MODX content management guide for end-users and editors
By David Walker (Google profile)
Below is a download link for version 0.1 of the MODX content management guide, a Microsoft Word document designed to be adapted and handed out to system end-users.
Also available is an OpenOffice version ...
And to see what you'll be getting, you can also download the PDF example version – which of course you can't adapt.
The audience for this guide
This document is, ultimately, for the people who use MODX Revolution to update and add content on existing websites.
These people are not developers or designers. They have titles like "communications officer" and "marketing manager" and "personal assistant".
These people do not need to write templates or add snippets.They generally just need to add text and photos and the like.
Making life easy for these people is crucial for any designer or developer handing over a website to a client or to non-development staff. Make life easy for these people, and you'll get more work, both with that client and through great word-of-mouth.
These people need instructions on how to use CSS styles, on why pasting straight out of MS Word is bad, on how to take shortcuts by duplicating existing pages, on how to publish a document, and much more.
How the guide works
They canonical version is a Microsoft Word document.
Why Word? Because Steve Ballmer has personally bribed me with an enormous sum of money to put it in this format. So there's no point arguing about it. (Actually, that's a lie. Word is very widely distributed, many people know how to use it, and it has lots of useful features. But you can't say that.)
Let me know in the MODX forum or at shorewalker.com if you find Word's document properties or styles too obscure to do what you want, or if the document has some obvious layout flaw that's stuffing you around. No-one has ever previously encountered such a problem in the long and storied history of Word, but you might be the first.
Just in case you're not using Word, there's also an OpenOffice version, which should work much like the Word version.
If you want to take a peek at what you'll be getting but don't have a word processor on you, you can download the otherwise useless (because it can't be edited) PDF version.
What's in the guide?
A little more than in the first version. The biggest improvement is instructions for Mark Hamstra's essential VersionX, courtesy of the fine people at Snow Creative Services.
It now contains:
- an introduction to the MODX manager
- guides to working with pages and Articles
- using the TinyMCE document editor
- reverting resources with VersionX
- creating and sending emails with EmalResource
- editing your profile
- solving a couple of common problems such as forgetting your password.
This is the second (early 2014) release. It assumes that the designer or developer has not made any form customisations to the interface. It assumes that the system is running TinyMCE. It probably assumes other things I can't think of right now.
The eventual aim is to include downloadable, updatable screenshot packages that can be tailored to an individual's set-up. How far we'll get with that, I don't know.
Changes you should make
The document relies heavily on Word styles and fields. You should be able to change a few custom fields in the Document Properties, change the fonts, replace the logo, cut out the bits you don't want, PDF it, and send it to the client right away.
To change the fonts, you just need to change two styles: "Body Text" for all the body copy, and "Display Roman" for the headings and such. (For what it's worth, the document was originally set up for use with the Franklin Gothic font. The line spacing is slightly out when I change it to Arial.)
Those changes should take you 15 minutes, tops. (Hint: You probably don't want the section titled "Send email alerts and newsletters".) The layout should adjust to everything you do.
The most obvious bits you might want to change are noted in red.
Purely because I needed it, the guide has details of how to work with Bob Ray's EmailResource add-on, which simplifies the creation of newsletters from MODX content. This is a niche add-on and you'll probably want to delete the EmailResource section.
The .odt version has a few little formatting oddities if you open it in my version of LibreOffice; you'll need to clean this up.
Priorities for improvement include explaining how to:
- Add documents such as PDFs.
- Add simple tables.
Help improve this
This guide is based on feedback from forum users and the separate work of Valeska Scholl and Verango Media on similar guides for MODX Evolution users, as well as the Snow Creative Services people's reference for MODX Revolution at modxmanual.com. More feedback is essential.
For the moment, It's probably best to keep this as a conversation on the MODX forums. Go here:
If you have a chunk of material you want to send me, my contact details are available at shorewalker.com and on page two of the document.