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About Reusing Content


Content reuse is the practice of using the same content in multiple places to save time and effort.

With Paligo's content reuse features, you can write the content once, in one place and reuse that content in multiple topics and publications. This will save you time and effort, but also result in a more consistent look and feel.

This means that you can reuse the same warning message, procedure steps or safety chapter. By using Variables and Filtering / Profiling (conditional text) you can vary the content depending on product and still use the same topics.


If you are new to content reuse, structured authoring and single-sourcing, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the reuse features at your disposal in Paligo.

Read The 5 Principles of Single Sourcing to find the right balance for such techniques in single-sourcing.

Content reuse with topics in three publications
Content reuse in three topics

To the left - Reuse a topic in multiple publications. To the right - Reuse elements, such as paragraphs, in multiple topics.

What is the difference between content reuse and copying?

With content reuse, you use the same content in multiple places. There are no duplicates. You reuse the same piece of content. If you change it, the alterations will be applied to every topic that reuses the content. A single-source of truth that only requires you to update in one place.


With reuse, the same element is inserted multiple times. Here, the "Select Save." para element (1) is used twice.

Copying is different, as you make a duplicate of the original. The copy is completely separate from the original. Cutting and pasting should be avoided, since it only leads to a multitude of duplicate content where you update one place, but forget another, you have to translate multiple copies of the same content just because they differ only slightly and so on.

As a general rule, we recommend that you reuse content when you want to use the same content in multiple places. Use copy if you want to use an existing piece of content as a starting point for a new, customized piece of content that will be separate to the original.


With copy, the element (or text in the element) is duplicated. The copy (2) is a separate element to the original (1).


Learn more about copying content, see Copy Elements

There are many ways to reuse your content in Paligo:

  • Topic reuse - Reuse Topics by adding them to different publications. You can also embed one topic inside another topic as a subsection.

  • Publication reuse - Create a Parent Publication by adding it to a main publication. For example, if you have a series of user guides, you can publish them all as one combined output by adding them to a single publication.

  • Structure reuse - Reuse Forks. For example, if you have a "chapter" that consists of a main topic and several sub-topics, you can reuse the entire "chapter".

  • Text fragment reuse - Every paragraph that you create is stored in a database and is available for reuse. This means that you can Reuse Text Fragments, Reuse List Items, steps in procedures and other types of block element without prior planning. For example, if you create a para element and add "Select Save" as the text, you can reuse that same paragraph everywhere that you need the "Select Save" text to appear.

  • Informal topic reuse - Informal topics are a way of grouping different types of elements as reusable content, for example, two paragraphs and an image. To reuse a group of elements, you can Create an Informal Topic and import it to any of your "regular" topics.

  • Admonition reuse - You can Reuse Admonitions to use in your topics.

  • Variables - You can reuse single words or phrases by using Variables. First, you create variable sets that contain the words and the text that you want to use for those words. Then you can insert these variables in your topics. Paligo has support for several types of variables, plain text variables, image variables, XML variables, and translatable variables. There are also Dynamic Text Variables, which can output today's date and similar content.

  • Filtering / Profiling - Filtering / Profiling makes it possible to make content more reusable by applying filtering (like the element attributes xinfo:product or xinfo:market) on parts of it, so that the topic becomes reusable in multiple context. With variable sets, it is possible to insert a variable that changes value according to chosen market or product.

    Filtering is sometimes traditionally called "conditional text", but it applies to more than just text, it can be any kind of content, including images, videos and so on. This is often used when information is reused between different products or markets, for example technical specifications, to change data depending on model, change images or hide information for certain markets or models.


You can also reuse the images in your Paligo Media library.