ClickHelp Documentation

Restricted User Manuals

Sometimes you don't want certain technical documents to be available to everyone on the Internet. For example, they may be for the registered users only, and not for the trial users; or they can be for commercial version users rather than for the users of the free version.

You can implement restricted access for your documentation in ClickHelp. For this, you can set the Power Readers Only visibility level for a publication. Let's see what the different options are.

Creating a Restricted User Manual

  • Let's assume you have a project that should be published, and be visible only to a limited audience.
  • To create a publication, just click the Publish button below the project name.
  • On step 1 of the publishing project wizard, set the visibility level to Restricted. Your project will be available only for authors and Power ReadersPower Reader is a special user type - they have access to restricted documentation, but don't have access to pages available to authors (portal dashboard, settings, user management, etc.). Power Readers cannot modify the contents of your documentation.
  • Proceed with the further wizard steps as you normally do this when creating a publication .
  • Once the publication is created, you can open your documentation portal home page without logging in. This will help you verify that the publication is not visible in the public manuals list. The created publication will be accessible only to users who log in to your documentation portal - power readers, authors, etc. To easily perform this test, you can use the Private or Incognito mode of your web browser.

Creating a Power Reader Account

To provide some reader with access to a restricted manual, create a new Power Reader user account for this person.

Here is how you can create this account:

  • Click Tools | Users and Roles  in the main menu.
  • On the ClickHelp User Accounts page, select the  Power Readers options group on the left.
  • Click the Create Power Reader button.
  • In the Create New User dialog, specify the account details and configure the access level.
  • Once you click OK, the system will create a new Power Reader account.
  • Login information will be automatically sent at the e-mail address you specified in the account settings.

Configuring Power Reader Access

It is possible to make different Restricted Manuals accessible to different Power Reader users. You can do this in a few ways - please see below.

  • When publishing your project, make it visible only for Power Readers at the first step of the Publish Project wizard. To do this, select the Restricted. Available only for authors and Power Readers (after login) option.
  • Open your publication and proceed to Tools > User and Roles >  Power Reader Roles. You'll see a list of Power Readers you created and their Roles. Pick the publications that will be available for each Power Reader Role
  • Go to Publication Settings > General > Visibility&Access and choose the Restricted. Available only for authors and Power Readers (after login) option there. Additionally, you can specify Power Readers to whom the access will be granted. 

Specifics of Restricted Manuals  

When creating online documentation with the Power Readers Only visibility, you should be aware of a few things:

  • If an anonymous reader tries to access a restricted manual using a direct link, they will be directed to the Login page.
  • Since Restricted manuals require logging in, they are not indexed by search engines. This means that those manuals cannot be found in Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. If you expect to get some SEO benefit from online documentation, make sure you restrict the access wisely.

More Options To Protect User Manuals  

There are multiple possible options to protect your online documentation in ClickHelp. You can read about them here: Protecting Your User Manuals.