Working with attributes

The elements in a structured document define the content in the document. You can also use element attributes to include additional information (metadata) to element. An attribute is a name-value pair associated with a specific element. For example, say the content elements in a struc­tured application have an audience attribute. You might use this attribute to single-source content. You can set the attribute of elements to, say admin and enduser. Your publishing solution can then use these attributes to publish documents based on the attribute values of the elements. In this case, one document for administrators and another document for end users. A similar approach can be used for print and online output.

note:    The elements that display in the elements catalog are defined in the structured application on which the document is based. Similarly, attributes for each element are also defined in the associated structured application.

Set attribute values for elements

1)Select an element in the document hierarchy.

2)Open the Attributes dialog (Element > Edit Attributes).

3)Click on an attribute in the dialog.

At the bottom of the dialog, information about the attribute is displayed:


The name of the attribute as it appears on the dialog.


If the attribute value is optional or required. Also, the type of the value:


Enter a value for the attribute


Select a value from the available drop-down list.

Default value

Displays the default value, if any. Or specifies that no default value is required.

4)For String type attributes, you can enter a text value.

For Choice type attributes, you need to select a value from the value drop-down list.

View the attributes of an element

You can view the attribute values set for an element in the Attributes dialog (Element > Edit Attri­butes).

Alternatively, you can view the attribute values set for an element in the Structure View. To view the attribute values:

1)Click the plus (+) sign to the right of the element in the Structure View.

If one or more attribute value is set for the element, the list displays only those attributes. However, the plus sign remains.

Click the plus sign again to display the complete list of attributes.

2)If no attribute value is set for the element, the complete list of attributes is displayed.

Set attributes display options on element insertion

You can specify how the attributes display in the Structure View when an element is inserted in the document hierarchy. To specify the display options open the Attribute Display Options dialog (View > Attribute Display Options).

Required and Specified Attributes

The required and specified attributes of the element display when the element is inserted into the document.

All Attributes

All attributes of the element display when the element is inserted into the document.

No Attributes

No attributes of the element display when the element is inserted into the document.

note:    If you change the options in the Attribute Display Options dialog, the settings are applied to the currently opened document. For example, if you change the option from No Attributes to All Attri­butes, all the elements in the documents in the Structure View are expanded to display all the attri­butes.

Copy the attribute values from one element to another

You can copy all the attribute values set on one element to other elements in a document.

1)Right-click on the element from which you want to copy attribute values and choose Copy Attribute Values from the pop-up menu.

2)Right-click on the element to which you want to copy the attribute values and choose Paste from the pop-up menu.

To copy the attribute values to multiple elements, use the Shift + click to select multiple contig­uous elements in the document and choose Edit > Paste.

September 30, 2016

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