The Linked-Article Tool is similar to the standard Article Tool, except that it allows text from large documents to be distributed automatically across multiple pages. All Linked Articles that reference the same text file are considered linked together in a chain. The chain starts with the Linked Article nearest the beginning of the publication and proceeds through the publication to the last Linked Article. In design mode, Linked Articles display a number indicating their position in the chain. For example:



When a single page contains more than one Linked-Article, you can change their position in the chain using the Bring to Front and Send to Back commands found in the Arrange Menu.


There are two methods you can use to create Linked-Articles - Automatic and Manual:


Automatic Mode:

1. Navigate to the page where you want the first portion of the text file to appear.


2. Use the Page Properties screen to define the page’s background and transition effect. If your text file is large enough to require more than one page, VisualNEO for Windows will use these properties for any pages it creates.


3. Using VisualNEO for Windows’s Style Palette, select the fill and line styles you want to use for displaying the text. VisualNEO for Windows will use these settings for each of the Linked-Articles it creates during this step.


4. Select the Linked-Article icon from the Tool Palette and draw a rectangle on the publication.


5. Follow the instructions on the screen. If the text file you select is too large to fit in a single Linked Article, VisualNEO for Windows will display the Linked-Article Wizard (below) and offer to automatically flow the text across multiple pages.



The Linked-Article Wizard allows you to select the number of Columns and specify how much space you want between columns (the Gutter). You can specify horizontal and vertical page Margins to provide a buffer between the text and the edge of the publication. Use the New page titles begin with field to specify a base title for any new pages created during this process. For example, if you enter “Sample” as the new title, pages added will be named “Sample 1”, “Sample 2”, etc. Finally, the enable the Copy attributes from current page option if you want new pages to use the same background, transition effect, etc. as the current page (see step 2 above).


VisualNEO for Windows will use these settings when creating pages and distributing text across the publication as the illustration below demonstrates:



Note: VisualNEO for Windows will offer to flow the text only if there are no Linked-Articles in the publication already using the text file you select.


After VisualNEO for Windows automatically creates the Linked-Articles, you can make adjustments (position, size, color, font, etc.) to the articles individually, if needed.


Manual Mode

To manually create a group of Linked-Articles, follow steps 1 through 4 above. When asked if you want to automatically create additional Linked-Articles and pages to accommodate the additional text, answer “No.” After the first Linked-Article is created, you can create additional Linked Articles using the duplicate, copy-paste, etc. commands. Remember, all Linked-Articles that point to the same file are considered linked no matter how they have been created.


You can modify the Linked-Article’s properties by right clicking the object. The Linked-Article Properties screen will appear, allowing you to modify the default behavior of the object.


Tips for Efficient Linked-Articles

1. Avoid using variables if possible. Changes to the contents of a variable may trigger a reformat, which can be time consuming with large files. Also, files that do not contain variables can be optimized by VisualNEO for Windows and will load much faster after your publication is compiled.


2. Break up extremely large text files into several smaller ones. This will speed up editing and loading of your publication.


3. Avoid using excessive formatting. Only basic formatting should be used such as indents, bold, underline, italics, bullets, etc.


4. Don't use tables. The Linked-Article can't flow text that contains tables. If you need a table, insert it as a separate element.



The Linked-Article Properties screen is divided into two sections indicated by the icon images on the left: General and Actions. To view the settings for a section, click the corresponding icon.


General

The Text File field contains the name of the file displayed in the Article object. Even though you’ve imported the file into your publication, it’s still an external file. Edit the file outside of VisualNEO for Windows and the changes will appear in your publication. Only during the Compile stage will the file be bound inside the publication. To the right of the field are four small buttons: click the button to select a different file or click the button to open the current file in VisualNEO for Windows’s Text Editor. Experienced authors can use the button to perform advanced file options or the button to replace the file name with a variable.



Enable the Apply file name changes to all Linked-Articles in this group option to update the file name property for all of the Linked-Articles that belong to this group.


The Allow text to be copied to the clipboard option provides readers with the ability to select and copy portions of the document to the Windows Clipboard. If enabled, the mouse pointer can be used to highlight portions of text. Text can be copied by clicking the right mouse button or pressing Ctrl + C. Turn off this option to prevent readers from copying portions of your text without your consent. The items in the popup menu that appear when you click the right mouse button can be translated from the Language page of the App Properties screen.


Most Rich Text files contain specific font selections as part of the document’s formatting. You can replace these internal font choices with your own by enabling the Override text file’s font settings with Tool Pallet selections option. Once enabled, you can use VisualNEO for Windows’s Style Palette to select a new font for the text file.


Actions

Linked-Articles support the following Action Events: Mouse Enter and Mouse Exit. Click the appropriate tab at the bottom of the Action Editor to create or edit Actions for the events you want to control. You can define clickable Hyperlinks within the Article text using VisualNEO for Windows’s Text Editor. See Understanding Actions and Variables and Action Command Reference for a complete discussion of the Action Editor and Action Commands.