About linking direction in relationship tables

You can specify whether topic links are mutual or unidirectional.

When you drag topics into adjacent cells of a row, by default you'll establish a two-way link: the topics link to each other. If you're using the output in a set of Related links, for example, you'll see each topic in the other's list.

You have the option of setting up directional links between topics so that one topic can refer to another, without having a link back in return (or vice versa). For example, you might want numerous small related procedures to have access to a conceptual topic; but you might not want all of the many little topics showing up as links inside the concept.

You can set the linking direction on topics, groups of topics, or on entire cells. Icons next to the objects indicate the linking direction.

The following linking values are available:

  • targetonly - the topic can only be linked to; it cannot make links to other topics. Indicated by the following icon: linking targetonly icon
  • sourceonly - the topic can link to other topics; but other topics cannot link to it. Indicated by the following icon: linking sourceonly icon
  • none - a topic cannot link or be linked to. Indicated by the following icon: linking none icon
  • normal - the topic can link in both directions. This is the default value and does not have to be entered. You can, however, use this value to override the attribute of a parent structure: if, for example, you want just one topic within a topic group to link in both directions. Indicated by the following icon: linking normal icon

In the screenshot below, both of the cells have the default linking: normal (bidirectional). So does the topic group in the task cell, as a whole. However, one of the topics in the group – Vote on a document – is designated as "sourceonly". None of the other members of the group or the concept cell will be linked to it; but it will link to all the others.

The topic in the concept cell, on the other hand, has been designated "targetonly". All the other cells in the row will link to it, but it will not be linked back to them.

Note: Your system must use UTF-16 character encoding with the East Asian language pack installed, or the linking arrows will not display properly.

Reltable linking