Help screens styleguide

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This should be used as a guideline for creating Help screens. The help screens which exist on the Joomla Docs Wiki are being accessed by every Joomla installation using the default help system. By following this styleguide, the Joomla Project can offer consistency throughout the help screens to allow for easier navigation.

If you have a question, please post in on the associated talk page of the help screen by clicking Actions  Discussion buttons.


Every help screen should begin with a Description section. This goes into detail about what the screen does. Here is an use example.

There is no specific format to this section because the description should be in direct correlation with the purpose and functionality of the screen. There may be subsections to the description that describe specific details.

Keep the description short and to the point. If the description is long, consider using bullet points to summarise it.

How to Access

Every help screen should have a How to Access section listing the steps required to reach the screen that is being described. This might be redundant because a user must be on the Administrator screen in order to have retrieved the help screen.

Remember, the help screens can be retrieved in different ways. For example, someone using a search engine to find out how to do something might come across a help screen on the wiki without ever having accessed the help system.

Here is an example:

  • Select Content  Articles from the dropdown menu of the Administrator Panel

Example's chunks and parameters:


  • You "click" on buttons, including toolbar buttons, but you "select" menu items. Consistent use of this terminology should help users.


Screenshot showing the overall look of the screen.

Info non-talk.png
General Information

Please always use screenshots with |800px in the code whenever they are large. This way any size can be added and it will help translators to be able to add transcreated images without having to notice the width.


  • The filename should always include a language code at the end of the name. For English, -en is added.
  • You can use either .png or .jpg files.

Column Headers

This section should only be included on help screens that describe Backend screens; that is, where you have a list of items being shown. This section should describe each of the list columns.

Column Filters

This section describes the dropdown input fields above the column headers.


This section should only be included on help screens that describe screens which include a form. This includes all the add/edit screens, but also includes screens such as Site Global Configuration and Article Options.

If fields are grouped into fieldsets or tabs then group the fields under sub-headings.

List Filters

This section should only be included on help screens that describe Backend manager screens; that is, where you have a list of items being shown. This section should describe how to use the list filters to filter the contents of the screen.

Search Tools

Most of these help screens have search tools to filter by status, access and so on. Include a picture of the dropdown list boxes and describe each of them. Here is an use example.

Automatic Pagination

This section should only be included on help screens that describe Backend screens; that is, where you have a list of items being shown.


Obviously, this section should only be included on help screens where a toolbar is present. Describes the available buttons and their associated functions. It is best to provide a picture of the toolbar.

Button Description

The first word should always be a verb and, unless it is an irregular verb, it should also end in the letter s. You should structure the description as if you are using the word "this" as the subject, but leave the subject out of the sentence. This will make the sentence actually a sentence fragment.

For instance:

  • Instead of "To find buried treasures, click this button."
    • Say, "Finds buried treasures."
  • Instead of "You can click this button to insert a picture of John Stamos into the current document."
    • Say, "Inserts a picture of John Stamos."
  • Instead of "Inform yourself that a picture of John Stamos is the same thing as a buried treasure."
    • Say, "Informs you that a picture of John Stamos is the same thing as buried treasure."

Image File Naming Convention

Since many toolbars are the same across multiple screens, the image file naming convention for toolbars is aimed at making it easy to re-use toolbar images wherever possible.

Toolbar images should follow this naming convention: 'Help32-<iconslist>-toolbar-en.png'. <iconslist> is a - separated list of the toolbar legends. Each word should be capitalised with spaces and & removed.

Here is an example:

  • Help32-Save-SaveClose-SaveNew-SaveAsCopy-Version-Close-toolbar-en.png

Batch Process

This section should only be included on help screens that have a batch button.

Quick Tips

As the name suggests, this section should include tips, hints, suggestions that can assist a user in performing tasks involving the screen.

Related Information

Generally this should be a list of links to further or related information. All links should be to pages on this wiki. No external links without good reason.

Help Screens

A table showing related Help screens.

Notes for Editors

Modify the Help Screen

Did you notice a mistake or do think it's useful to add some extra information? You're welcome to modify the Help Screen. Please change the status of the modified Help Screen after you modify it:

  • Is the status at the moment 'Ready' or 'To be moved'? Change it to 'Modified by [name]' (replace [name] for your username at the Joomla Docs Wiki)
  • Is the status at the moment 'To be reviewed'? You don't have to change the status in that case.

Image Naming Guidelines


  • Replace [menu-system-path-separated_by_dashes] with the names of the menu items that you would need to select to get to the item you are taking a screenshot of.
    Separate menu items with a hyphen - and if the menu item name has more than one word in it, separate the words with an underscore _.
    Do not use spaces in your file name. Replace spaces with the underscore _ character.
  • Replace [screenElementType] with the type of the screen element that your picture contains.
    Screen element types are:
    • screen: This is a screenshot of the entire menu item.
    • toolbar: This is a picture of the menu item's toolbar.
    • menu: This is a picture of the menu item's menu bar.
    Note: As more screen element types are needed, add them to this style guide so that help documentation developers can refer to this guide and stay consistent.

Examples Using the Guidelines:

  • A screenshot of the Extension Manager's "Discover" screen would be named:
  • A screenshot of the Extension Manager's "Discover" screen toolbar would be named: