Document Actions


Plone Users Guide (P.L.U.G.)


Plone is a Web-based editing system. You enter by logging into a Web site with your password. (Firefox is the preferred browser.) Most of your text editing takes place within a frame, in what looks like a large text box. You can toggle between using HTML or a WYSIWYG editor, where the tags are hidden. The way the Plone system is set up, you may need  to "save" the file more often than other systems you may have used. Often, the page you have just saved stays up, depending on what kind of editing you are doing. Sometimes when you click on another link, without picking "SAVE" or "CANCEL," a popup will appear asking, "Are you sure you want to navigate away from this page?" --that means it will not save any changes you've made.


Plone is a Content Management System that draws on Open Source programming to provide a "total package" of editing and file management functions. It is also capable of pulling in data from our databases to generate pages.


The many security features of Plone allow for assignment of roles to groups of people (Manager, Editor, Owner, etc.) How much of the site you can access in Plone depends on what role you're assigned and what parts of the site you have permissions to view and/or change. Once you are authenticated as a user (you register to get a password) you become a "member" of the site.


In a Firefox browser, go to . Log in with your name and password. You must be logged in to use Plone. I like to bookmark this page with my name and password saved, so that all I have to do is click on the “log in” box. To save it, when the dialog box appears with the question “Do you want Firefox to remember your password?” click “Yes”. It might be useful to have two “tabs” up logged into Plone. I use one for looking at file directories and the other to do my actual editing.


Do remember to log out when you’re done. Click the “log out” link on this menu bar near the top:

  Carol Wierzbicki  My Folder  Preferences  Undo  Log out

--Plone does not automatically log you out after a period of time. If you have more than one tab up, remember to log out of all tabs.


Within a Plone directory there are many kinds of possible "objects": Document, Folder, Topic, Image, etc. They are referred to as “smart objects” because they know about themselves and can tell you what kind of object they are. In a directory, it's easy to accidentally click on a folder when you think you're clicking on a file, because they are often given the same name. The best way to tell them apart is to roll your mouse over the name in the directory. A popup “label” will appear. If you see "Folder:" then you know to navigate to the other one, which will say something like "Document:" or "RichDocument:" and this is the file you can edit.


1.  From Contents screen, find the section (directory) under which you want to add the new page.

        For example, to add a new page under "Public Policy":

                Home ----> Contents ----> Public Policy ----> Contents

2.  Add a new page:

      [ Public Policy ----> Contents ---->] click on "add item" ----> page

3.  Fill in the following information:


                Description (appears when mouse hovers over the link)

                Body Text (you can use either the wysiwyg editor, or choose the "html" option if you'd rather write html code. **When pasting copy from another window, do not use the mouse—use ctrl + v from  your keyboard. For some reason, Plone is blocking pasting via the mouse.)

4.  Press "Save" when done.

ADDING A FILE (different from adding a "Page"; this is for when you have an existing file in pdf or some other format than HTML, and you want to upload it in the same format):

 1)  Go to the section where you'd like to add the file.

 2)  In the "Contents" tab for that section, click on "add item" and choose "file".

 3)  Enter the title and brief description for the file.  (note: you can leave the title field blank. Plone will automatically fill this in with the name of the original file you're importing. you can rename the file later.)

 4)  Use the "browse" button (in the middle of the page) to navigate to the drive where you've stored the file you'd like to upload.  Your action will have the effect of creating the file path in the "browse" field.

 5)  Click "save".

TIP: Confused about which file you just edited? Look at the date and time stamp in the folder directory.


Often you'll want to rename a file with a more "user friendly" title, as this will show up in the banner at the top of the page. Go to the Contents screen, click on the box next to the file you want to rename, and click "Rename" at the bottom. on the next screen, change *just* the Title, not the Short Name (which is part of the URL path for that page).

So, to "Rename" a file, you check the box next to the file. To "Edit" a file, click on the name of the file and it will bring you to the Edit screen.



Smart Folders are places to put time-sensitive items like News Features (for What's New, Press Releases, ACM in the News, CACM NewsTrack items, etc.) and/or items that share a common property (like “SIG Bylaws”). Smart Folders are also good for any group of items you think you may want to archive later on (like old press releases or old issues of a publication that has a standalone home page). The popup label shows up as "Topic:" when you mouse over a Smart Folder.

For example, News Features is at When you click on one of those items and review the properties, you'll see that the keyword "feature" is selected.

Note that we'll have a different keyword for press releases:  it is "acm-press-release". On the News Releases page, to make the most recent float to the top of the page, you must set today’s date on the  properties screen for the item.  In the case where you'd want a press release to also be in the "What's New" section of a home page, you'd select *both* keywords "feature" and "acm-press-release" for it.  ***For CACM NewsTrack items: add item as "page" not "news item." Give it keyword of: “cacm-newstrack-2007.”


When you create the Smart Folder, you set the keyword for the items to be grouped in that folder under the “criteria” tab.

You don't add files to a Smart Folder; add them to the standard folder and the Smart Folder will pull them into its directory based on the keyword(s) you give them. So, the files don’t actually “live” in the Smart Folder; they are only physically stored in the regular folder. Think of the Smart Folder as a kind of “mirror” of the contents in the regular folder.

***Steps to Creating a Featured News Item:***

1. Get into folder with News Items, e.g.

2. Add new item, then pick "News Item" from the list of possible item types.

3. On Edit screen, enter title and description (you do need something in the description field for Featured items, so that a blurb shows up on the Featured Items list), and some short body text, then "SAVE".

4. Back on, rename item with "reader friendly" name, e.g. short name="turing-prize", title="ACM's Turing Award Prize Raised to $250,000".

5. Still in, click on the name of the item, then pick "Properties" from the top menu. On the Edit News Item screen, set the effective date (today's date if you want the item to appear first, as the most recent, on the page) and keywords, and pick "exclude from navigation" to prevent it from showing up on left-hand menu. Change state to "published": in Contents screen, click box next to name of item, then “change state” box at the bottom of the page. You’ll be taken to the “Publishing process” screen, with a box displaying your item. You must set the effective date here also. At the bottom there is a multiple choice of possible statuses. Click “publish” then save.

6. For What's New: the regular folder (where files live) is in the Computing News directory under "Featured items at". Smart Folder is "News".  Keyword is "feature".

7. To add image to a Featured item: get on Web page with the image, right-click on it, pick “Save picture as” and save it to ACM Web (or whatever) directory. On Edit screen, browse for the image and add it. It will automatically re-size the image to be a thumbnail.

***Setting number of items to appear in Featured Items***

1. Get into Layout of ACM Home Page

2. Next to Featured Items at link with folder icon, click on third icon (the one with the hand coming out of the folder).

3. On popup screen (the Viewlet), scroll down to Viewlet settings and change number in "images count" box.

4. Preview, and if it looks ok, pick "Save this panel"

***Removing a Featured Item from What’s New:***

There are 3 ways for removing it from the "what's new":

1.      change the number of items displayed (e.g. from “4” to “3” if it’s the last (oldest) item on the list.

2.      remove the keyword "feature" from that item.

3.      set expiration date with today’s date (or whenever you want the item to not show up anymore).

TIP: to find out whether an item has been added as a "page" or "file" or "news item": bring it into the Edit screen. At top it will say either "Edit page" or "Edit file" or "Edit news item."

When creating a new folder for contents, it may be necessary to select which page you want to be the "default view" for the directory. For ex., when you click on a directory for a manual, you'd want the path to display the Table of Contents for that manual first. After you've created the folder, click on "display" and then on the pull-down, "select content item as default view." Then pick "select default page" and you will see a listing of files in that folder. Pick the one you want to display when someone types in the path for that folder, for example:

The default page for the ACM SIG Officers Manual is:


Here are some tips for “best practices”:

1.      NEVER give files identical names—find some way to differentiate them in your directories (folders) to avoid confusion.

2.      Organize your files in folders in ways that make logical sense. Think about the structure and hierarchy of your documents, and put similar files (for example, SIG officer manuals) together in their own directory. By pigeonholing things together, you will make it easier to locate them, and avoid duplication.

3.      If you want your page to reference a document that’s outside your department (for example, an ACM policy), do a search of the site to see if the page already exists. Then you can link to it. IS can help you locate a document if your search doesn’t turn up anything but you think it’s out there.

4.      Most important, MAKE BACKUPS OF ALL YOUR WORK: use your personal folder in the “Members” directory (at in Plone) to make copies of any files you’ve been working on and put them into these folders. Save updated versions of the files, if you’ve made revisions, so that you’re sure to have the most current version handy. You can also use your folder to work on things you’re not ready to post for display—think of it as your “test” area.


What if you want to move a file from one directory to another? Get on the Contents directory where the file currently "lives". Click the check box and then under "Actions" pick "Cut". Navigate to the directory were you want the file to be. Under "Actions" pick "Paste". The file will appear in that directory with the correct path in its URL.


You can use kupu's "attach image" (tree icon) function to add it. You save photo from the Web (right mouse click) and put it anywhere on your hard drive. Then to add it to the directory in Plone, make a folder for "images" in the directory with the file you want to add it to, pick "add image," give it a title, "browse" to get to the path that contains your file on your hard drive, and hit "SAVE". Then get into the Edit screen for your file. Position your mouse where you want to insert the photo. In the kupu (WYSIWYG) editor, you can then call the file by clicking on the "tree" icon in the top menu. This will give you a pop-up where you can navigate to your "images" folder. Click on the name of the image you want to insert. (NOTE: The kupu pop-up box does have a menu pick for re-sizing to some predetermined sizes (index, tile, icon, thumb) at the point of insertion. But it might be preferable to have it re-sized beforehand.) Then when you’ve selected all the options you want for your art, click “ok”.



All the URL paths are done according to the Plone environment's naming convention:

1)  they are all relative

2)  they start with a / followed by the name of the section, and if it's a level lower, the name of the file. Example: ../student: for the "students" page under "Membership"

3) Using kupu editor: Kupu is the WYSIWYG editor you can use to insert either an internal (linked page lives inside Plone) or external link. In the kupu (not HTML) editor, highlight the word you want the link to appear on, then go in the top green menu bar and click on the “chain” icon. (you’ll see that it says “insert internal link”* as you roll your mouse over it). From the pop-up window, you can navigate to the folder where the file you want to link to lives. Click on the name of the file you want, then click “ok”. The link will be inserted automatically.

External links: This is for any page outside of Plone. Highlight the word as you would for an internal link. Go to the top green menu bar but this time click on the “globe” icon next to the chain icon. It will say “Insert external link” as you roll your mouse over it. On the pop-up window, you’ll need to put in the URL by hand, or copy and paste from another browser. Hit “preview” to make sure the link works, and if it does, click “OK.” (You cannot preview an internal link.)

4) Always check that the link works outside of Plone, in a separate browser.

5) To de-activate a link, highlight the linked word and click on the red “X” up in the green bar in the WYSIWYG editing screen. The link will be taken off, and you will see the word no longer underlined as an active link.


HTML for "@" image:

<img class="image-inline" src="../../at-sign_arial_12px.gif" alt="at-sign_arial_12px.gif" />

The file for the image is "at-sign_arial_12px.gif," and is stored at the home directory (i.e., under contents for home,  The path you show below would change depending on where you are:  the specific path you show below assumes that you are two directories removed (or "deeper down") from the home page directory.

In actual email address:

smb<img class="image-inline" src="../../at-sign_arial_12px.gif" alt="at-sign_arial_12px.gif" />

diplays as:

[email protected]


TITLE FONT (to differentiate headings from text):

<div class="regtextTitle"></div>



ContentPanels are another type of object. A ContentPanel can look like a file or folder in your Contents directory but when you roll your mouse over it, it says "ContentPanel:". They're used for setting up a layout for a page. You do things like setting columns, sub navigation, and inline frames in ContentPanels. The layout is also another way of accessing files in a directory. Think of it as more of a graphical interface vs. the directory listing of the Contents page. From either the Layout page (ContentPanels) or the Contents page, you can access pages to edit them.

TIP: Why does the subnavigation (those top menu items) appear on a page but then you pull up the page again and it’s not there? It depends on where you’re navigating from: another page, or the pageIndex:  which is one of the top menu items.

Example (no subnav, linked to from body of Membership page):

Example: (with subnav, linked to from subnav of another page):


This is true whether you’re in Plone or just in a browser. (Of course, sometimes subnavigation is not appropriate to have on the page, therefore it’s deliberately not included.)

Steps for setting up Sub Navigation on a Page:

1. On a ContentPanel, pick "Layout"-->"New Page" (click on page icon at right)

2. Get rid of second column (click on red "X") and pick "100%" for the column remaining since you want the column to fill the page.

3. Enter title and click "SAVE".

4. Click on "New Panel" (icon at right)

5. On pop-up that appears, under Related Contents, click on breadcrumbs to navigate to file you want to add.

6. In Viewlet, click Document Content to highlight (or "inline frame" to point to external site - change both width & height to 600). You will get a preview of the document in the window.

7. Click "Select this panel." Then click "SAVE".

8. To move Top Nav item to the right or left (change order): click on item, then on one of the blue arrows at right, then "SAVE". Repeat steps until you get the desired order.

For inline frames:

1. in Viewlet, pick "Inline Frame".

2. pick 800 X 600

3. insert inline frame URL in space provided

4. Preview, then "Select this panel," then "SAVE".


Once you have "saved" a page after editing it, if you’ve decided you don’t like your last edits, pick “Undo” from this menu bar near the top:

  Carol Wierzbicki  My Folder  Preferences  Undo  Log out

You’ll see a list of actions with the most recent first:


 Once you've verified it's the page you were working on (you can see the date and time stamp, and your name in addition to the URL), click on the box under the "Undo" column to select the item, go to the bottom of the screen and click on the "Undo" box there. The page will revert to the way it was before your last editing pass.


To search for a specific string while editing in Plone, you can use the Edit > Find in this Page from the very top menu bar of your screen. A Search box will appear at the very bottom of your screen.

(Click on red x to close—it stays open even after you close your edit session because it’s outside of Plone’s editing application.)


These are usually pages listing board members of the Education, Membership, and other Boards, also Council and other ACM Officers. Some of the content you may be able to edit, but the names of the members must be updated by IS through the Database. Since most users don’t have access, you should send requests for any updates of the names/titles to Carol/Haritini. If it’s a new name, try to include complete contact information for that person. Here is an example of a “hybrid page” that has both Database-generated and static content (to view the complete page, go to – you may need to put your mouse arrow inside the frame and use your down arrow to scroll—it’s a browser thing). Note that if you go into the Edit screen, you will only see the editable (static) content, not the database-generated content:


A word about Privacy: for all pages under your “Members” directory, you should change the state to "private":

By default, any object – page, file, image, etc. – in Plone is set to "public draft".  This state makes it available for viewing by anyone.


To prevent the public from viewing one of your pages – if you are still working on it, for example, or if the page is not meant for public viewing – you need to set the state of that page to "private".


The state is now "private":


When someone who is not logged in (for example, a member of the public who has bookmarked the page, or anyone at ACM HQ who is not a user on Plone) they will see this, if they try to access the page:


Your page is secure behind a login – it cannot be viewed by the public until and unless you change the status to "make visible".