Add custom Help to a site collection

As a site collection administrator, you can create new Help that is specific to a particular site collection.

In this article

Elements of site Help

7 steps to custom Help

Create a new Site Collection Help library

Create a new Help collection folder

Create a Help category

Create a Help article that includes images

Add your Help article to your Help collection

Display your new Help collection in your site collection

View the Help collection

Elements of site Help

Your site users can open Help in a site by clicking the Help icon Help . When they do, the Help Viewer opens and displays a table of contents and a search box so that users can search or browse to find the information they need.

As a site collection administrator, you can create and deploy custom Help content for a site collection, and you can determine which Help content to display for each site collection.

Help is stored in a Help collection, a collection of HTML files, images, and other resources—such as CSS and JS files—that apply to a single product or feature.

Site collection-specific Help collections are stored in the top-level site in the site collection.

7 steps to custom Help

To add new Help to a site collection:

  1. Create a new Site Collection Help library.

  2. Create a new Help collection folder.

  3. Create categories for your Help—that is, the headings for a table of contents.

  4. Create and upload articles and media.

  5. Add your Help article to your Help collection.

  6. Display your new Help collection in your site collection.

  7. View the Help collection.

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Create a new Site Collection Help library

Before you begin step 1, above, turn on the Custom Site Collection Help feature on the Site Collection Features page.

To turn on the Custom Site Collection Help feature:

  1. Click Settings Small Settings gear that took the place of Site Settings. , and then click Site settings.

  2. Under Site Collection Administration, click Site collection features.
    The Site Collection Features page opens.

  3. Next to the Custom Site Collection Help option, click Activate.

When you turn on Custom Site Collection Help, SharePoint creates a new library in the top-level site of the site collection. The new library is called Site Collection Help.

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Create a new Help collection folder

  1. On the top-level site in your site collection, on the Quick Launch, click Site Contents.

  2. On the Site Contents page, click the Site Collection Help library.

  3. Click the Files tab on the ribbon, click the arrow next to New Document, and then click Help Collection.

  4. On the Site Collection Help page, do the following:

    • In the Name box, type the internal name for the folder. (This name must be unique, but users won’t see it.)

    • In the Title box, type the title that users will see for the Help collection.

    • In the Locale ID box, specify the language that you want to use in this Help collection. (For example, 1033 means that the Help collection is in English.) For the full list of supported Locale IDs, see Microsoft Locale ID Values.

    • In the Product box, type the identifier for this Help collection.

    • (Optional) In the SharePoint Version box, type the version of SharePoint that this Help Collection applies to.

    • (Optional) In the Resources box, type the names of the CSS and JavaScript files you use when you display documents in this Help Collection.

    • (Optional) In the Display Position box, type the display position of this item in its parent category.

      Tip:  You can create the same Help collection in multiple languages. Simply create another Help collection with the same Product value, but with a different Locale ID.

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Create a Help category

Help categories are named folders in which you can place your Help articles, grouped by subject, to give your readers a table of contents.

  1. On the top-level site in your site collection, on the Quick Launch, click Site Contents, and then click the Site Collection Help library.

  2. Select the Help collection folder where you want to add a Help category.

  3. Click the Files tab on the ribbon, click the arrow next to New Document, and then click Help Category.

  4. On the Site Collection Help page for the Help category, do the following:

    • In the Name box, type the internal name for this Help category. (This name must be unique, but users won’t see it.)

    • In the Title box, type the title that users will see for this Help category.

    • (Optional) In the Context Key box, type a value that will be used to connect the Help document or folder to an entry point in the product.

    • (Optional) In the Display Position box, type the display position of this item in its parent category.

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Create a Help article that includes images

A Help article is an HTML file that displays as a webpage. Help articles must be HTML files, UTF-8 encoded. You can use any HTML authoring tool, but we’ll use Microsoft Office Word for this example.

  1. Upload and check in the images that you want to include in the Help article to the appropriate categories you created in your Help library.

  2. Open a new Word document, and type the text that you want to appear in your Help article.

  3. In the Help library, navigate to the image you uploaded, right-click it, and then click Copy Shortcut.

  4. In Word, click the Insert tab, and then click Picture.

  5. In the File Name box, paste the URL you copied in step 3.

  6. Click the drop-down arrow next to the Insert button, and then click Link to File.

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Add your Help article to your Help collection

  1. In Word, click the File menu, and then click Options.

  2. In the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced.

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the Web Options button.

  4. On the Encoding tab, in the Save this document as box, click Unicode (UTF-8).

  5. Save the Word document as Web Page (*.htm;*.html).

  6. Upload the Help article to the appropriate category you created in your Help library.

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Display your new Help collection in your site collection

  1. Click Settings Small Settings gear that took the place of Site Settings. , and then click Site settings.

  2. Under Site Collection Administration, click Help Settings.

  3. Select the check box next to your new Help collection.

  4. Click OK.

View the Help collection

  • On your SharePoint site, click Help Help . The Help window displays a link to your custom Help collection.

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