Mambo Users Guide : Core Administrative Functions

Content Item Editing

A Content Item is not strictly a Web page. Content Items can be single-use, existing only on a single page, or they can be global, existing in a certain place on every page in your site. They can exist only in a certain category of pages or only when a user requests them. Instead of managing your Web site by dividing it into separate pages, Mambo divides what you create into Content Items and then creates pages based on how you want those Content Items organized.

As you create content for your site, you’ll spend a great deal of time at the Content Items Manager screen. This is where you create, organize, edit and publish your content items and pages.

The Content Items Manager is not just a list of the pages in your system. You can make things happen to multiple pages at once, like assigning them all searchable tags. You can set the pages to “publish”—that is, make them visible to the users. You can assign pages a section or category, so you have a map of the types of content your site contains. These and more are all crucial features, but the first and most important is the creation and editing of content itself.

Creating a Content Item

In the top right of your Content Items Manager screen, there is a row of gray icons which control editing functions. Click “New” and it will colorize to show that it is active.

You will see an editing screen with title and category attributes as well as two large text-entry fields. The first is “Intro Text” and the second is “Main Text”. “Intro Text” is the first visible part of the Content Item and it is mandatory. It is something of a misnomer, because many Mambo Content Items consist only of Intro Text, with nothing in the main body. The term Intro Text refers to the fact that this part of the content is the first that the user sees. Many Content Items are small enough that it doesn’t seem necessary to separate them into these subcategories, and many larger Content Items are simply inserted entirely into the Intro Text field, leaving the optional Main Text blank.

Using the WYSIWYG editor

In Mambo, you can edit all of your Web pages using the same interface. Templates, Static Content Items, the Home Page, and every other Web page document is primarily written in the same file format.

The TinyMCE Editor is your Web page editor and creator inside Mambo. It is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor which, instead of showing you the HTML code, shows you how your item will look to your visitors as you change it using TinyMCE’s graphical tools. (Within TinyMCE, you can always directly edit the HTML code if you feel it is necessary.)

Hovering your mouse pointer over TinyMCE’s banks of icons will display a short explanation of each icon’s function. You might find the style similar to Microsoft Word and other typesetting programs.

If TinyMCE produces a page that looks different in your browser than it does inside TinyMCE, it can sometimes help to save the item, start another, blank item, and, using the first item as a reference, manually recreate it. TinyMCE is a lightweight, limited Web-based editor, and after extensive editing of the same page, it can get “glitchy”. If you encounter consistent problems, then your content needs the attention of a Mambo administrator.

Content Item Tabs

Just to the right of your TinyMCE editor window, there is a set of tabs which allow you to control the page’s attributes. You can add static images, background and word-wrapped, as well as other, more advanced publishing parameters. Some of these have to do with what the user sees and some of them are for your site’s internal organization. None of the information in the tabs must be manually specified.

Controlling Content Item Hierarchy and Visibility

Content Items aren’t “live” until you “Publish” them. You can create and edit Content Items within Mambo without showing them to your Web site’s users until you click their Publish icon in the Content Items Manager. But choosing which Content Items to Publish is not as simple as clicking the ones you want. Your pages exist in a hierarchy, and what you do to documents at the top affects everything below them.

Most of the documents at the top part of your Content Hierarchy came with your Web site and your Mambo installation. Such things as Templates and your navigation system do not need editing, and they are all “Published” by default. But you can create your own level of hierarchy, by making Content Items depend on other Content Items. Because of this type of organization, it is important to remember that if you want to Publish a Content Item, you must make sure that all items that the Content Item depends on are Published as well.

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