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Creating a Help Item – What are my options?

Applies to: VisualSP
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VisualSP provides several different media types that content creators can use to present custom help items to their end users. This support article will go over some guidelines on how to choose the best Help item to display to your end users, along with a general overview of each media type, with links to support articles that provide more in-depth information.

You also have the option to edit out-of-the-box content. When you do so, we consider it to be a custom help item at that point so it will no longer be updated by us. You can always revert to the original help item at any time.

Choosing the best media type for your Help item

  • If the support documentation is already created, either as a web page or as a document, it will be easiest to link directly to the original source. In this instance, you would use Web Page as the Media Type to display the web page, or the Document media type if the help resource is a pdf, .docs, or .xlxs file.
  • Sometimes the content you wish to reference on a web page is only a small section somewhere deep within the page. In these situations it is better to use the Rich HTML media type and reproduce the pertinent information manually, or with a simple copy/paste into the Rich HTML field.
  • If the goal is to demonstrate how to do something, a Walkthrough is the ideal media type to use because you can guide the user step-by-step. Sometimes, however, the same concept can be conveyed more simply through the use of an animated gif. Don't overlook this option for getting your message across.
  • For a notification you wish to appear on a page, consider the Banner media type. You have the option of displaying the banner either at the top or the bottom of the screen. This makes the Banner media type less intrusive than the other media types. You can, however, customize the background color of the banner to bring more attention to it if you wish. The Walkthrough media type is also another good option, as you can create a single-step walkthrough, and you can either configure it to point to an element on the page, or configure it to show as a splash screen.
  • For a quick reference resource, consider taking a screenshot of a page and adding annotations that help users understand a known confusion point. Then use the Image web part to display your annotated screenshot to your users as a help item.
  • Sometimes an annotated screenshot is too much when you only want to call out 1 or 2 fields for additional explanation. A great alternative in these situations is to use an Inline help item. All Media types except for the Banner can be configured to display as Inline help.

Media Type Options When Creating Custom Help

To create a new help item, open the Help panel, click the hamburger menu and click Enable Edit Mode: Click the green Add Help Item button at the top of the VisualSP Help panel:

This will open the Editor window. Select the Blank Help Item template: The Banner media type will be selected by default:

You can select a different media type by clicking the drop down arrow:

The Banner media type will display a banner either at the top or bottom of the screen:

Learn more.

Custom EMBED or OBJECT Tag

Use this media type when you would like to pull in external multimedia content (like audio, video, Java applets, ActiveX, PDF, and Flash) that are handled by browser plugins. The Help item will display in a modal popup window. Learn more.

Document (.pdf, .docs, .xlxs, etc.)

The Document media type will display a document in a separate window. Be sure all of your users have access to the document location.

Image (.png, .jpg, .bmp, etc.)

The Image media type will display an image in a modal window. Be sure all of your users have access to the image location.


The Rich HTML media type provides you with a full range of editing tools that you are accustom to. You can make text bold, italic, or underlined; add links or images, format text, add a table, or an ordered or unordered list. This type of Help item will appear in a modal window.


The Video media type presents a video from your environment in a modal window.

Learn more.


A Walkthrough media type displays a step-by-step tutorial that can be targeted to elements on a page, giving guidance to the user on a new feature. Learn more.

Web Page

A Web Page media type displays any web page in a modal window.

YouTube Video

The YouTube Video media type displays a YouTube video in a modal window.

Learn more.

Inline Help option

To configure your Help item to appear as inline help,
Updated on December 20, 2023

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