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Adopt Content in Clipboard — help moving content around


Have you ever come across a feature in RedDot that has been there forever, but you’d never used it before? Then you “discover” it and think, “if only I’d known about this earlier, it would have saved so much time…” This is one of those.

The problem

We have been migrating some of our projects from traditional target-container-based navigation to Navigation Manager projects. In order to get the projects up-and-running quickly, we created a master page that closely followed the structure of our old templates, including a container (see picture below). This allowed us to build out the navigation and connect our existing content to the new master pages. The downside is that the projects now had two RedDot pages for each published page: the outer master page, and the inner content page. This caused lots of confusion for our authors and editors because the page content was pulled from the inner page, but the filename and meta tags were set on the outer page, and there were two “open page” red dots.

Page structure in SmartTree

Page structure in SmartTree

So we added a text block to the master page, and began a slow and arduous process of migrating content from the inner page to the outer page. In SmartEdit, it went like this: Click the “open page” red dot on the inner content page; Click the “edit text” red dot; Switch to HTML source view in the editor; Copy the page source to the clipboard; Cancel out of the text editor; Click the “open page” red dot on the master page; Click the “edit text” red dot; Switch to HTML source view in the editor; Paste the contents from the clipboard; Save the page; Click the red dot to edit the master page container; disconnect the inner page from the master page’s container; Close the master page; and repeat… a lot.

Adopt Content in Clipboard

Looking for an easier way to do this in SmartTree we discovered the Adopt Content in Clipboard action menu item. It didn’t make the process of migrating content from the inner content pages to outer master pages completely painless, but did make it a lot faster. Here’s how it works.

In SmartTree, expand the container, then the inner content page, and then the Q*bert blocks for the inner content page to show the list of page elements.

Select text element on inner page

Select text element on inner page

Double-click on the text element that contains the body copy for the page. This will place the text element onto the SmartTree clipboard.

Text element on clipboard

Text element on clipboard

Now expand the Q*bert blocks for the master page and select the text element. As you can see in the picture below, the element has no content.

Master page text element with no content

Master page text element with no content

With the text element selected, Adopt Content in Clipboard shows up in the Action Menu.

Action Menu

Action Menu

When you click Adopt Content in Clipboard the contents of the text element on the clipboard is copied over to the text element selected in SmartTree, shown below.

Content copied to master page text element

Content copied to master page text element

Once the content is copied over, the inner content page can be disconnected.

Nothing groundbreaking — you may already be using Adopt Content in Clipboard on a regular basis. And it doesn’t make the process completely painless, but it is much faster than copying the content manually.

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About the author:

Joshua Joshua Ellis is E-Marketing Manager for the Marketing and Communications department of Penn State Outreach. His team handles the technical and creative elements for many of Outreach's interactive marketing efforts, including Web design, e-mail marketing, and analytics support for Penn State's World Campus. Those with nothing better to do can follow Joshua Twitter as @apostate.

Discussion

One comment for “Adopt Content in Clipboard — help moving content around”

  1. To be honest, I didn’t know that. That is a very helpful thing for SmartTree admins which are not familiar with RQL.
    Great post and again welcome to the RedDot bunch!

    Posted by Markus Giesen | April 14, 2009, 1:44 am

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