Understanding article visibility, status and draft

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Articles have several attributes. This article will explain how some of these attributes affect whether your article will be visible in your site or not.

Article visibility

When you first create an article it is marked as unpublished. Unpublished articles can be accessed in the admin area, but are not visible in your public site. An article that is unpublished does not have a public url that can be shared with your customers or employees.

Once you publish an article it will show up in your public site (unless it is part of a unpublished chapter or manual).

An article's published state is the only attribute that determines whether an article will show up in your public table of contents or not.

Article status

Articles can have the following statuses:

  • None
  • Needs Content
  • Needs Review
  • Needs Update
  • Approved

These article status is used only for your internal workflow. The status setting has no effect on whether an article will be visible to your end users or not.

Article draft status

Draft status is used when you want to make updates to an existing, published article, but you don't want those updates to be published yet.

An example will help explain this. Imagine the following scenario:

  • You have a product that you support.
  • You have an article that shows how to do something in that product.
  • You make changes to that product, but you have not released those changes to your customers yet.
  • You want to update the article but not publish the changes until you release the updates to your product.

Given this situation you would check the article in as a draft. The old version of the article would still be visible on your site. But any authors would see your new draft version if they were to try to edit it. When you are ready to publish you just change the draft setting to published and the latest version would become viewable on the site.

You can also use this feature if you want to review any changes that other authors make to articles before they go live on your site.

If you need to change the same property on a number of different articles you can use the Bulk Edit feature.


Vicki Witte

How do you remove the "Draft" status

Trevor DeVore

@Vicki - here are instructions for publishing from the desktop:

And here are instructions for publishing from the web interface:


Hi, is there a filter anywhere to be able to see all drafts and is there a way to mass publish them? In this case it's a whole site of articles that are having image changes prior to a product release. Thanks

Trevor DeVore

@Neil - there is not a way to mass publish articles at this time.


Same question as Neil from 2016. Is there a way to mass publish draft Articles?

Trevor DeVore

Hi Tom - Yes, you can use our bulk edit feature to publish a number of articles at once. See

Trevor DeVore

Tom - actually my answer is not correct. We do not have the ability to publish a draft version of an article, just publish an unpublished article. These are two different types of actions and our Bulk Editor doesn't have the option of setting the latest version of an article as the version that is displayed to end users. I've created an enhancement request internally so that we can track this.

Trevor DeVore

One last comment just to make sure you know how to get a list of Draft articles. Note that under "All Articles" you can select the "Draft" option from the "Published" filter to see all articles that have a Draft. Unfortunately you will have to click on each article and click the button to display the draft version to end users, but at least you have a list of articles to go through.

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