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Single-Sourcing and Content Reuse

Keeping your documentation updated is crucial. However, what matters a lot as well is the speed with which you can update your documentation. Sometimes patches are applied and releases are shipped faster than technical writers can update product documentation.

But what if your documentation consists of hundreds or thousands of topics, some of which are used in several places? How would you go about updating the repeated content to make sure that the updates are consistent?

Create API docs, knowledge bases, software manuals, corporate wikis with multiple versions and multiple output types in a single ClickHelp portal

Here’s where ClickHelp comes to the rescue. No need to switch between multiple different systems, websites or files if you have to manage different documents or different versions of the same document. We give you a place where you can host all of your projects and publications.

With ClickHelp, you can effectively manage reused content in a centralized manner
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Multiple Outputs From a Single Source

When we thought about formats in which our customers want to store their documentation, we decided – why limit anyone? That’s why we implemented multi-channel publishing of your projects into various formats: starting from online documentation to PDF and EPUB. Just like that – maintain your documentation online and then export it to any format you need.

Portal
Host your online documentation on our server
Web Help
Hosted by you or shipped with your product
Сlean HTML
HTML files without navigation
CHM
Compiled HTML Help
DOCX
OpenXML, Microsoft Word
DOC
Microsoft Word 97-2003
RTF
Rich Text Format
EPUB
Ebooks and other digital publications
PDF
Portable Document Format
ODT
OpenDocument, OpenOffice.org file format
MHT
Web archive in a single file

ClickHelp Project Backup

Our native format makes it a snap to export legacy projects and clear out any outdated content, keeping your projects list clean. Your exported topics will remain intact with dynamic elements such as snippets and conditional blocks.

ClickHelp Project Backup

Conditional Content

This is one of the most powerful single-sourcing techniques. The idea is simple – some content blocks may be shown or hidden, depending on how you configure. For example, if your topic has a part that is only suitable for developers, wrap it in a Conditional Block and assign the Developers output tag. Later, you will be able to generate two different outputs form the same topic – with this block and without it. This way, you may have one document that gets published in several ways depending on the target audience.

Conditional Content

Role-Based Access

The ability to generate multiple different outputs from a single source works great in conjunction with the documentation visibility levels. If you make your documentation password-protected, you can assign different permissions to different readers of your portal. When they log in, they will have access only to the guides you allowed for their profile or role. This way you can have different groups of people (partners, clients, contractors) seeing different online guides in your ClickHelp portal.

Role-Based Access

Conditional TOC

You can customize the way your topics and folders appear in the Table of Contents. You can include or exclude any topics unconditionally, or only with specific output tags. For example, you may omit some of the topics from printed manuals and include extra for online version. Or you can add entire TOC branches for administrator guides vs. user guides.

Conditional TOC

Output Styles

When you need to make your documentation custom-branded for different clients or partners, conditional styles come into play. Within a single project, you can vary fonts, colors, backgrounds, logos, and much more. This way every client gets uniquely styled documentation.

Output Styles

Reuse Content Across Your Projects

Snippets

Snippets

If you have a standard procedure described as a set of steps and repeated in multiple places, it may be tedious to update those places when the procedure changes. By using snippets, you write the procedure once and reuse it everywhere. When you need to update the procedure, you do it in a single place and the changes are reflected throughout your documentation. This way you save a lot of time maintaining reused content.

Variables

Variables

If your manuals have repeated content, like the name of the product or its version number – you can create a variable for that. The workflow is similar to that of snippets – you create a variable, assign any value to it and insert this variable across all of your projects where needed. Every time your company rolls out a new release, you change the version number in a single place – your variable value, and it gets updated everywhere.

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