Sonat Getting Started

Introduction

Welcome to Sonat, an advanced documentation tool to create, manage, and publish online user manuals, user guides, knowledge bases, instructions, tutorials, and more. In this guide, we will walk you through Sonat and discuss using its features to create a professional manual in a collaborative workspace. Here at Sonat, we aim for constant improvement. Therefore, this guide will be in active development and constantly updated with improved and new features.

Let’s have a quick overview of Sonat to help you get started on your first document. Here, we’ll discuss the basic steps for getting to know and using the system. Then, we’ll introduce you to Sonat’s primary interfaces, the browser requirements, creating an account, and how to create, edit, and publish your first topic.

Manage your first topic

After creating your first document, you will be directed to the topic editor to create, edit, and view your topics.

The system will automatically create your first topic after you create a document. You can start adding a title and body to your topic. It will be automatically saved and appear on the Table of content (ToC) in the editor’s left panel.

A small green plus sign surrounded by a green square next to the topic title in the ToC indicates an added topic that has not been published yet. 

Open your topic by clicking its title in the ToC in the editor’s left panel.

  1. Start editing your topic by clicking wherever you need on your topic title or body.

Changes will be saved automatically.

To make sure your topic looks good to your users, you can see its preview at any time before publishing.

To see your topic preview:

  1. Open your topic by clicking its title in the ToC in the editor’s left panel.
  2. Click options shown with the three vertical dots menu on the top right of the topic editor window.
  3. Click Preview.
    Your topic preview will open in a new tab.

There are three methods to publish a topic directly (read about creating a publish request here):

a: Click the three vertical dots menu next to your topic title in the ToC > Publish topic.

b: Open your topic from the ToC and click the publish button indicated by an upward arrow on the top right corner.

c: (For publishing one or more topics at the same time)

  1. Click the dropdown menu above the Table of Content > Publish topics.
  2. Choose the topic/topics you want to publish.
  3. Click PUBLISH.

Your topics will be immediately available online on your Custom Domain or hosted on Sonat.com as soon as you publish them. The absence of the green square with a plus sign inside next to your topic as well as the disabled publish icon confirms that your topic has been published successfully. You can view the published version of your topic as follows.

Your topics are available on the internet as soon as you publish them. You can now visit your published topic as it appears to your users and link to it on your other resources by copy-pasting its URL.

To view and find the URL of your topic:

  1. View live icon
    1. Click the View live icon next to the bread crumb above the editor.
      Your online manual will open in a new tab.
    2. Copy and paste the URL appearing in your topic view live and use this URL to link to it in your website, application, etc.
  2. Share button
    1. Click Options shown with the three vertical dots menu on the top right of the topic editor window.
    2. Click Share.
    3. Share your topic URL through:
    – Copying the URL by clicking the Copy icon in the shareable links box.
    – Share the link with a QR code.
    4. Click Open to view your topic.

Quick Tour

Let’s take a quick tour around Sonat to know the primary interfaces you’ll interact with most when using Sonat:

Home

Your home is where you land first when you log into your Sonat account. You can find the list of your documents and notifications, manage your team, accounts, and billing, and access other organization and document settings. The following image is an example of a Sonat home Interface. First, let’s look at its main elements and menus.

1. Main menu

You can access and manage your team, organization settings, approval processes, and billing, and share your organization link through the main menu shown by the three horizontal lines (Hamburger menu) on the top left. Open the menu to access.

a. Org Settings

Org (organization) Settings include all the settings at the organization level. Therefore, what you set in the org settings generally will apply to all the organization’s documents unless you overwrite it at the document level (in document settings). Click the Org Settings dropdown menu to see all its options, including:

  • General Settings: to access and edit your organization title and slug.
  • Style: to set the style and branding features, including logo, favicon, and the general viewer style, at the organization level.
  • Integrations: to enable/disable integration with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Bing Search Console.
  • Custom Domain: To set up your custom domain
  • Advanced Settings: to access and edit more advanced options such as enabling feedback, PDF export, and the website URL at the organization level.

b. Approval Processes

You can define parallel and sequential workflow through approval processes by adding different rules and steps.

c. Billing

You can review different plans, upgrade to business, or enterprise plans, add or edit your payment method, and see yourinvoices.

d. Manage Team

You can see the members of your organization, add or remove members and change their permissions.

e. Share

You can view your organization’s homepage and share your organization URL by copy-pasting or QR code through the Share option of the menu.

f. Close

Click the arrow to close the menu and go back to the home. You can also close it by clicking anywhere out of the menu.

2. Documents

Documents are entities that can contain one or more topics, multiple variants, and languages all in a single place. Here’s a quick overview of what you can find and manage regarding your documents on your home main page.

List of your documents

You can see a complete list of your documents specified by their titles, icons, and the relevant organization. You may need to scroll down to see all your documents if the list is long.

  • To see a document description, move over its title.
  • To open a document in the topic editor, click the document.
  • To see the published version of a document, click the view live icon next to the document title in the list.
  • To classify the documents based on organizations, choose the tab specified by each organization name above the list to see the documents of that particular organization (You will primarily find the list of all documents regardless of organizations under the “All” tab).
  • Type the particular word you are looking for in the blank field on the top right to filter documents by names.
  • To sort documents by date or name, click the sort button on the top right next to the search field and choose the type you want.

Languages

You can see the number and type of available languages for each document.

  • The number of available languages for each document is shown in a column to the right of the documents’ titles.
  • To see which languages each document has, move over the language number.

Date and Time

You can see the date and time of creating each document in a column next to the languages. To see more details move over the time and date.

Document Watchers

Any member of an organization can choose to watch or unwatch a document or other entities and processes. Watching a document means following up on its progress by receiving notifications for every change in that particular document. In contrast, unwatching means refusing to receive notifications for changes. In the next column on your document dashboard, you can see if you are watching/unwatching a document, choose to watch/unwatch a document, and see the list of watchers for each document.

  • By clicking the eye button, you’ll start watching the document, and when you click on the eye button with a strikethrough you’ll stop watching it.
  • The dropdown menu next to the eye sign shows the list of watchers of a document.

More options

More options to manage a document are accessible through the three vertical dots menu in the last column on the right. You can access and manage a document’s general and advanced settings, styles, languages, variants, and feedback. Open More options and click:

  • General Settings: to access and edit your document title, slug, and description
  • Style: to edit a document style features including header color, font color, viewer style, and document theme.
  • Advanced Settings: to access and edit more advanced options such as enabling feedback, PDF export, and approval processes for your document, whether to show a document in the help center or even completely deleting a document.
  • Languages: to add a new language, change the default language or delete a language
  • Variants: to add a new variant, change the default variant, or delete a variant
  • Feedback: to filter and view feedback on your documents.

New Document

You can create a new document directly from home by clicking NEW on the top right. 

3. Notifications

The number of new notifications is shown in a red circle on the alert bell icon on the top right of the home window, next to the profile icon. Click the notification alert to see the list of your notifications. Click each notification title to see more details.

4. Profile icon

Click your profile icon to access your profile settings, contact sonat by sending feedback or asking questions, and sign out of your account.

Content Editor

The content editor is the main interface you interact with when writing, editing, and managing your topics and documents. It consists of the document outline to organize topics and access topic-related features, the rich text editor where you write and edit your content, a Panel where you can cooperate through comments, some access menu and shortcut buttons, and more options to manage topic and document settings. Let’s take a look at each part.

1. Document menu

The three-horizontal-line (Hamburger menu) menu on the top left of the navigation bar gives you quick access to the documents, their management, and settings directly from the content editor page. You can access and manage document lists, styles, general and advanced settings, publish requests, languages, variants, feedback analysis, and share your document link. Here are what you find on the document menu.

Open the menu and click:

  • Home: to go back to your document list and details on your home.
  • Edit Content: to close the menu and go back to the content editor page.
  • Document Settings: to access and manage your document’s style as well as general and advanced settings
  • Publish request: to see the number and details of publish requests.
  • Languages: to add a new language, change the default language or delete a language
  • Variants: to add a new variant, change the default variant, or delete a variant
  • Analysis: to filter and view feedback on your document.
  • Share: to view and share your document URL by copy-pasting or QR code.

2. Document name list

On the right side of the navigation bar, you will find your present document name. Click the document name to expand the list of documents and switch between them.

3. Document variants

Next to the document name on the right, you will find the variant of your present document. Click the dropdown arrow to see the list of available variants. You can manage your document variants and easily switch between them.

4. Document languages

Next to the document variant on the right, you will find the language of your present document. Click the dropdown arrow to see the list of languages. You can manage your document languages and easily switch between them.

5. Notifications

The number of new notifications is shown in a red circle on the alert bell icon on the top right of the window, next to the profile icon. Click the notification alert to see the list of your notifications. Click each notification title to see more details.

6. Profile icon 

Click your profile icon to access your profile settings, contact sonat by sending feedback or asking questions, and sign out of your account.

7. New menu

The new menu is on the left, under the navigation bar. It includes a NEW button in blue and an expandable list next to it.

Click NEW to add a new topic to the table of content (document outline).

Click the dropdown menu next to the new button to copy and publish one or multiple topics simultaneously or create “publish requests”.

8. Document outline

The document outline or topic tree is the panel on the left of the content editor page which also serves as a table of content (ToC). Any topic you add to your document will immediately appear in the document outline on the left, where you can see and manage the order and hierarchy of the topics. You can also search topics through the blank field on the top, and distinguish published topics from new, edited, and deleted ones at a glance since they are marked by green, yellow, and red symbols, respectively. Moreover, you can access topic features, actions, and settings directly from the document outline. Click the options menu appearing in three vertical dots next to each topic to manage options relevant to that particular topic, including:

Publish: to directly publish the selected topic.

Delete: to delete the selected topic.

New child topic: to add a sub-topic (a child topic) to the selected topic.

Copy topic here: to copy a topic as a subtopic to the selected one.

Move up: to change the order of the topics by moving up the selected one.

Move down: to change the order of the topics by moving down the selected one.

Indent: to indent the selected topic as a subtopic of the one above (the parent/root topic).

Outdent: to outdent the selected topic so that it will be in the same position as its parent/root topic.

Undo delete: to undo deleting a published topic.

Discard changes: to revert to the latest published version.

Settings: to set a topic slug, description, and schema type.

History: to see or restore previous versions in the version history

Feedback: to filter and view feedback on your topic.

9. Breadcrumb

Under the navigation bar and above the rich text editor on the left, you can find the breadcrumb navigation of your topic. You can directly go to the root topics by clicking their title in the breadcrumb navigation.

10. View live 

You can see the view live of your published topic by clicking the view live icon next to the breadcrumb above the rich text editor box. Please note that the view live icon is only visible on the documents that have been published before.

11. Draft

If your document is not published yet, you will see it’s marked by Draft above the rich text editor, reminding you that the new changes to this topic have not been published yet.

12. Autosave (Saving/Saved)

Sonat provides autosaving. Therefore, you will not need to click a save button every time you edit your content. The autosave system starts saving your content as you type and edit and is shown by “Saving” above the rich text editor. The status changes from saving to Saved as soon as you stop editing. Moving over “Saved” shows the time the content was last saved.

13. Topic slug

You can check and edit your topic slug directly from the content editor page.

14. Watchers

Any member of an organization can choose to watch or unwatch a topic or other entities and processes. Watching a topic means following up on its progress by receiving notifications for every change in that particular topic. In contrast, unwatching means refusing to receive notifications for changes. Under the document name, you will find the watcher list icon. 

  • By clicking the eye button, you’ll start watching the topic, and when you click on the eye button with a strikethrough, you’ll stop watching it.
  • The dropdown menu next to the eye sign shows the list of watchers of a topic.

15. Delete

You can delete a topic directly by clicking the Delete button on the top right of the editor window.

16. Publish

You can directly publish your topic using the Publish button on the top right.

17. More options

More options menu shown by three vertical dots on the top right, next to the publish button, gives you access to some topic features and options including history, preview, feedback, share, settings, and going back to the content editor. 

Edit content: to close the menu and go back to the content editor page.

History: to see or restore previous versions in the version history

Settings: to set a topic slug, description, and schema type.

Feedback: to filter and view feedback on your topic.

Preview: to see your topic preview before publishing.

Share: to view and share your document URL by copy-pasting or QR code.

18. Comments

The comment box is placed in the right panel. You can add, delete, edit your comments, or reply to other comments in a thread.

19. Rich text editor

The rich text editor is the central part of the content editor page, where you can add and edit your topics and their content. The rich text editor consists of:

a. Toolbar: The toolbar is placed on the top of the writing space. You can use options in the toolbar to apply different formatting and style to your content or add media, tables, links, symbols, etc. You can also apply autoformatting to your content using shortcodes.

b. More options: You can access more formatting and insert options through the more options menu shown by the three vertical dots on the right side of the toolbar.

c. Writing space: The writing space is the blank box where you add and edit your content which includes a title and content body section where you can type or paste your content in the title or body section.

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