Questions for future versions

InstantKB Suggestion
Good morning,

Over the course of the past couple of months, I've been trying to create a default template for what we're calling "Support and Monitoring" articles for our internal applications and services. The point of this is twofold: Provide our support department with an easy, common form of reference when troubleshooting issues, and to provide our subject matter experts with an easy way to enter this support knowledge.

At first, the template system was pretty impressive as far as the custom fields, and adding them to the article form in any order wanted, setting validation, etc. But I've noticed a pretty huge problem, and maybe I'm doing something wrong but in a previous support ticket I was told this limitation I'm about to discuss was by design, which may be something to consider changing in future versions:

What use are rich text fields (where we could really add detailed guide instructions) if you can't actually see them when you open an article to view it? The only possible way to see this information is to actually edit the article itself. Frankly, we don't want to give our entire user base edit permissions on the entire knowledgebase (nor should we have to) in order for them to view the entirety of the contents we have for an article.

I've tried, on the default template, to pre-populate the Text field (the only unlimited rich text option it seems) with a list of default questions to fill in. That's not an option as it's character limited in the initial form template.

I've tried using Text Area, and despite setting that to unlimited, that stops halfway through question 5/10. Even though I can enter the entirety of our questions in the Form Template setup and save it, it wipes out half of it anyway.

The only solution I have to this point, is to paste the template in the Notes section of the Staff CP in an attempt to give our SMEs an easy way to copy it and paste it into the Text field of their articles. It's far from an ideal solution. If anyone has another recommendation on how to set this up I'd love to hear it. Because as of now I'm going to have some seriously unhappy SMEs with having to take this extra step to create an article which should at least have a way to be filled out (somewhat) prior since I can't offer the custom fields we want to in the View screen.

Thanks for listening to my rant. Any help from the community would be greatly appreciated. 
4 Years Ago by akaspar
InstantKB Suggestion

Hi Allan,

Thank you for your post and welcome to the forum :)

I sincerely appreciate your detailed explanation and hopefully I can assist with my response. 

I think I explained previously we don't provide an option to display custom rich text fields alongside an article due to formatting issues.We only have a limited amount of space to the right of each article so displaying rich text data here would look very untidy. For our 2015 release we are looking at the possibility of including custom rich text fields below the main article text. 

From what I understand reading your post your looking for an easy way to create articles from a pre-existing template? If this is correct rather than using the Staff NotePad to paste your template and have your SMEs copy this out each time they wish to create an article I'd suggest using the template manager.

The template manager can be access when adding or editing an article from within the editor toolbar as shown below....

When you open the template manager you'll see a few basic pre-existing templates as shown below...

You can add your own templates into the template manager to use as a basis for new articles created within the knowledgebase. Templates are standard HTML documents. You should ensure you only include the HTML mark-up within the <body> tag of any HTML document you use as a template. 

Does this approach help with your requirements Allen? If you encounter any further issues based on limitations within our software please do let me know. We are always open to listening to your requirements and improving our software to accommodate. 

P.S. Stay tuned for news on our InstantKB 2015 update which will be going live in the coming weeks,
Kindest Regards,

Ryan Healey
Blog | Community | Docs

Hi Ryan!

This may address the concerns, I'll have to try tomorrow when I get in in the morning and have some time to work with it. Will definitely update here and let you know.

Thanks! Looking forward to giving this a try.


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