Tagging and viewing Features

Tag Features to uncover usage patterns in your application and to target guides. Features are managed in Product > Features, which you can find in the left-side navigation.

Feature tagging rules

Pendo tags Features based on rules. Rules define the Feature HTML and CSS that Pendo interprets to tag your Features. 

HTML and CSS are two of the basic building blocks of a Website. HTML is the Markup language used to provide the content and structure for a Website. CSS is the Markup language used to apply styling to HTML elements. CSS syntax is used for Feature tagging and Guide positioning with Pendo.

HTML is made up of element tags, which provide the context needed for the Web browser to display the site. Example HTML elements include <button>, <h1>, and <p>. HTML elements can also have attributes, commonly class and id.  The contents of these attributes, CSS selectors, identify and style specific elements of a Website. Pendo relies on these selectors to identify feature clicks and to target Guides.

Both HTML elements and attributes are used heavily by CSS to provide styling to specific parts of your application. In the example below, the HTML element is <div>, the HTML attribute is class, and the contents of the attribute (the CSS selector) is d-sm-flex align-items-center.

<div class="d-sm-flex align-items-center">

Tag Features

We use the Visual Design Studio to tag Features. The Visual Design Studio is Pendo’s interface for styling Guides, and tagging Pages and Features.

To tag Features, you first enter Target Mode, which tells you what elements you’re selecting for tagging with a red bounding box that follows your mouse in the application. You can then refine this selection with Feature Element Matching options in the Visual Design Studio.

To tag Features in Pendo, navigate to Product > Features and then select Manage Features In-App in the top-right corner.


1. Enter the URL of the target Page of your application.

2. Select Launch Designer. This loads the Visual Design Studio over the page in your application.

3. In the Features tab of the Visual Design Studio, select Tag Feature.

4. Hover over and select the area of the Page you want to tag. To tag a dropdown menu item, select ALT (for Windows) or Option (for Mac) while opening the dropdown menu to expand it. 

5. Choose Create New Feature at the top of the Visual Design Studio.


6. Enter a descriptive name that’s in line with your company naming convention so that others will know what you're referring to.

7. Assign a Product Area to the Feature using the dropdown menu.

8. Under Feature Element Matching, choose one of the following methods for creating a rule: Suggested Match, Parent URL, Rule Builder, or Custom CSS. For guidance, see Feature Element Matching in this article.

9. Under Page Location, choose whether you want to track the Feature across the entire application (Sitewide) or on the specific Page (Only on this page).

10. Select Save to add the Feature to your Features list.

Tip: Choose Sitewide for navigation buttons because it won't bring value to tag a navigation element on every possible Page variation.

Feature Element Matching

When tagging a Feature in the Visual Design Studio, you have the following options for creating rules under Feature Element Matching:

  • Suggested Match. This is the automatic rule created by Pendo. Sometimes, this doesn’t ideally capture what you need it to, isn’t a unique match on the page, also exists on other pages, or isn’t static, which is why we’ve created the following additional options for creating rules.
  • Parent Element. This is useful when the red bounding box used to highlight and select an area in your application doesn’t cover the entire clickable area. This option selects the next largest container (the entire button) for the originally selected element (text within the button).
  • Rule Builder. This shows you the HTML elements and attributes available in the area that you’ve selected for tagging. You can use these items to create a more specific Feature rule that works for your selected area of the application.
  • Custom CSS. If you’re comfortable with using Inspect in Google Chrome to investigate the HTML and CSS of your application, this option allows you to add a custom Feature rule based on the elements and attributes available in the area you selected.


Create a rule using Rule Builder

Use the Rule Builder to create feature rules based on your application's code without navigating away from the Visual Design Studio. The Rule Builder allows you to view, add, and remove rule options, with automatic rule formatting to ensure accuracy.

As you build your rule with the Rule Builder, the Visual Design Studio shows you the number of matches and highlights the tagged area. The Visual Design Studio also shows you the rule as it would be if you created it with the Custom CSS option. You can find this just under Selection while you’re building your rule.


The colors of items in the Rule Builder represent to following:


HTML elements and attributes



HTML Classes, usually a good selector, though multiple elements on the page can have the same Class.




HTML element types

div, p, button, a


HTML Attributes

href, src, alt

Light blue

HTML ID, usually the most unique selector on the page.


Dark blue

HTML Text Contains Statement. This is a Pendo-specific option that allows you to tag elements based on the text contained within them.



Create a rule using Inspect in Chrome

To create a rule using the Custom CSS option for Feature Element Matching:

  1. In chrome, right-click an element you're trying to tag and select Inspect.
  2. In the Elements tab, inspect the Document Object Model (DOM) tree, which contains the page data.
  3. Look for a specific, human-readable Class for the element you're inspecting.
  4. In the Custom CSS text box, write . instead of class and then copy the string exactly as it appears in the code, with periods instead of spaces, for example, class="sidebar-item js-sidebar-type-d would be written as .sidebar-item.js-sidebar-type-d in the text box.

Good Feature rules 

This section summarizes best practices for creating Feature rules. For more detailed guidance on creating good rules for Feature tagging, see Advanced Feature Tagging



Tags should consist of a CSS ID (#char) that is specific and static.


Tags should be included in a CSS Class that uniquely identifies the object.


Tags should include text that contains a string that uniquely identifies the element.

A:contains("Log Out")

Tags shouldn’t be too specific or change session-to-session or user-to-user.

Don’t use: 

A:contains(You have 16 new messages)



Tags shouldn’t include dynamically changing elements, often indicated by the inclusion of a seemingly random string of characters in the CSS selector. 

Don’t use: 

<div class=“sc-element-6gY8Tkk”

Use the ^ symbol to capture only the start: 

<div class^=“sc-element”>


Dealing with dynamic CSS selectors

Typically, you should look for the most specific CSS selector for the UI element you’re trying to tag. If the HTML attribute you’re trying to use is dynamic, you must find a balance between specificity and flexibility to capture only the part of the CSS selector that remains consistent.

Many Websites rely on dynamically generated CSS selectors. Because CSS selectors affect how you tag Features and target Guides, it’s important to ensure that the CSS selector you’re tagging is a stable identifier that’s unlikely to change over time. 

A dynamic CSS selector is typically a Class name or element ID that’s likely to change due to activity in the application, such as a text heading that changes color when a user passes a mouse over it, or a new version of the application.

You can identify dynamic CSS selectors by looking for a seemingly random string of characters in the CSS selector. When you find dynamic CSS selectors, you can instead:

  • Tag Features in Pendo using rules starts-with (^), ends-with ($), and contains (*) rule to ignore the dynamic parts of the CSS selector. This ensures Pendo is only matching to the part of the attribute that’s consistent. For more information, see Advanced Feature Tagging.
  • Add static Classes and IDs to elements in your application to make your code more stable for Feature tagging and Guide targeting.
  • Use custom HTML elements to provide static selectors for use by Pendo.

If you have access to Pendo Academy, see the Tagging Features with Dynamic CSS Selectors video for guidance on dealing with dynamically changing elements.

View tagged Features

There are two ways to view tagged Features in Pendo:

  • In the Pendo UI by navigating to Product > Features.
  • In the Visual Design Studio Heatmap while tagging another Feature.

The Features list in the Pendo UI

To view a list of tagged Features, navigate to Pendo > Features from the left-side navgation. The Features list provides an overview of your tagged Features in a table view. In this list, you can see all tagged Features and the following information about these Features depending on the columns you choose for the table.

  • Name. The Feature name. This can be edited in the Feature details when you select the Feature name.
  • Rules. The rules behind the Feature tag.
  • Page. The page tag assigned to the feature or ‘All Pages’ if the feature is sitewide.
  • Created Time. The date and time that the Feature was originally tagged.
  • Created By. The Pendo user who originally tagged the Feature.
  • App. The application that the Feature is assigned to.
  • Product Area. The Product Area that the Feature is assigned to or “No Product Area” if none was assigned.
  • Last Updated Time. The date and time the Feature rules were last updated. Any modification to the Feature rules revises the last updated time.
  • Last Updated By. The Pendo user that last updated the Feature.
  • Number of Visitors. The number of unique visitors that have clicked the Feature within the segment and date range specified at the top of the page.
  • Number of Accounts. The number of unique Accounts that have clicked the Feature within the segment and date range specified at the top of the page.
  • Number of Clicks. The total number of clicks of the Feature from all visitors within the segment and date range specified at the top of the page.
  • % of Feature Clicks. The percentage of visitors within the segment and date range specified at the top of the page that clicked on the Feature.
  • Average % of Daily Feature Clicks. The average percentage per day of visitors within the segment and date range specified at the top of the page that clicked on the Feature.
  • Number of Event Properties Setup. The number of Feature Click Event Properties set up for this Feature (the maximum is five). For more information, see Feature Click Event Properties.
  • Core Event. If the feature has been selected as a Core Event, the label ‘Core’ will display here. To learn more about Core Events, see ‘Set up Core Events’.

To customize your columns, select the Manage Columns icon in the top-right corner of the list. In the window that opens, you can add, remove, and move columns in the table.


Tip: Add the Page column to your table view to see if the Features you’ve tagged are page-specific without having to open the details of each tagged Feature.

The Heatmap in Visual Design Studio

The Heatmap in Visual Design Studio generates a color-organized view of Features that have already been tagged while you’re tagging another Feature. 

Use the Heatmap to get a view of Feature usage within the last 30 days. The “hotter” (closer to red) the Feature, the more it’s used. To view the Heatmap:

  1. In Pendo, navigate to Product > Features.
  2. Select Manage Features In-App in the top-right corner. 
  3. Select Launch Designer. This opens the Visual Design Studio.
  4. Toggle on the Heatmap.
  5. Set the Segment that you’re interested in.


While Heatmap is toggled on, you can also open an individual Feature from the list in the Visual Design Studio to view its mapping along a visual scale, from blue on the left to red on the right. This view provides additional metrics, including Total Clicks, Unique Visitor Clicks, and Accounts.

Download a CSV of file of Features

To download a comma-separated values (CSV) file of the data in your table of Pages or Features, navigate to Product > Features, and select the Download icon in the top-right corner of the list, next to the Manage Columns icon. This automatically downloads a CSV file of your Features.