September 8, 2021
February 1, 2022
This article describes the removal of the Google Docs Importer for all Zendesk customers and covers the following topics:
What does this mean?
Effective February 1, 2022, Zendesk will no longer provide the ability to Import Google Docs into the Guide knowledge base.
Why is Zendesk removing this?
Over the past few years, we have monitored overall usage and feedback related to this feature, and we are removing this functionality as a result.
Our original intent was to help customers import articles into their knowledge base. The formatting of Google Docs content is often difficult to maintain on import. Google Docs uses a proprietary format that does not translate well to HTML, which is the base format for help center articles. This can cause issues with tables, lists, drawings, comments and other types of objects – requiring the author of the imported article to reapply styling and fix broken links or images. Ultimately, this has left customers frustrated, which does not align with the experience Zendesk ultimately strives to provide for you. We have also found that very few customers are regularly using this feature as a result.
For these reasons, Zendesk recommends customers consider the alternatives listed below.
What are the alternatives?
There are a few alternative ways to import the content to your Guide knowledge base.
- If you are in the early stage of onboarding to Zendesk, we recommend exploring the Help Desk Migration App, (see Listing on Zendesk Marketplace) or enlisting Zendesk Professional Services. Both options are paid, and can provide you with comprehensive migration capabilities beyond just knowledge base articles. This includes things like tickets, users, custom fields etc.
- Another (free) option is an old fashioned copy and paste. This is suitable for cases when you need to bring small amounts of content into the knowledge base. Copy and paste has some advantages compared to the Google Docs Importer. It will not create a new article every time as the importer does today. It will also not break links and formatting is usually better-preserved.
- In partnership with a developer, you can also build your own custom importer based on the Guide article API (see Migrating existing content to your help center, Guide API - Create Article). This can be tailored to your particular needs.
Who is affected by the change?
Google Docs Importer is currently available only for customers who joined Zendesk before April 20, 2021, and will be completely removed from all help centers effective February 1, 2022.