Managing Ribbon Groups

Applies to: VisualSP Classic
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A ribbon group is a group of related help items. They can be easily identified by the vertical dividers between them and the ribbon group names that appear below the icons in that group.

Create New Groups

New Groups can only be created by creating a new Help Item, or editing an existing Help Item, and assigning it to a new group. For Existing Group, select the <new> option. In the New Group field, type the name of the new Group you want to create. When you are finished creating, or editing, the Help Item, click the Save button. The new Group will be created and this Help Item will be added to the group.

Note: When Help Items are Imported, any Groups to which those Help Items were assigned at the time they were exported will be created in the Help Items list to which they are imported.

Rename Groups

On the Manage VisualSP Help Items page, click the Rename Groups icon in the Manage Help Items ribbon.

To rename a Group, find the item you want to change and change the value in New Value column. You can rename multiple groups at one time. When you are finished making all the needed changes, click the Save button.

Delete Groups

Groups in VisualSP are not “Deleted.” If no items are assigned to a particular Group, that Group will cease to exist.

An easy way to remove a Group is to use the By Group View. After selecting it, locate the items that currently exist in the group you want to delete. Then edit those Help Items and move them to another Group (or delete the Help Items). When no more Help Items are assigned to the Group, it will cease to exist.

Change the Order of Ribbon Groups

By default, groups are displayed in alphabetical order from left to right on the ribbon. The help items that appear in each group are displayed by size; those with large icons are displayed on the left and those with medium icons are displayed after them. Help items are also arranged alphabetically (after the size arrangement). Inline Help Items are displayed alphabetically from top to bottom on the inline help menu. However, you can override this behavior based on your specific needs by assigning sequence numbers.

See how to reorder groups on ribbons and buttons within groups

Ordering Groups, and Items within Groups

To change the order that groups appear, in the Manage Help Items ribbon, click Rename Groups. You’ll find it in the Manage ribbon group.

The sequence fields for all groups are blank by default. Groups with sequence numbers are always displayed before groups with blank sequence numbers. Groups with a blank sequence, as well as groups that share the same sequence number, will appear alphabetically.

Sequence numbers can be any number between 1 and 9999. As a best practice, we suggest that you assign sequence numbers in a manner that will allow for flexibility in customization later. For example, if you begin by using sequence number that end in zero, such as 10, 20, 30, etc., and you later decide that another group should appear between 10 and 20, you can assign it a sequence of 15.

Also, remember that all groups will not always be displayed together. For example, the Calendar Management group will not likely appear in the same ribbon as does the Blog Management group.

You may find it helpful to use numbers in a certain range for specific purposes. For example, the groups that you always want to appear on the left will always have a sequence of 10 or below. And things you always want to appear on the right will always have a sequence of 99 or above. Expanding on a schema such as this will give you a lot of flexibility even with a very complex assortment of help items.

Exporting and Importing Help Items

You may export Help items from one site collection and import them into another by using the buttons in the Import/Export group of the Manage Help Items ribbon. You can also export help items to a CSV file that can be opened in Excel or many other programs. This can be useful for reporting purposes.

Navigate to the Manage VisualSP Help Items page in the site collection from which you would like to export help items. If you don’t want to export all help items, select the items you do want to export by checking the checkbox to the left of each on. Click the Export Items icon on the Manage Help Items ribbon. In the Export Help Items dialog, select the locales for which you do want to export; by default, content for all locales will be exported. If you want to import the exported help items into another site collection, select the XML Export Format. Click the Export button.

Respond yes to the prompt to save VisualSPHelpItems.xml. The file size is generally small and can be easily transported.

Navigate to the site collection into which you want to import these items. Before you import any items, check to see if it is inheriting items from a parent help provider hub. Click Site Actions > Site Settings à Manage VisualSP Help Provider Settings. Notice if the Inherit Help Items box is checked or not.

Return to the Site Settings page by clicking your browser’s back button. Click  Manage VisualSP Help Items. If this site is inheriting Help items (like shown in image above) then you may not see any existing Help items in the Manage VisualSP Help Items page. Any Help items you add to a site collection that is inheriting Help items will appear in addition to the inherited Help items.

Click the Import Help Items button in the Manage Help Items ribbon.  Click the Browse button, navigate to the VisualSPHelpItems.xml file you exported previously, and select it. Select whether or not you want to overwrite any existing help items and click the Import button. The imported Help items will appear on the Manage VisualSP Help Items page in this site collection.

If you chose the CSV Export Format, you can open the file in Excel. This is a great way to get a better overall view of how your help items are configured.


Updated on February 9, 2018

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