About branching

When a map is branched, a copy of the map is created. The new map is identical to the original map, and it references the same published content as the original map.

The new map starts in the Authoring cycle with the status Authoring:work (or its equivalent in your workflow). The submaps, topics, images, and other content in the map remain in the Published cycle.

Modifying an object within a branched map

If you want to modify the content of any of the objects within the branched map, you have to branch them as well. This includes all submaps and their children.

When you branch an object, a copy of the original object is created in the Authoring cycle. This new object has the same ID as the original, but it is a new object with a different filename. It can be edited in the same manner as any other document in the Authoring cycle, without affecting the original published version of the document.

Document references within a branched map

When you branch a document, the system automatically finds all topics and maps within the branched map that reference the document and updates their references. If any topics or maps containing a reference to the branched document are still in the Published cycle, then they are automatically branched as well.

This does not affect documents from outside a branched map’s hierarchy. Such topics or maps are left unchanged, and will continue to reference the original published version of the document.

You cannot branch a document unless it's in a state that permits branching. For example, if you try to branch a document and the documents that reference it are locked by another user, then the document cannot be branched. You'll have to wait until the documents are released to proceed with branching.

Branching a topic across multiple maps within the same branch

If multiple maps reference the same topic within a branch (that is, the maps have the same branch version), then when the topic is branched in the maps, the maps will use the same branched topic.

For example, Map1 and Map2 both reference the same topic (Topic1). Both Map1 and Map2 are branched using the version Branch1. When Topic1 is branched in Map1, a new version of Topic1 is created in Authoring, and the branched Map1 references this new version. The branched Map2 still references the Topic1 in Published. When Topic1 is branched in Map2, then both Map1 and Map2 reference the same branched topic in Authoring.