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Layouts

A layout is a collection of settings made in the Layout Editor that you apply to your content at the time of publication.

Paligo uses the layout settings to determine how to style and process your content when creating the published output. These settings vary depending on the type of layout, for example, the PDF layout has options relating to page borders and page breaks and the HTML layout has options for uploading CSS and JavaScript files.

HTML5 Help Center Layout, with categories of settings in a menu on the left, settings in the middle, preview on the right.

To publish your content, you have to associate the publication with a layout of the appropriate type. So if you want to publish an HTML5 help center, you will need to have a HTML5 help center layout.

Before you use a layout or create your own layout, we strongly recommend that you learn about Layout Relationships - Base, New, Duplicate. This is because each layout can inherit settings from another layout, and can cause unexpected results if you are unaware of the relationships.

To find out more, see:

Note

To find out about the layouts for integrations, such as Zendesk, refer to the Integrations section.

When you publish Paligo content, you need to use a layout. The layout contains settings that affect how Paligo converts your XML content into the output you want. For example, if you are publishing to an HTML5 help center, you need to use an HTML5 help center layout. Its settings affect how Paligo converts your XML into the HTML pages you see in the finished help center.

For layouts, you can choose to:

  • Use one of the built-in layouts that are provided with Paligo. These cannot be customized, but will create a working publication.

  • Create your own layout, which you can customize to meet your own requirements.

  • Duplicate an existing layout. This creates a copy of a layout, and can save time if you have a layout that has most of, but not all, of the settings you need for your output.

In most cases, you will want to use a custom layout, either a new one, one you created earlier, or a duplicate.

But before you use a layout, it is important to understand the hierarchical relationship between the "base layout" and your custom layout or duplicate layout. Because both custom layouts and duplicate layouts can inherit settings from a base layout, and these can affect the publication that Paligo creates.

A base layout, as the name suggests, is a layout that forms the basis of another layout. It contains the configuration for a certain type of output, such as a PDF or an HTML5 help center.

When you create a new layout, you give the layout a name and choose a base layout. This is where the hierarchical "parent-child" relationship between layouts begins. The base layout defines what:

  • Type of output you can publish with the layout

  • Collection of settings are available in your new layout

  • Default settings will be used for your new layout.

The same principle applies with duplicate layouts. These are copies of existing layouts, and when you create a duplicate, it has the same base layout as the original version.

The main benefit of using a base layout is that you can save considerable time and effort when configuring your publishing settings. You can apply the typical settings in the base layout and these are passed on to the "child" layouts. In each "child" layout, you can then choose whether to use the inherited value for each setting (default value) or override it with a different value.

Note

You can find out what base layout is associated with a custom layout on the Layout List.

When you create a new layout, it has to be based on an existing layout (a base layout). This can be either one of the built-in layout types or one of your existing layouts.

The new layout and base layout have a parent-child relationship, where:

  • The new layout inherits the settings of the base layout.

  • In your new layout (the "child"), any setting that is set to Default inherits its value from the base layout. So if you change the matching value in the base layout, the change will also apply to the "child" layout.

  • Any changes that you make in a "child" layout take priority. As soon as you change a setting from Default to another value, that setting will no longer get its value from the base layout.

The following example shows how the relationship between a new layout and its base layout works. But be aware that it is also possible to create complex chains of relationships, as a layout can be a "child" of one layout, but a "parent" to another layout. We recommend that you try to keep your layout relationships as simple as possible, so that they are easier to manage. But if you do create a complex chain of layouts, always bear in mind that a default value is inherited from its base layout.

Note

To learn how to create a new layout and associate it with a base layout, see Create a Layout.

Example 1. New Layout Inherits Settings from the Base Layout

Let's say you have no layouts in your Paligo instance. You want a PDF layout, so you create a new one. When you create a new layout, you give it a name "ACME PDF" and you have to choose a base layout. As you don't have any existing layouts, you choose the Default PDF option, which uses Paligo's built-in PDF layout as the base. You cannot access the default built-in layouts.

Create new layout dialog. The layout title has been set to ACME PDF and the Output format is set to Default PDF.

Your new "ACME PDF" layout inherits the default settings from the built-in default PDF layout. You can use the new layout as it is, or you can make changes to its settings. All of the settings that show "Default" are inheriting the settings from the base layout.

You decide to edit the "ACME PDF" layout so that its Display language name on sidebar option is set to Enabled.

Layout configuration for a layout called ACME PDF.

As soon as you save the layout, the Display language name on sidebar setting uses Enabled. This setting no longer has any relationship with the base layout. It will only be affected by the base layout if you were to set it back to Default.

Now you create another new layout. This time, you name the layout "ALT STYLES PDF" and you set the "ACME PDF" as the base layout.

Create new layout dialog. It has a layout title and an output format. The title has been entered as Alt Styles PDF and the output format is set to ACME PDF.

You edit the "ALT STYLES PDF" layout and see that the Display language name on sidebar setting is set to Default. This means that it is inheriting the value from its closest "parent" base layout. In this case, it is inheriting the value from the "ACME PDF" layout (and so it is actually Enabled as that setting is Enabled in the base layout).

Layout settings for a layout called Alt Styles PDF.

You go back and edit the "ACME PDF" layout and change the Display language name on sidebar to Disabled. This change from Enabled to Disabled applies not only to the "ACME PDF" layout, but also to all of the layouts that are based on it and have Display language name on sidebar to Default. So changing it to Disabled also means "ALT STYLES PDF" inherits Disabled.

An image that shows the configuration for two different layouts - an ACME PDF layout and an Alt Styles Layout. The Display language name on sidebar setting is disabled in the ACME PDF layout. The same setting in the Alt Styles PDF layout is set to default. A callout arrow shows that the two settings are related.

You want the "ALT STYLES PDF" to display the language on the sidebar, so you change its Display language name on sidebar to Enabled. At this point, the "ALT STYLES PDF" stops inheriting the value of this particular setting from its base layout. So you have:

  • ACME PDF (base layout) with Display language name on sidebar set to Disabled.

  • ALT STYLES PDF (based on ACME PDF) but Display language name on sidebar is set to Enabled. Display language name on sidebar is not affected by changes to that setting in ACME PDF. Any changes to other settings in ACME PDF will still affect the matching settings in ALT STYLES PDF, but only if they are set to Default in the ALT STYLES PDF.

    The ALT STYLES PDF will still inherit changes from the ACME PDF for all settings that are set to Default. It only stops inheriting from ACME PDF where you specifically set the value in ALT STYLES PDF.

Note

When a layout setting is set to default, it always means it is inherited from its base layout. The text on the interface that explains what the default value is refers to the default value in the built-in layout types provided by Paligo.


A duplicate layout is a copy of an existing layout. It contains all of the same settings as the original version, including the same:

  • Base layout as the original version of the layout

    If you make changes to the base layout, those changes will affect your duplicate layout too. This only applies to those settings that are set to Default in your duplicate layout.

  • Settings as the original version of the layout

    The settings in your duplicate layout will initially be set to the same as they were in the original version of the layout. But the duplicate is independent and is intended to be a starting point for a different version. Any changes you make in the original do not affect your duplicate.

The idea with duplicate layouts is that you use them when you need a new layout, but already have one that is very similar to what you need. By creating a duplicate of it, you can save time as it already has most of the settings you want. In the duplicate, you can make the changes you want and know that they will not be affected by the original layout's settings.

Diagram showing Base Layout at the top. Two arrows point downwards from Base Layout. One arrow points to Original Layout. The other arrow points to Duplicate Layout. Next to both arrows, there is the text "Default Settings".

Tip

To learn how to create a duplicate layout, see Copy a Layout (Duplicate).

Layouts contain a variety of settings that you can use to customize your output. There are templates prepared for HTML, HTML5, FLUIDTOPICS, PDF, MSWORD, SCORM, ELEARNING and XML. You can use Paligo's built-in layouts or you can create your own.

  • PDF layouts have an editor where you select the properties you want for a range of different content types, similar to how you create styles in Microsoft Word. To find out more about the settings, see PDF Layout Editor Options

  • HTML layouts contain many publishing options for customizing your content, including a CSS upload feature. This is where you can upload your own CSS and apply rules that will take priority over any settings in the layout. To find out more about the settings, see HTML5 Layout Editor Options.

Note

If you open the layout tab for the first time, the list will be empty because there are no created layouts.

To create a layout:

  1. Select Layout in the top menu.

    Paligo editor. The Layout option in the header menu is highlighted.

    Paligo displays a list of Layouts. The list is empty if there are no custom Layouts in your Paligo instance.

  2. Select Create New Layout in the lower left corner. New_Layout.jpg

  3. Give your Layout a name in the Layout title field.

    Create new layout dialog. It has a Layout Title field for naming the Layout. It also has an Output Format drop-down menu, where you can choose what type of content this Layout will produce.
  4. Select an Output format.

    The output format is the Base Layout for your new Layout. It defines the:

    • Type of content that you can publish with the template.

    • Source of default values. If you set a value to Default in your new Layout, it means the value is inherited from the Base Layout. To learn more, see Layout Relationships - Base, New, Duplicate.

    Note

    You can choose whether the Base Layout is a built-in Layout or is one of your previously created custom Layouts.

  5. Select OK.

    Paligo creates your new Layout.

  6. Select the new layout in the list to open it in the Layout Editor.

    Tip

    You can copy the URL from the new dialog and paste it into a browser tab. This is sometimes easier to work with, especially if you frequently switch between your content and the layout settings.

  7. Use the Layout Editor to choose the publication settings. Paligo will apply these settings when it converts your XML content into the output format.

Note

You can apply common styling features by using the layout settings and uploading your own CSS and javascript (for HTML outputs only).

If you want more advanced customization, including customizing the underlying XSLT, contact Paligo customer support with details of what you want to achieve. We can then look into what is required and provide you with an estimate for cost and timescale.

You can use the Layout Editor to define publication-level settings that are applied when your publish your content. The options available to you vary, depending on the type of layout.

  • PDF layouts have a wide range of settings for styling and customizing your content. We have designed them to make PDF styling simpler, so you can customize your PDF content without any XSLT programming skills.

  • HTML layouts also have settings for styling and customizing your content, and they also allow you to upload your own CSS stylesheets and javascript files. This means you can apply powerful styling changes using CSS or javascript, just like a website.

  • Integration layouts, such as Zendesk layouts. These are HTML layouts with some added functionality that is specific to the integration applications.

Note

If you need more advanced XSLT customization, you can request a customization from Paligo. On the Business plan or higher, you also have WebDAV access, allowing you to make simple edits to such a customization.

Note that if you want to do any XSLT customizations from scratch, you will need an onboarding developer package. Please contact your account manager if you are interested in that.

To edit a layout:

  1. Select Layout.

    Paligo displays a list of the layouts in your Paligo instance.

    layout-list.jpg
  2. Select the layout that you want to change. Paligo opens the layout in the Layout Editor.

    layout-overview-pdf.jpg

    The Layout Editor has three sections. On the left is a list of categories (1). When you select a category, the settings that are available for that category appear in the middle section (2). You can make your changes there.

    • On the left is a list of categories (1). When you select a category, the settings that are available for that category appear in the middle section (2).

    • The middle section (2) shows the settings that are available for the selected category (1). You can use these settings to make your changes.

    • The preview area (3) is for PDF layouts. You can preview any publication. If you want to preview topics that are not in a publication, you can add them to a temporary publication and then view that.

    Note

    If your PDF preview does not display, it may be due to an issue with the Adobe Reader plug-in. To fix the problem, access your browser's settings, turn off the Adobe Reader plug-in and then switch back to the default PDF preview. Firefox, Chrome, and Safari all have their own built-in PDF viewers.

  3. Use the categories and settings to make your changes. When making changes it is important to understand what happens if you set a value to Default.

    Every layout that you create has a base layout. This can either be one of the built-in layouts or a layout that's been created in your Paligo instance. The base layout provides the values that are used when you set a value to Default.

    • When you edit a layout and set a value to Default, it means "inherit this value from the base layout".

    • If you edit a layout and set a value that is not Default, it means "use this value and do not inherit from the base layout".

    To learn about the relationship between base layouts and new layouts, see Layout Relationships - Base, New, Duplicate.

  4. When you have made your changes, select Save.

    When you publish, you need to choose a layout for the publication. Your saved layout will be available to choose for the relevant publication type. For example, if you edited a PDF layout, you will be able to choose it when you publish a PDF output.

If you have an existing layout that has most of the settings you want to use for a new layout, you can copy it. This can be quicker than creating a new layout from scratch. When you copy a layout, you create a "duplicate" that is a completely separate layout that has all the same settings and values as the original layout, but no ongoing relationship with it.

This means:

  • Changes you make in the original layout have no effect on the duplicate

  • Changes you make in the duplicate have no effect on the original

  • Changes you make in the base layout of the original, can also affect the duplicate. This is because the original layout and the duplicate both have the same base layout. And so any settings that are set to "default" will inherit the values for those settings from the base layout. To find out more see Layout Relationships - Base, New, Duplicate.

Note

If you want a layout that does inherit default settings from another layout, create a new layout rather than a duplicate.

To create a duplicate of a layout:

  1. Select Layout.

  2. In the list, find the layout that you want to duplicate and select its option menu ( ... ).

  3. Select Duplicate.

    Paligo creates a copy of the layout you selected. The copy has the same name as the original layout, but with "copy <number of copy>" added.

If you have a custom layout that you no longer use, you can delete it from your Paligo instance. Once it is deleted, it is unavailable to Paligo users and so you will need to publish with one of the built-in layouts or one of your other custom layouts.

To delete a layout:

  1. Select Layout.

  2. In the list, find the layout that you want to delete and select its option menu ( ... ).

  3. Select Delete and then if you are sure you want to remove it, select Confirm.

If Paligo will not allow you to delete a layout, it is most likely because the layout is a base layout. This means that other layouts rely on it for their default settings.

All layouts are associated with a base layout. You cannot delete a base layout until all of those associations are removed.

For example, let's say you have an "ACME PDF 1" layout. You then create an "ACME PDF 2" layout and base it on "ACME PDF 1". The two layouts now have a relationship. If you try to delete "ACME PDF 1", Paligo will reject the deletion, as "ACME PDF 2" relies on "ACME PDF 1". To delete "ACME PDF 1" you must first delete "ACME PDF 2" so the relationship and dependency is gone.

When you create a layout, you have to give it a name and set its base layout. The base layout defines what type of content the new layout can create and it also provides the default values for the new layout (see Layout Relationships - Base, New, Duplicate). If, for some reason, you need one of your layouts to use a different base layout, you can rebase it.

Rebasing means associating a layout with a different base layout of the same type. For example, if you created a PDF layout based on the built-in default PDF layout, you could rebase it on one of your own custom PDF layouts.

Note

You cannot rebase a layout on a completely different type of layout. For example, if you have a PDF layout, you can only rebase it on the various PDF layouts in your Paligo instance. You cannot rebase it on an HTML5 layout or any other type of layout.

To rebase a layout:

  1. Select Layout.

  2. In the list, find the layout that you want to rebase and select its option menu ( ... ).

  3. Select Rebase and then choose the new base layout from the dropdown list.

  4. Select OKto confirm.

    Paligo rebases the layout. Your layout will now inherit its default settings from the base layout you have set.