The Acrolinx Sidebar makes it easy for you to create amazing content. It's like having your own personal content coach with you at all times. As you write, Acrolinx shows you how to tune your content for your audience with just a few clicks. From tweaking terminology to tightening your text, the Acrolinx Sidebar helps you create content that your audience will love.
Signing in to an Acrolinx Server
When you open the Sidebar for the first time, you'll land on a start page where Acrolinx asks you for server connection details. The Acrolinx server does the heavy lifting when it comes to analyzing your content, so you'll need to connect to one before you start checking. Your Acrolinx administrator should’ve given you your server address and sign-in details. You might have them already, if you and the Acrolinx administrator are the same person.
Enter the server address and click
to open the Acrolinx sign-in page. A browser
window opens where you can enter your sign-in details and confirm the request to access your
And you're in! Hello Sidebar!
Setting the Checking Options
Before you start checking, make sure that you have the right checking options. Even if your company has someone who sets up Acrolinx for you, it's still good to know what these options are for and how they work.
tab in the slide-out menu to get
There are two different ways to set the Acrolinx options:
A profile contains all the Acrolinx presets that you might need to check a certain type of document. For example, you could have a profile for Word documents and another one for DITA topics. Whoever administers the Acrolinx server in your company can set these up for you.
Just select an item in the "Profile" dropdown, and the rest of the settings are
configured for you.
You might notice that the checking options are disabled when you select a profile. This means that whoever set the profile up has "locked" it. They don't want you change the options and override it. But at least you don't have to think about what options to select.
If your administrator hasn't enabled the profiles feature, you won't see a "Profiles" dropdown. In this case, you can set the options yourself.
- Language Select the language of the document you want to check.
- Writing guide Select the writing guide that you want to use for the check. If you’re unsure which writing guide you should use, ask your administrator.
- Spelling Check for spelling issues.
- Grammar Check for grammar issues.
- Style Check for style issues.
- Deprecated terms Check for terms that are deprecated in your terminology database.
- Valid terms Check for terms that are either preferred or admitted in your terminology database. You might do this if you want to see how often you use the correct terminology.
- Admitted terms Check for terms that are admitted in your terminology database. Admitted terms are OK in certain contexts but have specific guidance on when they're appropriate. Some administrators want to draw your attention to them and make sure that you're aware of the conditions for using that term. However, not everyone uses admitted terms, so this feature isn't enabled by default. Your Acrolinx administrator has to enable it first.
- New terms Identify words of phrases that look like they could be potential terms that you could add to your terminology database. Some administrators like their writers to contribute terms to the terminology database so this option can help you do that. Again, not everyone wants writers to contribute terms, so this option is often disabled. Your Acrolinx administrator has to enable it before you can use it.
- Tone of voice Check for how your content corresponds to the tone of voice for that target audience. Your Acrolinx administrator has to configure it first.
- Term Sets Select the term sets that you want to use when you check for terminology issues. Term sets provide a way to group different sets of terms for different audiences. Your Acrolinx administrator sets these up, so if you're unsure what to select, ask your administrator.
- Just select an item in the "Profile" dropdown, and the rest of the settings are configured for you.
- To check your content, click the Check button at the top
of the Results tab.
Unless your content is flawless, you'll probably see issues show up in the Results tab. Content issues are represented as colored "cards" that you can interact with. We cover how to work with issues more in-depth in the article " The Sidebar Card Guide ".
Acrolinx gives you a Scorecard that scores your content based on the types of issues that
you're checking for. You also get an overall Acrolinx Score. To see your Scorecard, click on
your Acrolinx Score at the top right of the Sidebar or click Scorecard in the slide-out menu.
Tip: You can filter the list of issue types so that you can focus on a certain issue type such as spelling.
When you're done with the essentials, you can explore the options in the Sidebar slide-out menu.
- Click the User Profile in the slide-out menu and then General to get to the settings. In this tab, you’ll always see your user name and department. Any other fields you see are configured by your Acrolinx Administrator as Custom User Information.
To update your user profile, change the value of the field and click
in the slide-out menu and then
to get to the settings. In this tab, you’ll find a
few settings to control how your Sidebar behaves.
Run a check when you open Acrolinx.
You can now start a check as soon as you open Acrolinx. That’s one less click for you.
Send anonymous usage statistics.
Help make Acrolinx better by sending us anonymous usage statistics. We don't collect any information that identifies you or your company and we don't collect your content. And, you can always change your mind later. If your company’s IT policy doesn’t allow sending usage statistics, your server administrator can turn it off for all users.
Switch to compact view.
You can choose how much information you want to see on the Sidebar cards. Compact view means some information won’t appear when you click the card. This might be helpful if you’re an experienced writer and you don’t need the full guidance.
- Run a check when you open Acrolinx.
You might get prompted to enter information about the document that you’re checking. For example, information on the type of content that you’re writing or reviewing. This means that your Acrolinx Administrator wants to collect that information and that they’ve configured it on the Acrolinx Server. If you want to see or change the information that you’ve given, then you can access it after you run a check.
After you've run a check, click
in the slide-out
menu to get to the settings. The field or fields that you see in this tab are configured by
your Acrolinx Administrator as Custom Document Information.
- To update your Custom Document Information, change the value of the field and click Submit .
Your Acrolinx Administrator might ask you for some information from your About tab if they’re troubleshooting an issue.
- Click About in the slide-out menu to get to the information about the Sidebar.