ClickHelp Documentation

Projects vs. Publications

First of all, let's make it clear what the terms 'project' and 'publication' mean, then we describe the differences of two concepts.


A project is a draft of your manual created by an author. Your portal readers can't see your projects content until you publish it. When working in a tech writing team, you can conduct documentation review inside projects by giving your Reviewers access to specific projects using Reviewer Roles.


A publication is the final version of your manual that may be available to your portal readers. Basically, a publication is a snapshot of your project content taken at a specific moment (when everything is ready to go live). Publications in a portal can have several visibility levels:

  • Private. Available only for authors and Reviewers (after login). This visibility level is useful when you are going to export your content to some downloadable format like PDF, and creating a publication is just an intermediate step.
  • Restricted. Available only for authors and Power Readers (after login). This visibility level is used to create password-protected documentation - your readers will need to log in to read.
  • Public. Available for everyone (no login required). Such publication may also be indexed by search engines, so their topics will appear in the search results in Google, Bing, etc.

Projects vs. Publications

Now, let us outline the main differences of these two notions:

  • Projects are drafts that only authors and reviewers can see, publications are the final versions of your manuals that are available to readers. 
  • You can export publications in different printed formats such as PDF, EPUB or DOCX. To learn more, refer to this topic: Create a PDF Manual.
  • You can edit publications as well as projects - this may be needed to quickly fix a typo in a published manual without going through the publishing process. Be careful - changes made directly to publications will have to be done in the project as well.
  • Projects and publications have something in common - they consist of topics, TOC, styles, scripts, files, settings, etc. When creating a publication, you get a copy of all these elements. However, elements related to single-sourcing and dynamic output (snippets, conditional blocks, variables, navigation elements) are compiled into final HTML code rather than staying as they are.