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Guide templates

Overview

Guide templates provide a mechanism that allows a consistent format to be applied to all or a subset of guides deployed in an application. The format can be easily referenced, making it easy to create a large number of consistently styled guides quickly. Templates hide HTML/CSS customizations from users, allowing non-technical users to create and edit guides in a simple form-field interface.

Creating Guide Templates

Administrators and Users with template creation privileges can create and modify guide templates in Pendo. See the "User Roles" article for more detail on how to set user privileges for guide creation and editing. Guide templates are created in the same interface with the other guide settings. In Pendo, go to the “Guides” option, select “Manage Guides In App”, and then select “Global Settings” in the top-right corner.

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Selecting “Templates” will show a list of existing templates that can be edited, copied, or deleted. Several templates are provided by default. To create a new template guide from scratch, select the “+ Create Template” button. You can also elect to copy an existing template by clicking the "clone" icon next to a template in the list.

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The guide template editor assumes a baseline knowledge of HTML / CSS. The template layout and design are controlled through markup styling only. Like guide design there is a preview, but there is no WYSIWYG editor for the templates themselves.

Name and Type

Specify a name for the new template, and select whether the template is for a lightbox, tooltip, or banner. An individual template can only be developed for a single guide style.

Variables

Define the elements of the template that will be customized when the template is used to create a guide. These will become empty input areas to be filled out when building guides with the template.

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Common variables may be the title of the guide, or the body text. For each variable, you specify a form label, default content, or prompt text, optional character limit, and a variable name. The variable name is used within the template’s HTML source to sub in the user-provided input for each instance of the guide. These variables will be inserted into the HTML automatically after they are saved.

HTML

Any variables created will automatically populate within the HTML tab in the form <% template.variableName %>. Once you have the variables defined, you can then design the layout of the template. Move the variable designations to their desired location in the rendered guide.

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CSS and JavaScript

The CSS and JavaScript tabs allow you to apply further customization to the appearance or behavior of the template. CSS created within the template applies only to guides using that template and will not overwrite any other CSS defined within your application. JavaScript can be utilized to add custom scripts or behavior to the guide.

Settings

The Settings tab allows you to set a default height and width for the template. You can either set a fixed height, or have the guide size automatically based on content by checking the "Auto Resize Height" checkbox. Default width is only available for tooltip and lightbox type guides. Position (Top or Bottom) is available exclusively for banner type guides.

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This is where variable character limits can be helpful. If you want the finished guides to be a particular size, or prevent headline text from wrapping, you can set the appropriate character limits based on the defined dimensions of the template.

Once you have finished formatting, you can save the template design by clicking the “Create Template” button in the dialog. The new template will be added to the repository, and will become accessible to users who are creating guides.

Applying Templates to Guides

The process of creating a guide from a template varies depending on the user role. Users will either have the ability to create guides exclusively from templates, or choose to use a template or create a guide from scratch.

Template Only Users

After you select the type of guide you would like to create, a dialog will open allowing you to create and set options for the guide.

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If the user is only allowed to build from templates, they will be prompted to select a template to use, and fill in the information for the variables defined in the template. The available templates will only be shown for the guide type selected, so if you elect to build a new lightbox, you will only be able to select from the lightbox type templates. If you are creating a walkthrough, you will need to select a template for each step in the walkthrough. As a result, walkthroughs can be based on one or many different templates.

Although the guide styling must be based on the template, the other guide settings are available, and you can adjust the guide size, target segments, location, activation, and guide expiration.

Users with Full Guide Design Privileges

Users who can create guides from scratch, and administrators, will see a slightly different interface when they go to create a new guide. After selecting “Add New Guide” and the guide type, you will see the following dialog:

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If no template is selected, the guide can be designed either by coding HTML / CSS, or using the WYSIWYG editor in the interface. If you select to use a template, the template design will be applied, the dialog will change to prompt you with the variable fields that are defined in the template, and the WYSIWYG editor will be disabled.

When a template is applied, you can view the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript associated with the template, but you cannot edit without disconnecting it from the template. Clicking the lock icon next to the template selection dropdown with disconnect the guide from the template. Note that in this case, the guide will remain independent from the template, and won’t be able to inherit any subsequent changes to the template design.

Editing Templates (and Impact on Guides)

Templates are edited in the same interface where they are created. To edit the design of a guide, simply navigate back to the Templates section within Global Settings, and click the edit icon next to the template that you would like edit. This will re-open the design interface allowing you to make changes.

When changes are made to a template, the status of any guide that uses the template will now display “Needs Review”. Note that the guide status (disabled, draft, staging, or public) hasn’t actually changed. This is just a notification alert. If a guide is public, it will remain live. The list of templates will update to show you the number of guides that have been impacted by the change.

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To review the guides, click on the “Show Guides” option, and scroll to the guide you wish to review. When you select the guide to open it, the guide menu will open with a prompt alerting you to the template change and inviting you to preview the impact of the changes on this particular guide.

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The guide will open showing you a preview of the guide with the template updates applied. You can compare the changes against the old version of the guide by mousing over the “Old Version” text in the alert under "Content/Design". If you are satisfied that the template changes have not caused any issues with the guide, click the “Save” button to apply the changes. This will apply the new template changes, and return the guide to its previous status. So if the guide was public, then the changes are immediately published. Note that for public guides the old versions will continue to be shown to visitors until the changes are reviewed and approved.

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