Skip to main content

A simple help-desk style documentation product for Plone.

Project description

If you are upgrading an existing PHC installation, you must read INSTALL.txt.


Plone Help Center is an application designed to aid the documentation of Plone, and is used on to categorize and keep documentation up to date. It should be usable for documenting other open source products (such as Plone Product add-ons) or even for other documentation projects.


Plone Help Center has inline documentation, just add a help center.

What’s New in 3.0

The underlying architecture of previous versions of PHC was basically Plone 2.0. It was built on Archetypes without ATContentTypes. Features like next/previous navigation and automatic tables of contents were all built in. In many way, PHC was a test center for new Plone features.

However, Plone advanced and PHC did not.

PHC 3 is much less ambitious. Rather than trying to add new features to Plone, this version seeks to inherit Plone 3 features by reimplementing most of the PHC content types as ATCT-derived classes that automatically implement Plone 3 behavior. PHC-specific features are added via sub-classing or interfaces/adapters.


PloneHelpCenter requires:

  • Plone 3.0 or later


See the Installing an Add-on Product tutorial for more detailed product installation instructions.


If you are upgrading a Plone site with an existing help center from a version prior to 3.0, you must run the upgrade profile.

Step by step follow this order

Do not upgrade from PHC 1.6.x on Plone 3.x to PHC 4.x in Plone 4.x in one step.

Update first to Plone 3.3.5+ with:

Products.PloneHelpCenter = 1.6.2
Products.AddRemoveWidget = 1.4.2

Check if example content is present! Then update buildout to:

Products.PloneHelpCenter = 3.0b3


bin/buildout -v

* restart instance and

* deinstall Products.PloneHelpCenter 3.0b3

* install Products.PloneHelpCenter 3.0b3

* in the ZMI go to:  Generic Setup Tool at  /acsr/portal_setup  Tab "Upgrades"

* after selecting: "Products.PloneHelpCenter:default" and clicking "Choose Profile" you get first::


    The profile "Products.PloneHelpCenter:default" is currently upgraded to version 3.0b3.

    The filesystem version for the "Products.PloneHelpCenter:default" profile is currently 3.0b3.

    No upgrade available.

* Now click at -> Show old upgrades: "show" an see::

    Available upgrades:
    Upgrade Step Group
    ->              Upgrading the types
    (0.0 → 3.0)

* select the item and run the upgrade

* you get::


    The profile "Products.PloneHelpCenter:default" is currently upgraded to version 3.0.

    The filesystem version for the "Products.PloneHelpCenter:default" profile is currently 3.0b3.

    No upgrade available.

Content should be back again!


AddRemoveWidget – PLEASE NOTE: if AddRemoveWidget is installed as a Zope product, you must also install it in Plone. If it is present without being installed, errors will occur.

Installing with buildout

If you are using buildout to manage your instance installing Plone Help Center is very simple. You can install it by adding it to the eggs line for your instance:

eggs = Products.PloneHelpCenter

If another egg package depends on Products.PloneHelpCenter you do not need to specify anything in the buildout configuration: buildout will detect this automatically.

After updating the configuration you need to run the ‘’bin/buildout’’, which will take care of updating your system.

Installing without buildout

Move (or symlink) the PloneHelpCenter folder of this project (Products.PloneHelpCenter/Products/PloneHelpCenter) into the Products directory of the Zope instance it has to be installed for, and restart the server.

You may also download a traditional tarball that you unpack into Products from .


4.0 (2013-09-21)

  • Compatible with Plone 4.2 and 4.3. Should still work on 4.0 and 4.1. [maurits]

  • Types: switch from content_icon to icon_expr. [maurits]

  • Switch the sample manual text to html. This way you can edit it properly with TinyMCE. It used to be structured text, which is not accepted as mimetext by default, so you would actually lose the layout when you edit it. [maurits]

  • Register png icons from standard Plone for HelpCenterHowToFolder and HelpCenterLinkFolder. Add upgrade step to apply the typeinfo and recatalog these two portal_types. Otherwise on Plone 4.3 these items miss icons in listings. [maurits]

  • Fixed faqfolder_view error by checking if item brain returns a value when asking for getSections [ichim-david]

  • Removed ancient patch for CMFCore 1.4.7 or lower, which was last used in Plone 2.0.5. [maurits]

  • Fix test for knowledge base type not globally addable. [ale-rt]

  • Replace rss.gif with rss.png [ale-rt]

  • Removed unused to remove dependency from [ale-rt]

  • Make ManualPage addable through tempfolder [tiberiuichim]

  • Make the knowledge base type not globally addable. [davisagli]

  • Make it possible to filter phc_search by getVersions [davisagli @ cioppino]

  • Improved styling of portlet_phc_about [davisagli, hennaheto @ cioppino]

PloneHelpCenter 4.0b3 (2011-05-12)

  • Clean up package and release [aclark]

  • Update discussion_reply.cpy to keep in sync with Plone. [davisagli]

  • Add subnavigation to most templates. [smcmahon]

  • Revamp helpcenter_topicview_main to show start-here items, topic counts. [davisagli]

  • Add getPHCSubNav method for PloneHelpCenter to create subnavigation. [stevem]

  • Added metadata.xml file, used by QuickInstaller when upgrading [afd]

PloneHelpCenter 4.0b2 (2010-12-28)

  • Fix phc_stats template in Plone 4. [davisagli]

  • Fix import error in Plone 3. [miohtama]

  • Use the containment acquisition chain to get the parent attributes in ReferenceManualSection type. [dukebody]

  • Make listings respect the subtopics order set in the HelpCenter or type folders, instead of sorting alphabetically. Fixes [dukebody]

PloneHelpCenter 4.0b1 (2010-12-09)

PloneHelpCenter 4.0a1 (2010-12-07)

  • Use lxml to turn image relative links into absolute for the one-page version of manuals. This introduces a new install dependency on lxml. Fixes [dukebody]

  • Include numbering in the section title. Fixes [dukebody]

  • Rename type titles: “Page” to “Tutorial Page” and “Link” to “Help Center Link”. Fixes [dukebody]

  • Made it possible to query contentIds via XML-RPC for collective.developermanual uploads [miohtama]

  • Use the aq_parent function instead of the attribute to avoid AttributeErrors when not using an acquisition wrapper (newer Zope versions). [dukebody]

  • Fix next/previous custom adapter to visit the same items as appear in the navigation dropdown. Also make sure this adapter is used for legacy ReferenceManuals. This fixes [dukebody, davisagli]

  • Don’t fail when trying to acquire getCurrentVersions if not in a container that includes currentVersions in its schema. [davisagli]

  • Fix the imports to use always Zope 3 style interfaces, making the code work both in Plone 3 and 4 simultaneuslly. [dukebody, thanks davisagli]

  • Merge relevant changes from the Plone 4 migration branch from Fabio Rizzo. [dukebody]

  • Reverted obsolete code from the fix. [acsr]

  • Updated INSTALL.txt with step by step upgrade guide related to issue #142 “upgrade steps order unclear” and issue #132 “errata mentioning Ploneboard”. [acsr]

  • Fixed an issue with failure to display referencemanual_view when files are present in the reference manual. [acsr, thanks dukebody]

  • Update the whole product to work with Plone 4.0a2. [dukebody]

  • Removed “global allow” for Reference Manual. This closes [keul]

  • updated INSTALL.txt with step by step upgrade guide related to issue #142 “upgrade steps order unclear” and issue #132 “errata mentioning Ploneboard”. [acsr]

  • Respect exclude_from_nav setting in the reference manual table of contents generation [miohtama]

For older history, see docs/HISTORY.txt.


Project Architecture, Development, Content Types, Archetypes, Workflow: Joel Burton

Development, User Interface, Project Architecture, Quality Assurance: Alexander Limi

Development, persistence and all-round brilliance: Martin “optilude” Aspeli

Development, Assistance: Christian “Tiran” Heimes

Original FAQ code: Tim Terlegard, Edward Muller - further enhancements by Jean-Paul Ladage and Ahmad Hadi from Zest Software

Fixing various stuff, documentation: The Sprinters: Christian Heimes, Dorneles Treméa, Daniel Nouri, Nate Aune

Added optional “see also” references to other Archetypes based types: Jens “jensens” Klein

i18n improvements: And general fixes in some templates and brazilian translations by Jean Ferri

Bugfixes and occasional Quality Assurance: Geir Baekholt

Topic, start-here, and 1.0 search options: The 2007 documentation sprint participants, particularly aclark, joelburton, magnon and stevem. Plone.Org view skin by vedawms.

Numerous 1.0 presentation fixes: Servilio Afre Puentes.

Version 3.0 refactoring: Steve McMahon

Migration for Plone 4.0: Fabio Rizzo from and Israel Saeta Pérez.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution (507.3 kB view hashes)

Uploaded source

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page