Including content managed in External Sources

In an ideal world, all of the content for your documentation or help system would be included directly within the Document! X or HelpStudio project in order to get maximum value from the built in Project Tools such as Find and Replace, Spell Check and Link Check.

However, in the real world we know that isn’t always practical. There is often some isolated content that is managed as part of an existing web site (perhaps a privacy policy or support information) or as part of some other authoring workflow.

There might also be users who own certain parts of the content who don’t want to use Document! X or HelpStudio, or to whom you don’t want to give access to the project using the Source Control Integration features (which would otherwise be a great solution for team working and multiple authors).

For those scenarios we have introduced new functionality for including content from External Sources in our 2015.1 release. Rather than manually trying to manually import content from a source external to the project (i.e. by downloading as HTML and importing), you are now able to add Topics to your project that automatically obtain the content as a seamless part of the build, or when previewing in the editor. You can also use the new external content Widgets to include external content directly within an existing Topic or in the Document! X Content File Editor.

In the initial release we support Web Pages (or rather any url that can be called to return HTML) and Quip Documents as external content sources. If you have content in other kinds of external sources that would like to see supported in a future update, please let us know.


(Click above to view a demonstration movie)

Using existing content from Web Pages

Including content from a Web Page rather than importing it is a good option when the content in the Web Page is managed outside of Document! X and HelpStudio and may be updated in future; the up to date content will be downloaded and included whenever you Preview a Topic or build the documentation.

Using a Web Page as the source for a Topic in your help system allows you to re-use existing content that is managed externally without having to re-import each time the external content is updated.

Using Quip Documents for collaborative editing

One of the external content sources we support is Quip; a simple web and mobile document editor. Because Quip is quick and easy to use and supports collaboration and change tracking it can be a great solution for users that only require very basic authoring functionality and won’t be hyperlinking to other parts of the project content or working on other project content.

Multiple users can collaborate, discuss and revise documents in Quip and the latest content will always be used whenever you Preview or Build the generated output.

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