Need ability to better manage images in articles

16 Comments

  • Jonathan March

    Yes -- more generally, it would be convenient if an agent could paste an attachment link from one ticket into another, and thereby grant access permissions to that attachment on the second ticket. Likewise from a private comment on a ticket into a public comment on the same ticket (this is actually a common use-case, when a light agent submits a relevant attachment, then a full agent decides to send that attachment to the user.) Presumably this would also save storage space for Zendesk.

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  • Ben Garris

    A central asset/image library would be extremely helpful! In addition to the issue of moving between articles A and B as described in the OP, we often use the same images and icons across several articles and the maintenance of having to update those images in multiple places becomes a very long and tedious task. A central repository that all images can be housed and chosen from would definitely be ideal.

    7
  • Joshua Tallent

    I totally agree with this! In my help center I use small icons to denote specific application features. These appear all over the place, but I have to individually add them to each article. That's not only a huge waste of time, it makes future management of those images impossibly difficult and just adds more bulk to the size of my KB. 

    This is another one of those basic features I have seen in many other knowledge bases that I thought for sure would be included in ZenDesk. I'm starting to regret my decision to switch....

    1
  • Anita Lee

    I agree, a central asset repository would be helpful with organizing all our images and attachments especially if it would allow us to push the updated image to all the articles the image is in. Also, it would be great if when we update a attachment that the link to the attachment would remain the same. At the moment, we find that it's really frustrating to have to update the attachment link each time we update an attachment and then to have to keep track of all the articles that we had put the linked to the attachment.

    1
  • Nicole - Community Manager

    Thanks for the feedback, all. 

    0
  • Sarah Holdgrafer

    This may be helpful to some folks looking for a solution to managing images in their ZD articles...

    I've been experimenting with Cloudinary as our image host and it's proving to be a good solution. Essentially, I can upload images to Cloudinary, which acts as the image host, and use the resulting image URL in the articles. Should I ever need to update the image, I go into the image in Cloudinary to edit, then upload the new image to replace the old one, and the image URL remains the same, meaning all articles that use that image get updated simultaneously. Their image load time is also faster than images hosted directly in ZD articles, which is a nice bonus.

    There are a number of other features I use on Cloudinary. For example, I've uploaded full-screen images of our product UI, then used "transformations" to create unique URLs that only show specific sections of the image - in this way I've reduced the number of actual assets I have to upload and manage. If I update the full-screen image at any point, all transformations that use that as the source image also get updated, saving a huge amount of time. 

    Finally, under a certain storage and bandwidth, the platform is free. 

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  • Ann Jensen

    Hi Sarah,

    Are your images public on Cloudinary or are they secured behind a login? How can you manage this authentication from within Zendesk Guide?

    I am looking for similar solution where I can store images centrally and access them from my DITA and Zendesk Guide content. I have read that Dropbox is not an option if you are using an account that requires authentication.

    Any advice appreciated,

    Regards,

    Ann

     

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  • Sarah Holdgrafer

    Hi Ann, 

    The images in our Cloudinary library do not require authentication to view. Anyone with URLs for the images could view them, but neither is there a public library for these images, per se.

    I'm not sure how images hosted in this way would interact with a DITA workflow. I assume it would depend on the platform you use (I'm fairly new to the structured authoring/XML/DITA workflows though). I will say that the Cloudinary support is excellent and the engineers I talked to were very excited to look at new use cases and see how they could expand their platform. They worked with me to customize my use of Cloudinary to suit what I needed it for, which I thought was pretty cool.

    My team is actually switching to a cloud-based CCMS (called Paligo) and structured content, and we won't be able to use the Cloudinary images once we do since the images have to be uploaded directly to the CCMS platform in order to be included in the publishing workflow. 

    But, the image management within the CCMS is really good and still solves my initial problem, which was mass updating images everywhere they are used across all articles/documentation. The extra step, in this case, is simply to republish to ZenDesk once the images are updated. 

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  • Ann Jensen

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for your reply. Have you managed to test how you can "republish to ZenDesk once the images are updated." ?

    I have been trying to use the Attachments API to push images but it seems very restricted. Every image must be associated with an article ID so I need to push one image at a time and it can only be used with one article, no reuse.

    So while DITA topics can be pushed up to ZD in batches, their associated images cannot. This seems very tedious and time-consuming when you have a lot of DITA topics/ZD articles to manage.

    Regards,

    Ann

     

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  • Sarah Holdgrafer

    Hi Ann, 

    With the Paligo-ZenDesk integration, I can publish any topic or section of topics (or an entire category, really) directly to ZenDesk and it will update the corresponding articles with any changes I have made to the topics or the publication overall, including updating the images. 

    In the case of updating media like images, I would first replace the old image with the new one in the Paligo media library. This in itself would update all topics that use that image within Paligo. If that was all I needed to edit, I would then use the Paligo publish option for the entire category or section with the articles that contain these new images. The integration then updates the articles with the new info directly on ZenDesk and ignores any articles that were not modified. It's a pretty simple workflow actually. 

    I'm currently still using this with our ZenDesk sandbox since we are still in the beginning stages of this process, but it's worked as expected so far. I suspect the difference is in the direct integration Paligo has with ZenDesk.

    I had looked at using the ZenDesk API to do this and it didn't seem like an effective solution at all, even if I was maintaining an up-to-date database of all images and the articles they were located in (itself a fairly daunting task). 

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  • Ann Jensen

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks so much for your advice. 

    That's very interesting that Paligo provides such support for managing images. I am finding using Zendesk APIs, and the way that image attachments are directly associated with one article, very restrictive.

    I think it's time to get a demo from Paligo  :-)

    Regards,

    Ann

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  • Aaron

    I posted in

    https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360004231507-general-image-databank

    basically the same issue:

     

    I had two broken image links issues with our articles.

    Current situation:

    • The theme assets are for ‘styling’.
    • The image upload within articles is for articles.

     Thus we have two independent and separate image uploads.

    It would be great to have an image databank, which is independent of the article and has a defined link to each image. This would make an updating of images so much more convenient, as one does not have to search for where the image is used. Convenient not only for updating but also for using the same image-link in multiple articles and copy and pasting image-links from one article to another.

    I tried to misuse the assets as a image databank for the articles. It works in principle: One must create a css class:

    .imagetest{background-image: url($assets-0320_drawing_recipe-png);
      background-repeat: no-repeat;
      background-size: 100% auto; /* background size: width height */
      height: 600px; /* image size */
    }

    and add the class to an html tag in the article:

    <figure class="NSfigure">
    <div class="imagetest"> </div>
    <figcaption>test5</figcaption>
    </figure>

    Even though it seems to work, it is not very convenient. Thus I decided against it, but maybe there is a nicer way to misuse the assets.

     

    Here a list of related issues:

    https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/203191293-Copy-Paste-Images-in-Help-Center-Articles

    https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/204142806-Copy-Duplicate-Help-Centre-articles

    https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115008338128-Insert-image-in-each-item-of-the-articles-list

    https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115012399428-Using-your-own-theme-assets-for-Help-Center-Guide-Professional-#topic_azx_ncf_dbb

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  • Michael H

    This enhancement is badly needed for guide.

    The usefulness of Guide is severely hampered without any proper eDAM for images; as it makes maintaining content that much harder.

    Images used in multiple places are uploaded multiple times, and the complexity of image auditing to make sure they’re the latest is near impossible (i.e. tagging images with attributes that associates them with specific versions, features, or processes - to make them reportable and actionable at speed and scale).

    1
  • Don

    @Sarah Holdgrafer We are currently looking to use something similar. We need to be able to update an image in one location in one area and have it update across any other article that uses the same image. Plus we need to be able to update that image in the future so it automatically updates in all the other articles. Can you please tell us the difference between Cloudinary and Paligo. What benefits does Paligo-ZenDesk integration have that made you switch over?

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  • Sarah Holdgrafer

    Hi Danish!

    If all I needed was the ability to manage images in a single-source way like you described, I would have just stuck with Cloudinary. It's perfect for that use case, and for image management generally. One of the things I really liked about Cloudinary is I could upload a master image - say, a full-screen image of one of the pages in our app - and then create multiple "transformations" of that single image. For instance, I need a close up of just the left-hand sidebar options, or the action menu options, or the top nav. I just use that one image and add manipulations, like x/y axis and image dimensions (they become part of the image URL) and drop that image URL into my ZenDesk articles. As long as I update the master image with the same dimensions, it will update all transformations that use that image as its source. I ended up creating a spreadsheet of all my Cloudinary image manipulations and URLs so I could reference them easily. I'm pretty sure you can use Cloudinary's API to do that as well, but I never got quite that far.

    Paligo doesn't really let me do the transformations thing, but it's acting as a CCMS for all of my content, not just images. It also allows me to publish to multiple channels, not just zendesk (so, if we wanted to create a custom PDF user guide for advanced users, we could do it very easily with already existing content). Where Paligo stands out is its ability to facilitate reuse of topics. For example, a lot of our articles include procedure steps on how to do something. Quite often, the first few steps are the same across many procedures (e.g., go to Settings, click X, click Y... and then it's some unique series of steps after that). I can create a single "topic" that includes these steps, then drop them into any procedure that uses them. Should I need to change something about those steps (for example, earlier this year, we updated our top nav icons, so that was a pretty significant change that affected dozens of articles) - I can now go directly to that one reused topic, make the change once (whether it's to the text, an image, etc) and that change will cascade down to all topics that have reused that original topic. I then just republish and all ZenDesk articles are updated simultaneously. 

    Other factors for why we started using Paligo included its translation workflow for localized content and the fact that it's cloud-based, so I can work on the content from anywhere pretty easily. That said, there is quite a bit of a learning curve, especially if you've never created content using a topic-based strategy. 

    If you only need image management, I'd go with Cloudinary (still a bit of a learning curve, but once it clicks it's easy). But if you find you need more extensive content management, beyond just images, check out Paligo.

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  • Don

    @Sarah Holdgrafer Thank you very much for taking your time to answer my question. We also use the same first few steps repeatedly across our help center, and our team experienced the same thing you did when we updated our UI. I'll discuss this with our team. Thanks again, your comment was really helpful. and I hope it continues helping more people who see it.

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