Variables

Variables allow you to swap out small parts of content for different publications. They are very useful when you have topics that you want to reuse, but need to have parts of the text changed, such as product names.

For example, let's say you have a topic and you insert the product name "Acme 100" as plain text. By adding it as plain text, you have limited where the topic can be reused, as it is specific to the "Acme 100" and so cannot be used for other products. But if you use a variable to set the product name, you can reuse the topic and tell Paligo which product name to use each time you publish.

variable-diagram.jpg

Variable Types

In Paligo, there are several types of variable§ that you can use:

  • Text: for plain text that does not need to be translated, such as product names, number values, etc.

  • Text (translatable): this variable type will let you enter translations of each variable value (for the languages you have selected). If you use this type of variable, remember that different languages can have very different grammars. Translated variables can read badly if the grammar, gender, etc., of each language has not been considered.

  • Image: these variables allow you to swap out images. They are useful when you have topics that contain images that need to be changed for different variants or publications. It is often more convenient to have a variable for the image, rather than many images with filtering.

  • XML: these variables are similar to plain text variables, but allow you to add XML tags too, so you can include inline tags if needed.

  • Dynamic text variables: These are a special type of variable, and you can use them for inserting things like today's date or for inserting the content from an element that is elsewhere in the publication. They are different to other variable types as you do not create them in variable sets. Read more about them in Dynamic Text Variables.

Variables Workflow

To use variables in your topics and publications, follow this process:

  1. Create a variable set. This is a collection of variables and the possible values that they can contain.

    • In the variable set, add variables for each type of information that needs to change in different scenarios.

    • Create variants for the variables. A variant is a collection of values that will be inserted into the variables when you publish. For example, if you have a product name variable, you could have a variant where the product name is "ACME 100X" and you could have another variant where the product name is "ACME 200X". Think of each variant as the values that will be used in one particular scenario.

    You can skip this step if you already have suitable variable sets available in Paligo.

  2. Insert variables into your topics where appropriate.

  3. Preview the variables to check that they are providing the correct information.

  4. Publish your content and choose the variants that Paligo should use.

Note

The process is different for Dynamic Text Variables.