Need help understanding templates

Use templates to standardize and re-use content functionality

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Need help understanding templates

Postby christianah » Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:46 pm

Hi,

I am a new SmartBuilder user. I am having an issue with templates. I don't know if I am doing something wrong or if this is just the way they are.

I created the framework we want for a module in the lesson area. It consists of a background, display set on title page, and several other pages that have the heading of the content. No content just a heading. We have several of these modules to make and each will have the same basic pages.

I saved the lesson as a template. Published it. In the templates area, I can see the background, first page, and display set. None of the other pages.

I created a new lesson and applied the template. I see only the display set. No background and still no other pages.

So is this normal? Does anyone have a list of what items will be saved/applied in a template? I am not surprised that the extra pages didn't keep but I am surprised that the background went away. It would be really helpful if the extra pages were still in the template.

Thanks,
Christiana
christianah
 
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Re: Need help understanding templates

Postby SB Support » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:34 pm

Hi Christianah,

The basic template functionality is explained on page 74 of the User Guide (link is in the top right corner of SmartBuilder). But to answer your specific questions: "A template is pre-built content, including interactions, that can be inserted onto any page of a lesson. You are able to apply multiple templates on the same page, and template changes can be propagated to all lessons that use a given template." So, when you selected "Save As Template" you were really just saving the current page as a template, not the whole lesson.

Regarding multi-page templates: "Sometimes it is useful to create reusable content that spans across multiple pages. You can create new lessons and place them in a shared library... Creating, editing, and adding to shared folders requires certain rights. Once a lesson is placed in the Shared Library, any user with access to the folder in the Shared Library can use the “Save As” feature to copy the lesson. While these are not technically “templates,” this process allows you to create model lessons that can be used as starting points for new lessons.

Regarding backgrounds, there is a background property on the Master page that allows you to have a background graphic at the lowest layer of your lesson. This enables you to have your page content (pages other than the master page) in the middle layer and the rest of your master page (except for the background) on the top layer. Currently we don't apply background images along with templates. It's tricky because you can have multiple templates on the same page but only one background image - so we're still deciding on a design for this. In the meantime, after you apply a template to the master page, you'll need to reselect the background image, if you want to use one.

Hope that helps.
SB Support
 
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Re: Need help understanding templates

Postby christianah » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:05 am

Thanks for the reply. I did read the pages on Templates. However, they did not help me to understand that only the one page and not the master page items would be saved in my template. I strongly suggest that SB consider saying backgrounds for a future product enhancement.

The tip on placing a lesson to the library is a great one. Now I just need to figure out how to get the lesson in the library. Off to read more of the manual.

Those are the tips that I really need. Is there a list of tips anywhere? I've been reading the forum and have found a few sprinkled it various topics. But if I didn't read every post ever made, where would I go for the tips?

Thanks,
Christiana
christianah
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 7:26 am

Re: Need help understanding templates

Postby SB Support » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:01 am

Hi Christiana,

I agree that it will be good to save background images for master page templates. Thanks for the feedback! We plan to include this in the next update.

I understand the desire for tips in a central place, however, given the wide variety of ways that people want to create content and use SmartBuilder, it's hard to say what topics in the user guide and forum would not be included in tips list. I'd suggest just using the search feature on the forum to look for similar postings, and if you don't quickly find what you're looking for just make a new post.

Regarding how to get a lesson into the library:

1) First, he lesson must be published.
2) Expand the Shared library so that the desired folder where you want to place the lesson is visible
3) Drag and drop the lesson from your My Published Content > Lessons folder into the desired shared library folder

Hope that helps.
SB Support
 
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Re: Need help understanding templates

Postby Juliak » Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:18 pm

WRT the Master page - I created a master page but it looks like it's in the background of the rest of my lesson. So my little Google logo and 'Confidential' text are very transparent in the back. Is there any way I can bring them out from underneath this shadow?

On the next page I don't see any reference to the Master page so I don't think I can do anything with layers here. And on the Master Page I see the Background checkbox - but that doesn't seem to do anything. Help!
Juliak
 
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Re: Need help understanding templates

Postby Nav » Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:57 pm

Hi Juliak,
So I don't think there's any problem here, but some clarification on how the Master page works is in order. The short answer is: preview your lesson and see if there is any problem with how things are displayed. Below is some information regarding the Master page.

When you create something on the Master page, it shows up on all the pages. This is handy for navigation buttons, headers, etc.

When in authoring mode, these objects will be greyed out, but still semi-visible so that you can avoid placing things on top of or behind them. If these Master page objects are annoying you by cluttering up your workspace, you can go to the Master page and hide them in the cast. There is no way to make them not greyed out when viewing them on pages other than the Master page.

When viewing the lesson in preview mode or when published, the objects on the Master page will show up like regular objects (without being greyed out).

The Master page can be layered on the top or the bottom of the other pages. This option can be changed in the properties panel of the Master page (with nothing selected). Layering on top is handy for creating pop-up resources that you want to appear above regular page content (e.g. notes or a menu). However, if you also want to have a background image, simply placing it on the stage will obscure all your lessons. So you have to specify a background image with the "background" property in the same place as the layering option. This will create a lesson with the following layers:
- Top level: master page objects
- Middle level: any regular page objects/interactions/etc
- Bottom level: specified background image

While you can hide the Master page objects, I don't think you can hide the background image.

Hopefully this clarifies what you're seeing. If I missed something, or it's not clear, or you know all this and it's still not acting like it should, let me know!

- Nav
Nav
 
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Re: Need help understanding templates

Postby Juliak » Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:39 pm

Thanks! Previewing really put things into perspective. Also, I hadn't noticed the 'Master Page Layer' drop-down, so putting it On Bottom helped my master page not overtake the rest of the lesson. Thanks again!
Juliak
 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:06 pm


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