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Work with the common content styles

  1. RoboHelp User Guide
  2. Introduction
    1. Get to know RoboHelp workspace
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      1. What's new in Update 4
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  4. Collaborate with authors
    1. Collaborate using Git
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    3. Collaborate using Azure DevOps (Team Foundation Server)
  5. PDF Layout
    1. PDF templates
    2. Design a page layout
    3. Publish PDF output
    4. Work with the common content styles
    5. Components of a PDF template
    6. Support for language variables
    7. Customize PDFs
  6. Editing and formatting
    1. Format your content
    2. Create and manage cross-references
    3. Create and manage links
    4. Single-source with snippets
    5. Work with images and multimedia
    6. Create and use variables for easy updates
    7. Work with Variable Sets
    8. Use Find and Replace
    9. Auto save your content
    10. Side-by-side editing in Split View
    11. Use the Spell Check feature
    12. Create and Edit Bookmarks
    13. Insert and update fields
    14. Switch between multiple views
    15. Autonumbering in CSS
  7. Import and linking
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    2. Import Word documents into a project
    3. Import FrameMaker documents into a project
  8. TOCs, indexes, glossaries, and citations
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    2. Create and manage an index
    3. Create and manage a glossary
    4. Create and manage citations
    5. Create and manage browse sequences
    6. Work with See Also and Related Topics
  9. Conditional content
    1. What is conditional content
    2. Create and apply condition tags
    3. Configure output presets for conditional content
    4. Optimize and manage conditional content
  10. Microcontent
    1. Microcontent
  11. Review and Collaboration
    1. Review and Collaboration
  12. Translation
    1. Translating content to multiple languages
    2. Configure a translation framework for a service provider
  13. Generating output
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    10. Generate Mobile App output
  14. Publish output
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    3. Publish to SharePoint Online
    4. Publish to Zendesk Help Center
    5. Publish to Salesforce Knowledge Base
    6. Publish to ServiceNow Knowledge Base
    7. Publish to Zoho Knowledge Base
    8. Publish to Adobe Experience Manager
    9. Publish to Atlassian Confluence Knowledge Base
  15. Appendix
    1. Adobe RoboHelp Scripting Reference
    2. RoboHelp keyboard shortcuts

Work with the common content styles

A stylesheet contains the definitions of styles for the elements that are used in your PDF output. You can choose to work with the sample stylesheets or create new ones. In most cases, creating a copy of the OOTB sample stylesheet will help you get started quickly.

The styles editor is a WYSIWYG editor that hides all the complexities of a CSS code behind the user interface. Using the style editor, you can easily and very quickly customize the styles for the elements of your choice. The styles are categorized under the following heads:

  • Heading Styles
  • Paragraph Styles
  • Character Styles
  • Hyperlink Styles
  • Image Styles
  • List Styles
  • Table Styles
  • Div Styles
  • Page Styles
  • Other Styles

When working with a project, the style mapping for most of the DITA elements is in place in the default stylesheet. If you are working with standard DITA elements, then you can change their look and feel by directly making changes in the style definition. These style definitions are available under the Other Style category.

The following sections cover the most commonly used style settings in the form of examples.

Work with Heading Styles

The heading styles encapsulate all base styles for the headings used in your content. Out of the box, you will get 6 base heading styles and a heading style for the topic/chapter and appendix’s title heading. In a structured document, the H1 represents the topic’s or chapter’s title and H2 through H6 are used for sub-topics or sections within a topic/chapter. This hierarchy of headings is automatically applied on your content whenever the corresponding heading is found.

Create custom chapter-level headings

In a project TOC, you work with Chapters. The base heading styles are designed in such a way that they get applied on your chapter-level headings without any customizations. However, if you want to create specialized headings for your content, then you will have to create those headings. For example, the default h1.chapter heading gets applied on your chapter’s title. If you want your chapter title to appear in a different style, then you need to customize the h1.chapter style. Similarly, you can create custom styles for sub-headings in your chapter. For example, if you want to create a custom style for all 2nd and 3rd level headings in your chapter, then you need to create a new style as h2.chatper and h3.chatper.

As the Native PDF Publishing feature contains the base style definitions for the most common styles, even if you accidentally delete a style, the default style is applied on the content. For example, if there’s no style definition for h2 style in your stylesheet, the Native PDF Publishing feature will apply some base style on h2 content.

In this example, we will create a 2nd level chapter heading style:

  1. Open the required stylesheet for editing.

  2. In the Styles list, expand the Heading Styles.

  3. Right-click on Heading Styles style and choose New Style.

  4. In the Add Style dialog, keep the Tag name as h2 and enter chapter in the Class name field.

  5. Select Done.

Create auto-number headings

One of the most commonly used output styles is auto-numbered headings. These headings represent the chapter number, topic and sub-topic numbers. The auto- number headings are different from the list styles where a list of items within a topic are assigned auto-numbers.

In this example, we will customize the headings from level 1 to level 3 to use auto-numbers in different formats.

  1. Open the required stylesheet for editing.

  2. In the Styles list, expand the Heading Styles.

  3. Select the h1 style from the list.

    The properties for the h1 style are shown in the Properties panel along with its Preview.

  4. Select the Autonumber property. The styles that you can apply on the auto-number list are shown below the Autonumber property.

  5. Set the following properties:

    • Style: Select from a wide range of locale-specific or generic numbering styles. You can choose styles like Arabic-Indic, Devanagari, Georgian, Decimal, Lower- Alpha, and more. For the current example, select upper-alpha.
    • Format: The default format is set to <x>, wherein the x value is replaced with the numbering Style that you selected in the Style property. For example, if you have selected decimal (1) style, then the value of x auto-increments for every instance of the h1 style and goes as 2, 3, and so on. You can also add custom text in the field to format the heading style. For example, if you want all h1 headings to have a prefix of Chapter, then you need to set this field as Chapter
    • <x>.
    • Insert Character: If you want to add any special character in the Format, then click the Insert Character icon. Select the desired character that you want to add in the style format and click Insert. There are different types of special characters that you can choose from the Select Category drop-down list.

    • Start Numbering From: If you want the numbering to start from a specific number, then provide that value. For our example, keep the default value of 1.
    • Indent: If you want to indent the heading, then you need to set the Indent value. For our example, set it to 0
    • Prefix Width: This is the area that is occupied by the auto-number format. It is automatically set to a size that can easily accommodate the selected style format. If you want to increase the size, then you can replace the default value.When setting this value manually, try changing the other properties that will have an impact on the width. For example, change the font size, the format with prefix (Chapter) or a suffix (:), set the maximum value in the Start Numbering From property, and the various font properties to come up with the optimal size.For our example, keep the default value.
    • Spacing: Specify the horizontal and vertical spacing. For our example, keep the default values.
    • Apply Formatting To: The properties under the Autonumber category will help you define the numbering style. To apply further customizations to the numbering style or the content of your heading format, you can choose Numbering or Paragraph in this field. If you choose Numbering, then any changes to Font, Border, Layout, and other categories will be applied only to the numbering style in the heading. However, if you choose Paragraph, then the changes will be applied on the heading content and not the numbering style.

Use the following settings to generate an output shown in the following screenshot:

Heading Style

Property

Value

h1

Style

Decimal

Format

Capter <x>:

Prefix Width

160 px

Font > Text Alignment

Left

h2

Style

Decimal

Format

Section <x>:

Prefix Width

125 px

Font > Text Alignment

Left

h3

Style

Decimal

Insert Level

2

Format

Section <2>.<x>:

Prefix Width

125 px

Heading Style

Property

Value

Graphical user interface, text, application, emailDescription automatically generated

Work with Paragraph Styles

A paragraph style can be created to apply special formatting on an entire paragraph. However, using the pseudo-class, you can apply a style to only a specific part of the text. In the following example, we will create a paragraph style to use the drop cap style.

Create the drop cap style

A drop cap (or dropped capital) style is used in magazines, and literary documents wherein the first character of a paragraph or section is given some special styling. You can achieve the same effect using the Native PDF Publishing feature.

In the following example, we will create a drop cap style:

  1. Open the required stylesheet for editing.

  2. In the Styles list, expand the Paragraph Styles.

  3. Right-click on the Paragraph Style and select New Style.

  4. In the Add Style dialog, keep the Tag name as p and in the Pseudo Class field, select ::first-letter.

  5. Select Done.

    A new paragraph style named ::first-letter is created and added under the Paragraph Styles list.

  6. Select ::first-letter under the p style, and set the following properties:

    • Font: Set the desired font for the first letter in your paragraph. For our example, set the Font Family to cursive, font weight to 500, font size to 30 pt, and choose a font color.
    • Layout: Set the vertical alignment of the text around the drop cap style. For our example, we will set the Vertical Alignment to Bottom.

As the p tag is mapped with the <p> element in a topic, you don’t need to explicitly add this style using the class attribute. Wherever in your content a <p> element is used, the drop cap style is automatically applied on it. In the following screenshot, the chapter title, short description, and definition list elements have not been formatted with the drop cap style. Only the paragraph style is formatted with the drop cap style:

Work with Character Styles

Using the character styles, you can create styles for formatting characters or words within your content. For example, you can create a character style for inline code or filename, or you can create a style that uses multiple styling formats on selected content.

Create an inline character style

Formatting inline characters or words in a paragraph is a very common style. The process of creating an inline style involves two tasks – first, create a new style in the stylesheet, and second apply the style in your content using the class attribute.

In the following example, we will create an inline character style:

  1. Open the required stylesheet for editing.

  2. In the Styles list, expand the Character Styles.

  3. Right-click on the Character Style and select New Style.

  4. In the Add Style dialog, keep the Tag name as span and enter BoldItalic in the Class name field.

  5. Select Done.

    A new character style named code is created and added under the Character Styles list.

  6. Select span.BoldItalic from the Character Style list, and set the following properties:

    • Font: All font-related properties can be customized from this section. By default, there are some fonts bundled with the product. You can choose the desired font for the character style. For our example, set the Font Family to Serif, and select Bold and Italic in the Font Style property. You can also customize other font properties such as Font Weight (like bold, lighter), Text Decoration (like underline, overline), Font Size, Font Color, Text Alignment, and more.
    • Layout: You can set the layout-related properties such as Height and Width, Margin, Padding, Alignment, and more.
    • Background: The Background properties allow you to format the background color of a particular style. You can define the background color or image for any style.

Once you have created the inline character style, you need to apply it in your content. To apply the inline code style, go to the source view and add the class

attribute in the desired content:

class="BoldItalic"

The following example shows the Bold Italic format being applied at different places in the running text:

Graphical user interface,text,application,email

Customize list style

The List Styles contain the default style settings for the ordered and unordered lists. You can easily customize these list styles to meet your documentation requirements. In the following example, we will customize the numbered or ordered list style:

  1. Open the required stylesheet for editing.

  2. In the Styles list, expand the List Styles.

  3. Select the ol style from the list.

    The properties for the ol style are shown in the Properties panel along with its Preview.

  4. Select the Advanced Formatting option. A Confirmation message is displayed.

  5. Click Yes on the Confirmation message to open the Advanced Formatting properties.

    The following properties are available by default:

    • Level: By default, there are 6 levels of numbered lists. The level that you select in this drop-down controls the style changes on the selected level and all subsequent levels. For example, if you select level 4, then all style changes that you apply are set on levels 4, 5, and 6.
    • List Style Type: There are a number of list numbering styles that you can choose from. The list contains locale-specific and generic numbering styles that are used to create a numbered list. Some of the list style types are Arabic, Cambodian, Devanagari, Ethiopic, Hangul, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Simple Chinese, Urdu, and more.
    • Number Format: The default format is set to <x>, wherein the x value is replaced with the numbering Style that you selected in the List Style Type property.
    • For example, if you have selected decimal (1) style, then the value of x auto-increments for every instance of the list element and goes as 2, 3, and so on. You can also add custom text in the field to format the list style. For example, if you want all first-level list styles to have a suffix “)”, then you need to set this field for first-level list style as “<x>)”.
    • Insert Character: If you want to add any special character in the Number Format, then click the Insert Character icon. Select the desired character that you want to add in the style format and click Insert. There are different types of special characters that you can choose from the Select Category drop-down list.
    • Insert Level: You can include the number from any of the preceding levels in your number format. For example, if you want to include the number format from 5th level in your 6th level number format, then choose 5 in the Insert Level drop-down list. Note that the Insert Level drop-down shows the numbers of only preceding levels and not the following level. For example, while you are at Level 3, the Insert Level list will only show levels 1 and 2.

    You can also change the Number Format to present the list values as required. For example, when you are using a nested numbering style for level 3, then you can format it as “<2>.<x>))”. This will show list number 2, followed by a period, then followed by list number 3, and then two brackets, as 2.3)).

    • Indent: If you want to indent the list, then you need to set the Indent value. Any changes in the indent can be reviewed in the Preview panel and adjusted.
    • Prefix Width: This is the area that is occupied by the Number Format. It is automatically set to a size that can easily accommodate the selected format. If you want to increase the size, then you can replace the default value. When setting this value manually, try changing the other properties that will have an impact on the width. For example, change the font size, the format with prefix or a suffix, and the various font properties to come up with the optimal size.
    • Spacing: Specify the horizontal spacing in between the list number format and the content. The vertical spacing controls the gap between the two list items.

    The following screenshot shows the customized ordered list for each level:

Work with table style

Using the stylesheets, you can design n number of table styles. Using the table styles, you can design how the entire table, a particular row or column. With control at cell-level styling, you can create very presentable table styles.

In the following example, we see how to create a table style and the various table styling options that you can customize:

  1. Open the required stylesheet for editing.

  2. In the Styles list, right-click on the Table Style and select New Style.

  3. In the Add Style dialog, keep the Tag name as table and enter double-border in the Class name field.

  4. Select Done.

Work with other styles

If you are working with structured (DITA) content, then you will notice that almost all DITA elements have a style mapping in the default stylesheet. For example, a <shortdesc> element’s style is defined under Other Style > .shortdesc style definition. You can easily customize any of these styles and they get automatically applied in the PDF output generated from your structured content. This means that unlike other custom styles, you don’t need to add an outputclass attribute on the content for these styles.

In case you want to create a style definition for any element that is not available by default or you have a custom element, then you can easily create it in the stylesheet. The only point you must consider is to create the style with the same name as the structured element’s name.In the following example, we will create a new window’s title (wintitle) style:

  1. Open the required stylesheet for editing.

  2. In the Styles list, expand Other Styles.

  3. Right-click on the Other Style and choose New Style.

  4. In the Add Style dialog, keep the Tag name as blank and enter wintitle in the Class name field.

  5. Select Done.

    A new style named .wintitle is created and added under the Other Styles list.

  6. Select .wintitle from the Other Styles list, and set the properties as required.

Use JavaScript to work with content or style

The PDF output Publishing feature allows you to run JavaScript to manipulate your content or style applied on content before the final PDF is generated. This feature gives you complete control over how your final output is generated. For example, you may want to add legal notice information to the PDF output, which resides in another PDF. Using JavaScript, you can add the legal notice information once the PDF is created for the base content, but before the final PDF is generated.

To support JavaScript execution, the PDF output Publishing feature gives you the following callback functions:

  • window.pdfLayout.onBeforeCreateTOC(callback): This callback function is executed before the TOC is generated.
  • window.pdfLayout.onBeforePagination(callback): This callback function is executed after the TOC is generated, but before page breaks are added in the PDF.
  • window.pdfLayout.onAfterPagination(callback): This callback function is executed after the TOC and the page breaks are added in the PDF.
Piezīme.

Internally, an execution sequence is maintained for these callout functions. First, onBeforeCreateTOC is executed, followed by onBeforePagination, and finally the onAfterPagination is executed.

Based on the type of content or style modification you want to perform, you can choose which callback function to use. For example, if you want to add content, then it is recommended to do it before the TOC is generated. Similarly, if you want to make some styling updates, then those can be done either before or after the pagination.

In the following example, the position of the figure titles is changed from to above the images to below the images. For this, you need to enable the JavaScript execution option in the preset. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the preset for editing.

  2. Go to the Advanced tab.

  3. Select the Enable JavaScript option.

  4. Save the preset and close.

Next, create a JavaScript file with the following code and save it within the Resources folder of your template:

/*
*	This JavaScript code is used to move the figure title below the image
*	*/

window.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function () { window.pdfLayout.onBeforeCreateTOC(function() {
var titleNodes = document.querySelectorAll('.fig > .title') for (var i = 0; i < titleNodes.length; i++) {
var titleNode = titleNodes[i]
var figNode = titleNode.parentNode
var imageNode = figNode.querySelector('.image') if(imageNode && imageNode.parentNode !== figNode) {
 
imageNode = imageNode.parentNode
}
if (figNode && imageNode && imageNode.parentNode === figNode) { figNode.insertBefore(imageNode, titleNode)
}
}
})
});
Piezīme.

The window.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function () function must be called before the callback functions are used.

Next, this script has to be called from a template file that is used to generate the PDF output. For our example, we will add it in the TOC template. Ensure that the <script> tag is added within a predefined <div> tag inside the <body> tag. If you add it in the <head> tag or outside the <body> tag, the script will not execute.

Enabling JSP for styling the PDF

The output generated using this code, and the template displays the figure title below the image:

Output of JSP enabled styling

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