Create rules in the topic structure builder

Add and manage content

The second step in creating a structured template is to create the rules in the Structure Builder. When you create the structure rules you define the properties for the structure against the parent node, and then each of the content rules used in the topic.

Parent node

The parent node defines the structure's name, creates a link to an Example topic in the Editor (additional information displayed when you are working with topic structures), and applies the release states which enforce validation.

Structure rules

Each of the rules created in the structure builder are added as children of the parent node. The structure rules set restrictions on which objects can be used, and define the overall layout of the topic.

Creating Rules in the Topic Structure Builder

Paragraph level rules: The three paragraph level rules are Paragraph, Group, and Table. The Paragraph rule has two uses:

  • As a paragraph level rule to assign formatting to a paragraph within the topic, or as part of a group rule.
  • To assign formatting to rows or columns in a table.
  • Inline rules are not used with paragraph rules in a table. You can add any inline content to a table cell.

Inline rules: The six inline rules are children of the paragraph level rule when it is used to format a paragraph of content. The inline rules create restrictions for using character styles, embedded topics, images, hyperlinks, variables, and enforce instances of text.

Table cell rules: The Table Cell rule defines rows or columns when you are going to add specific paragraph style formatting in the table. The rule is only available when you are adding rules beneath a table rule.

Group rules: The Group rule is used to build a sub structure around a group of rules. The Group rule controls the occurrence and location options around the rules in its sub structure.

To create the topic structure rules:

  1. Select the topic template in the library folder list. Make sure the object is highlighted but not opened.
  2. Click Manage > Data > Structure Builder. The structure builder window opens.
  3. Add the parent node's structure properties:
    • Update the name and add a description.
    • Click the Example Object [...] button to link to an example topic. (This step is optional; you can add the example topic at any time.)
    • Click the Release States [...] button to select the release state which will be used to enforce the structure. (This step is optional.)
  4. Select a rule from the Rules command group. The new rule is added to the structure list. Add the rule properties.
    • Update the rule's name and add a description.
    • Add the minimum and maximum number of occurrences of content use allowed for the rule.
    • Select fixed or flexible to define the sequence.
    • Click Add in the Allowed Objects section. The object selector window opens. Select the objects or object templates that will be used by this rule.
  5. Repeat step 4 to create each of the rules required for the structure. You can use the Rule Order arrows to change the location of a rule in the structure.
  6. Save the changes and close the structure builder window.