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Creating Articles in Vtiger CRM

This article will guide you to create articles in Vtiger CRM. It is time to unleash the author in you!
R
Rashmi Kashyap
26 Jul, 2021 - Updated 9 months ago
Table of Contents

Introduction

Trying to find a way to announce your business-related information?

Do you want to help your customers with their queries?

Then why not write articles!

 

The Articles module in Vtiger CRM is an easy and excellent way to share your announcements, product updates, technical instructions, or any documentation with your customers. 

While FAQs in Vtiger CRM answer your customer’s queries more quickly, Articles will provide long-form help content. You can aid your customers with in-depth knowledge about anything regarding your business and its working.

Now, are you ready for brownie points? 

You can completely customize the appearance of your documentation to suit your needs and interests!!


Feature Availability

 

Sales Starter

Sales Professional

Sales Enterprise

Help Desk  Starter 

Help Desk Professional

Feature Availability

Articles

 

The Articles module is also available in the One Professional and One Enterprise editions.

 

Note: Currently, we do not provide Articles and Help Center by default. If you feel the need for these modules, please talk to our Support Team (support@vtiger.com), and they will help you out.


Installation

Before you start using the Articles module, you need to install the Articles extension from the Extension Store.  

This step is mandatory as it: 

  • Enables the Articles module under the Help Desk
  • Generates Help Center website URL

Follow these steps to install the Articles extension: 

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the User Menu on the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Go to Extensions.
  5. Click Extension Store.
  6. Install Articles extension.
  7. Click Launch to open the Articles module.

Now that you have installed the extension, we are guessing that you are eager to publish your first article! But do you know where your articles will appear after you publish them? 

Jump to the next section to reveal the mystery :)


Configuration

So you are now curious to know where the articles appear, right?

We have the answer. Your articles are published on the Help Center

Help Center (HC) is a customizable website that will host all the content you publish in different forms like articles, FAQs, updates, etc. You can share the Help Center’s URL with your customers to help them solve their issues.

 

Did you also know that the HC is completely customizable?

Yes, you can customize the look and feel of your Help Center according to your business standards just by the click of a button. To know more about the Help Center and how you can customize it, click here.

Once you have configured the Help Center, it's time to write and publish your first article! Continue to the next section to understand how to create an article.


Creating an Article

Creating an article is an easy-peasy job in Vtiger CRM, and we have not one, not two, but three ways to create an article! 

Read on to find out what they are and unleash the author in you!

Make sure that you have configured the Categories and Subcategories first. It is going to come in handy while creating an article.


 
  1. From the Articles module

You can use the +Add Article button to create a new article. You can find it on the top right corner in both Articles' Card View and List View.

Follow these steps to create an article:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Help Desk.
  4. Select Articles.
  5. Click +Add Article.
  6. Fill in the following mandatory information:
  • Title - Enter the name of the article.
  • Status - Pick the status of your article from the drop-down. Status defines what phase your article is currently in.
  • Category - Pick the category where the article belongs.
  • Author - Select the author from the drop-down. It lists the CRM users who have access to the Articles module.
  • Subcategory - Pick the subcategory where the article belongs. 
  • Visibility - Select to whom your article must be visible. It can be made: 
    • Public - Anybody in the world can read your articles. 
    • Logged in Contacts - Only the contacts who have logged in using their portal credentials can read your articles.  
    • Employees - Only your employees can read your articles.
  1. Click Save and Continue to create the article and write the content.

The article is created, and you can now start adding content.

 

Did you know?

You can have a preview of your article to see how it might appear on the HC. This will help you locate errors and improve your article. All you have to do is click the Preview button. 


 
  1. From the Cases module

You can create an article from a case in just a click. This option provides a way to add an article by either creating it from scratch or duplicating one of the recently created articles.
Follow these steps to add an article from cases:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Help Desk.
  4. Select Cases.
  5. Open a case.
  6. Click the More icon on the top right corner of the Summary View.
  7. Click Articles.
  8. You can do the following:
  • Select Articles - Select an article from the list of articles and click Add.
  • Create Articles - Fill in the following mandatory information:
  • Title - Enter the name of the article.
  • Status - Pick the status of your article from the drop-down. Status defines what phase your article is currently in.
  • Category - Pick the category where the article belongs.
  • Author - Select the author from the drop-down. It lists the CRM users who have access to the Articles module.
  • Subcategory - Pick the subcategory where the article belongs. 
  • Visibility - Select to whom your article must be visible. It can be made: 
    • Public - Anybody in the world can read your articles. 
    • Logged in Contacts - Only the contacts who have logged in using their portal credentials can read your articles.  
    • Employees - Only your employees can read your articles.
  1. Click Save and Continue to create the article and write the content.

The newly created article is linked to the case and shown under the Articles widget in the Summary View of the case record.

To know more about Cases, click here.
 

  1. Using Quick Create

Articles can also be created by clicking the + icon present on the top bar.
Follow these steps to create an article using Quick Create:

  1. Click the icon displayed on the top bar on your screen.
  2. Click the Show all button to view all the modules you can create records using Quick Create.
  3. Go to Support.
  4. Select Article.
  5. Fill in the following mandatory information:
  • Title - Enter the name of the article.
  • Status - Pick the status of your article from the drop-down. Status defines what phase your article is currently in.
  • Category - Pick the category where the article belongs.
  • Author - Select the author from the drop-down. It lists the CRM users who have access to the Articles module.
  • Subcategory - Pick the subcategory where the article belongs. 
  • Visibility - Select to whom your article must be visible. It can be made: 
    • Public - Anybody in the world can read your articles. 
    • Logged in Contacts - Only the contacts who have logged in using their portal credentials can read your articles.  
    • Employees - Only your employees can read your articles.
  1. Click Save and Continue to create and write the article.

To know more about Quick Create, click here.


Different article statuses 

After you create an article, you can save it in one of the following statuses:

 

Status

Description

New

The article is new and has no content in it.

Draft

The article is being drafted and is not complete yet.

Published

The article is published in the Help Center and is accessible by the customers.

Unpublished

The article is not published due to various reasons.

 

Note

  • Customers can view an article only when its Status field is set to Published.
  • You can add or delete the status values from Settings > Module ManagementPicklist Field Values.


Enhancing your Articles

Now you have created an article, you can enhance it to add value. Based on the type of information you want to display, you can add tables, screenshots, images, and links to other articles, websites, etc. 

This can help when you have to make references to a screen or an external help document or a website.

Adding screenshots

Follow these steps to add a screenshot to an article:

  1. Click the Image icon provided in the editor’s toolbar. 
  2. Click the Upload tab.
  3. Click Choose File to browse and select for the image on your local computer.
  4. Click Send it to the Server.
  5. Specify image properties such as the alternative text, height, width of the image, alignment, etc., in the Image Info tab. (This is an optional step.)
  6. Click OK.

The screenshot will be added to the article.

Adding links

Follow these steps to add a link to an external document:

  1. Select the text that you want to link the external document to.
  2. Click the Link icon in the toolbar.
  3. Type the URL of the external document in the URL field under the Link Info tab.
  4. Click OK.

A hyperlink in blue will be added to the text you selected. This indicates that the link is embedded in the text.

 

Did you know?

Changes are saved automatically in the article. So do not worry about losing any information.


Articles: Different Views 

Once you start creating articles, you will notice that they appear in two different manners in the module. We call them article Views. In this section, you will read about the two views in the Articles module - Card View and List View.

Card View

This view displays all the articles in the form of blocks with information such as article name, status, author, etc. By default, Card View is the screen that is shown when you click the Articles module. 

List View

In Vtiger CRM, you can look at all the articles in the form of a list in the List View. This view sorts and lists all articles based on the last modified date and time.

You can switch between the List View and the Card View by clicking the List View and Card View icon located beside the +Add Article button.

  • Columns in the List View 

The columns that are visible by default in the List View are:

  1. Title - Displays the name of the article.
  2. Article Number - Displays the article number. This is a unique identification number for an article.
  3. Visibility - Displays where the article is visible.
  4. Category - Displays the category under which the article is listed.
  5. Subcategory - Displays the subcategory under which the article is listed.
  6. Status - Displays the status of the article.
  7. Version - Displays the version of the article.
  8. Author - Displays the name of the article’s author.
  • List actions

You can perform many quick actions such as Edit, Delete, Export, Merge Records, etc., on the article records in the List View.

To learn more about List View actions in Vtiger CRM, click here.

Did you know?

You can create lists to sort and store the records displayed in your List View and save it for future reference. This feature enables you to create different lists for multiple purposes. 

To know more about creating a list, click here.

 

Searching for your articles

The search bar in the List View is a unique feature on its own. It is one of a kind because it filters, searches, and delivers the result brilliantly.

The search bar helps you search for a record as well as filter the rest of the records using field names that you specify. This feature comes in very handy if you have a large number of records in the CRM.

To know more about the search bar in List View, click here.


Summary View of an Article

Summary View is the view that appears when you click a particular record from the List View. The Summary View displays a collection of all the key information of the record.

The Summary View can be divided into five sections. Each section has a particular functionality.

  • Summary View Actions

    • Follow: You can follow any article record to get updates on all the activities performed on that record.
    • Tags: You can add tag names to the record to identify the record easily.
    • Open in new tab: You can open the article on a new tab in your browser.
    • Link: You can copy the URL of the record directly.
  • Editor

This section allows your ideas and thoughts to flow through the keyboard and transforms into writing. This editor has a lot of tools to make your article look very attractive yet professional.

  • Preview

A preview of your article will help you see how your content is presented to the customers and make the necessary changes.

  • More

You can do the following from the More button:
  • View the followers: You can see the users who are following the article.
  • Print: You can print the article or save it as a PDF for future references.
  • Duplicate: You can duplicate the current record and have all the details reflected in a new record.
  • Delete: You can delete a record by clicking this button.

If you have defined relationships between the Articles module and other modules in Settings > Module Layouts & Fields, then you will be able to add records of those modules from this button. The records added will be displayed in their respective widgets.

  • Widgets

    • Activity- You can see all the activities performed on that particular article. You can define filters to view the updates and add internal comments.
    • Analytics-You can view all the metrics related to the article in the form of charts, mini-lists, etc. 
    • Details - You can view and edit all the fields and information related to the article here. You can click on the expand icon to go to the detail view of the article.

Did you know?

  • You can click on the Edit icon on the top right corner of the Summary View to find fields and edit the article.
  • You can add a few lines about your article and its content in the Description field. You can also add SEO-related details and the article's version number in the Details tab.
  • You can find an article’s Help Center link in the Article Link field.


Actions Possible on an Article

  • Import

Importing is a process of transferring the articles on your local machine to the CRM. This feature is best to use when you have lots of articles on your system. It just takes a few clicks and selecting the Articles module to import.

To know more about Importing, click here.
 

  • Export

Exporting is a process of saving the article as a PDF in the local machine or sending the article link as a PDF via email.
Follow these steps to export an article:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Help desk.
  4. Select Articles.
  5. Click the List View icon beside the +Add Article button.
  6. Hover over any article record to display the radio button on the left side.
  7. Click the radio button.
  8. Click the Export icon.
  9. Select any one of the following options:
    • Export Selected Records - This option exports only the selected record(s).
    • Export data in current page - This option exports the records on the current page.
    • Export all data - This option exports all the article records in the Articles module.

The exported records are saved on your local system in the .csv format. 

To know more about Exporting, click here.
 

  • Print

Printing is a process of obtaining the article as a hard copy.
Follow these steps to print an article:
  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Help desk.
  4. Select Articles.
  5. Open an article record.
  6. Click the More icon on the top right corner of the Summary View.
  7. Click the Print button.
  8. You can perform the options listed below:
    • Email with PDF - You can email the article record as a PDF to a contact.
    • Save as PDF - You can save the article as a PDF on your local system.
    • Print - You can print the article and keep its hard copy.

When you try to print an article, you can see that it is presented in a certain way using a template. Vtiger CRM offers a set of templates to select if the default template is not according to your liking.

Changing the template of an article

Follow these steps to change the template of an article from the print screen:

This is a temporary change only until the article is printed.

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Help desk.
  4. Select Articles.
  5. Open an article.
  6. Click the More icon on the top right corner of the Summary View.
  7. Click the Print icon.
  8. Select the template you want from the list of available templates.
  9. You can perform the options below:
    • Email with PDF - You can email the article record as a PDF to a contact.
    • Save as PDF - You can save the article as a PDF on your local system.
    • Print - You can print the article and keep its hard copy.

The template is applied to the article instantly.


Analyzing Article Metrics

Once you have published an article, you can analyze the metrics and see how well the customers receive your article. In the Articles’ Summary View > Analytics widget, you can see the metrics’ summary. 

Article Views

This metric is a bar chart that will display the number of views on the article.

If you click the More icon, you can see options to print the chart or save it as an image.

Article Rating

This metric shows how many readers have found your article helpful or not helpful.

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