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Hi Nikki and welcome to the RH community.
You can achieve this by using conditional build tags that you can apply to a topic in it's properties. When you come to generate the output. Just include or exclude the build tag in your single source layout. For example if most of your topics will be in all user guides only apply a build tag to those topics that are specific to a certain user guide. When generating specify to exclude the build tag for topics you do not need and all others will be included. Hope this helps.
The conditional build tags works for displaying the separate contents pages, but the pages for other guides are still contained in the browser sequencing. Is there any way to prevent this automatically without needing to do a separate browser sequence for each guide?
PS. Sorry about the late response, they pulled me onto a different project and now I'm back on.
It seems to be working ok if the tag is applied on the topic, but does not work ok if the tag is applied in the TOC.
Am I right in that you are using version RHX6? If think so, as you mention applying a build tag to a book - you can't do this with RHX5 which is what I still use! If you have applied a build tag to a book, I would expect all the topics in that book to be included or excluded (depending on whether you are including or excluding that tag in the single source layout) from the output. The exception to this is if there are topics in that book that have another build tag assigned to them.
I think you will have to look closely at where you are applied the build tags. If you right click on them in the Project tab you'll see the list of topcs in the Properties. It sounds like you assigned a tag to some topics and/or books and not assigned any tags to other topics/books. If you use an exlcude tag statement in your SSL, you will get all topics/books that do not have that tag (i.e. those with other tags and those with no tag).
One other tip. It is generally accepted to exclude rather than include build tags in your output.