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Add Content to Topics

Writing in Paligo XML is different to writing content in a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word. That's because:

  • In Paligo, you write content as separate pieces of information. You write these in topics (see Topic-Based Authoring).

  • Paligo XML is structured. When you author in Paligo, you add the underlying structure as well as the text, images, etc., that form your content.

To add the structure, you insert elements. These are containers for specific types of information. For example, a paragraph with a procedure after it looks like this in the underlying code:

<para>This is a paragraph.</para>
    <step><para>This is step 1.</para></step>
    <step><para>This is step 2.</para></step>
    <step><para>This is step 3.</para></step>

The Paligo editor is designed so that the code for the elements is hidden so that it is less obtrusive when you are writing. You can still see the structure if you want to, by looking at the element structure menu, the XML tree view, or the source code editor.

A topic in the Paligo editor. It has a title, paragraph and a procedure with 3 steps. The text in the first step is selected. At the top, the element structure menu shows section, procedure, step, para.
XML tree view of a topic containing a title, paragraph, and a 3-step procedure. The XML tree has blue labels for each structure element (section, title, para, procedure, and step) and these are organized into a hierarchy.

Paligo editor (left) shows the structure in the element structure menu. The XML tree view (right) shows the structure of a topic.

There are many different types of element that you can add (and most are defined in the DocBook 5.0 standard). But they can all be categorized as either:

  • Block elements: Use these to build the structure of your topics. Think of them as "building blocks" that define a type of content. For example, to add a paragraph, you add a para element.

  • Inline elements: Use these to add meaning to parts of content inside a block element. A common example of an inline element is emphasize, which you can use to italicize one or more words in a paragraph.

You can add as many block elements and inline elements as you need, but the maximum permitted size for a topic is 1MB.

In the following sections, we explain how to add block elements and inline elements in your topics, We also explain how to move, copy, and delete elements.


Elements can also have attributes, which are properties that have certain values. For example, a paragraph element <para> can have an xinfo: product attribute, which is a type of filter that allows you to include or exclude the paragraph in different scenarios. To find out more about attributes, see: Element Attributes.


You can find out more about the basics of block elements and inline elements in Elements.