Working with articles

How to create content within your Help Center

  • Creating and editing articles

    Guide managers can create new articles and edit all existing articles in the knowledge base. Agents who are not Guide managers can create and edit articles if they have management permissions. End-users can’t contribute articles to the knowledge base.

    Light agents on Guide Lite and Professional cannot create or edit articles. Light agents on Guide Enterprise and Legacy can create and edit articles where they have permission.

    You must have at least one section in the knowledge base before you can start adding articles. When you create an article, you must assign it to a section. For more information, see Anatomy of the Help Center.

    Adding articles to the knowledge base

    Guide managers can create new articles. Agents can create new articles if they have management permissions. Agent privileges for new articles vary depending on their management permissions. See the complete list of agent privileges for existing, published articles.

    You can create a maximum of 40,000 total articles, including translations. This limit includes articles in all states, except archived.

    To add an article to the knowledge base

    1. In Help Center or Guide, click Add in the top menu bar, then select Article.

      Add options

    2. Enter your content.

      • Use the article editor’s toolbar for formatting options or to add links, images, or tables. This toolbar is not the same as the toolbar in community posts.

        Article editor

        For information, see the Help Center article editor toolbar reference. See also Inserting links, Inserting images, and Inserting videos. For tables, check out this formatting tip.

      • Edit the HTML source by clicking the Source Code button at the end of the editor’s toolbar.

        Help Center quarantines unsafe HTML tags and attributes to reduce the risk of malicious code. For information, see Allowing unsafe HTML in pages.

    3. Under Managed By, click the drop-down arrow, then select management permissions to determine which agents have editing and publishing rights for this article.

      • Managers enables only Guide Managers to edit and publish the article. This option is selected by default on new articles.
      • Editors and publishers (Enterprise only) enables all agents and managers to edit this article but only managers can publish the article. This option appears only if it’s been activated.
      • Custom management permission (Professional and Enterprise) enables specific user segments to edit and publish the article.

      Depending on your account, you might also see an agents and managers option.

      Guide Managers can apply any management permissions. Agents with management permissions can apply only the management permissions they belong to. Agents who do not have management permissions on any article will not see this option, and the management permissions will default to managers.

    4. Under Visible to, select one of the view permissions options to determine which users can view this article.

      • Visible to everyone includes anyone who visits Help Center and does not require sign in.
      • Signed-in users includes internal and external users who create an account and sign in to your Help Center.
      • Agents and managers (Professional and Enterprise) includes staff members only, so that you can create content that is internal-only.
      • Custom user segment (Professional and Enterprise) enables you to restrict viewing access to specific users based on tags, organizations, or groups by applying custom user segments (see Creating user segments to restrict access).

      Guide managers and agents with publishing permissions can set view permissions for articles. Agents who do not have publish permissions on any article will not see this option, and the view permissions will default to agents and managers.

    5. Under Publish in section, click Select a section, then select a new section and click Ok.

      You can search for or navigate to the section. All of your categories might not appear in the window. To navigate, click the expander arrows to drill down to the section you want.

      Publish in section

    6. Chose any of the following options:

      • To close the article for comments, deselect Open for comments.
      • To promote the article in its section, select Promote article.
      • To add an attachment, click Upload attachment on the lower side of the editor.

      The file size limit is 20 MB. You can remove an attachment by clicking the x next to it.

    7. (Guide Professional and Enterprise) Under Labels, add any labels you want.

      As you start typing, a list of existing labels appears for you to chose from, or you can add a new keyword by selecting Add as a new label or by typing a word and pressing Enter.

      Add new label

      For more information about using labels and best practices, see Using labels on Help Center articles.

      You can add labels to the default language article only and not to translations of the article. You can add labels in multiple languages to the default article.

    8. (Guide Enterprise) Under Template, if you have multiple article templates in your live theme, click the drop-down, then select a template.

      You might have to scroll down to see this option. If you do not select an alternate template, the default article template will be applied.

      Select template

    9. When you are finished working on your article, do one of the following:

      • To save your new article as a draft or work in progress to publish later, click Save.

        Save button

        Clicking Save creates the article as a draft (Guide Lite and Professional) or a work in progress (Guide Enterprise).

        Click the Preview in Help Center link (Guide Lite and Professional) or the Preview link (Guide Enterprise) to view the article in your Help Center. The preview link expires after one hour.

      • To publish your new article, click the drop-down arrow on the Save button, then select Publish now.

        Clicking Publish now creates the article and publishes it in your Help Center.

        Click the Show in Help Center link (Guide Lite and Professional) or the Published link (Guide Enterprise) to view the article in your Help Center.

    For information about how you can display an article in multiple sections, see Displaying an article or section in multiple sections or categories in our Support tech notes.

    Editing articles in the knowledge base

    Guide managers can edit any articles. Agents can edit existing articles where they have management permissions. Agent privileges for existing articles vary depending on their management permissions. See the complete list of agent privileges for existing, published articles.

    On Guide Lite and Professional, you cannot save edits for an existing published article. On Guide Enterprise, you can save edits for an existing published article as a work in progress.

    There are some article updates that you can make on multiple articles in bulk. For more information, see Updating knowledge base articles in bulk.

    To open an article in edit mode

    • In Help Center, navigate to the article you want to edit, then click Edit article in the top menu bar.

      Edit article

    • In Guide Admin, click the Manage articles (Manage articles icon) icon in the sidebar, search for the article, then click the title to open it.

    • In Guide Admin, click the Arrange content (Arrange articles icon) icon in the sidebar, navigate to the article, then click the options menu at the end of the title and select Edit article.

  • Using the article editor toolbar

    The Help Center article editor contains a toolbar you can use to format your knowledge base articles. The article toolbar is not the same as the toolbar that appears in community posts.

    Editor bar

    The following table describes the formatting options that are available.

    Toolbar button Name Action
    hc_article_toolbar_headings Paragraph Insert HTML headings
    hc_article_editor_font_size Size Increase or decrase font size
    Bold1 Bold Bold or unbold text
    Underline1 Underline Underline or remove underline from text
    color1 Text color Change text color using the color selector
    Italic1 Italic Italicize or remove italics
    Numbered1 Numbered list Create or remove a numbered list
    Bulleted1 Bulleted list Create or remove a bulleted list
    Align_indent Align/indent Align text left, center, or right; indent or outdent text
    link Insert/edit link Create or edit a link and link text. You can link to a URL, heading in the article, or another article. See Inserting links.
    insert_image Insert image Insert an image using the file browser. The image file size limit is 20 MB. See Inserting images.
    video1 Add video Insert a video that is hosted on a supported service. See Inserting videos.
    Table1 Table Create or modify tables using the menu options
    code1 Source code View or edit the HTML source code
  • Inserting videos in articles

    You can insert videos in the body of your Help Center knowledge base articles, either through the article editor toolbar, or by embedding code in your article.

    Inserting videos from the article editor toolbar

    Guide supports a number of third-party video hosting services as standard. If your video is hosted on one of the following supported video hosting services, you can insert directly from the article editor toolbar:

    • Vimeo
    • YouTube
    • Wistia
    • JWPlayer
    • Brightcove
    • Vidyard
    • Loom

    If you are using Web Widget on your website or Help Center, your end-users can stream videos in Help Center articles directly in the Web Widget. To display correctly in the Web Widget, videos must be publicly available, and hosted on one of the supported third-party services.

    To insert a video in an article using the article editor toolbar

    1. Copy the URL for your video.

      Your video must be hosted on Vimeo, YouTube, Wistia, JWPlayer, Brightcove, Vidyard, or Loom. If your video is on one of the supported services, you can use this procedure to insert your video. You do not need to enable the option to allow unsafe content in your Help Center to do so.

      If your video is not hosted on a supported provider, you’ll need to insert the video by embedding code).

    2. In Help Center or Guide Admin, edit an existing article or create a new article.
    3. Place your cursor where you want the video to appear, then click Add video on the editor’s toolbar.

      Add video button

    4. Paste the video’s URL in the dialog box.

      A preview of the video appears.

      Add video

    5. Click Insert.
    6. When you are ready, click Save.

    Inserting videos by embedding code

    If your video is hosted on a non-supported service, use the article source code editor to add the video’s embed code to insert the video. Be aware that this means you must allow unsafe HTML (see Allowing unsafe HTML in pages).

    Some third-party video hosting services do not count video views unless you have manually embedded the code to insert the video. Use the embed method if you need to track video views as part of your analytics.

  • Inserting images in articles

    You can insert images in the body of your Help Center knowledge base articles. When you insert images, they are added as attachments to the article. Large images are automatically resized to fit the width of the article.

    Be sure to insert the image, as opposed to copying and pasting the image from another source, to avoid image issues. As an alternative to inserting images directly in your articles, you can host your images on a public file server and link to them.

    To insert an image in an article

    1. In Help Center, create a new article or edit an existing article.
    2. Place the cursor where you want the image to appear.
    3. Do one of the following:

      • Drag and drop the image into the body of the article.
      • Click the Insert image button on the toolbar, then click Upload images and select your image.

      Insert image

      The image file size limit is 20 MB.

      Images are automatically adjusted to fit the width of the article, using a compression feature within CSS. It’s a good idea to manually resize images that are more than 1600px wide, as the compression might cause the image to appear distorted in the published article. You also might want to manually resize images if you are using Web Widget (see Optimizing images for Web Widget below).

    4. Click Insert in the dialog that appears.

      The image appears in your article.

    5. Click Save.

    If you have a closed Help Center that requires all users to sign-in, article images will appear broken in email notifications sent to users who are following your Help Center. This is a known issue.

    Optimizing images for the Web Widget

    To make sure the images in your Help Center articles display correctly in the Web Widget, it’s important that the images are added to the article at the desired size.

    When Help Center articles are converted for viewing in the Web Widget, the article’s images are stripped of their attributes in the HTML tags (except for the src and alt attributes), and custom CSS rules are ignored. For most images this isn’t a problem, however if the original images are very big they can appear awkwardly large.

    Resizing the original image to the size you want, rather than manipulating the size using CSS or width and height attributes, ensures that images will be displayed properly.

  • Inserting and editing links in articles

    Guide managers can create, edit, and remove links in any new or existing article in the knowledge base. Agents who are not Guide managers can create, edit, and remove links in articles where they have management permissions.

    You can insert a link in an article for existing text or at the point where your cursor appears.

    To insert a link in an article

    1. In Help Center or Guide Admin, create a new article or edit an existing article.

    2. Highlight text or place the cursor where you want the link to appear, then click Insert/edit link on the editor’s toolbar.

      Insert/edit link

    3. In the dialog box, do one of the following:

      • To link to a URL, in the URL tab, paste in the link URL. For example, https://zendesk.com

        Make sure you include the entire URL, including the HTTP or HTTPS format. If you don’t add the entire URL, you’ll get a broken link.

      • To link to a heading in this article, click the Heading tab, then select a heading in the article.

        The title of each heading appears, along with it’s style, so that you know the heading level for each heading in the article.

      • To link to an article in your Help Center, click the Help Center article tab, then select an article title that appears or enter a search for an article, then select an article that appears.

        Click Clear beside the article title if you want to remove the link to an article and select a new article.

    4. In Text on link, enter or edit the link text you want to appear in the article.

      If you highlighted text in the article before you click the Link button, the text appears in the field. If you edit the text here, it will update in the article.

    5. Select Open in new tab if you’d like the link to open in a new browser tab.

      If the checkbox is not selected, the link will open in the current browser tab, replacing the article.

    6. Click Link.

      The link appears in the article.

    You can edit any existing link in an article to change the text or link target.

    To edit an existing link article

    1. In Help Center or Guide Admin, open an existing article in edit mode.
    2. Highlight the link you want to edit in the article.
    3. To change the link text, simply type over the existing text.
    4. To change the link target, click Insert/edit link on the editor’s toolbar, then do any of the following:

      • In the URL tab, select the existing URL in the field and paste in a new URL, then click Link.
      • Click the Heading tab, select a heading in the article, then click Link.
      • Click the Help Center article tab, click Clear, if an article is currently selected, and select another article in your Help Center, then click Link

      The link is updated in the article.

    You can remove a link from text if you want to the text to be plain text and no longer a link.

    To remove an existing link in an article

    1. In Help Center or Guide Admin, open an existing article in edit mode.
    2. Highlight the link you want to remove in the article.
    3. Click Insert/edit link on the editor’s toolbar, then do any of the following:
    4. Click Remove link at the bottom of the dialog box.

      Remove link

      The link is removed from the article.

  • Promoting an article

    You can promote articles in a section to draw attention to them. When you promote an article, it moves to the top of the articles list within its section and is usually given a special visual treatment (for example, a star icon).

    Promoted articles always appear at the top of the section, regardless of the sorting option chosen. Promoted articles might also appear by default on the home page, depending on your chosen theme.

    Promoted article

    To promote an article

    1. Navigate to the article, then click Edit article in the top menu bar.

      Edit article

    2. Click Promote article in the article’s sidebar.

      Promote article

    3. Click Save.

  • Disabling comments for an article

    You can disable comments on individual articles as necessary. When you do so, the article indicates that it is closed for comments at the bottom of the article.

    Comments closed

    To disable comments for an article

    1. Navigate to the article, then click Edit article in the top menu bar.

      Edit article

    2. Deselect Open for Comments in the article’s sidebar.

      hc_article_promote_and_comment_options

    3. Click Save.