Topic templates

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One of the first things you need to do when you create a topic is to choose the object template to base it on. Use the standard templates that come with the default library, or create your own templates. Either way, it helps if you understand what the standard templates do. This topic describes the default behavior of the standard temlates.

If your library has been customized, the behavior may be different than described.

Normal

Use this template for most of the standard topics in your document. Author automatically manages heading levels in all output formats, no matter where the topic appears in your book's contents.

  • In printed output, there are no page or section breaks before the topic. The topic does not have an associated Media object, so it must be a child of a Chapter topic or Section topic (which does have an associated Media object). Do not use Normal topics at the highest level of your book.
  • In WinHelp output, the topic appears in the Main window.
  • In Web outputs, the topic is on a separate page and the Normal Section Media object is used.

Procedure

Use this template for topics that contain step-by-step instructions.

  • In printed output, there are no page or section breaks before the topic. Like Normal topics, the topic does not have an associated media object, so it must be a child of a Chapter topic or Section topic. Do not use Procedure topics at the highest level of your book.
  • In WinHelp output, the topic appears in a taller, narrower secondary window, which does not take up so much space on the screen. This enables your reader to see the application at the same time as the Help window.
  • In Web outputs, the topic is on a separate page and the Normal Section Media object is used.
  • In plain HTML and XHTML outputs, the topic's icon in the Contents pane is different than that of Normal topics.

Chapter

Use this template for the topic at the beginning of a chapter, at the top level of a book.

  • The topic does not have to contain any content, but if you want to produce WinHelp output, the topic must contain at least one child topic.
  • In all outputs, a related topic group called "In This Chapter" is added at the bottom of the topic.
  • In Printed output, there is a section break before the topic, the Chapter Section Media object is used, a chapter super heading is inserted above the topic's heading, and page numbering continues from the previous section.
  • In WinHelp output, the topic appears in the Main window and starts a new browse sequence.
  • In Web outputs, the Chapter Section Media object is used.

First chapter

Use this template for the first chapter in a book. It behaves the same as the Chapter template, except that page numbering begins at 1.

Section

Use this template for topics that are either:

  • At the top level of your book, but which are not chapters - like an Introduction topic, for example.

    -or-

    A subsection of a chapter.

The Section template is like the Chapter template, except:

  • For printed and Web outputs, the Section and First Section Media objects are used.
  • In printed output, a chapter super heading is not inserted above the topic's heading.
  • In all outputs, a related topic group called "In This Section" is added at the bottom of the topic, instead of "In This Chapter".

Glossary term

As you might suspect, you use this template for topics that will be entries in your glossary.

  • In all outputs, there are no related topic groups.
  • In Help output, the topic appears in a Procedure window.

No heading

Use this template when you don't want a heading for topics in your printed output, but you do want one in your Help and Web outputs. The best example is the copyright notice at the front of a book.

Slide

Use this template for slides containing the body of information in an Author-it Presentation. Body slides use different background images and typography to differentiate them from title slides.

Slide title

Use this template for the slides opening (and usually closing) an Author-it Presentation.