HowNow Server - Learning & Support

Knowledge Management

Knowledge Right Click Menu

Right-click on the search results grid to display these menu options - the options available will change depending on your employee privileges and the type of document.

  • Open - opens the item. This is the same as double-clicking the item.
  • Open in Copy Mode - opens the document in the same instance of the application to allow adding information from one document to another. This only applies to Excel and PDF documents.
  • Profile - displays the details of the item - editing these details is only allowed where the user has sufficient privileges.
  • New - opens the New Profile Wizard to enable adding a new document to the knowledge database.
  • Duplicate - opens the Duplicate Item Profile dialog. Select this option to create an exact duplicate of a item except for the title. This is useful for creating a new item that is similar to an existing item. The newly created item's name is changed to be the same as the new title.
  • Assign Current Status -  assigns Current status to the document, making it available to all users - only available where the user has sufficient privileges.
  • Remove Current Status - takes the document back to a non-Current status - only available where the user has sufficient privileges.
  • Edit - allows you to edit the document - if the document has a current status a new edition will be created, if the document is not a current status you will be prompted to create a new edition - only available where the user has sufficient privileges.
  • Revision note - this option opens the Revision Note Details to allow you to enter a note against the document.
  • Print – prints the document directly, without opening it.
  • Email As– Opens an email with the document or documents attached. The options are: 
    • File attachment– separate files are attached to the email 
    • Zip file attachment – individual files stored in a single zip file 
    • PDF file attachment – individual files are created as PDF files and attached to the email
    • HowNow Smart Link - for use within the office; email a link to the document or documents instead of the actual document. Note: It is not good practice to email work documents to people within your office. Doing so creates duplicates of the documents, and these files are not stored centrally in your HowNow. This creates “version control” issues with the documents. Instead, use a HowNow Smart Link. Use the other Email functions to send documents to people (such as clients) who are outside of your office
    • HowNow Smart Link URL - for use with third party software only e.g. Carbon
    • Combined PDF file attachment - individual files are stored in a single PDF file attachment - files must be in the PDF format for this option
  • Copy to Clipboard- copies the selected document or documents to the Windows Clipboard. The options are:
    • File attachment – separate files are stored to the clipboard
    • Zip file attachment – individual files stored in a single zip file to the clipboard
    • PDF file attachment – individual files stored in a single PDFs are copied to the clipboard
    • HowNow Smart Link - for use within the office; email a link to the document or documents instead of the actual document
    • HowNow Smart Link URL - for use with third party software only e.g. Carbon
    • Combined PDF file attachment - the selected files are stored in a single PDF file which is copied to the clipboard - files must be in the PDF format for this option
  • Paste (Ctrl+V) - allows you to paste a document to add to HowNow - this option will open up the new file wizard.
  • Select All - selects all the items in the results list. Equivalent to using Ctrl+A.
  • Deselect All – de-selects all the selected items in the results list. Equivalent to using Ctrl+D, ESC or clicking the Clear button.
  • Add to favourites – adds the document to your personal favourites list.
  • Remove from favourites - removes the document from your personal favourites list.
  • Add to News List – adds the document to the news list of the user(s) or team(s) you specify.
  • Remove from News List – removes the document from the news list of your news list or everyone's news list
  • Mark News as Read - when filtered on My News marks the document as having being read and gives you the option to remove from the News List or leave it on the News List
  • Add to Review List - adds to the review list of the selected users (only users who are reviewers will be able to be selected)
  • Remove from Review List - removes the document from the review list of your review list or everyone's review list
  • Add to Position (only applicable to HowNow 5.2) - allows you to add the document to a position in the organisation as a position description, primary or secondary position - you will also receive a message that the administrator will need to reattach documents to that position
  • Remove from Position (only applicable to HowNow 5.2) - removes the document from the selected position
  • Delete - moves the document to the recycle bin.

Navigating Knowledge with the Ribbon


The View menu allows you to control how much information is displayed in the Search Results grid. 

  • Minimum Details to view only the Title of each entry. This allows you to see many more entries without the need for scrolling. However, it is suitable only once you are very familiar with your organisation’s HowNow content and can differentiate documents without having to read their Description.
  • Standard Details to view the Title and Description of each entry. This is the default setting for HowNow.
  • Full Details to view the Title, Description and Keywords of each entry. If you would like keywords added to an Item, see your HowNow Administrator.

Display, Content & Status, Editions & Approval 

  • Display - The Display drop-down allows you to filter the Search Results according to the following options:
    • All – No filter is applied
    • My News – Displays News Items added by the administrator
    • All News - displays a list of all news items - you will see this option if you are an administrator
    • My Favourites – displays your personal list of commonly used Items
    • My Procedures (only applicable to HowNow 5.2) - displays the documents that are attached to your position
    • My History – displays an automatically generated list of items you have opened
    • My Review – displays a list of items that are awaiting your review - you will see this review option only if you are a designated content reviewer
    • All Review – displays a list of items that are on all review lists - you will see this option only if you are an administrator or content administrator
    • Last  Accessed - provides a list of documents with the date and time they were last accessed
  • Content - The Content drop-down allows you to filter the Search Results according to the Content Modules in HowNow. These can include purchased Content Modules (such as HowNow Accountants), or your firm's content:
    • All – No filter is applied (i.e. content from all Content Modules is displayed)
    • Other options – selecting an option will display only content from the selected module
    • Note: Your organisation’s HowNow Administrator can also use the scroll box to the right of the Content drop-down to filter on a specific Content Updates number relating to a particular Content Module.
  • Filters available to your HowNow Administrator or Content Administrator - the following filters are available only to the HowNow Administrator or to users who have been set up with the appropriate permissions:
    • Status - Select either Active, Inactive Only or All. An Inactive document is a document that standard HowNow users cannot view. Making a document Inactive is a way of temporarily removing a document from HowNow. Your HowNow Administrator may elect to make some documents Inactive if the documents do not yet apply to your organisation, but they could be relevant in the future.
    • Editions and Approval:
      • Editions - standard HowNow users can only view Current Editions of documents. The HowNow Administrator, Reviewers and Authors can view all editions of documents (All), or only the current edition (Current) or the current edition plus any higher editions (Current + New) or the highest numbered edition (Highest) or all non-current editions earlier than current (Pre-Current) or all editions higher than current (Post-Current).
      • Approval Status - the HowNow Administrator can select from the Approval Status drop-down to select documents according to their stage in the review process.


Use the Visibility drop-down to view documents which are assigned to particular Teams. You will only see the Teams that you are a member of.


Recycle Bin

When deleting documents, the documents are sent to the Recycle Bin. These can later be retrieved by your HowNow Administrator if they were incorrectly deleted. Make sure other filters are cleared to see all deleted documents.


The import icon enables you to import Files in a Folder - this enables a batch import of templates.

Excel Export

Export your search results to Excel. Click the button, choose a folder to save the file into and give the file a name. You will then be asked if you wish to open the exported file.

Version Notification

When HowNow has updated to a new version a yellow bar will appear to notify of the change and provide a link to the Release Notes. Click on the 'X' to remove the bar from view. When a new version is available a grey bar will appear to notify that there is a new version available.

Search Bar 

The knowledge search bar consists of a free text search area and five buttons. 


From left to right these buttons are:

  • Store current filters 
  • Recall current filters
  • Clear current filters - this resets the filters back to your default settings
  • Clear the search text only
  • Refresh the search

Filter options allows you to store a search filter to be recalled at a later time. Select the filters and search terms and then press the Store button. When you need to use this search again, press the Recall button. If you wish to delete this search, press Clear. The Recall feature works with Date Range searches up to 5 Years only. The Recall Filter buttons will be greyed out if there is no filter set. For various reasons, your Stored filter may be reset by Business Fitness when new versions are released.

Status Bar (at the bottom of the page)

When you log into HowNow, the Status Bar at the bottom of the screen will sometimes include a notice (in bold red text) regarding News and/or Review Items. You can click on the notification in the Status Bar to go to your News and Review lists. Alternatively, you can select News or Review from the Display drop-down. 

Why HowNow Opens Documents as Read Only

HowNow opens Knowledge documents in read-only format. This means that users can, for example, enter details into a form, or complete a checklist (and then save that document with a different file name), but users cannot edit the original master version of the document. This protects your HowNow content from being inadvertently changed.

Your HowNow Administrator or a Content Administrator can edit the master versions of documents. Also, the HowNow Administrator can nominate certain documents to open in an editable format (i.e. not in read-only format). This is appropriate for some types of documents, such as a spreadsheet that needs to allow data entry into the master version in HowNow – e.g. a Courier Log or Mail Ledger document.

Where you have Records installed, the document can be flagged to Automatically File, so that every time the document is opened, you are prompted to save to a record location.

The Special Lists in HowNow

  • News List - HowNow contains two types of News Lists, one for each User and the All News list for the Administrator of HowNow. A user's News Items can be viewed from the Knowledge dropdown. Any user can add items to other user's News Lists using the following procedure. Right-click an Item in the search results list and select Add to News List. The Add to News List dialog appears:
    • Select the appropriate groups using the radio buttons.
    • If Employees, Reviewers or Partners is selected, then select the relevant people from the user list. Hold down CTRL to select more than one person.
    • If By Team is selected, select the appropriate team from the drop-down to the right of the By Team option.
    • Enter a message in the Message area.
    • Click OK.
    • To Read an Item on the News List just click on that item.
      • When a user closes a News Item that they opened from their News List, they will be prompted to Remove the Item from the News List.
      • If the item is left on the News List it will be marked as Read.
    • An Administrator can remove an item on a News List or mark it as Read by right-clicking on the item in the News List, and choose the desired action.
  • Review List - an Administrator or Content Administrator is able to add Items to the Review list in HowNow. Right-click an Item in the search results list and select Add to Review. The Add to Review List dialog appears.
    • Select the appropriate contact(s), holding down the Shift key to select a group or Ctrl key to be more selective. 
    • Enter a message in the Message area.
    • Click OK.
    • Note: if a document has been modified, it will be shown in red on the review list. This is a warning that the document should be reviewed carefully.

Did you find it helpful? Yes No

Send feedback
Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback.