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Mambo Quick Start Guide

Creating a Section


The first thing we are going to do is create a section – that is, a general, high-level subject which will later be divided into categories. To create a new section, click on the Section Manager icon on the home page, or select the option from the ‘Content’ menu, as illustrated in figure 3.

Figure 3 – Accessing the Section Manager


This will take you into the ‘Section Manager’ screen, which allows you to add or edit sections. In the example shown in figure 4, there is already a section called ‘The News’, and one called ‘Newsflashes’. If you wanted to edit either of those sections, you would just click on the orange link (or alternatively, check the box next to the link, and then select ‘Edit’ from the toolbar). To create a new section, just click on the ‘New’ toolbar button.


Figure 4 – The Section Manager



This will take you into the section editor. Whenever you enter an editor like this in version 4.5.2, the main menu disappears (including the option to return to the home page, which might be disconcerting for some!). Don’t panic though – there is a good reason for this. Whenever you enter an editor, the item you are editing is ‘checked out’ to you. This means that if there are other users who are also allowed to access the administration tool, they will not be able to edit an item while you have it checked out.


In order to check an item back in (and therefore make it available for editing by any administrator), you need to either click on the ‘save’ toolbar button (if you want to keep your changes), or the ‘cancel’ toolbar button (which will discard your changes). Once you click on one of these buttons, the main menu will magically re-appear. In previous versions of mambo, you were able to just jump straight to another menu item, and this meant that the item you were editing would be left checked out – and unvailable for others to edit.


The section editor allows you to enter a title and name for your section, and any introductory text you wish to add. The ‘title’ is intended as a short word or two which can be used as the text for menus or lists, whereas the ‘name’ can be slightly longer and can be used as the heading for the page. You can use the same text for both the title and the name if you want.


You can also specify an image to associate with the section. Images can be uploaded using the Media Manager – see the official documentation on the Mambo help website ( for more information on how to do this. The ‘Image Position’ option allows you to specify whereabouts on the page your specified image (if any) should appear. For now, we can ignore this and the other options on this page, and move onto the ‘description’ area which is the large grey box at the bottom of figure 5 (it might not be grey on your system – it depends on your template).


Figure 5 – The Section Editor


The ‘description’ area allows you to describe the contents of the section. Remember that the contents of a section will be one or more categories, and when the end user (a visitor to your website) sees this description, it will also be accompanied by a list of the categories within the section.


The description area actually makes use of a third party (ie. non-Mambo) component, known as an HTML Editor. Mambo allows you to use any one of a number of different HTML editors, but the recommended one, and the one illustrated here, is called Tiny MCE. This editor produces HTML code which is compliant with international standards as set by the World Wide Web consortium. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means, but just be aware that it is possible you might see a slightly different editor to the one shown here.


If an HTML editor does not appear on your system, you will need to install and/or activate an editor. Mambo comes with Tiny MCE already installed, but for some reason not activated. For details on how to activate the Tiny MCE editor, see appendix B.


You can use the toolbar area at the top of the description box to modify the format of your description – to add bold, italics, bullet points, etc. The ‘Styles’ dropdown box lists all of the pre-defined style settings that have been set up for the template you are using. The effect this has on the selected text could be anything from changing its colour, to changing its size, to adding a background image, and many other settings. There might not be any styles available to you, but if there are, you can highlight some text and select a style to apply to that text.


Next to the ‘Styles’ dropdown box is another dropdown which allows you to specify the type of information that you are writing – for example you can specify that the selected text be formatted as a main heading, or a sub-heading, or just the text of a paragraph. The manner in which these options affect your text depends on the settings of the template. The other options in the toolbar are very similar to the types of options that you get in most word processors, so their operation should be reasonably familiar to you. You can click on the question mark icon for more help if you need it. (See figure 6.)


Figure 6 – Tiny MCE HTML Editor



When you have finished creating or editing your section, click on the ‘Save’ toolbar button at the top-right of the screen to save your work. This will take you back to the Section Manager, as shown in figure 4 above. Note, you can also use the ‘Apply’ toolbar button to save your work without leaving the editor (this is a new feature in version 4.5.2).


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