Creating: Help Topics
Help Topics can be created by help enabling your pages or can be added independently by using the “Add Topic” icon on the Help Portal toolbar. In either case, Topics can be edited by Help Authors & Administrators from the Portal by clicking the Edit icon:
The Help Portal’s Editor panel uses tabs to manage logical groups of parameters.
- Name: The Name or ‘Title’ of the Help Topic as it appears in the Help Portal’s Help Topic panel. Name does not need to be unique (there is an underlying Salesforce record ID for data management purposes) but a unique Name makes life easier for all Users when Searching for Help.
- Summary: A mandatory brief Summary of the Help Topic – a required (non-unique) field that appears under the Help Topic Name in the Help Portal and is used in all Callout Templates.
- Salesforce Help URL: An optional field used to set any Salesforce Help & Training portal page URL that is directly relevant to this Help Topic. (Where Salesforce Help pages are indirectly relevant to a specific Help Topic, they are better managed as external help Resources, linked to specific Help Topics as a Related Help Resource with contextual Usage Notes.)
- Callout Template: Sets the layout of the Help Topic when embedded help in a Salesforce page – displayed in a Help Callout;
- Callout Height: Allows the Help Author to adjust the height of the Callout to balance the Help Topic’s content and space used in the Helped Page. If the Callout Template is changed, Callout Height changes to the default value for that Callout Template;
- Callout Media Choice: If a Help Topic has both Image and Video media, the Help Author can select which will be displayed in Help Callouts with one media slot per Help Topic. (Note that if a Help Topic is edited and the selected Media removed, Improved Help will switch Callout Media Choice to the remaining option.);
- Preview Callout link: To save the need for Help Authors to flip between the Help Portal and Helped Pages to see the effect of Callout parameter changes, clicking the Preview Callout link will launch a new window to preview the last (Quick) Saved Callout and a placeholder container to show how the Callout will sit in the Helped Page.
- Full Template: Sets the default template for displaying the full Help Topic in the Help Portal’s Help Topic Panel. See Enterprise Help Portal: Help Topic Panel for more details on Full Template types.
- Height Before Scrolling: Help Authors can adjust the height at which Help Topics start to scroll when viewed in the Help Portal – to balance visibility of Help Topic content and the related Help Resources panel, which sits below the Help Topic panel.
Want to extend the data you hold about Help Topics – for example to facilitate workflows, offer features in custom templates or categorise content? No problem!
- Create new local, custom fields on the Help Topic object as desired.
- Add your new fields to a Salesforce Field Set called ‘Custom’.
- Improved Help automatically adds a ‘Custom’ tab to the editing panel, allowing you to maintain your new fields with ease.
- Active?: Sets whether the Help Topic is visible to Helped Users: Help Authors and Administrators can see Topics regardless of this setting.
- Show Read More link?: Sets whether the Help Topic, when displayed in its Callout, has a link to read all topic details in the Help Portal.
- Show Referring Topics: Controls visibility of Topics that reference this one in the Related Help Topics listing. Help Topics always include links to related help where Authors have chosen to define these relationships. Global Settings can be used to control whether or not to include Related Help listings for Topics from which the current Topic is referenced. This check box can be used to override Global Settings, ensuring that any referring Topics are always shown for the current Topic.
- Help Topic Status: Where required, the Help Topic Status field provides a default set of milestones to manage Help Topic’s life-cycle. This is useful for organisations seeking to formalise authoring processes with Salesforce Workflows and/or Approvals. The default picklist values may be overridden at System Administrator level.
- Visibility: Tag that can be used with data sharing rules to control Topic availability. The Visibility field is not used by Improved Help itself, but Organisations can choose to create data sharing rules based on the setting of the Visibility field to filter the records seen by different groups of Users.
- Custom Style:
Where defined in Global Settings, allows a custom style to be applied to this Topic. The Custom Style field can be used to finesse the appearance of individual Help Topics. To use this field:
- Help Administrators must define custom styles in the Customer CSS file.
- Help Administrators then reference these styles on the Branding tab of the Global Settings page.
- Authors are then able to select from the list of custom styles for their Topics.
Custom Styles are applied to Callout and Full Topic Templates.
To minimise Salesforce data usage, Help Topic Images reference externally hosted files:
- Image URL: The web address of the image, which should use the ‘https’ protocol to prevent browsers throwing security alerts;
- Image Title: Short title text that appears above the image in the Help Portal;
- Image Caption: Short caption text that appears under the image in the Help Portal and Callout Templates that include images;
- Image ALT Text: Alternative text to support accessibility;
- Image Width & Height: Set the Image’s size in the Help Portal (use just one dimension to scale proportionally without losing the original image’s aspect ratio);
- Reset Image button: Clears all Image settings and empties the image placeholder in Full & Callout Templates to prevent unexpected layout issues.
Help Topic Videos can reference services such as Youtube and Vimeo:
- Video URL: The web address of the video, which should use the ‘https’ protocol to prevent browsers throwing security alerts;
- Video Title: Short title text that appears above the video player in the Help Portal;
- Video Caption: Short caption text that appears under the video player in the Help Portal and Callout Templates that include videos;
- Video Width & Height: Sets video player size in the Help Portal (use just one dimension to scale proportionally without losing the original image’s aspect ratio);
- Reset Video button: Clears all video settings and empties the video placeholder in Full & Callout Templates to prevent unexpected layout issues.
There is also a useful FAQ on embedding videos into your Help Topic, which may be found here.
Help Topic Description is a rich text field, which can be edited using the standard features provided by the Salesforce Rich Text Editor. You can also paste rich text or HTML into this field though be aware that, upon saving, Salesforce will automatically remove or ‘escape’ some HTML elements for security reasons.
This tab is only relevant to Help Topics acting as Guide Steps – see Authoring Help Guides: Add Step View-in-Place data for more detail.