Multiple Publications in the Same Portal

You can create an HTML5 help center that links to multiple publications. The publications are shown as categories on the help center "portal" page, and also as the "featured content" by default. The search on the "portal" page will search across all of the publications.

multi-publication-help-center-annotated.jpg

We call these multi-publication help centers "super" help centers.

There are two different ways to create a "super" help center portal. We call these the "single publish" method and the "separate publish" method and there are pros and cons to each. To decide which method is best for you, consider what you need from your content.

  • Single Publish

    With the single publish method, you create a "super" publication that contains your sub-publications. You publish the "super" publication to create the finished help center.

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    Only need to publish once to create the entire help center.

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    Can use cross-references between sub-publications. Note that links between sub-publications will not work if you publish a sub-publication separately to the rest of the help center.

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    Cannot use different variables for each sub-publication. You can only set variables for the "super" publication.

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    Cannot use different filters for each sub-publication. You can only set filters for the "super" publication. However, you can use scoped filtering to apply different filter values to the sub-publication content.

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    Sub-publication navigation menus include all sub-publications, not just the one you are viewing.

  • Multiple Publish

    With the multiple publish method, you create a "super" publication that contains your sub-publications. You publish the "super" publication and then publish each sub-publication separately. Finally, you move the HTML files from the sub-publication outputs into the "super" publication output to complete your help center.

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    Can use different variables for each sub-publication.

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    Can use different filters for each sub-publication.

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    Sub-publication navigation menus only include the sub-publication you are viewing.

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    Cannot use cross-references between sub-publications. There is a workaround that makes it possible, but it is only suitable if you have a low amount of cross-references. The workaround is to publish the help and make a note of the urls for the pages that will be linked to. Then, in Paligo, add external links to those urls instead of cross-references, and then re-publish.

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    Have to publish each sub-publication separately.

To set up your help center, apply the layout settings and then follow the steps for the method that best suits your requirements.

When you create a "super" publication, you will use a layout to publish it. The layout needs to have certain settings in place, otherwise the "super" publication help center will not work correctly.

Note

Algolia faceted search is not supported by the "super" help centers.

System Settings for "Super" Publication Help Portals

For "super" publications, you need to have the Persistent image file names setting enabled in the system settings.

Note

To make changes to the system settings, use an Admin user account. Users with an Author user account can change the layout settings and complete all of the other steps needed to create a "super" publication.

  • Select the arrow next to your user profile to display a menu. Select the Settings option and when the Settings page is shown, select the System Settings tab. Make sure you have Persistent image file names enabled.

    System settings tab showing the Persistent image filenames section. The Enable persistent filenames slider is set to on.

    This setting means that the image files will use a persistent ID for the file name. This is better for consistency.

Layout Settings for "Super" Publication Help Portals

To get Paligo to publish content for "super" publication help portals, you need an HTML5 layout that has certain settings enabled:

  1. Select Layout in the top menu and either create a new HTML5 help center layout or edit an existing HTML5 help center layout.

    paligo-top-menu-layout-annotated.jpg
  2. Apply the following settings to the layout:

    General settings:

    • SEO-friendly output filenames set to enable or default. It must not be disabled.

    • Short flat URL structure (or Ajax-enabled if you use that) set to enable.

    • Use output filenames made with id and SEO name (i.e a particular file naming for the HTML files) set to enable.

    • Use resource name instead of title for the HTML output file name set to enable if you use variables in your topic titles.

      This is because the super publication method depends on the file names being the same when you publish both the super publication and the sub-publications. With variables in the titles, the file names will be different, unless you enable Use resource name instead of title for the HTML output file name. When enabled, the topic names are used for the filenames instead of the titles.

    • Multiple publication portal prefix. If your sub-publications contain further nested sub-publications, reusing the same sub topics, enable the option. When enabled, this setting This option adds the publication id to the start of the output filename. This means that each topic has a unique filename for the different sub-publications, no matter many levels of sub-publications there are.

      Note

      Only enable Multiple publication portal prefix if you have multiple levels of nested sub-publications.

      If you only have one level of sub-publications (under the "super" publication), make sure the setting is disabled.

    • Create a title topic for reused publications set to enable or default. It must not be disabled.

    Help center theme options:

    • Open portal category on first topic for nested publications set to enable.

  3. Select Save.

Topic Requirements for "Super" Publication Help Portals

Before you publish your content to a "super" publication help portal, make sure that:

  • Topics in the sub-publication do not use the role:portal-category attribute and value. The role:portal-category is incompatible with "super" help centers that use the sub-publications for categories.

  • The first topic in each sub-publication does not use a variable in the title element. You can use variables in your sub-publication topics, but not in the title of the first topic. This only applies if you are using the "Multiple Publish" method to create your help center portal.

With the "Multiple Publish" method, you get a help portal page with categories that link to different sub-publications. From the portal page, you can search across all of the sub-publications or you can enter a sub-publication.

super-portal-blank.jpg

Inside a sub-publication, the navigation only includes the topics for that sub-publication. Also, the sub-publications can have separate variables and profile attributes (filters).

To use the "multiple publish" method to create a help portal:

  1. Make sure that the pre-requisites are in place.

  2. Create a publication for your "super" help center. This is going to be the "homepage" or "hub" for your help center. It will contain links to the "subpublications" which are the various publications you want to include in your help center.

    To find out how to create publications, see Publications.

  3. Open the structure view of the publication and then drag and drop the sub-publications from the Content Manager into the publication structure. Save the "super" publication when you are finished.

    "Super" publication structure. It has three other publications added to the structure and these are the sub-publications for the help center.
  4. In the Content Manager, select the options menu ( ... ) for the "super" publication and then select Edit > Open in Editor. When the publication opens, select the article element in the Element Structure Menu and select Go to element.

    super-pub-article-element-context-menu.jpg
  5. In the Element attributes section, add the role attribute and set its value to multi-publication-portal. Save the publication.

    element-attributes-role-multi-publication-portal.jpg
  6. In the Content Manager, select the options menu ( ... ) for the "super" publication and then select Publish.

  7. In the publishing settings, select HTML5 and choose the layout that contains the appropriate settings for a help center portal. Do not set any filters (Profiling attributes) or variables.

    Publishing settings for a super help center.

    When you have chosen the layout, select Publish document. Your browser will download the zipped publication. It is stored in the folder your browser uses for downloads. Typically, this is the "Downloads" folder on your computer.

  8. In the Content Manager, expand the "super" publication to reveal its "forks". "Forks" are references between a publication and the content included in the publication. Select the options menu ( ... ) for a sub-publication "fork" and then select Publish.

    superhelpcenter-select-fork.jpg
  9. In the publishing settings:

    • Select HTML5 and choose the same layout that you used for the "super" publication.

    • Apply any Profiling attributes (filters) and variables that you want the sub-publication to use. The filters and attributes will only apply to the selected sub-publication. They will not affect the other sub-publications in the help center.

    super-pub-subpub-publishing-settings.jpg

    When you have chosen the layout, select Publish document. Your browser will download the zipped publication. It is stored in the folder your browser uses for downloads. Typically, this is the "Downloads" folder on your computer.

  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 for each sub-publication in the "super" publication.

  11. Move the downloaded zip files for the "super" publication and the sub-publications to a folder on the network or web server that will host your help center content. When you have moved the files, unzip them.

  12. Browse to the out > en folder in a sub-publication output. Copy the HTML files and paste them into the "super" publication's out > en folder. When prompted, choose to overwrite the existing files.

    sub-pub-en-content.jpg

    Copy the HTML files from the sub-publication's out > en folder.

    super-pub-en-content.jpeg

    Paste the HTML files into the "super" publication's out > en folder.

    Note

    The en folder is for English outputs. For outputs in other languages, there is a two character folder for that language instead, for example, de for German.

  13. If the sub-publication uses variable images, browse to the out > en > Image folder and copy the images. Paste them into the "super" publication's out > en > Images folder.

  14. Repeat steps 12 and 13 for each sub-publication.

To view the help center, open the Out > Index.html file in the "super" publication.

If you are going to use the "single publish" method to create a "super" help center, first make sure that you have the appropriate system settings and layout settings in place.

You can then create the "super" help center:

  1. Create a publication for your "super" help center. This is going to be the "shell" for your help center.

    To find out how to create a publication, see ???.

  2. For "super" help centers, the "super"publication needs to have the role attribute set to have a value of: multi-publication-portal. You can set this on the article element for the publication.

    1. In the Content Manager, select the options menu ( ... ) for the "super" publication, and then select Edit> Open in Editor.

    2. In the Element Structure Menu, select the article element and then select Go to element.

    3. In the Element attributes section, add the roleattribute and set its value to multi-publication-portal.

    4. Save the publication.

    Note

    You should only set the multi-publication-portal role for the "super" publication. Do not set it on the sub-publications.

  3. Open the structure view of the publication and then drag and drop the sub-publications from the Content Manager into the publication structure. Save the "super" publication when you are finished.

    "Super" publication structure. It has three other publications added to the structure and these are the sub-publications for the help center.
  4. Publish the "super" publication. When publishing, make sure you use the layout that contains the appropriate settings for "super" help centers.

    To find out how to publish, see Publishing to Your Help Desk Portal.

    Note

    If you set any variables or profiling (filters) for the publication, they will apply to all topics in all of the sub-publications. If you need to apply different filters to the sub-publications, you can use scoped filtering (or use the multi-publish method to create the "super" help center).

  5. Unzip the "super" publication download and store it on the server or network that will host your help center.

  6. Open the index.html file in the output to launch your "super" help center.

Your "super" help center now has a "portal" page with category panels for each sub-publication. Users can select the panels to access the sub-publications.