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Setting and Customizing the Rich Text Field Editor

When it rains it pours… I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to update this as much as I’d like! However, here’s a little tidbit that I struggled with before learning the better way of doing it through Sitecore training: how to make the rich text editor a bit snazzier! This is well documented in the Sitecore documentation and elsewhere, but I always forget where so this post is definitely for my own benefit (and anyone else like me who doesn’t know where to look right away). There are two ways of changing around the rich text editor that I’ll cover, I’ll start with the easier one: 1. Setting the source property for the rich text field on your templateI was pretty thrilled to learn this, just go into your content editor or template manager, open up the template with the rich text field that you want to set this for and choose one of the following options as the source (in italics).Rich Text Default:/sitecore/system/Settings/Html Editor Profiles/Rich Text DefaultThis is the …

Custom Error Pages

One of the important steps of any website is setting it up to fail Nicely. Sitecore has done a lot of this for us with their error pages, but that may not be the look you want your visitors to see! And what if Sitecore isn’t able to help at all? Not so pretty with ASP.NET error pages…But do not fear! With the configuration files Sitecore makes available, this is a snap to set up and fix.******You Will need to change the web.config file, so please back it up before making any changes suggested here!
The first and hardest step – make your error/not found pages that you want your visitors to see – these can be html pages, aspx pages, or even an existing page within Sitecore. Quick Edit!--As a commenter pointed out: using Sitecore pages for your 404/page not found type errors can allow you to make use of the Sitecore features for multilingual sites as well as analytics. Not to mention, it makes it very easy for business users to make the changes.Usually Sitecore will handle your errors nic…

Sitecore Training: Sitecore 6.2 .net Developer Series Experiences

At the beginning of August, I was able to go out to Mill Valley, CA for the .net developer series training at Sitecore USA Headquarters. The course was 4 days of Sitecore goodness, with a certification and a day of hands-on building with Sitecore. Once I found out I would be heading to training, I spent a fair bit of time trying to find out what it would be like and searched for details of the certification without much luck. So for those out there who want to know a little bit more before you’re in the thick of things, here is what happened for me!

The quick and dirty description, for those who want to avoid the wall of text: I’d say this training is a must for any developer switching over to Sitecore – without it, it can be really hard to get the whole picture of the product and really see what it is capable of. Even for those of us who had been using Sitecore for a bit before training (there were a number of us in the class), it was very useful to see how to do things the ‘Sitecor…

Saving Images for the Web in Photoshop

Recently we ran into a problem where we had uploaded some images and they were using CMYK – which will not work on some browsers and can result in images not being shown or displaying as broken. To avoid this you can easily save your images in a format that is more ideal for the web (RGB).To do this in Photoshop (CS4 shown, it’s similar for other versions) just do the following:1. Open your original file, adjust according to your needs.2. When ready, click File -> Save for Web and Devices3. When that comes up, make sure the checkbox to convert to sRGB is checked and it is in the format you desire (small note: PNG files will not work properly in IE6).4. Click Save! You now have an image that will work properly!

A Simple Site Map

Similar to creating a menu – creating a site map is even easier, there are modules that can do this but with a little preparation it can be very easy to create yourself.To start we are assuming every template used for the pages includes some ‘base template’ for common aspects for all pages. To do this, create (or select if already created) the Base Template with the information you want to have and to that base template, add: InSiteMap: CheckboxThen create or modify the Page templates with the other information you want. From those templates, click to the Content tab, and select the Base template to be included:In the Standard values for the base template, you may want to have InSiteMap checked so that it will be on by default for all the pages.For the sitemap itself, we’re going to create a rendering and then we can place it wherever we would like.The rendering creates a basic nested list of all the items that have InSiteMap checked.<xsl:template match="*" mode="mai…

External and Internal Links as Items

I ran into a problem creating the navigation for the footer rendering on a page – On there I needed to have links to the following pages: terms, contact, careers, and the sitemap. The problem arose when trying to add ‘Contact’ and ‘Careers’: ‘Contact’ was a few levels down in the tree of content items and ‘Careers’ was an external page. Initially, I had a checkbox in the template of each page for if the item was in the footer (ie: InFooterNav checked) and then the XSLT file would go through the entire list of items to find what would be in the footer navigation. It wasn’t an ideal solution when so few items had the tag in the entire site and it did not help with my external link at all. Thus was born: The Link Template!The new template basically consisted of:Link Data:Link: General Link //This is the link to our item or the URL for the external page Nav Title: Single Line Text //The title we want to have displayed in our menu – this is the same as in my regular itemsTarget: Single Lin…

A Simple Single Level Menu with Rounded Edges

After taking some time to figure this out, I thought I’d share my approach to a simple single level menu rendering with rounded edges. Initially, the idea here is very straight forward – create a list, style it, voila! Unfortunately, Round edges and dynamic content make it a little less forgiving. Here is an Example of what we are trying to achieve: Each of these items would be a sub item in the site, all at the same level  under ‘/Sitecore/Content/Site’ In our XSLT  rendering we need to grab the list, and apply the appropriate styles to the appropriate items, notably: The first item needs to have a round corner on the left, the Last item needs to have a round corner on the right, and the inner items need to have borders around them all – and we need to be able to Hover for a different effect. To do this I did the following: <xsl:template match="*" mode="main">
<ul id="MainNav">
<xsl:for-each select="$SiteContent/item[sc:fld('I…

Web Forms for Marketers: Send Email

To have the save action for your form actually send email, you will need to change one of the settings, otherwise you will receive this error whenever submitting the form: We experience a technical difficulty while processing your request. Your data may not have been correctly saved.Also in your log (/data/logs/newest log file) you will see this error after the form has been submitted:Exception: System.Net.WebException
Message: The remote name could not be resolved: 'example.host'
Source: System
at System.Net.ServicePoint.GetConnection(PooledStream PooledStream, Object owner, Boolean async, IPAddress& address, Socket& abortSocket, Socket& abortSocket6, Int32 timeout)
at System.Net.PooledStream.Activate(Object owningObject, Boolean async, Int32 timeout, GeneralAsyncDelegate asyncCallback)
at System.Net.PooledStream.Activate(Object owningObject, GeneralAsyncDelegate asyncCallback)
at System.Net.ConnectionPool.GetConnection(Object owningObject, GeneralAsyncDeleg…

Hello World!

I’ve been itching to get this going for some time now, and decided to simply take the plunge!  I’ll be initially importing my previous posts from the Arke Systems Blog and then should have some more new tidbits shortly after. I am somewhat new to the blogging world (and newly certified with Sitecore) and my hope is that this can eventually become a handy resource for others getting started with our favorite CMS! Initially there was a lot of struggle for me to find out basic information on how to do seemingly simple things (training really is the best way to go), so I’ll be posting a lot of small tips as I go along, and if I gloss over anything – comment!One thing I'm really hoping for from this blog is some feedback – so please, comment and let me know where things can be improved or if this was useful at all – or if you’d like me to post about a particular topic.Looking forward to the future!