This section of the user guide is focused on creating custom variables that can be used for your responses. To help you navigate the article we have broken it down into the following sections:

What are custom variables?

Variables are key terms that are customized to your institution and are used in responses where the information needs to be repeated. The benefit of utilizing variables in responses is that it makes it much more efficient for the school to update that information when needed. The chatbot has been created with standard variables that you need to update that are used throughout the knowledge base general library content. 

For more information on variables, review the Chatbot Variables article.

Custom variables can also be created to help maintain your chatbot content. Custom variables can be sentences, links, email addresses, etc.

Who has access to variables?

The Variables page is available to individuals with the following permissions: 

For more information on user permissions, review the User Roles & Permissions article.

How do I create custom variables?

Custom variables can be created on the Variables page. 

  1. Verify the variable does not already exist in our standard variables by reviewing each variable under each tab (General, Student Services, Financial Aid, and Custom, if applicable).
  2. If the variable does not already exist, select the plus icon in the bottom right corner to create a new variable.
  3. On the New Variable modal complete the fields to create a new variable.
    1. Name: The name serves only as an identifier to describe what value the variable will hold. Use something simple that will help you remember the purpose of the variable when you reference it again in the future (i.e. “Graduation Homepage”)
    2. Category: This will most likely be the same as the office or department that is creating the variable (i.e. Registrar). Multiple custom variables can hold the same category. Custom variables with the same category will all be grouped together in that same area under a new “Custom” tab.
    3. Placeholder: This can be the same as the name that describes the variable. The placeholder label must be unique from every other existing variable.
    4. Type: There are seven options:
      • Number: A simple digit will be displayed
      • Text: A term, name, label, or sentence that the chatbot user will simply need to read. Cannot be formatted. 
      • Rich Text: Formattable text (bold, italics, linkable text, and emojis)
      • Link: Linked text, where the text is displayed to the user and can be clicked to go to the URL's webpage
      • Dropdown: Pre-chosen values that will give limited options to choose from when completing the variable's value. 
      • Email address: Must be entered in full email format
      • URL: A link (that will be presented to the user as the actual URL, as opposed to linked text) that will take the user to a web page. The user would need to copy the URL and paste it in a web browser to access it. 

        Example: The Registrar’s office is creating a new link variable for their graduation website homepage because they intend to reference that homepage often in their custom knowledge base responses. If the URL ever changes, they only need to update the variable, and it will automatically update the URL in all responses.

    5. Once a Type is chosen, a new field will appear. Enter the value of the variable in that last field (the text, URL, etc. that you want to be actually displayed in the response to the user. 

      Note: URLs must include “https://” in order to make the URL valid.

    6. Select Save.
  4. The new variable will appear on the Custom tab.  

    If the new custom variable is not available in the list immediately, you can use the new custom variable within a response and it will be activated.  Otherwise, you can wait for the new custom variable to become available within approximately one hour. 

How do I edit custom variables?

To edit a variable, select the pencil icon and edit the field (as needed).

Using a custom variable

Custom variables can be used the same as all other variables. For more information, review the variables section of the Creating a Knowledge Base Response article.