What is Conditional Text?

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Conditional text allows writers to create multiple variations of a document within a single Microsoft® Word document.

You can use conditional text to tag content in a document as being specific to one or more variations of the document, but not to other variations (this is known as conditional content). This conditional content can then be shown or hidden depending on the document variation that you want to produce the output for.

If you produce multiple variations of a document then conditional text can help. Some common scenarios of when conditional text is used include:

  • Scenarios where you produce multiple variations of a document, and each variation contains regional or geographic specific content, such as country, state, or province specific information.
  • Scenarios where you produce multiple variations of a document, and each variation contains product or model number specific content. Consider the iPod manuals that are generated by Apple; each manual is very similar, but there are key differences between each product line (iPod® shuffle®, iPod nano®, iPod touch®, etc.).
  • Scenarios where you produce multiple variations of a document, and each variation contains technology specific content. For example, if you are writing installation instructions for software, but the instructions have slight variations depending on which operating system the software is being installed on (Windows® XP, 7, etc.). What does conditional text look like? The screenshot below shows a document that can take on three different variations based on the geographic region the output is being generated for (Canada, United States, or European Union). A conditional tag was created for each of these geographic regions. The Radio and TV Interference section in this document contains some content that is specific to the European Union. This content has been conditionalized using the European Union conditional tag and will only be visible when generating the output for the European Union. You can show and hide conditional tags, and the corresponding conditional content will also be shown or hidden. In the screenshot below, we have hidden the European Union conditional tag, so the European Union specific content is no longer visible.
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