Scope News

General Information About Scope Posting

A brief introductory warning – do not copy/paste directly from Word into any Scope item.  This brings in some background coding that can render your item incorrectly on Web pages.  Always copy the text into a text document first, and then copy it into the text editor window, this will remove the nasty background code and make it more workable.  You will then be able to add the formatting (bolding, links, spacing, etc).  See this blog article for more information.

CMS can only be edited using Firefox 3.0 or higher or IE 7.0 or higher, it does not work with Safari and has not been tested with Chrome or other alternative browsers.

If you are working from home and wish to edit these Scope items, you must be logged in through the Skidmore VPN.  Some basic directions are located on the IT website, but you will have to contact IT directly if you have questions or problems with the VPN.

Scope items don’t always appear immediately upon being posted, there is a built-in time delay to prevent overloading our servers with requests.  If you must see your item immediately and you have access to the page where it would appear, go to the page and get into Author mode.  Under Properties and Actions select “Clear & Update Cache”.  That will refresh the page and your item should display.  If it still does not, go back to the Scope admin section and double check 1) the start and end dates, particularly the year, and 2) whether you have selected the item to display.  Save your changes, go back and clear the cache again.  If your item still does not display, contact Jenn Crewell or Liz Katzman for assistance.

Thumbnails and embedded images should be prepared ahead of time in your photo editing program of choice (PhotoShop, etc.).

Creating the Story

Go to and log in.  Click the “News” link.

To create a new story, click the “Create new story” link at top right.  You will have the following fields to fill out.

  • Story type will always be Normal
  • Comments are not required, but you can add them if you wish
  • Tags are keywords to help people search for your news. You could include your department name, the name of a particular performer or program, etc.  (Examples: art, sculpting, regis brodie)
  • Kicker is a drop-down, and there is a listing for many common departments already.  You may choose one, or you may have permissions to enter a custom one.
  • Category is general by default.  This is a search function item, so you can choose whatever best fits your news item.
  • News Headline should be short, there is a maximum of 60 characters.  Quotation marks do not render properly in News Headlines or short descriptions!
  • The web address is only entered if you are linking to a story that is not on the Skidmore site.  Otherwise you leave this blank.  Entering a web address will mean that any news story entered below will not be shown -- only the short description, and then the link will take them directly to the outside story.
  • Thumbnail must be created in Photoshop, ideally 150x100px.  Max is 260x130px, but that takes a lot of space from the story.  Click Browse to upload it from your computer, in much the same manner as you upload any CMS image.   Alternatively, you can choose an existing image from the drop-down menu.  Once you choose an image in the dropdown, it will be displayed to the left of the dropdown for you to preview.  Change the dropdown back to the "blank" at the top of the list to use no thumbnail.
  • Alternative Thumbnail Text is required for ADA compliance, just a few words of description.
  • Video code is only required if you are adding a video.  The video must be hosted on an external site, such as YouTube.  This would be the "embed" code from the hosting site.
  • Video transcript would be a Word document describing the video.  This is for ADA compliance and must be included if you are including a video.
  • The video link is provided for those who do not load graphics in their browsers, so that they can click on the link to go get the video if they choose.
  • Short description is 300 characters max, the brief text describing your story.  It should not be a word-for-word copy of your first paragraph, but rather, an actual summary of the article.
  • News copy is the body of your story.  You can do pretty much anything that you can do in Word in that text editor box.  Do not copy/paste directly from Word!  See the introductory warning at the top of this page.

Notice the "Preview" button down below the text editor.  You can use this to open the story in a preview window, and make decisions and adjustments before submitting your final version.

Make sure you’re happy with how your story is laid out, and then click the “On to Step 2” button.

Displaying the Story

You will next see a list of the sites you are allowed to post items on.  You will have the following fields to fill out.

  • Display determines whether the story is visible on a page or not.  Change the Display dropdown to “yes” for any site on which you want to display the story.  
  • Priority is a way to sort the order of your stories.  A priority 1 story will appear above a Priority 2 story, all other things being equal, etc.  All stories are at Priority 2 by default, which allows a new story to automatically bump off an older story if there is no more room on your news feed (usually a max of 4 stories can display at one time).  Setting other defaults forces a specific order to your stories, but also will cause the automatic bump-by-date to not work as expected for those stories.  Choose your priority for your story.  
  • Start and End dates determine when your news item is displayed.  Enter your start and end date.  Your item must have both a start and an end date, or it will not display!  Default is current date for both.
  • The “make all” boxes on the right are useful for those people administering multiple sites.  You can enter the display, priority, and date information for one site, and then use the "make all" boxes to copy those settings to the rest of the sites you have posting rights for.  

When you have finished with these options, at the bottom, click “Submit story” and you’re done.

Stories may not immediately appear on your site, there is a delay to prevent undue server stress.  They should post within 1-2 hours, or you can manually refresh the page cache to force them to appear if time is critical.  If they do not appear, contact the Web Team (Jenn Crewell or Liz Katzman) to investigate.  The most common issue with a story not posting properly is an incorrect start/end date, or bad code copy/pasted in from Word.

To edit/delete an old story

When you log in, a list of stories you’ve entered is displayed.  Click the Edit to adjust your story, including the start/end dates.  If you set the display to "no", the item will disappear from your page, but still exist in the archives.   Click delete to remove your story completely (although it’s preferred not to do that, archives of old stories are important).

To add someone else’s story to your site

When you log in, there’s a search box.  If you know the headline, you can type a few words into the Headline Keyword box and click search (or use any of the other boxes that you know information for).  If you have no information, just click the Search button and it will show a reverse-chronological listing of stories.  The most recent ones are at the top, select the one you’d like to display and click edit.  Scroll down and click the “On to Step 2” button, and select it to show on your site, then click “Submit story”.

To edit someone else’s story

You may have limited editing rights to a story that someone else has entered, but it’s considered best practice to note who entered the story, and send them an email request for amendment.  There may be a reason that they have formatted the story in a particular way.

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