Adding a Send Feedback link to Your Online Help / RoboHelp Project

I was reading an article in a previous STC Intercom magazine about how to add a Send Feedback link to your online help project, but the javascript didn’t work. Here’s an alternative method that does work.  This Send Feedback link grabs the page title and URL and includes it in the e-mail that the user sends.

The method below describes the integration using RoboHelp, but the principles apply to almost any online help editor.

To add a Send Feedback link in your RoboHelp project:

  1. Right-click the Templates folder and create a new template (or access an existing one). Then expand the footer section and put your cursor where you want the link inserted.
  2. In RoboHelp 7, go to Insert > HTML > Advanced > Scripts. Insert the following code:

document.write(“<a href=”mailto:joe@support.com?subject=Application Name |  ” + document.title + ” | ” +  location.href + “”> Send Feedback</a>”) ;

This will put the page title and URL in the subject of the e-mail. However, I had some problems with character limits, so here’s an alternative script that puts the URL in the body of the message.

document.write(“<a href=”mailto:joe@support.com?subject=Application%20Name%20(“+document.title+”)%20%20File:%20″+location.href+””>Send Feedback</a>”);

The link will now appear in every one of your topics that uses the template.

If you aren’t using the Insert > HTML > Advanced > Scripts method to insert the code, then you need to include script tags around the statement.

<script type=”text/javascript”>document.write(“<a href=”mailto:joe@support.com?subject=Sample%20Application%20(“+document.title+”)&body=”+location.href+”%0A%0A”+””>Send Feedback</a>”);</script>

<script type=”text/javascript”> document.write(“<a href=”mailto:joe@support.com?subject=Sample Application |  ” + document.title + ” | ” +  location.href + “”> Send Feedback</a>”) ;</script>
 

Note: In the above scripts, replace joe@support.com and Sample Application with your own email and application name. Also note that if you copy the text, the characters may not copy as displayed.

How do you gather feedback from your users? I’m interested to hear if you have other scripts or techniques.

Madcap Flare Adobe Robohelp

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By Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer working for The 41st Parameter in San Jose, California. I'm primarily interested in topics related to technical writing, such as visual communication (video tutorials, illustrations), findability (organization, information architecture), API documentation (code examples, programming), and web publishing (web platforms, interactivity) -- pretty much everything related to technical writing. If you're trying to keep up to date about the field of technical communication, subscribe to my blog either by RSS or by email. To learn more about me, see my About page. You can also contact me if you have questions.

8 thoughts on “Adding a Send Feedback link to Your Online Help / RoboHelp Project

  1. tr

    We do something similar with Webworks help – we use javascript to open a feedback window that then has a link to open a mail window but also provides the info required to cut and paste if a mail client isn’t available (the mail addr and the html topic name)

    We have a mail acct set up for receiving feedback that sends back an automated response and notifies the appropriate people.

  2. Tom

    I saw a send feedback button on a webworks generated online help here: http://pubs.vmware.com/vi3/. I liked the send feedback functionality, but webworks takes 20 + seconds to load and then it loads piece by piece. Is it always like that, or is this a bad example?

  3. tr

    Hi – not sure – that example does take a more than a few seconds to load, though. The help systems we generate take a couple seconds to load completely, and they do load in pieces like the example, but they don’t take this long. I wonder if it’s just taking longer because its loading over the web. Most of our help is locally installed with the product – the few that are accessible through a browser take one or two seconds longer – depending on network speed.

  4. Malcolm Jacobson

    We use Help & Manual 4 and have a “feedback” link at the bottom of every topic.

    To include the link, we edit the Topic Template HTML and add a standard “mailto” link into the page which includes the Help & Manual variable. This automatically grabs the topic title at build time and includes it in the mailto link of each topic page in the published product.

    Cheers,

    Malcolm.

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