HTML (CHM) page templates between projects

Unread postby John Johann » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:57 am

Is there an easy way to copy page templates between projects?

I use a skin for publishing and would like to have the templates in my projects so that I can see how things look before publishing.

The "Copy properties from" button under Configuration > HTML Page Templates didn't do the business
John Johann
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:35 pm

Re: Copy HTML (CHM) page templates between projects

Unread postby Tim Green » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:54 am

Hi John,

This would involve a lot more than just copying the page template, because a skin is an integrated whole that depends on all of its components to work. This also includes all the files in the baggage and a number of other things as well.

I use a skin for publishing and would like to have the templates in my projects so that I can see how things look before publishing.

I understand the desire, but you wouldn't see any more than you would when using an external skin. It would be exactly the same thing; no difference at all, apart from all of the additional work of copying all the skin components and templates to your project. :?

The problem here is the way Help+Manual must work to be able to produce multiple different output formats from the same project. It is very different from a single-format tool like Word, where what you are editing already is the output -- including both the content and the layout. In Help+Manual you only edit the content in the editor, because there is separate layout information for each output format. That is why you can't see the "output" before the content and the layout are combined, and that happens when you publish. In Word the content and the layout are always together because there is only one format, so you can see both while you are working.

This is also why you don't have things like page margins in the Help+Manual editor (and shouldn't try to emulate them with indents, because that will really mess up some output formats, particularly HTML-based formats!).

What you can do is implement strategies to get just quick publishes of single topics or chapters, with skins and templates that minimize additional material. In PDF you can create a "quick template" version in which you turn off all sections except just the Topics section. Then when you publish select only the topic you want to test and choose the "only selected topics" option in the Table of Contents bar in the Publish page. With WebHelp and CHM you can do the same thing without needing to change the skin -- then the search index will also not be generated, which will additionally speed things up.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.
User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
 
Posts: 20889
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany

Re: Copy HTML (CHM) page templates between projects

Unread postby John Johann » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:16 am

Hi Tim,
Yes, I see what you mean. For CHM, I have a number of templates for things like title page and contents pages, the latter having perhaps only small modifications such as a different header background colour. It's less a case of seeing exactly what the output will look like and more being able to see which template is applied without having to check the topic options tab.
In addition, when setting up a new project or re-visiting ones I've created, having to import the templates individually (or define the names individually) is not as comfortable as being able to add them at once.

As for publishing topics individually, if the topic is on a lower branch, CHM publishing wants the parent branches selected as well which may be a few 100 topics up and thus cause me to scroll more than I'd like.

I also noticed (after importing templates individually into some projects) that a colour variable used to define a background colour in #header was ignored even though it was defined in the custom variable is in the project.
John Johann
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:35 pm

Re: Copy HTML (CHM) page templates between projects

Unread postby Tim Green » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:29 pm

John Johann wrote:As for publishing topics individually, if the topic is on a lower branch, CHM publishing wants the parent branches selected as well which may be a few 100 topics up and thus cause me to scroll more than I'd like.

There's no quick way around that, I'm afraid. What you could do is create a dummy top-level topic and then insert the topic you want to test into that as a linked snippet, and then publish only the dummy topic.

I also noticed (after importing templates individually into some projects) that a colour variable used to define a background colour in #header was ignored even though it was defined in the custom variable is in the project.

As I noted above, just importing templates into your project won't work.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.
User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
 
Posts: 20889
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany

Re: Copy HTML (CHM) page templates between projects

Unread postby John Johann » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:48 am

Thanks for confirming this.
John Johann
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:35 pm


Return to Help & Manual 7 Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron