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

6 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

Elements of site help

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

Site collection administrators can create and deploy custom help content for a site collection, and can determine which help content to display for each site collection.

Help is stored in a help collection. A help collection is 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.

6 steps to custom help

To add new help to a site collection, you must:

  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.

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Create a new Site Collection Help library

To complete step 1, Create a new Site Collection Help Library, you must first turn on the Custom Site Collection Help feature on the Site Collection Features page.

To turn on the Custom Site Collection Help feature:

  1. On the Site Actions menu, click Site Settings.

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

  3. For 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, click All Site Content, and then select the Site Collection Help library.

  2. Click the Documents tab on the ribbon, click the arrow next to New Document, and then click Help Collection to create a new Help Collection folder.

  3. Fill out the fields for the Help Collection:

Name:    Type the internal name for the folder. (This name must be unique, but users won’t see it.)

Title:    Type the title that users will see for the Help Collection.

Locale ID:    Specify the language that this Help Collection is in. (For example, 1033 means the Help Collection is in English.)

Product:    Type the identifier for this help collection.

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 provide your readers with a table of contents.

  1. On the top level site in your site collection, click All Site Content, and then select the Site Collection Help library.

  2. Browse to the Help Collection folder where you want to add a Help Category.

  3. Click the Documents tab on the ribbon, click the arrow next to New Document, and then click Help Category to create a new Help Category folder.

  4. Fill out the fields for the Help Category.

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Create a Help article that includes images

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

  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 click Copy Shortcut.

  4. In Word, on the Insert tab, click Picture.

  5. Paste the URL to the image in the File Name field.

  6. Click the drop-down arrow beside the Insert button and select Link to File.

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Add your Help article to your Help Collection

  1. In Word, click the File menu.

  2. Under Help, click Options, and then click Advanced.

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

  4. On the Encoding tab, select Save this Document as, and then select Unicode (UTF-8).

  5. Save the Word document as a Web page. To do this, click the File tab, click Save as, enter a name for the document, and in the Save as Type dropdown, select Web page.

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

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Display your new Help Collection in your site collection

  1. On the Site Actions menu, click Site Settings.

  2. Under Site Collection Administration, click Help Settings.

  3. Select the checkbox for your new Help Collection.

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