Welcome to our Acrolinx Sidebar quick start. Here you'll learn:
In short: You use the Sidebar to check the quality of your content wherever you create it. After the check, you get a score and suggestions for improvements.
The Acrolinx Platform includes a dashboard that opens in your browser, and the Sidebar. The Acrolinx Dashboard is where you manage the whole Acrolinx process, from users to terminology. The Sidebar provides different options for checking depending on the configurations in the dashboard.
The Sidebar is also the part of an Acrolinx Integration that lets you check content in your authoring environment. When you use an Acrolinx Integration, you’ll sign in to Acrolinx and get the Sidebar in return. The Acrolinx Platform processes and reads your content when you run a check. Then, it feeds the Sidebar with the outcome of the check. You’ll get your results in colored cards.
Depending on your setup, your Sidebar might be integrated into various content creation tools.
Look out for the little Acrolinx check mark , which will appear in blue or black. Depending on your environment, you might not see it straight away. It's usually included in toolbars and ribbon menus, but sometimes you'll find it listed under add-ons plugins.
If you can't find the Sidebar, look at the documentation specific to your Acrolinx Integration. There’s a "Where's my Sidebar?" article that will help you.
Click the icon to toggle the Sidebar!
When you open the Sidebar for the first time, you'll land on a start page where Acrolinx asks you for connection details. You'll need to connect to the Acrolinx Platform before you start checking. Your Acrolinx admin should’ve given you your Acrolinx URL and sign-in details.
And you're in!
In the Sidebar, you can select the Target you want to check with. A Target defines what type of guidance you get for a particular type of content. For example, you could have a Target for blog posts and another one for technical documentation. Whoever administers Acrolinx in your company can set these up for you.
Before you start checking, make sure that you have the right Target. Your Acrolinx admin might have already set a preferred Target for you, so only change things here if you're sure you need to.
To change the Target, follow these steps:
Click the Options tab in the slide-out menu.
To set the Acrolinx options, select an item in the TARGET dropdown. The rest of the settings will be configured for you.
If you can’t see any Targets in the dropdown, don’t panic. It might be that no Targets are assigned to you yet.
Now, you can start checking!
It could be that Targets isn't enabled yet in your Acrolinx Platform. Instead, you might see a GUIDANCE PROFILE dropdown. Read Choose Your Guidance to learn more.
After you've chosen a Target or Guidance Profile, you're ready to run a check.
To run a check, follow these steps:
Click the CHECK button in the first tab at the top of the Sidebar.
Unless your content is flawless, you'll probably see issues show up. The Sidebar shows content issues with interactive colored cards.
(Optional) You can decide which cards get displayed. You might also want to filter the goals so that you can focus on a certain goal such as Correctness. For example, filter out Tone to stay focused on the other goals.
Go through your Sidebar cards and decide which suggestions you want to accept. To learn more about the suggestions you see, visit The Sidebar Card Guide.
Run another check to see your improvements.
Acrolinx gives you a Scorecard that scores your content based on the goals that you're checking for. You also get an overall Acrolinx Score. To view your Scorecard, click on your Acrolinx Score at the top right of the Sidebar or click Scorecard in the slide-out menu. Learn more about the Scorecard in Scorecard Essentials.