Single Sourcing

<< Click to Display Table of Contents >>

Navigation:  Basic Working Procedures >

Single Sourcing

This chapter provides a brief introduction to the basic principles of single sourcing in Help+Manual. For full details on how to maintain different versions of your content and generate different versions of your projects see the following chapters in the help:

See Conditions and Customized Output for full details on using conditional output to create different versions of your project.

See Working with Modular Help Systems to learn how to add entire projects to your project in the same way as topics. You can then include or exclude these projects with conditions in the same way as normal topics.

See Command Line Options to learn how to automate the process of generating different versions of your project. Once you have got it set up, you can generate multiple versions of your project to multiple destinations in multiple formats with a single click.

See Publishing for details on preparing your project for output to various formats.

See Templates in Help+Manual and Using HTML Templates for information on the various template types available and what you can do with them.

What is single sourcing?

You can produce multiple different versions of your project for any number of different purposes.

You can produce multiple different versions of your project for any number of different purposes. You don't have to maintain multiple projects.

Single sourcing means using a single project to produce multiple versions of your documentation for different purposes.

This can be as simple or as complex as you need. For example, you might just want to produce a CHM and a PDF version of your documentation – the CHM for the online help and the PDF to allow your users to generate a printed version. Or you might want to generate a wide variety of very different versions for different purposes. For example, two versions of the help for a light and full version of your product, or different versions of your documentation with different brandings and content for different clients.

This is all possible from a single project. Each version can contain different topics and different chapters. Individual topics can contain different versions of the the text, different links and different images. Each WebHelp, CHM or PDF version can use a different skins and templates for different brandings and functionality.

This chapter introduces the basic principles of single-sourcing in Help+Manual and how you can use it to streamline multiple versions of your documentation without having to maintain multiple copies of the same text.