Edit Your Own Help Text With New Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 Module


Help text on form fields is an intrinsic component for web applications that contain forms for content creation, user accounts or data entry. Writing help text and labeling fields is typically left up to developers, rather than to the site owners and editors who best know their users' needs. In order for an editor to change the help text on a typical Drupal project, there's the effort and expense of writing up changes, sending them to developers, and then waiting for the changes to be deployed. This is because Drupal's settings for the field help text and field label are mixed in with more developer-oriented settings. It becomes tricky for site owners to learn to make these changes on their own without introducing the risk that they mistakenly break the site.

There is the Better Field Descriptions module for Drupal 7, which allows a separate permission to let editors override field help text and labels, but its user interface wasn't simple and intuitive enough to really meet the need. Looking ahead to our new Drupal 8 projects, I thought it would be great to solve this problem in a simpler way as a Drupal 8 module.

Module development hero Jonathan DeLaigle hooked us up and created the Field Help Helper module (with front-end help from Alban Bailly). Simply assign the permission to a user role and your editors will see an edit icon for each field description, letting them change the field label and help text right in the form itself.

Edit field help text and labels
The form for changing a field's label and help text

We immediately loved it so much that we wanted to implement this module in our Drupal 7 projects, so Jonathan made a Drupal 7 version as well.

We're including this module in our starter-kit distribution, Bear, to make sure it is included on all our future projects. I look forward to not only our clients but also our non-coding staff (project managers, QA, documentation, design, etc.) efficiently improving the user experience of all our Drupal 7 and 8 forms with this tool.

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