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How to make a collection

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Best practice, Working with us

The information in this blogpost may now be out of date. See the current GOV.UK content and publishing guidance.

In response to Alice and Neil’s blog post introducing collection pages, we received some Zendesk tickets asking for help making document collections. We’ve obliged by making a step-by-step guide to making the collection of your dreams.

Create a collection

  1. On the ‘new document’ menu, select ‘document collection’.
  2. Complete all the information that you want to appear at the top of the collection. This includes:
    • the collection title
    • the summary
    • the body - an introductory text explaining which user need the collection serves, how the collection is organised, and any other information that would help users get the information they need most quickly
    • associations - related policies and topics (this will allow users to find the collection more easily, eg by browsing from the policy page)
    • lead and supporting organisations that will show on the page (note collections can be linked to more than 1 organisation)
  3. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click ‘save and continue editing’ after you’ve completed all the mandatory fields (indicated by red asterisks).
  4. After saving, a second tab (‘collection documents’) will appear within Whitehall Publisher next to the collection information tab (now labelled ‘document’). This is where you add publications to your collection.

Add documents to your collection

  1. To add a publication, go to the ‘collection documents’ tab.
  2. There are 2 ways to find documents to add to your collection. You can paste in the whole slug and click ‘Add’. You can also type words you know appear in the title of the publication and then click ‘Find’. A list of documents containing the word you typed will appear under the search field. Select the document you want and click ‘Add’
  3. Drag and drop documents to reorder them within a group or move them to another group. For any document already within a group, you can also click in the tickbox next to the document, then select another group to move it to in the dropdown menu at the top of its current group.

Group your documents

  1. The first collection subheading (group) is automatically called ‘Documents’. This group title can be changed by clicking ‘Edit group heading and body’ inline to the left of the group title.
  2. When you change a group title, you can also add body text to introduce the documents in that group.
  3. You can add more groups by clicking ‘Add a new group’ under your existing groups

Save and publish

  1. Save your work by switching back to the ‘Document’ tab and clicking one of the save options at the bottom of the page. To see what your baby actually looks like, click ‘save’ (not ‘save and continue editing’), then ‘Preview on the website’.
  2. If you like what you see, submit for 2nd eyes like all of your other work.

We’ll publish guidance on the style for document collections soon.

Featured image by mikeeeeee on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.

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  1. Comment by Alex Schillemore posted on

    Thanks for this - it's really helpful!

    Quick question - will we be able to change the order in which documents appear in the groups? That would be really handy (for me, at least).

    • Replies to Alex Schillemore>

      Comment by Elena Findley-de Regt posted on

      Hi Alex,
      You can reorder documents within a group by dragging and dropping them. You can also drag them between groups. If you want to move a large number to another group, you can also select the documents by ticking them, and then change the group they're in via the drop down menu next to their current group name.
      All the best,


  2. Comment by Ricky Leach posted on

    Thanks Elena

    I think this will help. For me it is a much clunkier system than adding the item to the collection when you are in the said item (rather than creating an item, saving it, publishing it and then having to go into the collection as a separate action) but I´m guessing you guys decided it would be easier for some other process.

  3. Comment by Suzanne Amos posted on

    Elena, thanks for the blog post.
    Please could you clarify one point? Where your blog post says: 'This is where you add publications to your collection' - by 'publications' you do mean 'detailed guides' as well?
    So that we can use a collection to group together several detailed guides?

    Have any collections been published on the Production environment yet? I know my colleague Alison, working for the Rural Payments Agency, is publishing a collection on the preview environment next week but in the meantime ...?