Customize an FAQ group's public pages using the advanced customization options

If you'd like to get more hands-on with customizing the layout and content of your pages, consider enabling the advanced customization options. Unlike the default customization options, which more or less lock you into a default layout for each page, these will allow you to customize each page of your group individually -- from the number of columns on each page to the content inside of each box. To make the switch:

  1. Go to Admin > FAQ Groups.
  2. For the group you want to customize, click on its edit () icon in the Actions column.
  3. On the Manage FAQ Groups page, click on the Pages tab.
    • If the Use advanced customization options checkbox is not selected, this means your group is using the default, simple customization options. To enable the advanced options select this checkbox and click the Save button.
    • If you'd like a simpler way to customize the layout and content of your pages, consider disabling the advanced customization options. The default customization options automatically apply a functional and user-friendly layout to your pages -- all you need to do is fine tune a few settings as needed. See the Links & Files section of this article for more info on the default customization options.

Note: enabling the advanced customization options will remove all customizations and content from your group pages. In other words, each page will start as a blank slate. (Don't worry, though: you can always switch back to the default customization options at any time.)

The Use Advanced Customization Options setting when enabled


The basics of editing pages

In the list of pages, click on the Customize Page () icon for the page you want to edit. This will launch the page editor.

  • Home Page: this is the landing page for your group. If this is your Default group, then this also serves as the landing page for your entire LibAnswers sytem.
  • FAQ Page: this is the page template for your group's FAQ entries.
  • Single Search Page: if you are using the traditional search results layout, this is the template for your search results.
  • Tabbed Search Page: if you are using the tabbed search results layout, this is the template for your search results. Use this to customize which search sources to display.
  • Bento Search Page: if you are using the bento box search results layout, this is the template for your search results. Use this to select and position your displayed search sources.

To preview a page, click on the View Page () icon.

Example of how to edit or preview the home page

Once you've selected the page you want to edit, the following sections will guide you through the various customization options.

Page title and description

To edit the title and/or description of a page:

  1. Click on the Edit () icon next to the current page title or description.
  2. Edit the text in the Page Title field.
  3. Edit the text in the Page Description field.
  4. Save your changes.

Example of editing the page title

Page columns

The content on each page is arranged in columns, with each column containing boxes of content. You can customize the page to include up to 3 columns with different combinations of widths. Regardless of how many columns you pick, each page will also have a box at the top and bottom that spans the width of the page.

To customize your columns:

  1. Click on the Column Layout () button at the top of the page editor.
  2. Use the Number of Columns dropdown to select how many columns to display (1-3).
  3. For 2 and 3 column layouts, use the Width of Columns dropdown to select the combination of widths you want to use.
  4. Save your changes.

The Page Columns button

Adding a box to a column

  1. Click on the  Add Box link at the bottom of the column where you want to place the box.
  2. In the Add Box window, under the Create Box tab, use the Box Type dropdown to select the type of box you want to create.
    • Standard: this type of box displays the content directly on the page.
    • Tabbed: this allows you to create a box with multiple tabs, with each tab displaying different content. When you choose this option, you will be prompted to enter a name for each tab you want to create. 
    • Alert: this allows you to create a colored box that is useful for highlighting important announcements. When you choose this option, you will be prompted to select which background color you want the alert to have.
  3. Give your box a name using the Box Title field.
  4. If creating a Standard or Tabbed box, you can choose to enable the Display box without header or borders checkbox.
  5. Click the Save button to add the box to your page.
    • To edit a box's title and display options later on, click on the Edit () icon in the box's header.
    • Or to delete a box from your page, click on the Delete () icon in the box's header.

The Add Box window

Adding content to a box

  1. Click on the Add Item button in the box where you want to add content.
  2. Select the type of content you want to add:
    • Rich Text/HTML: this allows you to add text and image content to your box.
    • Link: this allows you to add a link, along with a description. This is helpful if you want to create a box with links to helpful resources.
    • FAQ List: this allows you to display a list of FAQs from a specific group, or from all public FAQs in the system. FAQ lists can display:
      • Recent FAQ entires (by last updated date)
      • Popular FAQ entries (by total views)
      • FAQ entries by topic
      • FAQ entires by keyword
      • Custom FAQ entries list (allowing you to display specific FAQs by their ID numbers)
    • Contact Info: this allows you to display a list of contact information, including:
      • Generic links to specific URLs (such as a staff directory)
      • Email addresses
      • SMS numbers
      • Telephone numbers
      • Twitter handles
      • LibChat button widgets
      • Links to a LibAnswers question form
    • Chat Widget: this allows you to add one of your LibChat widgets to your page.
    • Search Form: this allows you to add an FAQ search box to your box.
    • Question Form: this allows you to embed a question form on your page.
    • Topics: use this to display a cloud, list, or dropdown menu of topics in your FAQ group. Select a topic will allow users to view all FAQs with that topic.
  3. Each content type will have its own customization options. Once finished customizing your content item, save your changes.

Example of adding an item to a box 

Reordering, editing, and deleting content items

  1. To edit a content item, click on the item's Edit () icon.
  2. To delete a content item, click on the item's Delete () icon.
  3. To reorder content items within a box, click on the Reorder button at the bottom of the box. This will allow you to drag and drop the content items into a new order.

Screenshot highlighting the options for editing, deleting, and reordering content items

Reordering boxes

To reorder boxes in a column, or move boxes between columns:

  1. Click on the Reorder Boxes () button at the top of the page.
  2. Drag and drop the boxes into the preferred order.
  3. Save your changes.

The Reorder Boxes button

Previewing a page and exiting the page editor

  1. To preview a live version of your page, click on the Preview () button at the top of the page.
  2. To return to your FAQ group's page settings, click on the Return () button.

The Preview and Return buttons

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Editing the FAQ page templates

The FAQ Page is a little different from the Home Page because it has a couple of specialized box types:

  • FAQ: this will contain the template for the FAQ itself, which contains both HTML code and tokens. These tokens are essentially placeholders for the actual content of the FAQ's answer, comments, and topics.
  • FAQ Action Bar: this will display the "Was this helpful?" options, along with the Print, Tweet, and Post to Facebook options patrons can use to share an FAQ.

How to display an FAQ template

To create a box that displays the content of an FAQ, do the following:

  1. Click on the Add Box link in the column where you want to display the FAQ's answer, comments, or topics.
  2. In the Add Box window, select "FAQ" as the Box Type.
  3. Give the box a name in the Box Title field. This can contain HTML code and tokens, if desired.
  4. If you'd like, you can enable the Display box without header or borders option.
  5. In the FAQ Template, you have two options:
    1. You can create your own template from scratch using HTML code and the available tokens. Click on the Template Instructions button for a list of tokens and their syntax.
    2. Or, you can use a default template instead. Simply click on the Answer, Comment, or Topics button as appropriate and the default template code will be inserted into the FAQ Template field. You can then customize that default code as needed.
  6. Save your changes.

An FAQ Template in the Add Box window

How Tokens Work

  • Tokens should be enclosed in double braces for text content (i.e. {{question}}) or triple braces for html content (i.e. {{{question}}}.)
  • Wrap tokens or text in html for formatting:
    • <strong>{{owner}}</strong> will bold the name
    • <p style="color:#XXXXXX">{{question}}</style>
  • To show punctuation or text only if the field value is set, put it inside template tags like this:
  • {{#details}} This will show if the details field is not empty. {{{details}}} {{/details}}

For a complete list of available tokens, click on the Template Instructions button when editing a template.

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Customizing the search results layout

The Default Search Results Layout option allows you to select one of three search results layouts for your group. Simply select your preferred option and click the Save button. Here are the available layouts:

  • Traditional: this optional will only display search results from your LibAnswers system.
    • Edit the Single Search Page to customize the layout of your search results.
  • Tabbed style: this option has the ability to display results from your LibAnswers system, in addition to your other LibApps search sources. Results for each source will appear as a tab on the search results page.
    • Edit the Tabbed Search Page to select search sources and customize the layout of your search results.
  • "Bento box" style: this option also has the ability to display results from your LibAnswers system, in addition to your other LibApps search sources. Results for each source will appear in its own box, with the boxes positioned in different columns on the search results page.
    • Edit the Bento Search Page to select search sources and customize the layout of your search results.

Example of selecting the default search results layout

Customizing tabbed search sources

To select the search sources you would like to display:

  1. Edit the Tabbed Search Page.
  2. Click on the Edit Box () icon for the box titled "Search Results".
  3. In the Search Tabs section, drag and drop your desired search sources from the Available Sources column into the Displayed Sources column.
    • Each source will appear as a tab on the search results page, with the tabs corresponding to the order of the search sources in the Displayed Sources column.
  4. Save your changes.

Selecting tabbed search sources in the Edit Box window

Customizing bento box search sources

  1. Edit the Bento Search Page.
  2. To add a search source, click on the Add Box link in a column.
  3. In the Add Box window, select "Bento Search" as the Box Type.
  4. Give the box a name in the Box Title field.
  5. If you'd like, you can enable the Display box without header or borders option.
  6. Select a source from the Search Source dropdown.
  7. If you'd like all of the boxes to have a consistent height, enter a pixel value in the Box Height field.
    • Leave this field blank to have the box automatically adjust to the height of the search results content.
  8. If you'd like to add an intro before the search results (e.g. to explain what you can find in this search source), enter the text in to the Intro Text field.
  9. Save your changes.
    • To remove a search source later on, simply delete the box by clicking on the Delete Box () icon in the box's header.
    • You can reorder search sources by reordering the boxes on the page. Click on the Reorder Boxes () button at the top of the page.

Selecting bento search sources in the Add Box window

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Customizing the header colors

The color options allow you to customize the colors of the boxes on each page, in addition to the breadcrumbs, navbar, and footer.

  1. Use the color pickers to select your desired colors; or, enter a color's hex code (e.g. #cccccc) into the color picker fields and press Enter.
    • Box Header Background Color: this sets the background color of your box headers, in addition to the background color of your breadcrumbs, navigation bar, and page footer.
    • Box Header Link Color: this sets the color of links in your box headers, breadcrumbs, navigation bar, and page footer.
    • Box Header Border Color: this sets the border color of your boxes, as welll as the navigation bar and page footer.
    • Box Header Active Link Color: this sets the color of active links in your box headers, breadcrumbs, navigation bar, and page footer.
    • Box Header Text Color: this sets the color of text in your box headers, navigation bar, and page footer.
    • To revert any of these to the default colors, simply delete the entered hex code and press Enter.
  2. Click the Save Colors button. 

Example of customizing box colors

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Customizing the default search box

This option allows you to customize the search box inside the navigation bar at the top of each group page.

  1. In the Default Search Box panel, click on the Customize Search Box button.
  2. In the Customize Search Form window, use the Group Content To Search option to choose whether your want the box to limit results to just the current group, or show results for all public groups.
    • Please note: this cannot be customized for the default FAQ group.
    • The default group will always return all published FAQs the user has access to view.
  3. Customize the text of the Form Label (this is only visible to screen readers).
  4. Customize the Placeholder Text, which is what displays in the field before a user enters their search terms.
  5. Customize the Button Text.
  6. Save your changes.

The Customize Search Form window

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Selecting a default question form

This allows you to select which queue's question form to display. Use the Default Form dropdown to select the form, then click the Save button.

Example of selecting the question form to show

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