Rules for embedded topics

Embedded topics

Any topic can be an embedded topic, subject to these rules:


Changes in the embedded topic propagate to all of its container topics

Changes that you make to the content of the embedded topic are reflected in all container topics that include the embedded topic.


You cannot edit the embedded topic from within a container topic

When you are working in the container topic, Author-it rules prevent you from modifying the content of the embedded topic. The editing commands are disabled when your cursor is inside the embedded (gray) content. This is to ensure that the embedded topic is edited at its source. All users should carefully consider where the source embedded topic is being used (in container topics) before making changes to its content.
Tip: Double-click an embedded topic to open it in a new editing window.


From the container topic, copy-paste of embedded content is limited

When you are working in the container topic, your copy-paste options with the embedded topic are limited to plain text strings only. For example:

  • If you copy embedded text that is Special Bold Style, it pastes as plain text, adopting the style of the paste area.
  • If you copy an embedded table, you will only be able to paste plain text from the table (not the table itself, nor styles from the table).


To properly copy embedded content with its style formatting, you need to first open the embedded topic

To copy successfully from an embedded topic, first open the embedded topic and copy the content before pasting the content. More...


You can embed any number of topics within a container topic

A topic can contain any number of embedded topics, as well as ordinary paragraphs and objects.


To embed content from several topics into one topic, embed directly from the source, rather than nesting the topics

Where you want to embed content from several topics into another topic, the best practice is to simply embed the content from each source topic into the container topic rather than nest the topics (embedded within embedded within embedded...).


A topic cannot be embedded into itself, nor can it be embedded into any of its own children or their children.

An embedded topic can contain other embedded topics (as in nested tables). However, a topic cannot be embedded into itself.

If a topic is embedded into any descendant of itself, that instance will be ignored during publishing.


Permitted content in embedded topics

An embedded topic can include text with styles, tables, images and hyperlinks. Hyperlinks within the embedded topic are functional when published, but hyperlinks TO the embedded topic don't function.


Minimum required content in an embedded topic

Content being embedded must contain at least two characters. If the embedded content is an image, it counts as 1 character, so the content must include at least one additional character. More...


An embedded topic can adopt the style of the paragraph into which it is embedded

A topic can be embedded inside a paragraph in the container topic, where it will use the style tagging of the container paragraph. This is because within the container paragraph, the last paragraph marker in the embedded topic is not normally able to become part of the container topic. Or...


You can force the embedded topic to retain its own style

You can force the embedded topic to retain its own style by adding an extra paragraph marker at the end of the embedded topic.

This last paragraph marker does not become part of the container topic. In other words, you won't see it as a blank line in the container topic's output.


Numbered lists in the embedded topic adjust to the container topic

Numbered lists in the embedded topic will adjust automatically to use the numbering sequence in the container topic.


You can seamlessly integrate embedded and local table rows in the container topic

An embedded topic can be one or more table rows. This enables you to build tables in the container topic from embedded topics containing specific table rows, and combining them with table rows that are not embedded.


In publishing, hyperlinks within an embedded topic remain functional, but links TOthe embedded topic are not functional

During publishing, any links from the embedded topic will resolve, but links to the embedded topic, and to index entries involving the embedded topic, will be ignored.


You cannot "Undo" the action of embedding a topic, but you can remove it

The "undo" options (on the Quick Access toolbar, and CTRL+Z) are not available for removing embedded topics. To remove an embedded topic, right-click it and select Remove embedded topic.


You cannot move an embedded topic within the same topic.

Dragging an embedded topic to another location within the same topic causes the topic to break. For example, if you have an embedded topic as a step within a procedure, and you then decide to move the embedded topic to later in the procedure, moving it by dragging causes content to disappear.

Instead, locate the original embedded topic and re-embed it wherever you need it. Then remove the original embedded topic.