I’ve been training customers the last few weeks and so not as able to keep up on the blog as I would like. But, being in Author-it every day, showing various ways to make your workflow easier made me think a post with some of that might be interesting.
Feel free to add your own favorite things in the comments.
Variants in 5.5
We’ve had variants for some time. But the “fall back” feature is one I like a lot. Here’s how it works.
In Author-it Adminstrator, you need to either create a new variant or modify an existing one, depending of what you need to do. We’re going to look at an existing one – it’s called Version. Click the picture and then click it again to see it large.
The important thing here is the Browse button next to the Value list.
By clicking the Add button, I added various versions of the product to my library. I organized them in a hierarchy by using the green arrows in the upper left of the dialog box.
So, what does all this mean? It means that as I create new content I can assign a variant to the content. So, for example, I have an overview of the product. I wrote it for V2, but it hasn’t changed in any of the versions since then.
But as I add content for the different version over time, I can assign different variant values to that content. Perhaps we did a bug fix/special version for a company and called it V2.1a. For that version, we added some new content and marked it as V2.1a. All the content for V2.1 is in this book, plus the V2.1a content. But some of this content, we’ve not updated since V2.0 and don’t need to update – it’s all still accurate.
In other words, in one book, we have topics with a mix of versions assigned to them, using the variants.
So, maybe we’d like to publish the V2.1a book but we’d like to see what content goes in that version before we publish.
In Author-it Editor, we open the book. At the bottom of the list of topics in the book is the “Filter contents using variant criteria” list. If we click on that, we see a list of the available criteria and we can select one or more.
So, for example (click the picture and then click it again to see it large.):
What we see is just the content that is marked V2.1a and any content that appears in the fallback path, if there is no content marked V2.1a and any content that doesn’t have that variant criteria applied at all.
To make life even more interesting, I have another variant I call ShCountry. Because, in my example, we also now send similar but slightly different content depending on the country it’s going to. You can see that I selected Australia as the ShCountry variant and the ProductVersion as V1, You can see the topic marked with the V2 variant is lined thru. This means that topic will not appear in this output, if I select these variant criteria for publishing my book.
Because I can select to apply and select multiple variant criteria for my content, I can use one master book and then filter, based on the variants I select to meet my customer and product needs.
Well, I promised you several and gave you one favorite thing. The next blog post will be more favorite things. Promise.By Sharon Burton