The Book Generator plugin - Cloud

Extra Functionality with Plugins

Book Generator helps you to duplicate books and select which topics should also be duplicated.

Normally when you duplicate books:

  • You have to duplicate the topics that you want to modify within the book.
  • You have to make sure that Hypertext Link objects that refer to these topics are modified.

Book Generator combines these actions in one step. Book Generator allows you even to duplicate topics in sub books.

How it Works

Book Generator lets you select which topics within a book should be duplicated and which not. You can select this manually. With a variable you can create a default setting for which topics should be duplicated and which not. Only the topics that are selected for duplication are replaced with a duplicate topic in the book structure.

Book Generator does not duplicate objects that are embedded in the topics that are duplicated.

With Book Generator you can:

  • Duplicate a book and some selected topics within the book.
  • Duplicate selected topics within a sub book (which automatically duplicates the sub book too).
  • Modify the book contents structure.
  • Change the variable assignments of the duplicated book.
  • Replace variables with their value, on duplication.


I want to duplicate employment agreements because I have some specific topics in it, that are different for every employee.

Every time I duplicate the Employment Agreement book with Book Generator, I also want to duplicate the Personal Agreements topic and optionally the Salary topic. Book Generator allows me to set all topics except Salary and Personal Agreements to "Never duplicate". And set Personal Agreements to "Always duplicate" and Salary to optionally duplicate.

Link Management

For every duplicated topic in a book the plug-in examines the relationships of the topic to hypertext link objects. The plugin modifies the Hypertext Link object if:

  • The Hypertext Link object links to the topic that will be duplicated.
  • Other topics in the book use this hypertext link.

Book Generator adds the duplicated topic to the list of internal object links.


In an Employment Agreement book the Duties and Position topic has a link to the Personal Agreements topic.

When I want to duplicate the Employment Agreement book, I also want to duplicate the Personal Agreements topic (which covers any personal agreements between the company and the employee).

However in that case the link from Duties and Position to the Personal Agreements topic does not work anymore. Therefore the Book Generator adds the duplicated Personal Agreements topic to the list of Internal object links.

The Book Generator Window

When you select a book object and press the Book Generator button, two windows open:

  • Set book description and folder:
    • Define a description for the new book
    • Define the titles for Print, Help and Web output
    • Select a folder for the duplicated objects, or create a new folder
  • Select topics

The Select topics window consists of two areas:

  • Select the Topics you want to duplicate area

    In this area you select which topics must be duplicated when you duplicate the book. Three colors are used:

    • Brown: objects that cannot be selected to duplicate: topics that have the < AIT_BOOKGENERATOR_DUPLICATE> variable assigned with the value "Never" and objects that are not topics.
    • Black: topics that you can select manually for duplication, or not.
    • Blue: topics that are always duplicated: these topics have the < AIT_BOOKGENERATOR_DUPLICATE> variable assigned with the value "Always".

      You can also remove objects from the book structure: from the context menu, select Delete. A red across indicates the objects that are selected to be removed from the book contents.

      The context menu has also a function to select all topics or unselect all topics.

  • Variable Assignments area:

    If any variables are assigned to the book that you duplicate with Book Generator, they appear in the Variable Assignments area. You can select the variable and assign a new value to the duplicate book.

Mandatory variables

An Author-it administrator can define mandatory variables. In Book Generator, you must define a value for these variables if they are used by the selected book, otherwise you cannot continue.

Mandatory variables start and end with an underscore (_). It is recommended that you leave the default values of the variables empty, so the user duplicating the book is forced to assign a value.


An Author-it administrator defines a new variable _country_. If you assign the variable to a book and start Book Generator, you are required to enter a value for the variable.

Variables to be resolved on duplication

You can define variables to be resolved with their values and styles on duplication. Variables to be resolved start and end with two underscores (__) and are also mandatory. The user duplicating a book that has variables to be resolved is forced to assign a value. The duplicated topic containing the variable no longer contains the variable, but its value instead.


An Author-it administrator defines a new variable __currency__. If you assign the variable to a book and start Book Generator, you are required to enter a value for the variable. The duplicated book no longer contains the variable, but only the value you assigned to the variable in the chosen style.


To use Book Generator you need sufficient permissions. The following authorization settings are necessary for the folder that contains the book that you want to duplicate:

  • Modify Objects
  • Create Book object
  • Create Topic object

If there are any Hypertext Link objects pointing to the topics you want to duplicate, make sure that you have modify permissions for that Hypertext Link object (folder action permissions and release state permissions).