Help Center Formatting

46 Comments

  • Carsten Falborg
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    Hi Bevans

    I know there is a lot of work going on with the HelpCenter, so perhaps Christian the PM from the HC team can answer that more accurately? 

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  • Christian Colding
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    Hi Bevans,

    We are indeed looking into how we can improve the editor. One of the things we are looking at is the ability to do code blocks.

    Are there other features that you want to do besides code blocks?

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  • Bevans
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    Yeah there's loads you can do to improve the editor, but it's so completely stripped down that I'd just take code blocks and be happy with that at this point.

     Anything I can do in a ticket - and I can make those tickets absolutely sing in my customer responses - I should be able to do in help centre. That would be a significant leap ahead. Where we are at now I can't move forward with our knowledge base unless I hire a team of web devs to do the boring tasks of converting our internal docs. I dare not enable the community features if I cannot answer them in the same way I can from the agent interface. In either case we are losing money that in the year 2016 I can't believe we are losing - either through inefficient interaction with customers or by plowing money into web dev. 

    At the cost outlay for the Zendesk tier we are on, my expectation would be Confluence-style editing capabilities.

    Markdown would be amazing, but if I am totally honest I've given up holding my breath on that one.

    But yeah - let's start with the code blocks.

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  • Christian Colding
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    Hi Bevans,

    First off, we have two different editors depending on whether it's for articles or for Community comments.

    For the article editor, and comparing that to the ticket editor, you would want these features:

    • Headings instead of sizes
    • Quote
    • Code - both inline and as blocks

    For the Community editor, you would want these features:

    • Quote
    • Code - Inline

    Is that correct? How would you expect to use each of these features? I'm looking for examples of how the styling would apply in your case, so we can understand what problems it would solve to add the new stylings.

    Thank you.

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  • Joel Hellman
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    For us, code blocks is without a doubt what we miss the most right now. If possible, being able to use tab to indent when editing in side a code block would be a very nice feature, though more a nice to have. 

    Quote is much needed in comments editor (and we do want it in the article editor as well, though much less).

    We like to have inline code in the article editor as well in addition to code blocks, to us if we have to choose (for whatever reason), we'd rather have inline code in the article editor, but I don't see why not in both. 

    Better shortcuts for the article editor headings (which would be nice to have as proper headings as you say, for compability with other systems) would be nice. Like ctrl-1 for h1 (biggest), ctrl-2 for h2 (big)..., and ctrl-0 for normal. 

    Some other things we'd like in the editor formattning-wise

    A keyboard shortcut list for the article editor like we have in Zendesk support, where you can lookup the keyboard shortcuts, would be nice.

    Basic template blocks like info/tip/warning etc (kind of how confluence or screensteps etc have) that helps make articles more digestable would be a nice addition.

    Support for collapsible sections like Confluence Expand macro or Screensteps would be also be very nice, so we can keep longer guide-style articles compact and more digestable.

    By the way, awesome improvement that we can now copy-paste images into the article editor - we love that  :)

     

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  • Christian Colding
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    Thank you Joel for pitching in with some feedback here. All of this is something we'll take into consideration as we consider where to take our editor.

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  • Tom
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    +100 for allowing easy editing of code samples - both inline and blocks - in the article editor. This would be a huge win for us.

    Heading levels instead of font size and quote formatting would be great too as described by Christian above.

    We like the stripped down editor and it keeps the HTML clean.

    Really hoping these features can be added soon :-)

     

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  • Tom
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    You're using a stripped down TinyMCE editor which I like. TinyMCE has a new excellent official code sample plugin.
     
     
    The menu item looks like this: Inline image 1
     
    Give it a try - it's excellent and it offers syntax highlighting via prism.js
     
    It would be a relatively small amount of developer time to implement this on Zendesk Help Center and would be a huge win for Zendesk customers writing articles with code samples.
     
    (There are a number of feature requests on these forums for this feature but most refer to the old less stripped down version of the editor.)
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  • Tom
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    Just edited my post above as I had the wrong link to the code sample plugin. It's here: https://www.tinymce.com/docs/plugins/codesample/

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  • Mike
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    +1

    OP nailed it with "confluence-style editing capabilities".

    What I'm most frustrated by are:

    • Huge PITA when trying to format/justify text in lists. The editor goes nuts sometimes and appears to have a mind of its own when modifying indentation of listed items
    • Image layout. We are a mobile app, when we want to include screenshots, we end up with tons of whitespace due to inability to effectively position images around text blocks and vice versa.
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  • Graeme Carmichael
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    Mike

    This is probably, not a great suggestion or best practice. But you can insert a table, place your image into a table cell and then some text on the adjacent cell. That way you can (kind of) align images and text. Might help in some instances.

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  • Clayton Rogers
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    The ability to add code snippets is vital. For companies providing support via their community, customers and agents need the ability to paste code into their comments in order to facilitate troubleshooting, communication, and the list goes on and on. 

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  • Chun Lee
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    Please can we have an update on this, 8 months since you let us know what Zendesk would like to do but no information on the current time line

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hey Chun - 

    I'll check in with our Product Managers to see if this is still under consideration. It might take a day or two to get back to you, as the folks working on this stuff are a few time zones away. 

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hey all - 

    I heard back, and unfortunately the update is that this is not something that's currently prioritized on the roadmap. 

    However, they suggested linking to github gists for this purpose - several people here use that in order to provide code in our own community posts and say it works well. 

    Sorry I didn't have the answer you were looking for, but I hope this workaround helps!

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  • Chun Lee
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    Nicole,

    This is very disappointing, and the workaround will not work for us due to the nature of our clients generally black listing sites such as github and only white listing our domain. The snippit also shows github which is not the interface we wish to present to our clients see below

    I don't really understand why this cant be added to the roadmap when the code block functionality and others are already incorporated into the ticketing editor

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hey Chun - 

    I'm sorry that it's disappointing and that we don't have a better workaround. Our product development teams have to balance their priorities based on a variety of factors, and at the moment there are simply other things that have to be a higher priority for them. We wish we could build everything that everyone asks for, but we get hundreds of feature requests every month and they have to be prioritized. 

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  • Matt Bailey
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    We need to be able to put blocks of code with syntax highlighting in our HC docs. How on earth, in 2017, is this not possible?!... I can't even embed a Github gist as script tags are stripped out when the page is published. All we get is an ugly grey <pre> block. Simply not good enough...

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Thanks for the feedback, Matt, and welcome to the Zendesk Community! I'm sorry that this isn't yet available. Our Product Development teams are constantly balancing many priorities and decisions. We'll keep you posted if and when this feature comes online. 

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  • Matt Bailey
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    TinyMCE codesample plugin. Job done.

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  • Tom
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    Nicole - if you can raise this with the product team it would be great. I linked to the TinyMCE 'codesample' plugin back in January (see above) and Matt has just re-linked to it. It's an official part of TinyMCE and you use TinyMCE as the editor. Including this cannot be hard for your developers and would be a huge win for customers using Guide / Help Center.

    To reiterate - you won't need to write any code to support this. Just integrate the official TinyMCE plugin.

    Come on Zendesk you can do it!

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hey Tom - 

    Our official process for escalating things to the Product Team is to post feedback in the Product Feedback forum. They make a point of digging around in there on a weekly basis, so my best suggestion is to post there, detailing your use case and the impact that this has on your business/customers. PMs don't have time to respond to everything (we get hundreds of posts a month) but they do read it and take those posts into consideration when they're going through a planning and prioritization process. 

     

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Thanks, Tom. 

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  • Pete Holborow
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    Just adding my voice to this - we need code editing functionality in Guide.

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  • Lorraine S.
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    +1 on Tom's TinyMCE suggestion. We need the ability to edit code "nicely." I'd take markdown as an option too!

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  • Bevans
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    I can't believe this is still a thing. I started moaning about this years ago, long before I opened this post.

    We're lucky enough to have grown enough to develop our way out of this. And you, Zendesk, are lucky enough that I cannot be bothered to vote with my feet and seek another provider. We're too busy, too much interruption to the business. You've got us by the proverbials. I suspect there are many looking at this thread lean enough to ditch you without thinking twice.

    this is SO BLOODY SIMPLE. It's such a simple ask and one that still, after all this time, has no resolution. You need to wake up to these things or someone is going to come along and gobble all of the HUNDREDS - maybe THOUSANDS of technical startups that would benefit IMMENSELY from something so SIMPLE. When we signed up for our trial, we could do this. When we signed on the dotted line, it was gone. Many years later, it's still BROKEN. 

    WAKE UP

     

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  • Elizabeth B
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    @bevans For real. 

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  • Bevans
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    Woke up still fuming about this. 

    YOU EVEN HAVE THE CODE PARAGRAPH HERE - WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?!?!

    From Elizabeth back in September:

    "I'm sorry that it's disappointing and that we don't have a better workaround. Our product development teams have to balance their priorities based on a variety of factors, and at the moment there are simply other things that have to be a higher priority for them. We wish we could build everything that everyone asks for, but we get hundreds of feature requests every month and they have to be prioritized. "

    This a NOT A FEATURE REQUEST. You wouldn't be adding a feature. It's a SUPPORT REQUEST. Help Centre, or Guide, or Super Awesome Unicorn Wiki or whatever you're calling it today is BROKEN and you need to prioritize FIXING IT.

    I circle back to our trial when we evaluated Zendesk. We had this functionality. We buy the product and WOOSH! It's gone.

    It's costs me FIVE FIGURE yearly sums that I have had to invest into other products SIMPLY BECAUSE:

    YOU CANNOT DO CODE BLOCKS

    Oh! But Wait! you can do code blocks!! Just not in the place where PEOPLE NEED IT THE MOST.

    You REALLY NEED TO WAKE UP TO HOW DISRUPTIVE THIS IS FOR MANY, MANY, MANY PEOPLE.

     

     

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    I'm going to move this thread over to Product Feedback so that the product managers will see it. 

    Given that things are getting heated, I will also ask that we keep the conversation civil. There are real people on the other side of this screen. When posting here, please remember that we expect everyone to follow the Community Guidelines, which include: 

    • Be respectful, friendly, and sincere
    • Use appropriate tone and language

    and

    • Do not post or link to content intended to be inflammatory;
    • Do not post or link to content that disparages Zendesk, its vendors, partners, or affiliates

    Posts found to be in violation of the Community Guidelines may be removed without notice. 

    We appreciate your feedback, participation, and passion, and we want to hear from you. We also want to keep the community a friendly place that people will continue to come back to. Feedback and constructive criticism are welcome but insults, disparaging remarks, and vitriol will not be welcome or tolerated here. So keep it civil and let's continue the conversation. 

     

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