Scope News -- Right Column

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.).

Right Column Items

Right column items are a special way to highlight semi-permanent links for your site, intended to rotate on a monthly basis.  The function similar to Announcements, as a visual way to direct visitors to temporarily important aspects of your site (a limited-time contest, a form submission deadline, etc.).  Thumbnail images for Right Column items are 143px wide by 61px tall, exactly.

Creating the Right Column Item

Go to and log in.  Click the “Right column” link.

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

  • The headline is short, 60 characters, and will appear below the image.
  • The web address will be the site or news story you want to link from the image.
  • Make Popup will cause the link to open in a new window, handy if you don’t want your visitors to leave your site.
  • Thumbnail images must be created in Photoshop, exactly 143 x 61 px.  If you use an image larger than that, the system will crop it down for you, and the results often are not functional.  You may also use the drop-down to browse through the existing images to see what is there, but be wary of using the same image for two different links, it confuses our site visitors.  
When you have selected your thumbnail image, click the “On to Step 2” button.

Displaying the Right Column Item

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 item is visible on a page or not.  Change the Display dropdown to “yes” for any site on which you want to display the item.  
  • Priority is a way to sort the order of your items.  A priority 1 item will appear above a Priority 2 item, all other things being equal, etc.  All items are at Priority 2 by default, which allows a new item to automatically bump off an older item if there is no more room on your feed (usually a max of 5 right column items can display at one time).  Setting other defaults forces a specific order to your items, but also will cause the automatic bump-by-date to not work as expected for those announcements.  Choose your priority for your announcement. 
    You can force the top one of the set by using priority 1, and the bottom one of the set by using priority 3.  The others that you post will fall in between by date added and date removed sorting, done automatically by the computer.  So you really can only reliably control the top and the bottom items.
  • Start and End dates determine when your 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 item

When you log in, a list of items you’ve entered is displayed.  Click the Edit to adjust your item, 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 item completely (although it’s preferred not to do that, archives of old items are important).

To add someone else’s item 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 items.  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 item”.

To edit someone else’s item

You may have limited editing rights to an item that someone else has entered, but it’s considered best practice to note who entered the item, and send them an email request for amendment.  

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