The following sample structure is for a task based topic. The content rules for this example define the types of paragraphs, procedure steps, and the paragraph level formatting that can be used in this topic. This example does not include any child rules, as a result there are no restrictions placed on inline content that can be used in the topic (such as images, character styles, hyperlinks, and so on). Validation is based on the layout of the topic (the types of paragraph content and where they are used) and the paragraph level formatting.
Content or style guide rules for the procedure topic
- The procedure topic must have an opening paragraph to describe the task. There can be up to three short paragraphs for the opening description.
- There must always be a procedure heading before the steps.
- The first item in the list must always use the list number style. Additional styles can be used in the list after the first list item - list continue, list bullet 2.
- A closing paragraph can be used after the procedure to describe the outcome. This paragraph is optional as a descriptive outcome is not always required. The description should be brief and should not exceed two paragraphs.
- Rule 1: Opening Paragraph Rule
Allow one to three paragraphs. Location sequence is Fixed - must be used at the start of the topic. Allowed style - Body Text.
- Rule 2: Procedure Heading Rule
Use of the procedure heading above the steps is mandatory. Location sequence is Fixed - must be used after the opening paragraph(s). Allowed style - Procedure Heading.
- Rule 3: First List Item Rule
One list item based on the First List Item Rule is mandatory. Location sequence is Fixed - must be used after the procedure heading. Allowed style - List Number.
- Rule 4: Remaining List Items Rule
A minimum of one instance is allowed, but no more than twenty new paragraphs can be created within the list for continuing a list item or adding new list items. Location sequence is Fixed - must be used after the First List Item Rule. Allowed styles - List Number, List Continue, List Bullet 2.
- Rule 5: Closing Paragraph Rule
The closing paragraph is optional, and there is a maximum of two allowed. Location sequence is Fixed - if used, closing paragraphs must be used after the procedure list items. Allowed style - Body Text.
Based on the structure rules a variety of layout options are available. The following sample topics will all validate. The content in each of the samples is marked with the rules used for validation. The rule for adding between one and twenty list items is shown against the fourth rule. The first sample used five additional paragraphs, the second sample uses six additional paragraphs, and the third sample uses five additional paragraph. The additional list items can also be used to add images or screenshots to the procedure.