I was recently asked if you can integrate help into web parts within SharePoint. As it happens, you can. I had forgotten all about this little feature and thought it might be useful to others. So here’s the ‘how to’:
If you navigate to a site within SharePoint, and click on the little arrow on the right side of the title bar for a web part, you will get the option to minimise, close (if allowed – you can remove these options if you want), and to modify the web part. See image below:
In the image above, I have clicked on the arrow for the ‘Team Diary’ web part. Click on ‘Modify Shared Web Part’ (you need to be Site Administrator to be able to do this) and you should see a tool pane on the right side of your web page. See image below:
Within the tool pane, expand the ‘Advanced’ properties and scroll down. You will see 2 properties – Help URL and Help Mode. Enter the URL of the page that contains the Help information you want to associate with the web part. For Help Mode, ‘Modal’ and ‘Modeless’ will open the URL in a new window. ‘Navigate’ will open the URL in the same browser window (i.e. navigates away from the site). If you look at the image above, you will also see checkboxes for the ‘Minimise’ and ‘Close’ options for the web part. Uncheck these boxes if you don’t want people to minimise or close the web part on the site. Click OK when you are done.
If you now click on the little arrow in the title bar of the web site, you get a ‘Help’ link. See image below:
Note: This method only works if you display web parts within a chrome (i.e. they must have a title bar on display). If you look at any of the images above, the picture of the iceberg is in a web part without chrome, hence there is no little arrow to access the web part menu because there is no title bar. ‘Chrome’ is the term used to describe the title bar and border that can be displayed around a web part.
Filed under: SharePoint