Manuals


How to create user manuals, online guides, and help files in eComsta?

Create, publish and track online user manuals easily with our manuals module. 

How to add a Product Manual?

Before adding a topic, you must add a product.

How to Add a Product?

  • Go to the Products tab and click the Add Product button.
  • Enter a Name for your product.
  • Enter a slug. A slug is the part of a URL which identifies your product manual online in an easy to read form. For instance, if you enter business-directory-script in the slug field, then the manual will be accessible at https://YOUR DOMAIN NAME/manual/business-directory-script/. Leave this blank for auto-generation.
  • Select an ICON for your product.
  • Click the Browse button to set an image for your product. The image is an optional field.
  • Enter a value for the priority field. You can change the order of your products through the Priority field. Enter a lower value to display this product at the top.
  • Click the Status checkbox to make this product active and click the Save button.

After adding a product, we will add a topic. The topic contains the content that will be displayed to the user.

How to Add a Topic?

  • Click the Manage Topics link in the upper-right tab section.
  • Click the Add Topic button to add a new topic.
  • Enter a heading for your page in the Title field.
  • Enter a slug. You can assign a single topic to several links in order to avoid writing the same content again and again. Google considers two pages having the same content as duplicate which impacts the search engine ranking, we display such a topic with a different URL to prevent duplication. The slug plays an important role in such a case because the page is accessed using this slug instead of the link URL.
  • The hits field displays the number of views on this topic. Change this field value to reset the view counter.
  • Click the Save button to save your topic.

We must assign a topic to a link to make it accessible through a URL. Before adding a link, we will add Groups to structure our content.

How to Add a Group?

  • Click the Manage Groups tab in the upper tabs section.
  • Click the Add Group button to add a new group.
  • Enter a name for your Group.
  • Click the Name Text is a Language String? checkbox if the string in the Name field is a language string. This is for multilingual sites. You must add this string to the custom_lang.php file via the Developer->Translate section in order to display the text as per the user's selected language. If the language text is not added, the site will display a FIXME string. Leave this unchecked if you have used your language words.
  • Select an Icon for your group, this will be displayed in the left navigation bar.
  • Enter a value for the priority field. You can change the order of your groups through the Priority field.
  • Click the Save button to save your group.

After adding a Group, you can proceed with the link.

How to Add a Link?

  • Visit the Manage Links tab and click the Add Link button to create a new URL.
  • Type your newly created topic title in the topics field and select it from the list.
  • Select your product from the dropdown list.
  • Assign a Group to your link by selecting a group from the Groups dropdown field.
  • Select Active from the dropdown field to make this link active.
  • Enter a label, this is the name of your URL that will be displayed to the user.
  • Select the Label Text is a Language String? checkbox if the label is a language string.
  • Enter a slug. This is the identification of your link in the URL.
  • Select an icon for your link.
  • Describe and summarizes the contents of your URL for the benefit of users and search engines. Enter the Meta Title, Description and Keywords for SEO purposes.
  • Click the Save button to save your link.

After adding a link, you must order links to make it visible to your users.

How to Order Links?

  • Click the Order Links tab to prioritize your URLs.
  • Select your Product and Group to view all the links and click the Load List button.
  • Drag and place them as per your requirements.
  • Click the Save button.

Your manual is now ready, you can share the URL to your customers. You can also create a link via the Developer->Links section.

https://YOUR DOMAIN NAME/manual/<PRODUCT SLUG>/<LINK SLUG>

Other Useful Information

You can also add help links in your application and display them to your users.

How to add a Tutorial Link?

  • Visit the Manage Tutorials tab and click the Add Tutorial button.
  • Select a topic by typing a title in the topic field.
  • Select your product from the product dropdown field.
  • Enter tags in a comma-separated list. These are the keywords that must be passed from your application to the manuals module. For instance, if you want to display manuals topic to your users, pass components and manuals as keywords using the GET parameters to the manuals module. Also, enter components and manuals in the Tags field.  
  • Enter a value for the priority field to change the order of your link.
  • The hits field displays the number of views of this page. Leave this default. Use this field to reset the views.
  • Click the Save button to save your tutorial link.

Use CURL or file_get_contents method and pass parameters to the manuals module as follows:

https://YOUR DOMAIN NAME/manuals/training_material?id=4&context=components&module=manuals

How to view all the manual searches?

  • Click the Manage Searches tab to view all the searches performed by your users. This is useful to know what topics are searched more so that you can focus on them.

How to add a new status?

You can also add statuses as per your requirements via the Manage Status tab.

  • Visit the Manage Status tab and click the Add Status button.
  • Fill the information and click the Save button.

This status will now be displayed in the Status dropdown field while adding or modifying a new link.

How to download a PDF of your Manual?

Go to the Products tab and click the PDF button in front of the product's title to download the PDF file of your manual. You can distribute this file with your product/software/script for a better understanding of your application.