Design and Layout
Improved Page Heading Element Formatting
Reduce Margin Setting to Fit Your Banner to the Page
A common layout design technique is to create a banner that is the same number of pixels wide as the newsletter page. Due to design limitations of the Header element, this technique required the use of a Custom HTML Element or use of the Before / After settings and a separately uploaded banner image.
An improvement to the Page Heading element now allows you to format your banner (which has been uploaded via the Title and Headings area) so that it can fit exactly to the page width. This makes the implementation of your design easier to configure and maintain.
To configure a banner that fits the page width, perform the following steps:
1. Click the Page Layout button within the Layout Editor and find your page width (in pixels).
2. While in the Layout Editor, click the EDIT button on the top left of the Page Heading element.
3. Set the Margin Size (under the Border and Colors section) to zero. Then click to Save the element settings and again to save the layout.
4. Using picture editing software, adjust your banner image to have the same pixel width as the page (e.g., 650 pixels).
5. Go to Title and Headings and upload your banner image.
Preview your newsletter to see the result.
Custom 'Tell a Friend' Form
Customize the appearance of the 'Tell a Friend' form.
The text prompts and layout of the 'Tell a Friend' form can now be customized using the online HTML editor in the same way it can be used to edit articles and the Custom Subscribe Box.
To edit the Tell a Friend form, go to the Layout Editor and EDIT the Footer element properties. Then, click the Use Editor button under the 'Custom Tell a Friend Form' prompt. When the editor window appears, you can modify or add text to the form, change fonts, add pictures, etc. You can move the input boxes, but DO NOT DELETE them. If you delete an input box, you will need to click the Clear and Start Again button.
Once you have modified your form layout, click the Save button.
Customizable Text Labels for the Letter Entry and Login Layout Elements
All prompts and labels can be customized to accomodate localized language needs.
The Letter Entry and Login layout elements now include additional properties that allow you to modify all text labels and button names used by that element. This is useful for replacing the existing English text labels with the equivalent text in other languages and for further control of the look and feel of your layout.
In addition to controlling text labels, the Letter Entry element can be configured in other ways:
- To adjust the width of the text area where the body of the letter is entered, enter a number in the Width box. This number indicates the width of the box in terms of the number of characters that should fit on a single line.
- The name, city, state/country, and email address fields are now optional input fields. To hide these fields, select the Hide option from the drop-down list next to the appropriate input box.
Publishing an RSS Feed
What is RSS?
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an XML standard that is used to syndicate links to content onto other Web sites and into RSS content aggregators. The aggregators are Web-based services or client-based tools that allow users to easily "subscribe" and "unsubscribe" to RSS feeds that they are interested in receiving.
RSS is primarily used for distributing headlines and short synopsis’ along with URLs linking back to the content publisher. RSS feeds generally operate in a passive mode, like published content on a Web site, awaiting a user to link to the RSS feed through an aggregator. However, when used with an aggregator, RSS feeds tend to be actively pulled down to client computers on a regular basis.
By using the RSS publishing feature, a customer can instantly start publishing RSS feeds that link directly to their newsletter. This allows the newsletter content to be picked up by RSS aggregators and provides an alternative distribution medium to email and the companion micro-site. With the growing popularity of aggregators and public directories of RSS content, having an RSS feed attached to a newsletter means that the newsletter publisher has an additional channel for promoting and registering new subscribers.
Using the RSS Feature
Newsletter content can be published as an RSS feed at the same time the newsletter is Posted to the Web. To enable this feature:
1. From the Main Menu, click on Publishing Options.
2. In the Micro-site area you will see the Generate RSS Feed option.
3. Choose the RSS feed format that you would like to support. Generally RSS 2.0 should be the format you choose.
4. Save changes and return to the Main Menu.
5. Click the Post to the Web button. This will generate the RSS feed corresponding to the content in your newsletter.
The RSS Feed Address
Once published, the current RSS feed for your account is available online at a special URL. The RSS feed URL is shown on the Main Menu under your newsletter's Web address. This URL can then be copied and placed into any RSS feed reader (or aggregator).
Default Layout Template Setting
When working with multiple layout templates it is now possible to assign a default template that will be selected each time a new issue is created. This template will be selected by default at the 'Use Template' prompt on the Issue Properties page.
To set the default template, go to Publishing Options. In the Content Options section you will find the 'Default Layout Template' drop-down list. Only named templates will appear in this list.
Use images as page and column backgrounds
Images can now be used as the background of your page or within specific columns on the page. This provides a wallpaper effect within the specified region. The image you select will be tiled within the region and will appear behind any text or layout elements within that region.
Background images are specified through the Page Properties of the Layout Editor. To change the page backgound, choose an image from the drop-down list labeled Background Image under the Border and Colors section. This list will show images that have been uploaded to your account through the File Manager.
To change the background of a particular column, click the Column Properties button in the Column Layout section. You will then see an Image setting for each section.
NOTE: Layout elements by default have a background color that is set to white (#FFFFFF). To have the background image show through the layout element, the layout element's foreground and backgound colors need to be set to transparent. To make an element transparent, remove any text in the color setting box and leave the color setting empty. The same holds true for the page columns. You will need to leave column colors blank to have the page background show through.
Margin Size setting for layout elements
Gain more control and flexibility when designing your page
The Margin Size is a new element property that can be used to determine the amount of space surrounding each layout element.
This setting determines the number of pixels that will appear between the border of the element and its contents.
Use Margin Size to create more flexible template designs. To eliminate the margin surrounding an element entirely, set the Margin Size to zero.
Custom Links Element
Add special links to the layout template
A new element has been added to the layout editor which will allow you to add any system generated link. These links include control and navigation features such as subscriber removal and update, archive, tell a friend, issue links and more.
To add a custom link to your layout, go to the Layout Editor and click ADD in the area where you would like the link(s) to appear. Then, choose the Custom Links element from the list.
Customization of the Forgotten Password Hyperlink
The link text can be changed to use text other than the default.
On the Login Page template within the Layout Editor, the text of the hyperlink used to retrieve a lost password can now be changed. HTML is acceptable so color changing can also be done. The default color for this text will be a color selected based upon the background of the element.
Plain Text template editor
Design how the plain text version of your newsletter will look
The plain text version of your newsletter is generated from the same content used in the HTML version. Using the new Plain Text template you can adjust how the plain text content is displayed, define the rules that determine which articles are shown and in what order, and specify what format standards you would like to use. For example, you can change the text characters used to create separator lines, turn on or off auto-capitalization of titles, or change the bullets used in the table of contents (article list).
The Plain Text template is located within the Layout Editor. You can access this template directly by selecting the "Layout > Plain Text" option from the View menu. Or, from within the Layout Editor, you can switch between the HTML and Plain Text templates by clicking the Plain Text tab at the top of the page.
The Plain Text template is changed the same way you change other templates - however you do not have control over color and other types of rich formatting. There are a few key elements used in the Plain Text template: Page Header, Article List, Multiple Article, and Page Footer. To edit the properties of any element, click the EDIT button at the top of the element. You can also add additional elements to the template to produce more complex formats.
The Message Body area has also been redesigned to better indicate the different message format combinations. You can now select how the plain text message is to be generated - using the older Content Settings or the new Plain Text template.