I have a Visualforce page that uses <apex:pageBlockSectionItem> with the helpText attribute set to some value. The page renders as shown below, with the helpText orbs shown correctly.

enter image description here

However, when I enable the Lightning experience and visit the same page the orbs are not rendered.

enter image description here

I checked the JavaScript console and saw the following Visualforce Remoting error:

smukkamalla-dev-ed--c.na30.visual.force.com/jslibrary/1466812160000/sfdc/VFRemote.js:117 Visualforce Remoting Exception: Unexpected character ('<' (code 60)): expected a valid value (number, String, array, object, 'true', 'false' or 'null') at input location [1,2]

I am not sure what to make of it. Does anyone know why this might be happening, and if there is a workaround?

  • Have you tested in Winter'17? I checked a VF page in a pre-release org with helpText and it is rendering. The styling is a bit off, but the help orb is there. Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 22:32
  • How do I gain access to a pre-release Winter'17 org? I am using a standard Developer Edition org, so I'm not sure whether it has been updated to Winter'17 or not. Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 22:47
  • I have checked with a colleague who has an org that was upgraded to Winter '17 and he is still seeing the same issue. Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 23:54
  • 1
    Did you ever open an idea for this on the Idea Exchange? There is a similar idea that was delivered in Winter '18 but that only dealt with help text on apex:inputField elements in LEx: success.salesforce.com/ideaView?id=0873A000000E4aDQAS. It would seem there is still a gap in the Visualforce functionality in Lightning Experience regarding the helpText attribute on the pageBlockSectionItem element. I have confirmed this is still not working on a Visualforce page with API version 46.0 (Summer '19).
    – tlfu
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


As of the Winter '20 release, this is still a feature gap between VF rendering in Classic and in Lightning. There is an Idea to address it here: https://success.salesforce.com/ideaView?id=0873A000000CZqhQAG

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