How PDF templates are designed

PDF templates in Clarify are made up of HTML and CSS files. If you are have experience with HTML and CSS then you can customize a template however you see fit.

Note that the PDF templates share the same format as ScreenSteps PDF templates. There are some files in the templates that you won't use in Clarify. For example, the manual-layout.html file is only applicable when you export a manual from ScreenSteps.

Files in a custom template

These are the files that the Clarify PDF exporter has:

  • article-layout.html: This file is processed when exporting an article as PDF.
  • manual-layout.html: This file is processed when exporting a manual as PDF. [not applicable to Clarify]
  • template.xml: This file stores properties of the template that the user specifies in the custom template interface in Clarify.
  • title-page-layout.html: If this file is present than it will be used to generate the title page when exporting a manual as PDF. If it is not present then the selected title page in the ScreenSteps PDF template interface will be used. [not applicable to Clarify]
  • use.css: This file contains any custom CSS that the user entered in the Clarify PDF template interface. This CSS has the highest precedence.

Any other files or folders in the ./Content folder are not processed by the Clarify exporter. They are just resource files used by the HTML files. You can add any files you would like to use in your template in this folder. This folder will be the root folder for any references you make in your HTML.

Files in a custom template

The HTML elements

Here is what the default article.html file looks like. As you can see it is a standard HTML file with links to CSS files. Some things to note about some of the divs and the behavior assigned to them using CSS:

  1. The header div is taken out of the normal document flow and placed in the header of each page.
  2. The footer div is taken out of the normal document flow and placed in the footer of each page.
  3. The content div is where all document content is placed.

Variables

Any user configurable property in the PDF template editor will be represented by a variable in the PDF template fies.

In addition, document properties are inserted into the template files using variables.

User configured variables

These variables are defined by the user in the PDF template editor in Clarify. You will find most of these used in the CSS files.

  • {{page_size}}: Can be assigned to the CSS size property.
  • {{page_margins}}: Can be assigned to the CSS margin property.
  • {{page_margin_top}}: Given in pts.
  • {{page_margin_right}}: Given in pts.
  • {{page_margin_bottom}}: Given in pts.
  • {{page_margin_left}}: Given in pts.
  • {{meta_author}}: The author.
  • {{footer_text}}: The text to appear in the footer.
  • {{text_color}}: Default color for document text.
  • {{document_font}}
  • {{header_font}}
  • {{footer_font}}
  • {{article_title_font}}
  • {{article_description_font}}
  • {{step_title_font}}
  • {{substep_title_font}}
  • {{step_instructions_font}}
  • {{article_title_size}}
  • {{article_title_color}}
  • {{article_description_size}}
  • {{article_description_color}}
  • {{step_title_size}}
  • {{step_title_color}}
  • {{substep_title_size}}
  • {{substep_title_color}}
  • {{step_instructions_size}}
  • {{step_instructions_color}}
  • {{header_text}}
  • {{header_text_color}}
  • {{header_text_size}}
  • {{header_background_color}}
  • {{header_divider_color}}
  • {{footer_text}}
  • {{footer_text_size}}
  • {{footer_text_color}}
  • {{footer_divider_color}}
  • {{page_numbering}}: The string used for page numbering in the footer.
  • {{logo_filename}}
  • {{logo_alignment}}
  • {{content_flow}}: How the user wants content flowed on the page. keep-together, no-breaks, one-per-page.

Content variables

  • {{meta_title}}: The title of the manual or article that goes in the <head>.
  • {{meta_subject}}: The title of the manual or article.
  • {{meta_keywords}}: Always empty.
  • {{meta_date}}: The current date.
  • {{meta_generator}}: This is always "ScreenSteps".
  • {{title}}: The title of the manual or article that can appear within the <body>.
  • {{content}}: Replaced with the manual or article content.
  • {{t_of_c}}: Replaced with the table of contents for the document.
  • {{small_image}}: Maximum height for images that are classed as small.
  • {{medium_image}}: Maximum height for images that are classed as medium.
  • {{large_image}}: Maximum height for images that are classed as large.
  • {{xlarge_image}}: Maximum height for images that are classed as xlarge.
  • {{max_logo_height}}: The maximum height for the logo in points.
  • {{template_folder}}: The path to the template folder. Can be used in CSS where relative image paths won't resolve properly.
  • {{working_page_height}}: The size of the PDF page where content can appear.

2 Comments

Susan Ottwell

Where are these files?

Trevor DeVore

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