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Editing Module Contents

Module by: Connexions. E-mail the author

Summary: This module explains the various methods available to edit a module's contents.

The "Edit" tab for the module displays the contents of the "index.cnxml" file. This file contains the text that appears in the module, plus the CNXML instructions to include any image, sound, or other media files that appear in the module. The default content display and edit is with the Edit-In-Place editor. Alternatively, you can display and edit the content with the Full Source editor by clicking Switch to Editing Full Source. From this tab you can perform the following actions on the file:

Figure 1: The "Edit" tab displaying contents of the "index.cnxml" file in the Edit-In-Place editor mode.
index.cnxml in the Edit-In-Place editor

Import Content into the "index.cnxml" File

To import content into the "index.cnxml" file, use the following steps:

  1. Select the format of file you want to import from the drop-down list next to the Import button. The valid formats are: Microsoft Word, OpenOffice Writer, XMLSpy/Authentic, and Plain XML.
  2. Click Import. A screen displays with a text box for the pathname of the file you want to import.
  3. Type the pathname of the file in the text box or use Browse to display the name of the pathname in the text box.
  4. Click Import. The content of the file you specified is copied into the "index.cnxml" file in your module.

    Warning:

    When you click Import in the last step, the contents of the "index.cnxml" file are overwritten by the contents of the imported file.

Export the "index.cnxml" File to an External XML Editor

You can export the "index.cnxml" file so that you can edit it with a software package that is specifically designed to edit XML files. The "index.cnxml" file must be altered to allow the XML editor to read it. And once you have completed your edits, the file must be altered again to remove the changes for editor readability. The Connexions Export and Import functions automatically add and remove the changes for editor readability. Currently, the only XML editor format supported by Connexions is the format used by the Altova xmlspy® editor or the Altova authentic® editor.

To export the "index.cnxml" file to be edited with an XML editor, use the following steps:

  1. Select the format of the file you want to export from the drop-down list next to the Export button. The valid formats are: XMLSpy/Authentic, and Plain XML.
  2. Click Export. A dialog box displays asking if you want to open the file or save it to a disk.
  3. Specify that you want to save the file to a disk.
  4. Specify the pathname of where you want to save the file.
  5. Launch your XML editor and edit the file.

To import the "index.cnxml" file back into Connexions, use the instructions for Import Content from Outside Connexions mentioned earlier in this module.

Edit the index.cnxml file with the Edit-In-Place Editor

The Edit-In-Place editor is the default editor on the "Edit" tab. You can insert new text and media objects into a module or modify the existing contents of a module with this editor. You do not have to be familiar with the CMXML tags to use Edit-In-Place. It inserts the appropriate CNXML tags for you when you insert a new item in the file. In addition, it has a help feature that describes the CNXML tags for the items you insert or edit with it.

Inserting Content in an Empty Module

To insert text and media objects into a new module that contains no content, use the following steps:

  1. Click in the white box that says "Click To Edit Paragraph" in the Edit-In-Place editor.
    Figure 2: The "Click To Edit Paragraph" text box in the Edit-In-Place editor.
    Figure 2 (/content/m19610/latest/eip-click-to-insert-text.png)
    The white box is replaced by a blue editing box.
  2. Type the text you want to add in the blue editing box.
    Figure 3: The editing box in the Edit-In-Place editor.
    Figure 3 (/content/m19610/latest/eip-edit-empty-paragraph.png)
  3. Click Save to save the text you typed. The blue editing box is replaced by a white box that displays your entry.

Editing Existing Content with Edit-In-Place

To edit the content of a module, use the following steps:

  1. Display the module you want to edit with Edit-In-Place.
  2. Scroll down to display the white text box that contains the item you want to edit.
  3. Click in the text box. The white box is replaced by a blue editing box that displays the text of the element.
    Figure 4: The blue text box in the Edit-In-Place editor.
    Figure 4 (/content/m19610/latest/eip-edit-existing-paragraph.png)
  4. Make the necessary changes to the item.
  5. Click Save to save the entry or click Cancel to clear the entry in the blue editing box.
  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 for any item you want to edit.

Note:

In the white text boxes mathematical equations are displayed as they appear in the module. In the blue editing box mathematical equations are displayed in the MathML markup language. Edit equations by making changes to the MathML.

Adding Content Items with Edit-In-Place

You can add new content items to a module with Edit-In-Place. The types of items you can add are: sections, paragraphs, examples, exercises, notes, lists, code blocks, equations, and tables. Edit-In-Place places the opening and closing CNXML tags around the item and it generates a unique item ID for each item you add. To add new items, use the following steps:

  1. Display the module you want to edit with Edit-In-Place.
  2. Scroll down to display the location in the module in which you want to insert the content item. You can insert the new item above or below and existing item by using the Insert... link above or below the existing item
  3. Select and click the type of item you want to enter from the drop-down list next to the Insert... link. These items are described in the help text, which can be accessed by selecting "Other Elements" from the drop-down list.
  4. An empty blue editing box displays for the item you selected. You can display help text for the item you selected by clicking Help editing xxx in the upper right corner of the blue box, where xxx is the CNXML tag for the item you selected.
  5. Type the text that is appropriate for the type of item in the blue editing box.
  6. Click Save to save the entry or click Cancel to clear the entry in the blue editing box.
  7. Repeat steps 2 through 6 for each new content item you want to add to the module.

Edit the "index.cnxml" File with the Full Source Editor

You can edit the content and CNXML tags in the "index.cnxml" file within Connexions with the Full Source editor. This method of editing is recommended for quick changes only. This is a simple text editor and it does not have the advanced functions (for example, spell checking and text searching) that are available with commercially available text editors. To edit the file with the Full Source editor, use the following steps:

  1. Click Switch to Editing Full Source on the "Edit" tab. The contents of the "index.cnxml" file are displayed in the Full Source editor mode.
    Figure 5: The "Edit" tab displaying the contents of the "index.cnxml" file in the Full Source editor mode.
    Figure 5 (/content/m19610/latest/module-edit-full-source.png)
  2. Scroll down to display the location in the module in which you want to edit.
  3. Click in the text window and begin editing.
  4. Click Save to save to save your changes.

As you edit the "index.cnxml" file, click Save at any point to save your changes. The page reloads and validates your CNXML markups every time you save your changes. If there are no CNXML tag errors, your markup is valid and "Saved" appears in an information box at the top of the tab. If there are errors in your CNXML markup, they are listed above the file content.

Note:

Saving and publishing are two different operations. When you save your editing changes in the Full Source editor, your changes are saved in your work area; they are not entered into the Connexions repository. Your module must be published to be entered into the repository and be accessible by visitors to Connexions. For information about publishing, see the topic Publishing the Module later in this module.

Validating Your Work in the Full Source Editor

Any "index.cnxml" file that you publish in the Connexions repository must be a valid CNXML document. This means that the file must be well formed and contain no CNXML errors. If it does contain errors, a description of each error appears when you click Save. Your changes are not saved until the errors are corrected.

Figure 6: Example of validation errors in the Full Source editor
Figure 6 (/content/m19610/latest/module-edit-full-source-errors.png)

A description of the errors appears in the information box that appears above the content.

Warning:

You cannot publish the module in Connexions until all the CNXML errors are corrected and the "index.cnxml" file is validated.

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Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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