PDF Templates

Adobe RoboHelp 2022 introduces PDF templates to make PDF production more controlled and to make it easy to get the same styling across PDFs in multiple projects on multiple machines.

How to Setup a Template

The start point is to either

  • Go to the Output Tab and create a PDF Template by clicking the + icon and selecting one of the options shown.
  • Selecting one of the supplied templates.

With each of the groups expanded as below, you will see the available Page Layouts, Stylesheets and Resources. If the configuration options on the right are not already displayed, double click Settings to see to configure the template

With all the configuration options now shown, let's look at the various groups.

Page Layouts

Page layouts show both on the left and on the right as shown above.

  • On the left are the layouts for editing
  • On the right the layouts are selected for the various parts of your PDF.

In this section the supplied layouts are described.

Each template will have different page layouts available. You can edit the supplied page layouts or you can create your own.

The Supplied Page Layouts

Each template will have different layouts but to give you some idea, this table describes the supplied Prime template page layouts.

Back Cover

The supplied page layout provides a sample back page. 


During the generation of a PDF there can be blank pages if, for example, you have set all topics to start on an odd page. This template provides default text "This page is left blank"using the "emptybackground.svg" file you see in Resources.


The Chapter layout includes the chapter title. The chapter title is as defined in the Book TOC. Click the twisty and you will see there are three sections in the page layout of this template defining the appearance of the first page and the left and right pages.

Click the menu of any page layout and you will see Add Layout Variant. Click that option to set up different layouts for first, left and right pages of any page layout.


Citations can be added as a topic in Back Matter in addition to being included in topics.


If the same layout is required in multiple sections, a name such as "Common" makes this easier

Front Cover

The supplied page layout provides a sample front page. 


If your TOC includes a Glossary in Back Matter, this layout is configured to display that.


This layout is designed to display an Index if selected in Back Matter.


This layout is designed to display the content in Landscape mode. It would not be used for a whole section but applied within a topic. In Content Properties > Pagination type Landscape to apply it to the whole topic or first a block of content to apply it to just that block. That can be useful for wide tables.

The name "Landscape" is the page layout supplied in the Prime Template. You can create your own page layouts for similar purposes. Note that the name you type in Content Properties must match exactly the name of the layout.

LOF (List of Figures)

If your Book TOC includes a List of figures in Front Matter, in the PDF this option will list their captions in the same way as a TOC. Figures without a caption will be labelled "Figure".

LOT (List of Tables)

If your Book TOC includes a List of Tables in Front Matter, in the PDF this option to list their captions listed in the same way as a TOC. Tables without a caption will be labelled "Table".


If your Book TOC includes a TOC in Front Matter, the TOC layout includes the project name in the header.


With any page layout opened in the editor, it can be styled using the Content and Topic Properties. You can apply Restart Numbering in the Print Properties panel on the right.

Cover and Back Page

You can create your cover page using a page layout. By default each page layout has three divs applied to it, header, content and footer. In most cases these divs will give the required output for any layout including cover pages.

In a few scenarios a different configuration may be required. Try using Insert HTML Elements on the top toolbar and creating positioned divs instead of the default divs, they can be removed in Source View.

Positioned divs will appear top right by default. Go to Content Properties > Layout to size and position the div as required.

Upgraded projects will remove cover and back pages from the TOC and add them to the template.

Re-using the Supplied Page Layouts

In the Same Project

From the menu for the page layout, select Show in Explorer. In Explorer copy the page layout to the required template.

In another 2022 Project

Page Layouts alone cannot be exported to another project as that would not take any resources or stylesheets required by that layout. Instead export the whole template and import it into the other project, then follow the steps above to copy the page layout between templates. To import the template, click the + icon to see the Import option.

Creating Your Own Page Layouts

Hover over the Page Layout heading and click the menu icon to add a new page layout.

You then edit it in the normal way.


Two CSS files, layout.css and content.css are supplied to use in the page layouts.

The idea of these is that layout.css defines the appearance of the elements of the page that are not coming from the content such as the TOC, the Index, headers and footers and so on. Then content.css provides a single CSS for the content. As the print outputs are a single document, the topics must all have the same CSS applied.

Working with the Supplied CSS

Working with the supplied templates you will need to add definitions as they are supplied without the styles defined. In a new template both layout.css and content.css will be included in the header of the page layout.

Using Your Own CSS

If you have a CSS already set up with the styles you want, you can add that to the Stylesheets as has been done in this project. You will need to either add it using Explorer or create a new CSS as above and paste in the content.

In this release you will also need to change the page layout to source view and edit the CSS files there.

Layout and Content Clashes

If your topics only reference one CSS throughout the project, you do not need a CSS in the page layout for the content, only the elements of the layout itself need to be defined.

If different topics reference more than one CSS, you need to define a single CSS for the content in print outputs, as explained above. That CSS needs to be the Stylesheets group in the template, not elsewhere in your project.

The order in which cascading rules apply depends on how they are defined in the source code head section, not the order in the image above, that is alphabetical.

Note also that the preset includes a checkbox to exclude any topic CSS clashing with the page layout CSS file(s).


Shown here will be any assets that you use when creating the page layouts.


There are three parts to the Settings.


Always Start Chapter From

Select the required option.

Start Each Topic From A New Page

Select if required.

Use Headings Up To Level

Set the level required.

Readjust Heading Levels As Per The Source TOC Hierarchy


Add or Replace Heading from the Source TOC to Maintain the Hierarchy


These settings combine to define the appearance of your TOC in the PDF and the headings in the content. Shown below are examples using this TOC.

You will get different results if you attach a topic to a section. In some setting combinations the topic will not appear in the TOC. To overcome that attach the topic and insert it as an entry with other topics.

Neither Option Selected

This will give just a straight list of the topics without the section names. The heading levels in the body will be the same as in Author view.

Readjust Selected - Add or Replace Not Selected

This will also give just a straight list of the topics without the section names but with a difference. The heading levels in the TOC in the PDF will be one level down, note the different fonts.

In the document the heading levels will be one level lower than in Author view, H1 will become H2, H2 will become H3 and so on.

It is unlikely you would choose this combination but it is necessary to have the two options to make other requirements available.

Readjust Not Selected - Add or Replace Selected

This has added the section names to the TOC at the same level as H1 in the topics. The heading levels in the body will be the same as in Author view.

This combination of settings will apply H1 to the section title and to the topic title. By using caps for the section title they are more obvious.

Both Selected

With both options selected the details shown will be as above but the topics will be indented as shown below.

In the document the heading levels will be one level lower than in Author view, H1 will become H2, H2 will become H3 and so on.

With this combination of settings the fact the section title is outdented means you could change to mixed case without losing clarity.

Do Not Show Page Number for the First Level in TOC

Select if required.

Leader Format

Select the leader required between the title and the page number.

Use Table Continuation Marker

Tables sometimes break across rows. Select this option to see the fields below.

Text Before Break

Use the default text or edit is as required.

Text After Break

Use the default text or edit is as required.


Page Layouts

Here you select the page layouts you want applied to the various sections of your document.

Page Styles

You can also type in a Page Style. That is intended for advanced users who may need to create a CSS style to achieve advanced results not possible with the supplied page layouts. The name of such styles can be typed in here. Make sure it is character and case perfect.

To create Page Styles, open your CSS in the CSS editor, click the Page Styles group and click the + icon to define the style.

Page Styles can also be applied to topics. See Working on Topics.


If you need to send your PDF to a professional printer, they will require these settings to be applied.