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Steps to Creating Content on This Site

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The aim of this page is to summarize a few things to remember when creating content on this website. Note that only certain types of users have the permission to create content on this site, so if you don't have the right permissions, this page is probably not relevant for you. Currently the system is configured such that members of the ISCRAM Association can create forum topics and members of the board of directors can also create basic pages.

Creating a Blank Content Page

Before creating content, it is usually a good idea to run a quick search of the website using the search box provided at the top of the left-hand menu. Maybe the content you want to create already exists, or there is and old page that needs updating.

If you still feel you need to create a new page after a quick search, the left-hand menu contains a box entitled "Participate" with an entry "Add content" which brings up a list of content types you can create. A basic page is, as the name suggests, basic. It consists of a title and the body text, both of which you provide. This is a basic page.

Editing Content with the WYSIWYG Editor

The body of your new page can be written using the WYSIWYG editor that is installed on the website. While it works reasonably well, it is not MS Word and some of the functionality takes getting used to. Basically, you start typing and then use the buttons at the top of the text field to format text.

The editor can actually take different input text formats, and a drop down menu below the text box for entering text provides the options. "Full HTML" is usually a good choice that seems to work well.

The WYSIWYG isn't actually WYSIWYG because pages are usually displayed with a different style sheet. A heading will remain a heading,but it will probably look different from what you're seeing in the editor. The moral of the story is: don't spend too much time fine-tuning the appearance of the text in the editor as it will change for the published version that others will see. Instead concentrate on the content.

Unfortunately the spell checker in Firefox does not seem to work in conjunction with the WYSIWYG editor, which is most annoying, I find. Here is what I do to get around this problem: switch the Text format (below the text field for editing) to "Plain text". The spell checker seems to work in this mode. Correct mistakes, if any, and switch back to "Full HTML" to ensure the formatting wasn't change, accidentally.

A final piece of advice concerns the heading styles provided. There are six levels of headings available, but it is best not use "Heading 1" as this is the style used for the title of the page and your content presumably falls under that title. So, best to start with "Heading 2". For the actual effect, see this page.

Attachments: A Different Way to Publish

If the content you want to publish is longer than a few paragraphs, a basic might not be appropriate. A different way to publish content is to create a PDF document with the content you want to publish, then create a basic page that contains only the introduction or abstract of your PDF document, and add the PDF as an attachment to the basic page. The newsletter is a good example of such a page.

Page Options

There are two more options you can use to increase usability of the site including the new page:

  • Category: choose an appropriate category from the drop-down menu; this will help others finding your new page and automatically add a teaser to the category overview page
  • URL alias: choose an appropriate alias that will be used as the URL to your new page; this makes it much easier to remember the URL to this page; choose a short but memorable name; since this becomes part of a URL it is best to use lower case only with no spaces

To use the alias in a different page, add a link using the editor. Leave the "Link type" as URL, but change the protocol to "other", and use the alias as the URL for this link.

Administrators have more options.

Finally Save the Page

Do not forget to save the page or all your edit will be lost. The usual recommendation is to preview first, but I find it safer to save frequently and view the resulting page instead of the preview. That way everybody can see your page as it develops, so make sure it is left in a sensible state.

 

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