Importing Google Docs into your knowledge base

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51 Comments

  • Kirsten Murray

    Is there a particular format or standard that works best with importing Google Docs to Zendesk? My company is soon going to do a huge initiative using this feature and I would like to ensure that all of the Google Docs are in the best format for transfer to Zendesk. 

    In addition, is there a list of the different formatting selections that do not transfer well to Zendesk? That way we can avoid using those features when we begin the migration. 

    Thank you! 

    6
  • Lou Abigail Menard

    Hi,

    I tried it. And it imported the Google Doc file from the drive. However it was only able to capture initial pages (4 out of 9). Is there a limit to the pages that can be imported? 

    5
  • Allison S.

    Hello!

    I was excited to hear about the google drive feature for importing articles. Based on my experience, I prefer to create article content and format in google docs as opposed to Zendesk. 

    I am a bit bummed as I went to import a couple articles from Google docs and the format            (meaning my number and bullet lists) did not transfer over. Meaning that all the # and bullet points were on on the left indent. 

    Is there something that I am missing? Thank you for the help!

    Allison 

    3
  • Kathleen Hunt

    I finally had a chance to test this and the formatting issues mentioned below are present. 

    1. Bullet points and numbers lists do not get formatted correctly when there is more than 1 "level" (i.e., you cannot have subpoints).
    2. Pictures that are imported are much larger than in the Google doc
    3. Colors are not imported exactly as shown in the Google doc so the text color that most closely matches is applied. 
    4. Some of the spacing is not applied correctly
    3
  • Brenda Griffith

    I am also having issues with importing Google Docs into Zendesk. Specifically (and as mentioned by others):

    • Anchors don't transfer
    • Updates and imports to existing docs are not possible 
    • Formatting is broken:
      • font is too small 
      • line spacing is too big
    • Image sizing doesn't transfer
    • If comments are left in the doc they are flagged in the doc ( 1[a] ) but you can't access them. (I don't actually want them there at all--if they are going to be ignored by Zendesk I would prefer that they are completely ignored)
    2
  • Carolyn Elder

    Other comments have mentioned this too, but can you write a guide to formatting Google doc templates so you can seamlessly upload them onto Zendesk and not have to redo the styling/HTML?

    Here's the problem: Zendesk is not a good CMS for collaborating/editing content through its lifecycle before publish.

    • This feature only saves me time if I can map the styling from the Google doc to my zendesk styling.
    • The goal being that I can use the Google doc template for reviewing and editing internally with teammates, SMEs and stakeholders
    • And once approved, transfer the Google doc styling seamlessly to a Zendesk article.
    • So I can then publish straightaway after setting tags, view settings and organizing the article in the navigational hierarchy.
    2
  • Natalie Cohen

    I am phasing the same formatting issues that Kathleen has listed. Are there any updates on this?

     

     

    1
  • Carolyn Elder

    Hey Madison,

    Basically the Google doc inputs a lot of extra styling and span junk that I end up having to strip out. So, it's actually easier for me to:

    • write the doc in Google, review and edit it with SMEs/Stakeholders,
    • get their approval and
    • then copy/paste from the Google doc into a plain text box to remove formatting
    • and then copy into Zendesk and apply the proper styling rather than to go through cleaning up <span></span> tags and removing all the extra styling stuff that is carried in with the Google doc.
    1
  • Evan McGivern

    Hi Team, 

    Just wondering is it possible to disconnect or remove the connection? I cannot seem to find any instructions on this. 

    Thanks

    1
  • Dion Literato

    Hi Evarn,

    Your Google account is not entirely connected to your Guide Instance. The system will always ask you to sign in to a Google account whenever you would like to import articles from your Google drive.

    Regards,

    Dion

    1
  • Gadi Vered

    How does this feature work with formatting?

    Currently, it is not keeping the style and colors of the Google Doc after being imported to Zendesk.

    1
  • Brooke Cantwell

    Has anyone found an answer or update to Karl Palma's question above? I am going through bulk uploading several hundred articles via Google Docs to our new help centers right now and consistently getting that error - that it couldn't be uploaded. However, most of the articles that are failing have literally nothing different than the ones that are succeeding. Most of them don't even have images or any real formatting in them - just plain text. 

    1
  • Brett Bowser
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Kathleen,

    I'm going to generate a ticket on your behalf and pass this over to our Customer Advocacy team here. We'll most likely need to take a look at the Google Doc you're importing as well as any relevant articles that have incorrect formatting.

    You'll receive a follow-up email stating your ticket has been created so feel free to reply back to that with any of additional information/examples you can provide.

    Cheers!

    1
  • Kathleen Hunt

    Hi Natalie! 

    Some of the formatting issues were resolved with a new release, but I was still experiencing issues with the bullet/numbered lists and some of the spacing issues. I got the ticket escalated, but I'm still waiting for an update. I would recommend submitting a ticket if you haven't already. 

    1
  • Jeff Yager

    "The Google Docs Importer does not enable update or or replacement of existing Guide articles from an associated Google Doc. It is only for (bulk) import."

    Being able to at least overwrite an existing article would be a big improvement here. I don't need it to sync back to Google Docs, but being able to create a new revision of an existing article by importing from Google Docs would significantly help.  

    Right now, it's not possible for subject matter experts to be able to mark up and leave comments on an article with suggested changes. So we use google docs for collaboration on the content creation and editing process. More collaboration tools natively in ZD would eliminate the need for us to use the Google Doc importer.  

    1
  • Hannah Bailey

    Are there any plans on adding the following features to Zendesk Guide with importing documents?

    1. Update/replace the content of an existing article?

    2. Ongoing Sync with Zendesk and Google Doc. So my team can edit in google drive and it will transfer over to zendesk guide?

    1
  • Karl Palma

    Is there a way to determine what caused my import to fail? There's not much of an error message other than "Unable to upload this document"

    The guide I was using was

    1. originally created in the ZenDesk guide editor page,
    2. copied to Google Docs and then
    3. imported into ZenDesk (I'm testing to see if the feature works)

    The graphics used were created in Photoshop.

    ZenDesk Professional subscription/Guide Admin

    1
  • Neil Woodfine

    We're also having the same problems as Carolyn. Imported Google Docs result in all sorts of custom HTML being brought across, which is more hassle to manually strip out than cmd-shift-v (paste-special) the text in and manually reformat for each article. 

    Currently considering having to move authors to markdown drafting and setting up a converter. Otherwise going to spend too long manually formatting these articles.

    Examples of stuff that's being pulled across:

    • <p id="h.3n7yq3qf1bpb" class="wysiwyg-color-black wysiwyg-font-size-large wysiwyg-text-align-left"> 
    • <h1 id="h.9xec8qh0i9i">
    1
  • Stephen A Kairys

    Carolyn Elder

    Hi, hope you don't mind my reaching out.

    I was reviewing your method of bringing a Google Doc into Zendesk from (apx.)   May, 2020. 

    • write the doc in Google, review and edit it with SMEs/Stakeholders,
    • get their approval and
    • then copy/paste from the Google doc into a plain text box to remove formatting
    • and then copy into Zendesk and apply the proper styling rather than to go through cleaning up <span></span> tags and removing all the extra styling stuff that is carried in with the Google doc.

    For a doc someone else write, I'm gong to try it so I don't have to rely on Zendesk's translation process (per your 4th bullet point.). Worth my time.. 

    That said, you did not mention images in your instructions, and the Google doc has at least 6. How did you deal with the images? (Or, were there no images in your original doc?)

    Many thanks.

    Best,

    Stephen

    1
  • Madison Davis
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Niraj! Sorry for the delay here. How far into the steps did you get? If you start over with a new import, you should be re-prompted to select the Google address with which you'd like to authenticate. If you don't see the account you're looking for in the list, click "Use another account" and you should be able to sign in with, and then select, a different Google address.

    1
  • Brett Bowser
    Zendesk Community Team

    Excellent feedback Jeff and thanks for sharing :)

    I recommend cross-posting in our Guide Product Feedback Forum to help provide visibility to our Guide Product Managers as well as other users in need of a similar feature.

    Thanks again!

    0
  • Anusha Arora

    I've been experiencing similar issues with broken formatting using the import tool from Google Docs. Trying to fix this manually would involve going through the html code for all my articles (there are quite a lot):

    • removing all span tags
    • adding in the appropriate h1-6/p styling so the text inherits my CSS styling 
    • manually resizing all images
    • importing spreadsheets and other media manually

    This is a very time-consuming process and would not be feasible for the amount of articles we have. The span tags continue to be an issue even if I copy/paste the text. Has any solution been determined for the broken formatting issues with the import tool?

    0
  • Gail L
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Karuppiah,

    Currently no one has a built a Sharepoint importer for Zendesk.

    0
  • Paul Yesowitch

    Is there a way to import a document from Google Drive that would then become an article with both English and French translations? Other languages included if the brand allows for it.

    For example, if page one was the English article and page two is the French article. Is that possible?

    0
  • Madison Davis
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hey Mandeep - this is just a hunch, but do you have "Allow unsafe content" checked? If not, I suspect that could be the culprit. 

    0
  • Reneé Lasswell

    @Jackie Napalan

    Are you referring to the bullet indentation missing? If so, this is because the Google Doc importer doesn't support nested bullets.

    We also use Google Docs for editing, stakeholder reviews, etc., and then import new articles into Zendesk. (older articles we just update the changed sections).

    You will have to manually fix the nesting on the bullets in the HTML.

    To do this, select the <ul> Subheading to </ul> block of code and past it in front of the </li> of the code before it that it needs to "nest" within.

     

    So it will look something like:

    <ul>

      <li>

        Heading

          <ul>

            <li>

              Subheading

            </li>

          </ul>

      </li>

    </ul>

    If you do a lot of bulletin and nesting bullets, you will not want to have to repeat the code clean up each time, which is why we only use import for the first import and not for subsequent updates.

     

    0
  • Jackie Napalan

    One of our guide managers is having an issue with text size on a simple document with bullet points when importing from Google docs to Zendesk. She used to be very proactive about creating directly on Zendesk Guide, but I referred to use Google docs instead since it has autosave (she recently lost hours of work while working on a draft because her internet glitched, and Zendesk Guide unfortunately does not have an autosave feature). Do you know what we can do to make sure the font is consistent during the import? 

    Below is the display on Google docs:


    Below is the display on Zendesk Guide:

    Below is the source code from the imported Zendesk Guide article here:

    0
  • Karl Dominic Guerra

    Hi Akiko​,

    We don’t see an active account related to this request so we’ll be closing the ticket. If you do have further questions about an active Zendesk account, please Chat with us by using the Help tab when you're logged in to Zendesk to chat live with an Advocate.

     

    0
  • Sandeep Johnson

    Drawings in google doc are not getting imported, any workaround for that?

     

    0
  • Karuppiah Sakthivel

    Hi,

    Can you anyone help me,  Is there an only one[Google Drive] way we can import article into Zendesk. Any other way instead of connecting google drive we can able connect Sharepoint?

    Thank in advance

    KP.

    0

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