Setting up the support widget

In addition to our email channels, you can set up a support widget on your app, product, website or any property that you include custom JS.


Our support widget lets your visitors or users find their way through your most important links via a customizable, embedded support widget showing on the bottom right of your page. It also let them contact you, either via a live chat or contact form interface, and let them fully browse your knowledge base content without ever leaving your product.

To embed our support widget on your site, you need to add this Javascript function to all the pages you want it to be shown on. We recommend to embed this in the <body> tag towards the end of your page, where your footer code lives, for example.

(function (w){if (typeof w.Fernand !== "function") {var f = function () {f.q[arguments[0] == 'set' ? 'unshift' : 'push'](arguments);};f.q = [];w.Fernand = f;}})(window);
Fernand('init', { appId: 'your-organization-name' })
<script async src=""></script>

Let's unpack what's happening here:

The first line of code setup the Fernand function that you will be able to call to command the widget and its parameters.

The second line initialize the widget with one required parameter, appId. The appId is the name of your organization used inside Fernand. You can find it in your URL when logging in on Fernand (e.g. → your appId is piedpiper)

You will initiate the widget with Fernand('init', { appId: 'piedpiper' });


You can customize the widget by passing or updating a few parameters. You can do this by calling the set method.

When you call Fernand('init', {...}) at the beginning, the second parameter is passed to Fernand('set', {...}).

So the following:

Fernand('init', { appId: 'piedpiper', show: true, open: false })

Is a shortcut for the same as

Fernand('set', { appId: 'piedpiper', show: true, open: false })

Authenticating users

By default, Fernand's widget doesn't know the identity of the users interacting in widget. If you are dealing with logged in users, you can pass the "user" parameter to authenticate them.

Fernand('set', {
    user: {
        name: 'Richard',
        email: ''

We recommend that you add a verification hash to make sure that malicious actors don't impersonate your users. Learn more on authenticating logged in users.

List of settings

We support a wide array of options and settings to make the widget more personalized, and infused with your brand guideline.

  • appId
    String — Required
    This is the name of organization at Fernand, as indicated in the URL.

  • container
    String — Optional, defaults to document.body
    A CSS selector that will be used to inject the widget in it. Defaults to the document.body.

  • show
    Boolean — Optional, defaults to true
    Will define if the widget is visible at the bottom right, or hidden

  • open
    Boolean — defaults to false
    If set to true, will open the widget automatically on page load. Note that if the user opens the widget and refresh the page, the widget will still memorize its state and re-open automatically.

  • orgName
    By default, our widget will display your organization's name as the widget's title, but you can override it by setting this value to anything you prefer. This is particularly helpful if you don't want to expose your legal entity name to your clients (e.g. PiedPiper LLC → Pied Piper)

  • orgDescription
    String or Object (for multi language support)
    By default, this value is set to "Hey! How can we help?" and is displayed right under your organization name when opening the widget, but you can customize it too.

  • sound
    Boolean — defaults to true
    Emits a sound when the user receives a new message. You can disable it if you prefer.

  • theme
    String — defaults to null
    Define which color theme to use, between "dark" and "light." If you leave it undefined, the widget will use the user's system preferences.£

  • tabs
    Array — defaults to ['home', 'chat', 'articles']
    You can set which tabs are active on the widget. Possible values:

    • home
      Displays the homepage of the widget with your custom links

    • chat
      Conversation experience with a chat UX

    • articles
      Let users browse your knowledge base

    • contact
      A basic contact form

  • defaultTab
    String — defaults to home
    You can force the display of a tab other than 'home', like "Chat" or "Articles," by default when the user opens the widget.

  • position
    String — defaults to right

    By default, the widget will be displayed on the right, but you can set the "position" to the following other values:

    • left
      Displays the widget on the left side of the viewport

  • behavior
    String — defaults to default

    • default
      Display the widget as a popup on top of the icon.

    • modal
      Displays the widget in the center as a modal. You can also set the hideIcon property to false if you want to implement your own custom launcher.

    • sidepanel
      Displays the widget as a panel on the right side of the page. If you also pass position to left, it will display the panel on the left side of the page.

  • customPrompt
    String — defaults to 'Hi, how can we help?' or Object (for multi language support)
    When the user creates a new conversation, you can choose which custom message prompt it displays. For instance, we recommend something like "We are happy to help! Reporting a bug? Please consider recording reproduction steps using - it helps us a ton!".

  • customIdentPrompt
    String — defaults to 'Thank you! We got your message but feel free to add anything' or Object (for multi language support)
    This is the message that will displayed after the user has provided their email and name. We avoid repeating the same message as customPrompt to avoid giving the feeling to the user that their original message wasn't saved.

  • links
    This is an array of custom links that will be visible in the home tab. You can link to your status page, roadmap, calendar booking app, etc...
    (Supports multi-language titles)

  • hideIcon
    Boolean — defaults to false
    When set to true, the icon that shows the chat widget won't be displayed. It can be useful to set to true if you only want to open the widget on custom actions for instance.

  • labels
    Allows you to change the label of each sections in the footer of the widget. Here are their keys and their default values:

    • home: "Home"

    • chat: "Chat"

    • articles: "Articles"

    • contact: "Contact Us"

    This allows you to update the labels of any sections, for example: labels: { home: 'Welcome', articles: 'Knowledge' }
    (Supports multi-language titles)

  • tags
    Allows you to define which tags to apply on new conversations for both the keys "chat" and "contact". Value for each keys (chat, contact) is an Array of string that are the related tags you want to apply.
    Note that only existing tags will be applied. New ones will be ignored.
    tags: {chat: ['Chat', 'Support'], contact: ['Contact Form']}

  • accentColor
    String — defaults to #00a0ff (blue)
    Changes the background color of the widget launcher bubble to better integrate with your design. This will also applies to the links, buttons, and all accent color elements inside the widget.

  • iconColor
    String — defaults to #ffffff (white)
    Changes the message buble icon color that you see inside the widget launcher.

  • chatAvailability - BETA
    String — defaults to always
    Accepts either "always" or "business-hours". When set to "business-hours", the chat will only be displayed when the current time of the user matches the open hours defined inside Fernand. When outside business hours, the contact form is displayed instead.
    Some conditions may vary the behavior (such as having past conversations will keep the chat available, but without the possibility to send).

  • language
    String — defaults to "en". Possible values are "auto", "fr", "de", "it", "es", "pt", "pl"
    Define the language of the widget. By default, English is loaded because your Knowledge base should be in English, but you can either set "auto" to let the browser decide (using the translactions we already have) or set another fixed language.
    Note that you can also extend the language, adding your own, by extending the window.fernandTranslations object, specifying your language (ISO 639-1, such as "fr") as the key.
    You can read more on our dedicated page: Translations in the widget.

The links parameter is an array of objects that contain four properties:

  • icon
    String — defaults to 'link'
    A predefined icon name from our set. We provide a few icons that you can choose from.

  • title
    String or Object (for multi language support)
    The text displayed for the link

  • url
    The URL where to redirect the user to. If the URL hostname is the same as where the widget is, the page will open in the same tab, except if the target property is set to "_blank".

  • target
    By defaults, lets the widget select what action to take on redirect: If the hostname of the redirect is the same as the current page, the redirect is made in that same page. Otherwise, or if target is set to _blank, a new tab is opened.

For the url parameter, you can also set the following values to manipulate internal linking within the widget:

  • @chat will open the Chat tab

  • @article will open the Articles tab

  • @article:slug-of-an-article will open a specific article in the Articles tab.


Once the widget has been initiated, you can trigger some actions by calling Fernand(...). Here are the list of actions you can do:

  • Fernand('init', {...})
    Initialize the widget. This can only be done once.

  • Fernand('set', {...})
    Set the settings for the widget.

  • Fernand('show')
    Will show the widget's icon

  • Fernand('hide')
    Will hide the widget's icon. If the widget is also open, it will close it first.

  • Fernand('open')
    Opens the widget in full. You can pass a second parameter which is the name of the tab you want to open (defaults to "home"), and a third in case of "articles", that is the slug of the article you want to open.

  • Fernand('close')
    Closes the widget

  • Fernand('toggle')
    Toggle between opening/closing the widget

  • Fernand('destroy')
    Destroy the widget, removing all HTML data and events listeners.

  • Fernand('on', eventName, callback, once)
    Add an event listener to events triggered by Fernand's widget, and will call the callback. You can pass the boolean once to trigger it one time or everytime.

  • Fernand('off', eventName, callback)

    Removes the event listener added previously

List of events you can listen to

Here's a list of events that will be triggered depending on the activity of the widget:

  • show
    When the "show" event is triggered

  • shown
    When the widget is fully shown

  • hide
    When the "hide" event is triggered

  • hidden
    When the widget is fully hidden

  • open
    When the "open" event is triggered

  • opened
    When the widget is fully open

  • close
    When the "close" event is triggered

  • closed
    When the widget is fully closed

  • message
    When a new message is received

  • destroyed
    When the widget is destroyed

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