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As a content creator you might have only a rudimentary knowledge of Joomla! Just sufficient for you to carry out your job of writing, assembling and publishing content on the website. You will need information about how to achieve specific goals associated with content creation starting with very basic information such as how to use a WYSIWYG editor. After becoming more proficient you might benefit from information about how to make use of some of the more advanced features that will streamline routine tasks.
Joomla! can use a variety of WYSIWYG editors for content creation, which gives you flexibility in how you put together content. The default editors are covered below; however, other editors are available, most without cost, and can offer a great range of functionality. If, for instance, you plan to create content in word processing software like Microsoft Office Word or OpenOffice Writer, you may want to look at an editor like JCK, which offers the ability to "Paste from Word" so it automatically cleans up some of the unnecessary formatting generated by those programs. Other editors may offer better management of multimedia content, like video, audio, and Flash. It is important to choose the best editor for your needs. Keep in mind, you can also load more than one editor into Joomla! and assign the most appropriate editor to each user individually, overriding the default editor as needed.
Content layout is partially controlled by the Joomla! template that is in use for your site. This controls where you can place content on the page through defined module positions. For instance, many templates include a left module that places content in a column running down the left side of the page. Module positions are individual to each template and can be highly varied.
Within any given position, including the main content area, you can layout content through html and/or css controls as you would on any web page. You may use tables, divs, paragraphs, etc, to create whatever layout you need. Generally, you do this through the WYSIWYG editor in Joomla, although it can also be done through stylesheets that are made part of the template.
Content workflow is the process of how your content will be published. When creating or editing content, you have the option to control the steps it takes to finish it. This will often involve constant editing of content until satisfaction is reached. A system that allows you to version your files and keep important information such as creation dates, are just some examples of having efficient work flow. The Joomla! content manager shows you the revision numbers and by whom the while was created or edited. When you are finally ready to make your content public, you can publish it immediately or at a certain date and time. You will always be able to edit your content at anytime and you can also choose to hide your content if you feel it is not ready to be used.
Metadata is a set of data that gives information about other data. It can also be described as attributes of the data. For example, the author, the date created, the language the content is written in, and the file size, are all examples of metadata. The content metadata can be automated, or manually inserted based on the content creator. When creating content using Joomla!, you are allowed to give your own metadata. This is inserted via the "Meta Description" and "Meta Keywords" boxes in the "Publishing" tab, when creating or editing content.
With a typical Joomla! installation, in particular version 1.5x, three optional (Published/Unpublished) editors are included. These editors are the TinyMCE wysiwyg (what you see is what you get), the XStandard Lite text editor, and a generic text editor. For the 1.0x series, the TinyMCE wysiwyg editor and a generic text editor are included. These editors can be set as the site default in Global Configuration, or per user in either the User Manager by an administrator or by the user themselves in their user profile ("Your Details") in the Front-end. Each of these editors have distinct functionality, parameters, as well as controls. For additional information not covered here, please see any references cited in the respective section.
The TinyMCE editor is the default wysiwyg editor plugin that ships with Joomla!. This editor is used to create content or articles in which the content or article can be viewed as it will appear once completed, while being written. The TinyMCE editor is the default editor set within the Global Configuration parameters. However, a user can set this parameter in their respective profile using the Your Details User Menu menu item, or by an administrator via the User Manager in the Back-end.
The functions available for use with the TinyMCE editor is rather extensive and cannot be covered entirely here, in particular with regards of usage. However, some of the basic functions and parameters will be briefly covered. See the reference link below for more information regarding additional functions and controls. First and foremost, the TinyMCE editor has two Functionality configurations which control the behavior of the editor. These configurations are "Simple" and "Advanced". The "Simple" configuration is relatively similar to a simple text editor with the exception of a few basic controls. These controls pertain to text formatting, operations, and lists. Specifically, text can be formatted as bold, italic, underlined and be given a strikethrough. With regards to inserting lists, both ordered and unordered lists can be created. The functions available under the "Advanced" functionality configuration allow far more control over content creation. For example, inserting images, formatting text, creating anchors, tables and more. Additionally, template defined CSS classes can be used, as well as end-user defined or Custom CSS classes. This setting can be found in the parameters section of the plugin editor, via the Plugin Manager. To achieve this functionality, simply create the CSS classes file, select the 'No' radio button for "Template CSS classes", and enter the path to your file in the "Custom CSS classes" text entry field, similar to templates/current_template/css/custom_css.css. In addition to end-user defined CSS classes, lower level and advanced level parameters regarding editor behavior, can be chosen. These include, RTL (right to left) formatting, Relative and Absolute Urls, Language, Date and Time format, and more.
CodeMirror is not a WYSIWYG editor. The option is found in the Global Configuration and User Manager Add/Edit screens from the backend, or chosen by the user in their respective profile launches a simple text editor for creating and submitting content. Using this option, requires that users have a basic understanding of the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) to create and submit content. See references below for more information regarding the use of HTML tags used during the creation of content or articles.
The Pagebreak function adds the ability to insert a Table of Contents for articles spanning multiple pages. Placing the cursor at the chosen location of the Pagebreak and clicking the "Pagebreak" icon in the lower editor panel launches a configuration screen in which the Page Title and TOC alias may be entered. This function is available for use in both the wysiwyg and text type editors. For those who choose using HTML over the wysiwyg to insert the Pagebreak, the available code(s) are listed in the Content - Pagebreak plugin editor screen, accessed via the Plugin Manager.
To use the Read more... function:
Most content or articles can be created from the Front-end by any user belonging to the 'Author' group. This group is allowed to create and edit their own content; in some instances, a user may be given priviledges to access the Administrative Backend. Whether as a Manager, Administrator, or Super Administrator. For all intents and purposes, the following will be written from a Manager(s) perspective. Most likely the access to the back-end could be reserved for those belonging to the editors or publishers group and not normal authors, however in the interest of content creation, those operations reserved for Managers will be briefly covered. More information regarding specific tasks within those mentioned below can be found in their respective Help Screens.
The article manager can be reached by selecting Content->Article Manager from the Administrator's Toolbar in the backend administrator (http://www.yoursite.com/administrator).
From the article manager you can see all of the articles that have been created on your site. Between the Article Manager toolbar and the list of articles you will see the filter bar. The filter bar will help you quickly find articles on your site by either searching for a string of text in the title of an article or by drilling down into content using the dropdown selectors.
If you know the name of the article you are trying to find, or if you know part of the name of the article, you can use the Filter search box to locate the article. Type some characters from the article title into the filter search box and hit go. The text box is NOT case sensitive. After hitting go you will see a list of all articles on your site containing the search string.
There are currently 4 content selectors (Joomla 1.5.14): Section, Category, Author, State. (Sections will be removed from 1.6 in favor of Nested Categories)
The article manager toolbar is located above the filter bar and below the Administrator toolbar. It contains the following options: