Creating: Help Guides

Help Guides are Reading Lists you ‘View-in-Place’

Help Guides are simply specialised Reading Lists. We recommend experience authoring a Reading List or two before getting into Help Guides.

Help Guide Steps are a specialised form of Reading List Entries – the Help Topics that provide Step help have additional fields to manage the view-in-place context needed by some types of Guide Step.

This video walks you through creating a very simple guide as a starting point.


Guide Steps to Orientate, Show or Prompt Action?

Help Authors have access to different types of Guide Steps to manage the Guide user’s experience, depending on the purpose of the specific Guide.

Purpose Guide Orientation Show Page Context Prompt User Action
• Target
Not Applicable Any Helped Element …in any Helped Page
• Action
Not Applicable Open Step Window
(if not open)
Navigate to Step ‘Target’
Open Step Window
(if not open)
Navigate to Step ‘Target’
Display Step ‘Prompt’
Show Regular
Help Callout?
Not Applicable Always Optional
Step Help Always shown in Guide Window – beneath Step List

Local Steps provide local Guide Orientation

Provide step help locally, within the Guide Window – to provide context & background for orientation. Local Guide steps behave much as regular Reading List entries and we recommend that the first step of every Guide should be of Local Type – to provide an overview of / introduction to the Guide.

Automatic Steps: Navigate to Show In-Page Context

  • Open a Step Window (if not already open);
  • Navigate to ‘view-in-place’ a specific Helped Element – opening the help callout for, say a helped Salesforce field or button.

Manual Steps: Prompt User action

Extend the view-in-place concept of Automatic Steps:

  • Open a Step Window (if not already open);
  • Navigate to a place where the Guide user needs to do something;
  • Prompt the user’s action, such as enter data, click a button or link;
  • Sets of Manual Steps can be combined on a page to, for example, complete a ‘form’ in Salesforce page edit mode – completed with a ‘Save’ – without the Step page refreshing and losing the edits.

Define The Places for View-in-Place

If you are using Help Domains to deliver different help content to different audiences, make sure your Guide’s target audience can see all the Helped Elements intended for your Help Guide. An easy way to check this is to walk through the expected Help Guide flow when logged-in as a user representing your target audience – checking that you can see & open all Helped Elements’ Help Callouts.

Relative to Current Record or a Specific Page?

Most Guides will be authored ‘relative’ to the page from which they are accessed. So, if I’m looking at a Lead – and open a Lead Conversion checklist Guide – the Guide steps me through the Lead fields I need to consider for my Lead Record. This way, once I know what to do, I can close the Guide and continue with the task in-hand – converting my Lead.

Occasionally, a Guide Step will require an absolute page reference, to take the user to a specific page that isn’t related to a specific Salesforce record, such as a:

  • Tab: to start a procedure, such as creating a new Opportunity (so the user needs to be able to see a ‘New’ button in a helpable page);
  • View: to start a procedure which involves selecting a specific record from a filtered view.

These absolute steps may be used at the beginning of a Guide or part-way through multi-page Guides, to change the Salesforce focus from, say Opportunities to Contacts. We recommend that Guides be kept ‘short and sweet’ as they can always be linked!


Editing a Step’s View-in-Place Context

Help Topic Edit - Guide


Automatic & Manual Guide Steps need View-in-Place Help parameters to focus the Step Window. These are set in the Enterprise Help Portal‘s Editor panel – Guides tab.

Step Mode: Sets the behaviour of this Step, which can be:

  • Local: Step Help displayed only in the Guide window;
  • Automatic: Step Help displayed in Guide window + Step window navigates to a specific Layout & Element and opens the Element’s Help Callout;
  • Manual: Used in ‘sets’ to enable navigation within a Layout with action Prompts, whilst avoiding the need to refresh the page (thereby losing context and any edits).

Step Layout: a lookup to the Helped Page Layout record that context featuring the Helped Element to be guided in this Step.

Step Element: a lookup to the Helped Element record to be guided in this Step;

Step Context: Is an optional field, used to provide ‘absolute’ navigation to specific Salesforce pages that are not associated with a specific Salesforce object record. Supported contexts include:

  • [blank]: Default – used for all Guide Steps that are ‘relative’ to the User’s current Salesforce page (its object & record);
  • [nnn]/o: Object tab, such as Accounts List Tab = 001/o
  • [nnn]/e: New object record, such as Contact New = 003/e
  • [123456789012345]: A Salesforce record ID, to show a specific record in view mode;
  • [123456789012345]/e: A Salesforce record ID, to show a specific record in edit mode;
  • [nnn]: All records list view;
  • [nnn]?fcf=[remainder of list view URL]: Specific list view.

Show Callout? Sets whether the ‘regular’ help Callout associated with a Helped Element is opened automatically alongside the Step action Prompt – defaults to unchecked.


Test Guide for Intended Audience

Login as a Helped User with the Profile (and any Role / Public Group settings for Data Sharing Rules used for Help Domain management) to confirm the Guide and all Steps are visible.

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