Add Comments section to articles

By default, your knowledge base will come with Comments enabled. If you need to re-enable comments in a knowledge base that's had them disabled--or if you want to learn more about the various settings available within comments--follow the instructions below!

To enable Comments in your knowledge base:

  1. Go to Settings > Comments
  2. Select the checkbox next to Enable comments to "Allow people to comment on articles."Settings > Comments screen
  3. Restrict commenters sets who can physically comment on your knowledge base; Restrict visibility sets who can see those comments. See Comment restrictions and permissions for more detail on each option.
  4. By default, all comments are set to require approval before they'll be displayed. If you'd prefer all comments be automatically approved (and displayed) as soon as they've been submitted, check the box next to Auto Approve.
  5. Comments are automatically shown in the Comments reporting dashboard. If you'd also like to send email notifications to particular address(es) when comments are submitted, check the box next to Email Notifications and add the email addresses you'd like to send to in the Email Recipients list.
    • You can also choose to adjust the Email Reply To and Email From fields so that they aren't coming from Knowledge Support (
  6. Email notifications of new comments will default to an Email Frequency of Every new comment. You can change this frequency to Hourly, Daily, or Weekly digests.
    You can customize all the text shown in the Comments section in Tools > Customize Text in the Article knowledge base section. Learn more.
  7. Be sure to Save your changes.

If you're re-enabling comments in a knowledge base, you may need to re-add them to one of your Custom HTML templates to have them fully display. While you can add them anywhere, we recommend adding them either into the Article footer or the Right Column (if you're using it).

To add to the Article footer:

  1. Go to Settings > Style.
  2. Below the preview pane, be sure Custom HTML is selected.
  3. Select Article from the Custom HTML dropdown.
  4. Click the Select a Merge Code dropdown, find the Article Merge Codes section, and select Article Comments.

  5. Click to put your cursor where you want to add the comments section (in the hg-article-footer is a great place!) and click the Insert button to add the merge code. (You can always move the merge code around in the HTML to get it exactly where you want.) You can see where we put the comments section by default in Default Article HTML.
  6. You can Preview your changes (be sure you're looking at an Article in preview though!)
  7. Once you're satisfied with your changes, be sure to Save.

Your comments section is now live!

Adding comments into the right column is a similar process, but you may want to create a separate right-col-panel div to add it into--it depends on how your right column is laid out!

Comment restrictions and permissions

You can choose who can comment on articles and who can view those comments. The two main groups are:

  • Allow everyone, whether logged in or not
  • Allow only logged-in readers and/or authors

There are two settings here you may want to explore, to restrict commenters or restrict visibility:

  • Restrict commenters sets who can actually comment on your articles. When checked, only authors and readers who are logged in to your knowledge base are allowed to leave comments. Anyone who is not logged in won't be able to submit comments. 
  • Restrict visibility sets who can view comments. When this box is checked, only authors and readers who are logged in to your knowledge base will be able to view comments. People not logged in will not see comments at all.

Comment security

Comments have some built-in security measures to prevent issues such as spam, abusive comments, or private information from being posted for all to see. Public commenters must pass the robot test. By default, all comments go into a moderation queue for approval; only approved comments are shown.

SPAM, reCAPTCHA, or the Robot Test

Spam is mostly a concern with comments on publicly accessible knowledge bases. To combat spam, we've added reCAPTCHA when folks who are not logged in comment. Most of your commenters will be able to comment by clicking a box confirming they are, in fact, not a robot. If reCAPTCHA notices anything fishy, the commenter will have to perform an additional task that robots would have a difficult time performing but are fairly straightforward for humans.

  Sample comments field that a public reader would see--note the "I'm not a robot" on the right

Logged in readers and authors will not see reCAPTCHA.

If you're using a KnowledgeOwl subdomain (such as, reCAPTCHA is handled as part of our domain. If you're using a private domain, you'll need to configure reCAPTCHA for your domain.

View comments pending approval

There are two ways you'll know about new comments:

  • You'll see a callout number next to the Reporting menu option, as well as that callout number next to the Comments option in the Reporting dropdown.
  • If you've enabled email notifications for comments in Settings > Comments, the email address(es) you've added will receive an email.

Only approved comments will show in your knowledge base.

Commenter icons / images / avatars

Comments include not only the name of the commenter but also an image. This is the default image and the image that will appear for public comments:
Sample reader comment field with a user icon

Sample comment field with no user icon added

Logged in authors and readers can customize this image:

  1. When commenting, by clicking the Update image link (this text is customizable, so it might say something different in your knowledge base!)
  2. For authors, by clicking on Your Account in the upper right and either
    • Selecting My Account to update your own image, or
    • Selecting Authors, clicking on the author whose image you want to update, and updating their author profile
      Update the author's picture/icon
  3. Authors can also add images for readers by going to My Account > Readers, clicking on the Reader account, and updating the image in the reader's profile.
    Update the reader's picture/icon

Notice images showing up on their own?

If you see images appear before you upload them, don't panic! We are using Gravatar to display avatars for authors and readers who have set up a Gravatar in the past.

Limit the max characters allowed in comments

Are your readers writing their own version of War and Peace in your comments?

We really hope you aren't getting comments like this...but it's possible

Comments can be useful, but if you're finding that people are sending inappropriately long comments, limiting them to a set number of characters can help encourage them to shorten things up.

We have a script you can adapt to limit the total number of characters for the comments and show commenters how many characters they have remaining.

To add this character limit to your comments:

  1. Go to Settings > Style.
  2. Below the preview pane, click on Custom HTML  and select Article from the dropdown.
  3. Copy the script below and paste it into the bottom of the Custom HTML:
        //Set character limit on comments
        var maxchars = '300'; //Change this number to change the character limit
        $('.hg-comment-post textarea').before('<div class="text-right"><span id="remain">'+maxchars+'</span> characters remaining</div>');
        $('.hg-comment-post textarea').keyup(function () {
             var tlength = $(this).val().length;
             $(this).val($(this).val().substring(0, maxchars));
             var tlength = $(this).val().length;
             remain = maxchars - parseInt(tlength);
  4. In row 4, change the number set for var maxchars to the number of characters you want to use. Be sure it stays in 'single quotes'.
  5. Save.

Readers will be shown the maximum character count and it will count down as they type. They will not be able to type more than the allowed characters. It even works with copy and paste.

We've added the code to this page so you can see it in action. We set a limit of 140 characters so if you can't tweet it, it won't fit in a comment!

Disable comments in your knowledge base

You can disable comments for specific articles by checking the box next to Remove comment ability in the Restrictions section of the Article Editor.

But if you'd prefer to disable comments completely in your knowledge base:

  1. Go to Settings > Comments.
  2. Uncheck the box next to Enable comments.
    Uncheck the Enable comments box to disable commenting across your entire knowledge base
  3. Be sure to Save your changes.

Any existing comments submitted while comments were enabled will still be available in Reporting > Comments.