Generate dynamic content output

The dynamic content feature in RoboHelp allows you to create output that your users can easily filter based on parameters that you define using Conditional Build tags. For example, you can create a filter that allows your users to filter the output by region (US, UK, or Canada) and by audience (end-user, online, and print). Dynamic content also allows your writers to easily single-source content with the help of Conditional Build tags.

With this feature a writer creates Conditional Build tags depending on the filter criteria that you want to provide to your users. For example, you can create conditional build tags: US, UK, and Canada for region and End-user, Online, and Print for audience.

When you generate the output using the filter, the filter tab is displayed that allows users to filter the contents based on the criteria (tag/expression) selected in the filter in the output SSL.

Also, a user can then use the search functionality to find content within the filtered results.

note:    Dynamic content filters can be applied to Responsive HTML5 and Mobile outputs.

Tag content

To create a dynamic content filter in your output, you apply Conditional Build tags to the required parts of your project on which you want your users to filter.

In a RoboHelp project, you can apply conditional build tags to:


note:    If you apply a tag on a topic, all the contents of the topic and any TOC, Index entry pointing to it will inherit the tag in the output.

Content within topics such a text and images

It is recommended that you do not apply conditional build tags on text at a level below a para­graph. While the filter functionality will still work at any level of granularly, setting tags below the paragraph level of text can cause behavior such as incomplete sentences.

Items in a TOC

Items in an Index

note:    You cannot apply conditional build tags to the glossary.

You can apply multiple conditional build tags to the same section of your content. For example, you can apply the US and Canada tags to a topic that you want to target at your North American customers. You can then tag an alternate topic to target your UK customers. In the output, a user then has the option to filter content based on the region. You can also use an expression such as US AND Canada to create a filter criteria titled North America.

RoboHelp does not restrict the application of Conditional build tags. This implies that you can apply tags to content in any combination. For this reason, when you apply tags, you need to keep in mind how the output will display based on the output filtering mechanism.

Take the example of two tags US and Canada where you apply the US tag to a table and Canada tag to the content in the table. If you mark the US tag to show and the Canada tag to hide in the output, the content is displayed. This is because the content show property has overridden the table hide property. However, if you mark a topic as show and a paragraph in the topic as hide, the paragraph does not display.

For an example on how filtering works, see Use a dynamic content filter in the output.

Untagged content

When you use dynamic filters in a RoboHelp project, you are not required to tag all your content. Any content that is untagged is unconditional. This implies that untagged content will display to the user regardless of the filter.

Create a dynamic content filter

You can create one dynamic filter for each layout.

1)In the Output tab, click a layout.

2)In the layout settings dialog, check Use Dynamic Content Filter in the output and click Customize.

The Dynamic Content Filter dialog is displayed.

3)When you create a filter, you can define groups that include the filter criteria (tags and expres­sions).

For example, you can create a Region group that includes the US, Canada, and UK conditional build tags.

You can also use expressions as criteria in a filter. For example, you can create a filter US AND Canada and then provide your users with a North America criteria option in the output.

note:    You can add tags and expressions to your filter without including them in any group. This implies that you can create a filter that does not include any groups. Or you can create a filter that contains one or more groups and tags or expressions that are not included in any of the groups.

important:   You cannot create nested groups. This implies that a group cannot contain another group.

4)To add a tag or expression to a group, click the Add Criteria and select the tags and expressions from the Tags and Expressions dialog.

note:    You can add one instance of a tag or expression in a dynamic filter. For this reason, if you add a tag or expression to the filter, notice the tag or expression does not display in the Tags and Expressions dialog.

When you add a tag or expression to a filter, the display name for the tag or expression displayed in the filter is the name that you give when you create it. However, you can change the display name in the filter for output display purposes. Also, the display name that you specify in the filter does not change the name of the tag or expression in the project.

note:    You can also include special characters in the display name of the tag or expression, except these characters: colon (:), semi-colon (;), comma (,), percent (%), ampersand (&), hash (#), and equals (=).

5)You can choose to filter content by default. This implies that when the output displays, the content is filtered to a predefined criteria. To set the default tag or expression in the filter, right-click the tag or expression and choose Select Default.

6)To change the display name of tag or expression in the filter, right-click the tag or expression and choose Rename.

note:    When you rename a tag, the status message that displays at the bottom of the Edit Filter dialog displays the name of the tag and not the display name.

note:    Group names within a filter must be unique. Tag or expression display names within a group must be unique. The check for unique display names is case-insensitive. For example, you cannot create two display names End-User and END-USER within the same group.

7)To allow your users to select multiple filter criteria in one group in the output, check Allow multiple selection in output.

8)Use the navigation arrows to move the groups, tags, and expressions within a filter.

For example, to move a tag out of a group, click the left arrow. This moves the tag to the same level as the containing group and just above the group. Use the right arrow to move a tag that is outside any group into the next group. You can also move the tags up and down in the group.

note:    You can also move the items by drag-and-drop.

9)Click Save.

10)In the layout settings dialog, click Save and Generate.

Use a dynamic content filter in the output

This section uses an example to describe how to use the dynamic content filter in the output and what to expect when you apply tags to the content and use the tags in the filter.

After you assign a dynamic content filter to a layout, you can generate the output for the layout.

The output now contains a filter icon. Click the filter icon to display the dynamic content filter assigned to the current layout.

important:   If a tag is not assigned to any content in the output, the tag is not displayed in the filter. So, if all the tags within a group are not displayed in the filter, the group is not displayed. Also, if a tag is not used in the filter (as tag or as part of an expression), then this tag is removed from the content it is applied on in the project.

By default, all the groups and criteria in the filter are unselected. This implies that all content is currently displayed (unconditionally) since no filter criteria is currently applied. However, if you set a default while creating the filter, the default group displays selected.

To filter the contents, you check and un-check the groups or criteria in the filter.

The following sections detail two scenarios to describe how the dynamic content filtering mecha­nism works:

Select one criteria (tag or expression) in a group

In Sales Builder filter, if you check US in the Region group:

All content marked with the US tag displays.

All content marked with a combination of the US tag and any other tag displays.

Content marked with the US and UK tag displays. But a topic marked with the UK tag is hidden. Also, content marked with the UK and Canada tags will be hidden.

All content marked with tags in the Audience group are not displayed unless the content is combined with the US tag.

Content marked with the US and PDF tag will display. But content marked with the PDF tag is hidden. Also, content marked with the UK and Print tags is hidden.

All untagged content displays.

Select one criteria in one group and another criteria in a second group

In Sales Builder filter, if you check US in the Region group and Print in the Audience group:

Test the dynamic content filter

After you create and apply a dynamic content filter to the output, you can use Show Tagged Output option to test your filters. This option generates the output with the tags displayed in the contents at the applied locations. You can then select the filter criteria and test how your filter works.

Sample output with the enduser tag displayed


To generate the tagged output:

1)To open the Outputs (SSL) pod, in the Pods drop-down, choose Outputs (SSL).

The Pods drop-down is available in the Project, Edit, and Review ribbons.

2)In the Outputs (SSL) pod, right-click the Responsive / Mobile output and choose Show Tagged Output.

The tagged output is generated.

September 30, 2016

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