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I would like to add some help text for one of the fields displayed on the admin user edit page (the page seen when an admin edits a user account).

The help text would provide a brief description of each role that could be selected.

Is there some hook I can use to update the admin form?

Screen capture of user roles selection

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You can able to do it using hook_form_FORM_ID_alter or using hook_form_alter in a custom module..

You can add help text either using #suffix form attribute or #description attribute..

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    I used the following code sniglet to access the description in the hook_form_alter function: $form['account']['roles']['#description'] = 'My fancy description!";
    – Jay Haase
    Aug 28, 2014 at 19:05
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Using a custom module, implement hook_form_alter to add the #description form key and text value to the form in question.

I recommend the Devel module to find the name of the form and it's structure by using dpm($form) and dpm($form_id) within your hook_form_alter.

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