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Creating Content Quickly and Easily with the eZ Publish Website Interface

Tuesday 22 May 2007 10:00:00 am

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Basic concepts

Recall from the first article in this series that a content type is called a content class (or "class" for short), while a specific piece of content is called a content object (or "object" for short). A content class can be thought of as a structural blueprint for a particular type of content. The properties of a class are referred to as attributes.

The content hierarchy is a tree representation of your published content objects. It follows the same principle with respect to folders and files as normal operating systems do: you can put a file (or another folder) into a folder, but not the other way around. In eZ Publish, folder-like content classes (and objects of those classes) are referred to as containers. The Folder class is the most frequently-used container. Other containers include the Documentation page, Gallery and Frontpage classes.

Content Editing Interface - edit mode

The two most important tools for a front-end eZ editor are the Website Toolbar and the Online Editor. You are working in edit mode when you are viewing some content in the Content Editing Interface. This usually means that either the Edit or Create here button has been clicked on the Website Toolbar. Other operations such as site navigation and searching are disabled during edit mode.

The screenshot below shows a typical view of edit mode. Notice the different input fields for the attributes of the content being edited. This is where you enter and modify information. Some attributes are required, meaning that you must provide content there in order to store (and publish) the object. These input fields are marked, and you will also get a warning about missing information if you attempt to store the object without valid input.

At the bottom of the screenshot is an input field for the Summary attribute. In contrast to the simple input field of the Title attribute, this field supports formatted text, which can be applied using the Online Editor.

Website interface - edit mode (Content Editing Interface)

Online Editor

Both the Content Editing Interface, and its equivalent Object Edit Interface from the Administration Interface use a specialized application resource called the Online Editor (OE). The WYSIWYG Online Editor facilitates the manipulation of content attributes. When editing content, you can use the Online Editor to apply formatting characteristics to text. You can perform actions such as creating links and inserting tables and lists.

The Online Editor has five elements, three of which are shown in the screenshot below:

Components of the Online Editor

  1. The OE text area contains an editable visualization of XML code as formatted text.
  2. The context-sensitive pop-up menu can be accessed by right-clicking anywhere in the OE text area. In addition to standard commands like undo, cut, copy and so on, the pop-up menu contains specific items that can be used to manipulate the selected / current element.
  3. Modal dialogs provide access to additional editing tools, depending on the current setting.
  4. The OE status bar, located directly below the OE text area, displays useful information about the element where the cursor is currently located.
  5. The OE toolbar contains tools for editing the content that is displayed in the OE text area. The buttons are very similar to those found in many word processors. The following screenshot shows the different buttons:

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