Formatting the Right Sidebar

This post covers the different formats available to you when slotting items into the Right Sidebar. You have the following styling options:

Note that we have a separate post discussing how to slot items into the right sidebar. There are a number of different format options when slotting a Highlight into a sidebar. We will discuss the main ones: A boxed right sidebar with and without a title, an open right sidebar (box) with and without a title, and a right sidebar spotlight.

You can slot Highlights and Images into the right sidebar. There are two right sidebar slots available for you to use: Right Sidebar Slot – Boxed( 565) and Right Sidebar Slot – No box( 539). Open your Slot Editor for a Generic and you’ll notice these two slots (with or without items slotted):

Empty right sidebar slots
Empty right sidebar slots

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Styling Tables

Tables aren’t as commonly used in websites today as they used to be. They are an outdated way of laying out a design, but are still a viable option for presenting organized data. We have given you some options for styling your data in tables to allow for a clean, visually appealing look.

Although it isn’t a requirement, it is good practice to specify a width for your table and your table headings. Do this in ePhox code view using inline CSS. If you would like your table to take up the full content area available, we recommend setting your table width to 98 percent. Later, if you add a right sidebar next to the table, Internet Explorer will render it correctly. If you would like your table to be smaller, specify a width of your choice.

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Formatting Text in the Right Sidebar

You are able to format the text in your right sidebar Highlights in a number of different styles. We have some suggestions to keep styles consistent across CMS sites and usable for users. Its important that your department’s website achieves consistency whether or not you follow our guidelines.

List of Links

If you would like to display a list of links, we recommend listing the links in an unordered list, hiding the bullets. You may remove indenting and bullets by using a CSS class of “none”. Your code would be similar to this:

<ul class="none">
<li><a href="cmslink">Link 1</a></li>
<li><a href="cmslink">Link 2</a></li>
<li><a href="cmslink">Link 3</a></li>
<li><a href="cmslink">Link 4</a></li>

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Staff Directory (Personnel Items)

Updating your staff directory can involve a number of steps. We’ll walk you through the steps involved for a Personnel Item in your faculty/staff directory.

1. Create new
2. Update existing
3. Remove from website

There are a few steps involved in creating a new Personnel Item. You must:

1. Create an Image Editor content item for your staff photo,
2. Create a Personnel Item with contact information, and
3. Slot the Personnel Item into its appropriate Grouped Item, so it will show up on your directory web page (not necessary for alphabetized listings).

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How to Create an H2 Graybar

A graybar style can be applied to an H2 heading by using the following code in ePhox code view:

<h2 class="graybar">Graybar Heading</h2>

A short graybar will be shown if you are using an H2 heading in the left column or right column of your Generic page. A long graybar will be shown if you are using a heading in the body of a Generic web page. Examples of both follow. “Policies and Procedures” is the first H2 graybar heading. “Resources and Information” is the second H2 graybar heading.

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Text Styles and Formats


An appropriate use of headings can make your website look good, help your users find the information they are looking for, and aid your site with search engine optimization. When you create a Generic content item, the Display Title that you enter will become the <h1> heading of that particular page. Its important to know that no other <h1> headings should be used.

Heading Ordering

Once you start entering and laying out the content of your Generic content item, you may utilize headings <h2> through <h6>. It is important to use headings in order. The first header that you use should be an <h2> followed by an <h3>, an <h4>, and so forth. You can use an <h2> and then an <h3> followed by an <h2> again. You should not use an <h2> then an <h4> then an <h3>. This is considered poor HTML practice. Headings should progress smaller or larger in ordered increments.

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Good File Naming Conventions

There are a number of good tips to keep in mind when you name your folders, files, and web pages. These tips will help to keep your URLs short and specific to what they involve. Good file naming will also help with search engine optimization.

  • Don’t include spaces or other punctuation in your folder or file name. If necessary, use dashes in this manner: “my-new-file.pdf”.
  • Try to keep your folder or file name short while still making sense.
  • Use key words.
  • Use lowercase.
  • Pick a filename and stick to it. Besides our CMS restrictions, not renaming your file will keep the file indexed by any search engines.
  • Try to avoid using years, version numbers, or other naming patterns that date a file. Maintenance is reduced and user experience is sustained when you can just overwrite the old file with the new one each year and keep the filename the same. However, for archiving purposes, different filenames may be important (e.g., FY09). To ensure that your new filename updates properly, please let the CMS team in University Marketing and Communications know when you change a filename.

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Uploading/Updating Files (PDFs, Docs, etc)

Let’s say that you would like to display a PDF, word document, spreadsheet or other file on your website. How do you do it? We have two options for this tutorial, a video and a text description. The video will appear first, followed by the text.

Video post: Creating a new File (PDF, Word Doc, etc) and linking to it

Naming Your File

The first step is to make sure your file is properly named. If you are uploading a file that is new to the CMS, you can name it whatever you like and create a new content item. If you upload the same document annually, consider giving it an overarching name the first time you upload it (e.g., fall.pdf). We have some guidelines to help you have good file naming conventions. If you are updating an existing content item, make sure the filename of the file you are uploading matches the filename of the old file. For instance, if the file on your website is called “fall-2009.pdf” then you should make sure that the file you are uploading into the CMS is called “fall-2009.pdf”.

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