Guides is a feature that allows you to create your own indexed library of instructive user manuals, built right into the user portal.
There are three key parts that make up the structure of a guide: the guide, parent topics and children topics. You can see how the structure will appear to the User on the portal demonstrated below.
The Guide will be selected by the User in a drop-down box. The parent topics act as headings and the children topics are nested underneath their parent topic and will contain the actual content.
Creating a Guide
To create, manage and edit guides. Go to Publish > Guides in the Agent Interface. Select Add new guide.
Once the ‘Add new guide’ pane opens, input the title of the guide you want to create, and select which user groups you want to assign permission to view the guide.
Select ‘Save’ to create a guide.
Once a guide has been created, it is now ready to be populated with individual topics. Multiple parent topics can be nested within guides, and multiple child topics can be nested within parent topics.
Topics appear listed in the specified guide index on the user interface.
Creating a Topic
To create a new topic, select the Topic option from the blue + button in the header of the Agent Interface. The first topic you create will be a parent topic and will act as a header for the child topic(s) you will add beneath.
Once a new Topic tab is created in the content pane, you can select and determine its properties. These include:
Brand: Select which brand user portal the topic will appear in.
Guide: Select which guide the topic will be nested under.
Status: Select whether the topic will be published, remain unpublished, or be saved as a draft
Parent: Select which topic the guide will be nested under, or none at all. Topics created without a parent become parent topics themselves, meaning they do not display content - but appear as index items for other topics to nest underneath.
Title: Determine the title the topic will appear under in the guide.
Once you have created your first parent topic, you will need to create another new topic, but this time select the parent topic it will be nested under. This will create a child topic and you will see the option to start writing content.
Creating Topic Content
Creating and editing topic content is done using an easy-to-use markdown formatting editor, with the following tools and features:
Headers: Select from three sizes of headers. H1 headers create ‘anchored headers’, which can be hyperlinked to. Anchored headers also automatically create a sub-index of topics.
Bold & Italics
Hyperlink: Search for internal content in the helpdesk to link to, as well as using URLs for external content.
Quotes: Creates a quote from selected text
Info: Creates an info box from selected text
Warning: Creates a warning box from selected text
Code: Creates a box to display code in from selected text
With markdown formatting, you can either use the toolbar to edit the appearance of text, or use special characters and punctuation in the text interface itself. For example, to create a header you use hashtags. So, "# HEADLINE" is a large header. "## HEADLINE" would be a little smaller, "### HEADLINE" would be smaller still.
When you use markdown commands using the toolbar, the corresponding special character and punctuation commands appear in the text interface, so you can easily familiarize yourself with markdown formatting.
For more information, refer to this article from the creator of markdown - John Gruber.
Inserting images when creating or editing topics is done using simple copy and paste from web pages, or drag and drop from your own files.
All content created in the text interface automatically generates a preview; visible directly below the text interface. Here you can determine what topic content will look like once it has been published and is viewed from the Guides section of your user portal.
Once you would like to publish a topic, or want to save it as a draft, select the ‘Create Topic’ button below the topic preview.
Editing topic properties
Once topics have been created that aren’t parents, you can view and edit various properties, and edit topic content.
In the content pane of created topics, you can view the topic number, edit the topic name, publish status, and guide family.
There are also several tabs that allow you to manage elements and properties of the created topic. These include:
Properties: Edit the URL slug, view topic feedback rating, view time of creation and author, set an automatic unpublish date, delete, copy permalink and view the topic in the user interface.
Comments: View, manage, add, and respond to topic comments
Revisions: See a revision history of the topic, and compare edits.
Search: Define search terms that determine the visibility of the topic to users who use those terms.
Managing Guides and Topics
Once you have populated a guide with topics, you can use a live drag and drop management system to reflect how content will appear in the user portal.
Select, grab and move a topic in order to change parents, nestings, and ordering.
Under the properties for each individual guide, you can organize the order the guides appear in from the dropdown menu in the user interface.