Guide Activation (Classic)

Last updated:

Note: This article covers the Guide experience launched before Feb. 18th 2019. If you became a customer after this date, see Guide activation options in the Visual Design Studio.


Guides can be presented to users through a few different methods. A guide can simultaneously utilize these different activation methods to achieve the desired behavior. ​Activation can be set under the tab of the same name when editing a guide or step in the guide designer.



The guide will automatically display to the targeted segment upon page load or previous step completion (if building a Walkthrough).

The default nature of a guide that is set to "Automatic" activation is to never display to a user again once it has been seen and dismissed by that user, either via the ‘X’ in the upper-right corner or a dismiss button within the guide. Unless your guide has any custom JavaScript that overrides the default Pendo functionality, you should expect your users to only see a guide set to "Automatic" activation until they dismiss it.

Guide Center

The guide will not display until the user goes into the Guide Center (formerly known as the Launcher) and clicks on the guide. For more information on enabling the Guide Center, see Guide Center.

The Guide Center will only display to a visitor when they meet the following guide criteria:

  • Guide activation includes "Guide Center" activation method
  • The visitor is included in the guide segment
  • The page matches location of first (or only) step of guide
  • The matched element is visible (if applicable)

If the visitor does not meet the criteria required to display a Guide Center activated guide, then the Guide Center will not appear.


Badges let you place a small icon next to an element on your page. When your visitors click that element, the guide will be shown. This is a fantastic way to add inline support to your web application - your users can request information at the moment they need it.

Target Element

The badge will appear next to the Element Match specified under the "Location" tab of the guide. If the guide is a walkthrough, this will be determined by the Element Match defined under the "Location" tab of the first step of the guide.


Choose from one of our provided badge icons or upload one of your own. The color of our provided icons can be modified with the color input below the icon dropdown.


This determines where the badge appears in relation to the target element. Choose Top-right, Top-left, or inline.


The Top and Right offset allow you to adjust the positioning of the badge in relation to the target element. Both positive and negative pixel values are accepted.

Tooltip Behavior

For tooltip guide types only. "Show on badge hover or click" will display the tooltip if the badge icon is hovered over or clicked. "Show only on badge click" will not display the tooltip when the badge is hovered over.

Badge Behavior

"Always show badge" will display the badge next to the target element no matter what the user is hovering over. "Show badge only on element hover" will only display the badge when the targeted element is hovered over.


"Always show" will leave the badge in place even if a user has seen the guide before, allowing them to reference the information again and again. "Show only once" will cause the badge to disappear for a user if they have already seen the guide.

Element Click



Note: This feature requires Agent version 2.5.0 or higher.


This method will launch a guide when a user clicks on a designated element within your application. This can be a different element than the target element chosen under the "Location" tab for the guide.

The guide will appear every time a user clicks on the element, even if the guide was previously dismissed.


Regardless of activation method, if you want a guide to display for a specific period of time, you have the option of adding a "Guide Start Date" and "Guide Expires" date and time.

Note: If you select a start date for a guide, the guide status must be set to Scheduled in order for the guide to publish on the selected date.


Guide Ordering

If a user is eligible for multiple automatic guides at once, you may want to predefine the order the guides are seen in.

For example, you may want your "Welcome" guide to display before a "Dashboard walkthrough".

Pendo will show the guides to the visitor based on the order which they are listed in the Guide Center, whether the Guide Center is currently enabled or not.

Any guides that you would like to reorder need to have "Guide Center" selected under Activation when editing the guide.

When clicking on the Guide Center icon that appears over your app in the guide designer, the titles of all guides set to Guide Center activation will appear. Simply click and drag the guide titles into the desired display order. Guides will display in the order they are listed in the Guide Center from top to bottom.


Back in "Global Settings" remove "Guide Center" as an activation method from the appropriate guides if you utilize the Guide Center for other guides.

Was this article helpful?
2 out of 3 found this helpful