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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Getting Started with LibGuides

This is a help guide for University Library staff in best practices for creating LibGuides.

Creating a New Guide


  1. Get to the create guide screen: from the Home / Dashboard page, click Create Guide in the LibGuides Shortcuts box. Or go to Content > Guide from the orange commend bar and click the + Create Guide button at the top of the page.
  2. Start Fresh is selected by default - leave this as is.
  3. Click the Select a template... dropdown and choose which template you'd like to use (Tabs Layout or Sid-Nav Layout).
  4. Fill out the rest of the form:
    • Guide Name & Description: Remember, keep these short & to the point!
    • Guide Type: Select the type of guide. This aids users in browsing through guides on the public side.
      Note: Internal Guides are only viewable by users who have accounts in the system.
    • Button to Restrict Sharing:
      Change this to Enabled if you do not want this guide indexed in the Community site / if you do not want others to be able to copy it in any way (including your colleagues).
  5. Click Create Guide.
    Create Guide window to pick guide template and type.

Instead of creating a guide from scratch, you can copy an existing guide and use it as a template. Below are the steps:

  1. After you click on the + Create Guide button, select Copy content / layout from an existing guide from the create guide screen.
    • Choose Local Guides (your guides & your coworkers' guides) or Community Guides (searches all LibGuides v2 sites) to narrow your search.
    • Click in the "Select a guide" box and start typing the name of the guide.
    • Select the guide from the search results.
  2. Fill out the Guide Name & Description and select a Guide Type. Change Restrict Sharing status to disable if needed. 
  3. Click Create Guide.

Get to the Guide Edit Screen

There are two ways to get to the Guide Edit screen:

  1. From the Dashboard: the "LibGuides Shortcuts" box has a dropdown called Edit Existing Guide. Just click that and choose the guide you'd like to edit.
  2. From Guide Index: go to Content > Guides and click the edit icon on the right for the guide you'd like to edit.
Screenshot showing how to get to the Guide Edit Screen

Changing Guide Options

You can add/update the following guide information from the top left of the guide:

  • Guide Title / Description
  • Subject & Tag associations
  • Friendly URLs
Screenshot showing where to change guide options on the guide edit screen


Read more

Refer to Springshare Help - Basic Guide Info for instructions and best practices on adding Guide Title & Description, Subject Associations, and Tags.

The Guide Edit bar (located on the top right corner of the guide) will give you access to the following menus:

More guide infomation menu in Guide edit bar Guide Information (Cog) Menu

  • Selecting / Modifying a Guide Type: Guide Types make it easier for you and your users to find guides based on type of information 
  • Set Guide Redirect URL: a Redirect URL creates a “placeholder” guide which can point to any webpage. The "placeholder" guide is displayed in the list of guides for your system, right alongside regular guides. Any content that you have on the guide beforehand cannot be accessed by users unless the Redirect URL is removed.
  • Adding / Removing Guide Editors: designated guide editors can edit your guide, create content and change guide properties - except for Publication Status.Only the Guide Owner (or an admin level user) can change the Publication Status.
  • Delete Guide: remove guide from the system. Note that once you delete a guide from the system it is gone.

Guide style menu in Guide edit bar Guide Layout (Image) Menu

  • Change Guide Navigation Layout: switch between Tab or Side-Nav layout. If you switched from one nav type to another, you may have noticed your boxes moved around. You'll need to use the Pages > Reorder Boxes on Page function to move the boxes around.
  • Prev / Next Links: this adds Prev / Next buttons to the bottom of your guide.
  • Tab & Box Options: this allows you to change the shape and color of the navigation menu and boxes for a particular guide.
  • Display as Single Page: set the public view of your guide to display all content on one page. 

Guide tasks menu in Guide edit barGuide Tools (Chart) Menu

  • Create HTML Backup: this tool saves a HTML copy of your guide. You can't use this to restore a deleted page, but you can refer to the content and re-create it if you need to.
  • Request XML Export: export your data for use in external systems. Once processed, go to Tools>Data Exports area to download the export. 

Preview and publish buttons in Guide edit barPreview (Eye Icon) and Publish Button

  • Preview: allows you to view your guide as the public would view it, even if it's not published.
  • Publish: allows you to change the status of your guide.
    • Unpublished guides are visible only to logged-in users via their admin interface.
    • Private guides are visible only to people who know the guide URL.
    • Published guides are visible to everyone via the search and browse screens.