Project structure

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< The ConTeXt Way | Structurals >

ConTeXt knows no document classes (as LaTeX does). You can define your layout yourself. If you use the same layout for several products, save it as an environment file.

How to split up a large project, say a book, in several handy parts? – Use ConTeXt's project management facilities.

  • a project links one or more products to their environment
  • a product contains several components
  • an environment defines the common layout (etc.) of a project

The environment could also contain different versions of the layout, e.g. print and screen (like Pragma's manuals) or final and correction etc.

Example 1: Magazine

  • project: magazine
  • product: one volume of the magazine
  • component: a single article

Example 2: Book

  • project: a series of books
  • product: one book
  • component: part or chapter


If you tex (compile) one single component (e.g. a chapter of a book) or product (e.g. one volume of a magazine), the environment file of the project is used.

Hraban uses and suggests the following naming conventions

  • project_foo
  • prd_foo
  • c_foo
  • env_foo


\startproject project_mymag
\environment env_mymag % only mentioned here!

\product prd_year2004-01
\product prd_year2004-02
\product prd_year2004-03
\product prd_year2004-04




\startenvironment env_mymag

% all setups...



\startproduct prd_year2004-01
\project project_mymag

\component c_editorial
\component c_article01
\component c_article_by_me
% ...



\startcomponent c_editorial
\product prd_year2004-01 % but you can use it in other products anyway
\project project_mymag


Dear reader...


There's a Perl script at Hraban's site fiëé teXnique to help creating the files (.ini files can be used for initial content). This functionality would be nice to be integrated in any editor supporting ConTeXt...