You can reuse variables when you use the same text-based content in multiple places that changes over time(like contact numbers, addresses, disclaimers, etc.).


What is a "Variable"?

A "Variable" in Document360 are reusable elements that help maintain consistency and efficiency across various documentation sections. By employing variables, contributors to your articles can easily update information in one place, and it automatically reflects throughout the entire documentation, ensuring accuracy and reducing redundant efforts.

For example, you want to add your contact information in multiple instances, which might change over time. In this case, you can add a variable for contact information. If a change is required, you can update the variable alone instead of updating it in all instances.
(Contact: +1 897564231 / support@serverless.com)


Adding a Variable

1_Screenshot-Variables-Overview_page

  1. Go to Content toolsContent reuseVariable
  2. The Variable overview page appears. If you have added any variables earlier, you can see them listed here
  3. Use the dropdown at the top to select language-specific variables (Global, English, French, etc.) added to your project
  4. Click on the Create variable button, and a popup appears

2_Screenshot-Variables-Adding_a_new_variable

  1. Type in a Name for your variable. The name can contain characters, numbers, hyphens, and underscore
         
         

Variable Name character limit is 30 characters.

  1. The Merge code value would be the actual tag that appears in your editor

For example, If your variable name is "Disclaimer", then your Merge code value would be {{variable.Disclaimer}}.

  1. In the language selection, the default selection is "All"(Available across all languages). However, if you want to create a language-specific variable, you can choose from the dropdown

  2. In the Content field enter the variable's content

         

Character limit

         

Variable content's character limit is 100 characters with spaces. If you want to add longer texts, expressions, media, tables, or code blocks, use "Snippets."

Formatting options

Use the following text formatting options to style your variable content

9_Screenshot-Variables-Content_basic_tools

a. Basic text formatting options:
Bold
Italic
Strikethrough
Underline
Font size (8 to 36)

10_Screenshot-Variables-Content_basic_tools_text

b. Other formatting options: Click on the More text icon to access the below options
Font Family (Choose from the list of fonts)
Text color (Use the color picker or HEX code)
Background color (Use the color picker or HEX code)
Subscript
Superscript
Clear Formatting

11_Screenshot-Variables-Content_basic_tools_links

c. Insert Link - To add a hyperlink.

  • Click on Insert link icon
  • Type in the URL and add a text for the URL in the Text field
  • If required, select the Open in new tab checkbox
  • Click Insert
  1. Click on the Create variable button

The added variable appears on the "Variable" overview page, where it can be edited or deleted further.


Using "Variable" in an article/category page

You can insert a variable anywhere on the article/category page. You could add a variable in your article/category page in two methods.

Method 1 - Using the syntax (Markdown editor)

In the Markdown editor, type in a variable.MergeCodeValue between closed double curly brackets
Example: {{variable.Disclaimer}}

You must know the exact merge code value to add the desired variable. The variable will not work even if a single letter changes.

         
Not supported in WYSIWYG and Block editor
         

Typing in variable.Merge Code Value would only work in the Markdown editor.

If you use the WYSIWYG or Block editor, please follow Method 2 (mentioned next) to add a variable to your article.

(or)

Method 2 - From the toolbar (Markdown, WYSIWYG, and Block editor)

  1. For Markdown and WYSIWYG editor, click on the { } Content reuse button
    (or)
    For Block editor click on "Insert -> Variables" or "/" command
  2. Select the variable or use the Search variables bar to narrow down the variable name

In the Block editor, a window appears on the right for variable selection. Hover the pointer on the variable name to preview its content.

  1. Select the intended variable
  2. Click on the Insert button
         
Note
         

You can select more than one variable in one go.


Variable overview page

View, edit, or delete a variable on the "Variable" overview page.

  1. Go to Content toolsContent reuseVariable
  2. The Variable overview page appears. You can find the list of variables you have already added

12_Screenshot-Variables-Overview_page_key_marked

a. Languages – To filter the variables in "All" or a specific language
b. Search variable – Search the variable list based on the name
c. Preview – Hover the pointer next to the variable name, and a preview icon appears. Click on the icon to view the variable's content
7_Screenshot-Variables-Preview_button

d. Dependencies – If a variable is not added to any article/category page, the status would be -. If a variable is added to any article/category page, you can click the View button to see the list of articles/category pages containing the variable.
e. Last updated by - The project member (team account) who has created the variable or recently edited the variable content
f. Last updated on - The last time the variable content was updated
g. Edit - To edit the variable content
h.  Delete - To remove the variable

         

Filters

         

You can use the search bar to identify a variable from the list or the filter option to narrow down the variables displayed.
3_Screenshot-Variables-Filer_from_list


View article/category page dependency

5_Screenshot-Variables-Dependency_viewer

  1. In the Variable overview page, you can find the column Dependencies
  2. Click on the View button, and a Articles/Categories used blade appears on the right
  3. You can view the list of articles/category pages the variable has been added
  4. Click on the article to expand the section
  5. You can find the following information:
    • The article version
    • The project version and language
    • The team account name and profile picture who has added the variable
    • The article states (Published, Draft, New Article)
    • The time/date information when the variable was inserted in the article/category page

Editing an existing Variable

4_Screenshot-Variables-edit_or_delete

  1. Click on Content toolsContent reuseVariable
  2. The Variable overview page appears. You can find the list of variables you have already added
  3. Navigate the mouse over the variable you want to edit
  4. Click on the Edit icon next to the variable
  5. You can edit the content of the variable
  6. If the variable is not tagged in any article/category page, you can edit the global/local availability. If the variable is categorized in any article/category page, you cannot edit the global/local availability
  7. The Name and Merge Code Value cannot be edited
         
How to edit a link added in a variable?
         

Click the link, and you can find the following options:

  • Open link - The link will open in the tab. This helps in checking the link

  • Style - Style has two options.

    • Green - To change the link text color to green
    • Thick - To increase the thickness of the link text
  • Edit - To edit the URL, link text, and change open in the new tab option

  • Unlink - To unlink the URL and change it to standard text. The URL will be unlinked, and only the URL text will appear

  1. After you complete the content edit, click on the Update button
         
Variable value change
         

When you edit the value of an existing variable in the library, the value change will reflect in all the articles/pages that contain the respective variable.


Deleting a variable

4_Screenshot-Variables-edit_or_delete

  1. Go to Content toolsContent reuseVariable
  2. The Variable overview page appears. You can find the list of variables you have already added
  3. Navigate the mouse over the variable you want to delete
  4. Click on the Delete icon next to the variable
  5. In the Delete confirmation prompt, click Delete
         
Delete dependency
         

If you have any article/category page dependency, you cannot delete a variable.

'Article/category page dependency - Variable is added in one or more articles/category pages.'
You must first manually remove the variable from those articles/category pages and then delete the variable.

To bulk delete multiple variables

Select the variable from the "Variables" overview page, and click the "Delete" option at the top of the list.

8_Screenshot-Variables-Bulk_delete


Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. How do Variables work?

Variables allow you to define specific content elements, such as product names or version numbers, in one place. Updating the variable automatically reflects the change across all relevant sections when this content changes, ensuring uniformity.

2. What's the benefit of using Variables in my documentation?

By using Variables, you ensure consistency in your documentation while minimizing the need for manual updates. This saves time, reduces errors, and maintains accuracy, especially when dealing with frequently changing information.

3. Can I create my Variables in Document360?

Document360 empowers you to create custom Variables tailored to your documentation needs. This allows you to adapt the feature to the specific terminology and elements relevant to your content.

4. How do I use Variables in my articles?

Insert the variable into the article content using the editor's toolbar or the merge code value, and it will dynamically pull the information you've defined, ensuring uniformity across your documentation.

5. Can Variables be updated across multiple articles at once?

When you update a Variable, the change is automatically reflected throughout all instances where that variable is used, making it easy to maintain consistent information across your entire knowledge base.

6. Are Variables limited to specific types of content?

Yes, Variables can be used for limited text, number, or link-based content, from product names and version numbers to URLs and contact information.

7. How do Variables enhance collaboration among team members?

Variables streamline the collaboration process by ensuring everyone is using the same accurate information. Changes to a variable are instantly updated across all articles, preventing discrepancies.

8. Is using Variables a best practice in technical documentation?

Using Variables is a best practice that improves technical documentation efficiency, consistency, and accuracy. It's particularly valuable when working with dynamic information that requires frequent updates.