Adding and editing content

eSpaces is built to be a fully-featured Content Management System (CMS), meaning that users are able to add and edit content directly via the web. Within eSpaces, all content management is done in-place, unlike some other content management systems which require you to use an administration interface or similar. Simply put, where you put the content is where it will appear and exist.

Creating new content items

eSpaces stores content as individual objects that can be accessed by a site visitor. Essentially, as a user, you create a content item and it is stored by eSpaces. For example, you may wish to store a web page that someone can view, an image that could be included in a page, or a file that can be downloaded. There are several ways of creating content on eSpaces - the most commonly used method is via the web interface.

What kind of content can I post?

Before getting started, take a moment to become familiar with the different types of content that the site can hold. The following lists the basic types that eSpaces can store.

Event
An upcoming event, meeting, conference, or some other incident. Objects of this type typically appear under events listings on the site.
File
Individual content uploaded from a local computer. Users may download or access the given file via links inside Pages or directly from Folder listings.
Folder
Similar to those on a hard drive, folders contain content and are used to give a site structure. Folders can be nested to any depth required and will typically be displayed in navigation listings for ease of access by users.
Image
Storage type for pictures uploaded from a local computer. Images can be inserted into Page content, displayed in albums and lists, and otherwise stored for viewing. Supported image types include JPEG, GIF, PNG and TIFF.
Link
Automatic link to another web address, which may be another item in the portal or to an external resource.
Page
The main content for a site is contained within Pages, which can feature text, images, hyperlinks, and other rich HTML.
News Item
A piece of related to a notable occurrence, such as a press release or update. Objects of this type typically appear under news listings on the site.

There may be others based on the site configuration and your user’s level of access.

By default, content that is created will be displayed in navigation listings for ease of access. This behaviour is customisable either on a site-wide basis or for individual content items or folders.

Special types

eSpaces also features several content types that perform specialised tasks. These include:

Collection
A grouping of other content. Similar to a saved search, in that content of a certain type is grouped together. Collections can only be added by an administrator.
Form Folder
A special folder that is used to build a form. Form folders can have fields, data capture tools, and special pages added to them. Forms are especially useful for making a site interactive.

Creating new content

Note

In order to create new content on eSpaces, your user account requires specific permissions in the area of the site you wish to add the content. Depending on the site’s security configuration, you may already have this access or may need to request it from your site administrator.

To determine whether you have access, browse to the area that you wish to add content. If you can see the Add new drop-down menu, permission has been granted.

Follow the steps below to create a new content item.

  1. Ensure that you are logged in.

  2. Browse to the location you wish to create the new content item.

    For example, if you would like to create a new Page in a section called About Us, then you would browse to the About Us section in order to create it there.

  3. Locate the Add new drop-down menu and click it. You will see a list of content types that you can choose:

    Add new menu
  4. Choose the appropriate type of content you wish to create.

  5. Fill in the fields on the creation page. Note that some fields may be marked as required.

  6. Click the Save button to create the content. This may take a moment as your content is created.

  7. The page will reload and display your new content item.

Editing existing content items

You can edit any item that you have created or that you have been granted access to. Editing most types of content will track historical changes, allowing you to jump back to any point in the content’s history and either view that old version or restore it.

Important

File and Image content items will not track previous versions, due to the potential for significant storage required.

To edit a content item:

  1. Browse to the content item you wish to edit.
  2. Click on the Edit tab.
Edit Button on Toolbar
  1. Edit the content item, changing the relevant fields that displayed.
  2. For most content items, you have the ability to add comments in the Change Note field. If you add a description of your changes, they will be recorded against the content item’s history, which can assist if you ever need to revert these changes.
  3. Click the Save button to commit the modifications.
  4. The page will reload and display your modified content item.

Uploading a file

You can upload any files accessible on your local computer to eSpaces, including files that might be located on a network share drive.

The instructions below describe the steps to add a pre-existing file to the site. The steps are similar for other types of content, such as images.

Adding a file
  1. Browse to the location you wish to upload one or more files.
  2. Click Add new ‣ File, following the same process as creating other content.
  3. Add relevant file metadata, and browse for a file to upload. Adding extra information as a title and description will make the file easily discoverable and improve its appearance in navigation and listings.
  4. Click the Save button to upload the file to the site.
  5. The page will reload and display the uploaded file, and show how it can be downloaded later.

If you have multiple files to upload, it is possible to connect to eSpaces using WebDAV using the instructions in Transferring multiple files and folders.

Download the file

The resulting page shows what visitors to the page will see, including extra details such as the file’s type, size and date modified.

Adding images

Images can be uploaded to eSpaces for inclusion in your Pages or for separate display in collections, such as photo albums or image galleries.

  1. Follow the same process for Uploading a file, except that rather than choosing the File content type, use Add new ‣ Image.

    Add new menu
  2. All other steps are the same as the above process and the metadata required matches that required for File content.

Once created, if the image is a browser-compatible format (GIF, JPEG, or PNG) then it will be displayed on content view pages. The image can now be inserted into Page content using the visual editor.

Uploading an updated version of a file or image

A common task is updating a given file or image with a fresh version. The process follows the same methods as Editing existing content items.

Important

File and Image content items will not track previous versions, due to the potential for significant storage required. This means that by uploading a new version of a file you will permanently replace the older copy.

  1. Browse to the content item you wish to edit.

  2. Click on the Edit tab.

    Editing an image
  3. Only the marked fields are required, as was the case when you created the content originally. Note that fields are already populated with the existing content metadata.

  4. To update your file, click the Replace with new button, and click the Browse button to select the new version of the file.

  5. Click the Save button to commit your changes and replace the file.

Organise your content using folders

Folders are typically used to structure your content items in a logical, structured fashion, much as you would use them on a computer’s desktop or hard drive. eSpaces supports creating any number of folders, and these can be nested or organised in any fashion that fits best. To add a new folder:

  1. Browse to the location you wish to create the folder. This might involve traversing down several levels of folders to find the right spot for your folder.

  2. Click Add new ‣ Folder, following the same process as creating other content.

    Add new folder
  3. Enter the relevant metadata for the folder; a title that will be displayed in navigation and a description for explaining what the folder contains.

  4. Click the Save button to finish the creation process.

You can now add content into this folder, including folders as well, following the Creating new content process.

Setting the document metadata

Important

Document metadata is very important because users and visitors to the site need to be able to easily locate and identify your content.

Appropriate titles and rich descriptions will improve the appearance of your pages and content, and will improve searchability both on the site, and if the content is public, via search engines.

Each item on eSpaces has specific properties, called metadata. This metadata is displayed in various fashions on the site, such as titles being displayed as a heading when viewing a page and in navigation, and descriptions allowing documents to be found easily via searches. As you experiment with managing content, you will notice how changing metadata fields affect the display of content on the site.

If you’ve gone ahead and created content or edited existing content, you’ve already experienced modifying metadata. Although it’s a fancy word, metadata just means data about the content that you’ve created.

Types of metadata

Note

Keep in mind that metadata will vary from one content type to another.

In general, however, the most common metadata consist of the following:

Title
The title of the item, which is displayed in the title, as a heading, in navigation and listings.
Description
A short description of the content, which will be displayed as a subtitle on content, as well as being used in searches and search engine metadata.
Body text
Rich text which can be crafted to be displayed on the content item. For content types such as Page, News Item, and Event, this will feature as the main content on the page. It is possible to cut and paste content in from other documents and applications. Note that not all content types have this field.
Change note
A textual note that describes changes that are being made to a given content item at one particular time. Making change notes enables you to easily ascertain what happened to a content item, when it happened, and who performed the action.

Setting advanced metadata properties

You can control your content even further with advanced metadata properties.

In order to control various aspects of how your content interacts with eSpaces, there are many other metadata aspects that can be modified. To see the complete overview of what metadata can be modified for a given content item:

  1. Browse to the content item you wish to modify.

  2. Click on the Edit tab to access the edit interface.

  3. Look for these collapsed tabs on the page:

    Extra tabs

The extra metadata items are described below. Keep in mind that some of these aspects won’t appear on all content types, or might appear under different tabs for certain content types.

Categorisation

Tags
Categories that the given content it should be associated with. Content associated with the same tags can be found via search. Tags will also be displayed when viewing the content item.
Related items
Associate one item to other content that exists on the site. Related items will be displayed when viewing the content item.
Location
A textual location string associated with the content. This will be displayed beneath the content item’s metadata when viewed.
Language
Specify the language that the content item has been written in or for. By default, content on eSpaces will default to English. Note this is a metadata-only field and has no effect on the actual text of the content.

Dates

Publishing Date
Configure a publishing date to hide the content from navigation until the date and time has passed. For instance, use this for a news item that should be visible after a certain time. Also known as the Effective Date.
Expiration Date
Configure to hide the content from navigation once the date and time has passed. For instance, use this for a news item that should only be visible until a certain time.

Creators

Creators
A line-by-line list of user IDs (or full names, if no user exists) of creators for the given content item. The principal creator - the user listed first - will be displayed in the content item’s byline as by [user's name].
Contributors
A line-by-line list of names of contributors to this piece of content. Contributors are displayed in the content item’s byline.
Rights
A statement of copyright or other information regarding the content object. Rights are displayed in the content item’s byline.

Settings

Allow comments
Toggle whether other users can comment on the given contnet item. For some content types, this will be enabled by default. Enabling this will display a comments form at the bottom of the content item.
Exclude from navigation
Explicitly exclude the current content item or folder from appearing in navigation listings, including navigation portlets or the top-level navigation tabs
Presentation mode
For Page content items only. Displays a special presentation link that automatically generates a slideshow from page content. This relies on a well-structured document with headings and lists to work well.
Table of contents
For Page content items only. Displays a table of contents on the page, drawn from headings and subheadings included in the body text. This is a quick and easy way of helping users navigate your page, especially if the given page is lengthy. Ensure that your page content is divided up into logical sections, with appropriate headings and subheadings for this to be most effective.

Renaming content

Within eSpaces, content is identified using short names, which are unique within any given folder or area and are used as part of the item’s URL; you’ll see the identifier in your web browser’s address bar.

This ID is automatically generated based upon the Title that was specified when the content was first created. This will automatically remove any special characters that are disallowed in URLs and attempt to normalise the short name.

In some cases, the default short name assigned will be either overly complicated or simply not indicative of what the content consists of. The good news is that you can easily adjust the short name to be anything you’d like.

To do this, decide whether you wish to rename just one item or several:

Renaming one content item or folder

Note

If you’re attempting to rename a folder and the folder has a default view, the site will ask you to rename the default view itself, rather than the surrounding folder. To access the folder explicitly, see Renaming several items at once and access the folder using its parent. Read more about Default views.

  1. Browse to the given content item or folder you wish to rename.
  2. Click Actions ‣ Rename.
  3. Adjust the short name or title as required.
  4. Click Rename all to complete the process.
  5. Your content is now accessible using the new short name and URL. See the note above for details.

Renaming several items at once

  1. Browse to the folder that holds the content items or folders you wish to rename.
  2. Click Contents to view the main contents listing for the folder.
  3. Select the checkboxes next to each item in the listing you wish to rename.
  4. Click the Rename button at the very bottom of the listing.
  5. Adjust the short names or titles as required. You do not need to change every field that is present, only what you want to modify.
  6. Click Rename all to complete the process.
  7. Your content is now accessible using the new short name and URL. See the note above for details.

Benefits

Benefits of simple, descriptive short names will help in several ways:

  • Shorter identifiers make for shorter URLs. Google and other search engines will value shorter, descriptive addresses and rank your content higher.
  • Remember that users may be typing in your web URL directly. Shorter URLs will help anyone doing this. This is especially useful if you’re creating publications or emailing links to people.
  • Having a shorter URL with clear words will make identifying what your page is about easier.