Skip to main content

Publishing to HTML and HTML5

Paligo has a variety of built-in templates that you can use for publishing to HTML5 and HTML outputs. All of the outputs apart from "clean XHTML" (as it has no styling) are responsive and will adapt to the size of the reader's screen. You can customize the HTML and HTML5 outputs by using Paligo's layouts and use CSS for more extensive changes. Read more about customizing your output, see Create a Layout.

  • HTML5 Responsive Design: A very modern HTML5 output that adapts to any screen size, from desktop to mobile. Plugins like bootstrap are built in allowing many possibilities for various features.

    See more about the built-in variants below.

  • Clean XHTML: A very clean "plain vanilla" HTML of the structured XHTML type if you want something that you can model as you please.

    This format is also used for publishing to the various help desk knowledge bases supported by integrations, like Zendesk, Freshdesk, and Salesforce Knowledge (if included in your plan). Read more here: Publish to Your Help Desk Portal.

  • Help desk HTML: This is the publishing of HTML adapted to help centers like Zendesk, Freshdesk, and (Salesforce)

    This publishing option is a direct integration to the help center, and as soon as you publish from within Paligo it is directly available on your support portal.

The help center templates give you a stylish, modern design that works straight out of the box. These templates are based on the latest frameworks and are compatible with the popular Material Design framework, bootstrap and more. Below are just some examples of output themes, but there are more, and each one can be styled any way you like with your custom CSS.


HTML5 Help Center theme 1


HTML 5 Help Center theme 2


HTML5 Help Center theme 3


HTML 5 Help Center theme 3b

The built-in templates for HTML5 are ready-made layouts that will give you a modern design right out of the box. Of course each one can be modified by yourself by uploading your own CSS in an override layout that you create in the Layout Editor. The templates represent the popular layout structures:

  • HTML5 single page provides your content as one long page, with a 'sticky' table of contents that shows where you are on the page.

  • The HTML5 Multi-page is a based on the popular "tri-pane" format for online help. Each topic is presented on its own page and there is a table of contents (TOC) for navigating between pages as well as a search. For the multi-page HTML5 outputs, we primarily recommend using the "Help Center" variant. The Classic variant is available for legacy reasons, but does not have all the newer features that the Help Center themes do.


HTML5 Multi-page (Classic)


HTML 5 Single page

The Help Center output gives you a portal for your help content with lots of options for what to fill that portal with, what content to promote and so on. The templates are completely customizable and these are just a couple of examples. You can also choose to have a different logo on the portal page than the main content pages, choose to make the header "sticky" (always visible when you scroll down), and make the header full width. These options are in the "General" section of the Layout Editor.

All templates are completely customizable. In most cases you'll be able to customize it yourself with CSS. Ask support if you are interested in more extensive customizations, modifying the HTML framework.

The Help Center output has several optional features, including:

  1. Base themes and content themes. A very modern HTML5 design based on the latest frameworks, compatible with for example the popular Material Design framework, bootstrap and more. There are different themes available for the output and also content themes which provide the base styling for the main body content, such as the style for notes, text, and other elements.

    To find out more, see Themes for HTML5 Help Centers.

  2. Ajax or "Preloaded": For faster page loading times with content that is hosted on a web server. There is also a "preloaded" option for faster page loading times with help centers that are not hosted on a server.

    To find out more, see Faster Page Loading with Ajax Loading.


    The "Preloaded" version does not support all of the help center features. It is mainly intended for special cases, such as if you you need to provide your help center on a local computer rather than a web server. If you can provide your help on a web server, we recommend that you use the main HTML5 Help Center theme instead. For advice on using the "Preloaded" variant, please contact Paligo support.

  3. Top navigation: You can add navigation links to the top of the help center. You enable this in the Layout Editor, and can also select whether to link to existing topics, external content, or both.

    To find out more, see Top-Navigation for Help Centers.

  4. "Super" help center: Create a "super" help center where the main portal page links to different sub-publications.

    There are a couple of ways to have one portal for multiple publications. You can either:

    • Reuse several publications under a "super publication" and then publish it.

      This creates a publication where each category panel leads to the respective publication. In this case the Table of Contents (side navigation menu) will cover all those sub publications.

    • Publish each publication separately, and then put together a "super publication" shell portal, as described below.

    To find out how to set up a "super publication", see Multiple Publications in the Same Portal.


Examples of the HTML5 Help Center output

This is an HTML5 version of the popular "tri-pane" format for online help. Each page/help article is presented on its own (multi-page), and you navigate them in the Table of Contents (TOC).



The classic multi-page HTML5 layout is a legacy layout and may not support all of the features that are available to the HTML5 help center layout.


If using the default search with the classic multi-page HTML5 layout, there is no message for no matching results. If there are no topics that match the search query, the results list is empty.

Another HTML5 variant that has become very popular is the long single-page article style. It is all one long page with a very clean design, and with navigation that follows along.


The Table of Contents is "sticky" and color bars indicate clearly where you are on the page.


For those that are documenting software with a lot of code or examples, there is a template we call the API style, as it is a type of style that has become especially popular for API documentation.


HTML5 Single page API style

  • Code and other examples are automatically placed in the sidebar, and the examples are in sync with the body text.

  • The content is filtered "on the fly", meaning that you can select which programming language version you want to see examples for.

    If you click Ruby, all example code is in Ruby, if you click Javascript all sample code instantly switches to show Javascript, etc.

  • The main body content will also be filtered on the fly, based on filter attributes you use in your Paligo content. 

  • The theme can be easily customized, selecting a different code sample theme and syntax highlighting with a parameter, and some CSS to modify the rest.

To find out more, see API Documentation Layout.