For large help systems, it is common to reuse content in the Table of Contents (TOC) when part of the system uses the same options and/or features.
For instance, you might need to include a common introduction for several modules. With RoboHelp, you can include a topic in multiple locations in the TOC, allowing for easy reuse.
Check out the image below. Notice that the Getting started topic is included in each of the four modules. If anything were to change within the common content, such as renaming a topic or adding a second topic, I would have to update the TOC in four locations. That is not just a lot of work, it is also a recipe for inconsistencies.
On the Project Manager pod, open the Table of Contents folder. Then right-click the Table of Contents folder and choose New Table of Contents.
Give the new TOC a name and click OK. In this sample, I call mine Introduction.
The new TOC opens automatically.
In the TOC, add the content that you want to share. In my case, it is just the Getting started topic.
Using the new TOC
With the TOC set up with all common content, you can embed the new TOC.
Go to the main TOC and select the location of the shared content. In my case, this is the Getting started topic. Click Insert TOC Placeholder at the top of the Table of Contents pod.
On the Insert TOC Placeholder dialog box, select the Table of Contents you want to include. Then click OK to add a Placeholder.
Remove the common content from the TOC and then repeat these steps for every location where you want to include the common content.
Once you have set up the project, generate the output. For your reader, the TOC will look as if nothing happened. However, if you change the name of the topic, you only have a single TOC to update.
Willam van Weelden, COTP, is a technical writer and functional designer from the Netherlands. After studying to become a teacher, he made the switch to technical documentation.
Willam is an Adobe Community Professional, ranking him among the world's leading experts on RoboHelp. Willam's specialties are HTML5 and RoboHelp automation. Apart from RoboHelp, Willam also has experience with other industry standard programs such as Adobe Captivate and Adobe FrameMaker.