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V8 -- Using Link Elements

You can use CommonSpot to make a text or graphic element that is a link, or to make part of the text inside a formatted text block element to be a link. Those links can be to other places in the same CommonSpot page (a "jump"), to other CommonSpot pages, to binary documents within CommonSpot (e.g., PDF files or Excel spreadsheets), or to external Web resources that are not part of the CommonSpot content management system. All images can be made to be clickable links; for details, see the Images discussion. We first discuss the simplest case, a Link element. Most of the work is the same for building links in the other circumstances:

  1. To make a CommonSpot element that is a link, login and navigate to the page on which the link is to appear.

  2. Click on the pencil icon at the upper-right, and select "Work on this Page" or "Work on this Page (All Changes)."

  3. Scroll on the page to the place where you want to have the link appear.

  4. If there is no "Click to insert new element" action link at that location, use one of the approaches discussed in step 6 of Copying and Pasting Elements.

  5. Click on "Click to insert new element".

  6. Click on "Link & List Elements" to expand that portion of the list.

  7. Select the type of link you want to create. To create a simple link, click on "Link"; in class, choose "Link."

  8. Click on "Click here to define the Link element".

  9. Fill in the "link header" with the text that you want to be the visible, clickable link, and then click on the "next" button.

  10. You will see the dialog for constructing the link, with the Link Action tab active:

    • When building a link to a bookmark on the current page, select a Type of "Page or Bookmark on Page" and then click on "Bookmark...". See the discussion of Jumps.

    • When building a link to another CommonSpot page, select a Type of "Page or Bookmark on Page" and then click on "Choose from current subsite" or "Choose" (which together replace the old Page Gallery).

    • When building a link to an already-uploaded document, select a Type of "Uploaded document" and then click on "Choose from current subsite" or "Choose" (which together replace the old Page Gallery); for details, see the discussion of links to binary files.

    • When building a link to a document file that has not already been uploaded into CommonSpot, select a Type of "New Uploaded File" and then click on "Next" at the lower right and proceed; for details, see the discussion of links to binary files.

    • When building a link to a bookmark on another CommonSpot page, first build the link to the page as discussed in the prior alternative, and then click on the "Bookmark" button. See the the discussion of Jumps, below.

    • When building a link to a non-CommonSpot page, select a Type of "Unregistered URL or Relative Internal URL" (the last choice on that pop-up). Be sure to give the entire URL, starting with "http://".

      On the rare occasions when using this Type to build a link to a CommonSpot page, be careful to include neither the protocol nor the server specifications, so that your link will work unchanged on the authoring server or on the read-only public servers. When typing such an internal relative URL, you may use the "../" prefix to navigate among your sub-subsites, but we suggest that you generally use a URL starting with a slash ("/"). Please be aware that using this manual entry technique for CommonSpot pages means that the link is not managed by CommonSpot, and therefore will not be updated automatically for you if the destination page is moved to a different location or is renamed, and so would become a broken link if either of those events were to happen.

  11. Observe that the Insert Link lightbox includes a tab for "Link Window Properties." If you select that tab, you will see a check-box for "Open link in a new window"; and if you check it, you will then see a button for "New Window Properties..." Test the result, using Preview mode. You can, and sometimes should, specify numbers for the location (in pixels down and to the right from the upper-left corner of the screen) and size (in pixels of width and height) for the new window. The result of leaving all four numbers blank will usually be more satisfactory than the result of clicking on the "default" button.

    All browsers have back buttons, and all screens have a limited area, so in general, opening the link in a new window is a user-hostile behavior. You may decide to do it anyway, especially in cases where the link leads to a non-Ohio University site, or to an online process whose directions are in the page you are linking from.

  12. In class, choose a Type of "Page or Bookmark on Page," and then use the "Choose" button to select one of your other pages.

  13. When you have completed the Link Action and Link Window Properties, click on the "Save" button.

  14. If you click on the link while in "Preview" mode, you will be taken to the destination you have specified. It is wise to proofread all links by such tests, before submitting the change for publication!