Versions

Your knowledge base content is subject to change. Perhaps your internal policies have been updated or the software you are documenting has undergone a major change to its interface.

You will need to update your knowledge base content and it can be really daunting to do those edits in the already published article.

KnowledgeOwl allows you to:

  • Create different Versions of your articles (minor or major versions).
  • Make updates/edits in the new version rather than the currently published version.
  • Publish the new version in place of your existing article once the version is ready to go.
  • Add editorial notes for each version to summarize what has changed or provide editorial feedback.

Some of the benefits of using versions include:

  • New versions begin in an unpublished status, so you can make as many edits as you want to that version instead of the currently published article. This means your readers never stumble across an in-progress edit.
  • Versions allow you to create an updated article ahead of time and then publish the new version to coincide with a software release or policy update.
  • Older versions can serve as back-ups and will allow you to easily reference historical content--particularly helpful if you accidentally removed a section you still need or need to provide an audit history of previous documentation versions.

Note: the Create a new version button and Version Notes fields are only visible once an article is Published. Articles in a Draft state will not have this option.

Setup

  1. Access the article that you need to update.
  2. Click the Create a new version button in the Versions section of the right hand column.
  3. This will open a dropdown where you can select the Version you'd like to use. If this is your first time creating a version for this article, the current live article will be version 1.00. Selecting Minor Version (+0.01) or Major Version (+1.0) will create the new numbered version automatically numbered. You can also select Custom to enter your own version.


    Pro Tip: Minor Versions are great for small updates (text changes, new screenshots, etc.).
    Major Versions are great for large updates to your content (an internal policy change or a major software release).
  4. Once you've made your selection, click the Create button.
  5. This will create a new version by taking a copy of the current version. Once your new version is created, you will automatically be taken to the new version to perform your edits. You can toggle between different versions by clicking on the version number.


    Note: You'll see a badge showing which version is currently Published and which version you are currently Viewing.

You can make as many changes to the new version as you'd like. They won't show until you Publish this version.

Version Notes

You can also add notes about the content, what's changed between versions, or provide editorial feedback to other content authors in the version Note field. Version Notes are only visible in the article editor:

Sample Version Note

Note: the Version Note field is only visible once an article is Published. Articles in a Draft state will not have this option.

These notes are tied to the particular version, so you'll see different notes for each version. The text field can hold a large amount of text, and you can use the scrollbar on the right or drag the lower right corner to view additional notes:

gif showing the version note field scroll and window extensionVersion Note scrolling and window resize

Publishing a version

To publish a new version, in the right hand column, check the Make this version active box in the Version Status section.

Then click Save.

Deleting a version

You can delete a version in two ways. If you're currently viewing the version you'd like to delete:

  1. Click the box next to Delete this version in the upper right.
  2. Save the article.

From any version, you can also click the red X to the left of other non-published versions to delete them:
Red X to the left of other versions will prompt a delete

This will open a pop-up to confirm you meant to delete this version. Click OK to complete the deletion.

Version review process

You can also use a review process before publishing versions. When a version is ready for review, click the Ready for review checkbox. Then click Save.

Ready for review checkbox This will add a Ready badge to the version:

Version "READY" badge This status will also show up in the Manage articles CSV export as TRUE in the "New Version Ready to Publish" column.

Version review process using "Make Visible to Groups"

One of the challenges people face using versions is getting feedback on changes before the new version is published. If your reviewers have access to your knowledge base, they can come in and read it in the editor or click the Preview button for the version. But sometimes you might need to get feedback from subject matter experts and others who don't have administrative access to your knowledge base. Or you might want reviewers to be able to see that version live in the full knowledge base.

This is what the Make Visible to Groups option is for: it allows you to publish a new version of an article to only specific reader groups accessing your knowledge base, so they can view that version as it will appear when it's fully published.

How it works

The Make Visible to Groups setting only appears in unpublished article versions, between the URL Redirect and Restrict to Groups sections. It shows all the reader groups you have in your knowledge base:

Sample "Make Visible to Groups" section When you add a group in the Make Visible to Groups section and save, this makes the article available in your knowledge base to those groups:

  1. In the Table of Contents, under the currently published version, with the version number added to the end of the title. For example:
    Sample version 3.00 visible to group in Table of Contents
  2. Via direct URL link. The URL for a version is the normal URL of the published article with /v/[version number] at the end, where version number is the number for that version. So, for example, if I am working on this article (current published URL: https://support.knowledgeowl.com/help/versions), and I've created version 3.00 and made it visible to groups, my reviewers can use https://support.knowledgeowl.com/help/versions/v/3.00 to access it.

This version will only be accessible by readers in the groups you select in Make Visible to Groups.

Once you publish this version, the Make Visible to Groups section disappears entirely and the regular Restrict to Groups permissions apply.