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CONTRIBUTE: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 

Students are complaining that they can't open Office 2007 files from my Contribute site - or from another web stie that I maintain. They don't open with a click or they open a file un-compressor program. How can I make these files accessible to my students?

To edit a page in Contribute I usually click a link to that page on my Index or Course pages. The other page appears, and I can click the Edit Page button to make changes. But some of my pages appear without the Edit button - so I can't change them. What can I do????

I want to link my new syllabus document on my site so that students can download and print it whenever they want. What do I do?

I know I have old documents cluttering up my site. How do I get rid of them?

I work on a Mac at home and email documents to myself so that I can put them on my Contribute site when I come to school. I check everything in Internet Explorer after I'm done (as you told us to!)—and some of the Word docs are garbled. What can I do?

I'm tired of just linking Word documents to my course numbers. I want to make it easy for my students to see whatever sections of my syllabus that they want right on a web page. What do I do?

I'm in the lab / at my new CCSF computer / at home — and Contribute isn't connecting to my Web site. Help!!!

Contribute won't let me edit one of my pages! It tells me that someone else is already working on it - so I can't!

I used Under Construction [or made a spelling mistake] in the title of one of my pages. Now, whenever anyone opens the page they see the title in the blue strip at the top of the browser, even though I've filled in the page and republished it.  How can I change what people see at the top of the page?


I want to link my new syllabus document on my site so that students can download and print it whenever they want.
  • First, have a copy of your new syllabus on a disk. Or send a copy to yourself by email and download it from there to your desktop. It should be in a format that most people can read, like Word or Adobe pdf.
  • Then: edit the page where you want to place the link. If you have an existing link to your old syllabus, you can just highlight the linked text. If not, type in the text that you'll link to your new doc.
  • With the text highlighted, go up to the top icon bar and click
    Link --> File on My Computer
  • Alternate method: Right-click anywhere on the link. Then, on the popup window, click File on My Computer
    • Click the Browse button
    Browse button
    • In the Select File window, click the down-arrow at the right of the Look In: box and navigate to your syllabus.
    • Click to highlight the document and then click Select
    Finding your file
    • You can make the document come up in its own window, with your web page still in the background

    Setting your doc to open in a popup window

    In the Target frame box at the bottom right of the Insert link page, click New Window.

    When you publish your page you may see this warning (only if your new syllabus has the same name as one that you are replacing).

    Click Replace and OK.

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    I know I have old documents cluttering up my site. How do I get rid of them?

    Note: If your computer's copy of Contribute hasn't been updated to at least version 3.1, this won't work. Get the update from: Macromedia downloads.

    The question shows that you are conscientious! Here's the process:

    • Click the Choose button, top right. Choose button
      The Choose button allows you to see everything on your site. (You can also use it to work on a page to which you haven't yet created a link on one of your other pages.)
    • Scroll up until you see the Documents folder.
    • Double-click to open it.
    Opening the documents folder
    • Double-click your document, and choose Open on the popup.
    • Your doc or a message saying Contribute can't edit it should come up in the right-hand window.
    • On the Menu, click File > Actions > Delete page.

    File-Actions-Delete page

    • Use the Choose button again to check if it's gone.

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    I work on a Mac at home and email documents to myself so that I can put them on my Contribute site when I come to school. I check everything in Internet Explorer after I'm done (as you told us to!)—and some of the Word docs are garbled. What can I do?

    We've found consistent problems with opening Office documents on Windows computers that Mac users attach to email (or carry on a disk) if they don't have a file extension.  Before you send or copy a file, add its Windows extension: a dot + three letters.

    The most common are: Word: .doc  Excel: .xls  Powerpoint: .ppt
    Use the document with the extension added to upload to your Contribute site: that seems to work fine.

    You can set your OS X Mac to automatically add these extensions:

    1. In the Finder, open System preferences.
    2. The option to add extensions is either on the first window, or in the Advanced window.

    Mac System Preferences advanced

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    I'm tired of just linking Word documents to my course numbers. I want to make it easy for my students to see whatever sections of my syllabus that they want right on a web page. What do I do?

    1. First, highlight your course number on your index page and create a new page for it to link to. Base it on the Course page template.
    2. Fill out the Course page with your information.
    3. Under the Syllabus heading, list the sections of the syllabus you want to link to. Bulleting them makes them stand out.
      If your syllabus is short, link the Syllabus title to a single new page
    4. Using the syllabus sections as a link, create new pages for each of the sections. Base each new page on the Generic template.
    5. Open your syllabus in Word while you are working in Contribute. Copy and paste the relevant sections into the new pages.
      Tip: Instead of just Pasting, you might try using the Edit menu to choose Paste Text only. This gets rid of any old Word code so that you can reformat inside Contribute and format the pasted section like the rest of your text.
    6. Clean up the formatting!
    7. At the bottom of the pages, insert a new line above the Back to Contribute Home page link. Type in Back to Course page and link it to the main page for the course. Or put a link at the top.

    There's nothing to prevent you from linking to a Word version of the whole syllabus in addition to any of these approaches.

    Some examples:

    Go back to your Contribute Basics handout to get reminders on how to do these operations. If you need additional help, come to an update session, or make an appointment with Vic or the Help Desk (239-3711).

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    I'm in the lab || at my new CCSF computer || at home and Contribute isn't connecting to my Web site. Help!!!

    A few reminders:

    • If you're at CCSF, did you log in to your network account or your personal Mac account on that computer? When you first connected to your Web site, you had to login and then create the connection so that only you would have access to your site. If you don't log in to your account, you won't see a connection to your site when you open Contribute even at the same computer .
    • If you're on the www server: Did you activate your key on that computer?
      We ask you to save your key and password messages so that you'll be able to establish the connection between Contribute and your site on every Contribute-equipped computer you work on.
      The connection has to be done once on each computer. If you have to activate your key, it's best to have a copy of the key handout for Windows or for the Mac beside you to make sure that you are doing it right.
    • Is Contribute there? You can't work on your Contribute site without the Contribute program installed. See the next answer for information about availability.

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    Contribute won't let me edit one of my pages!

    You probably worked at another computer and left a draft of a page unpublished when you shut Contribute down. This can easily happen if you create a link and a new page at the same time: you still have a draft of the page that holds the link, even though you're working on the new page.

    Contribute doesn't want you to lose work you've done on the draft, so prohibits you from working on that page until you publish the old draft.

    pages pane

    Before you close Contribute, look over at the Pages section on the left, and make sure that you don't have any pages listed except one in the Browser. If you do, click to open that page, and either Publish or Cancel it. Don't Save for Later!

    If you can get back to the computer where you left the draft, do so. Then open Contribute, and publish (or cancel) your draft.

    Contact Luis Muniz or Vic if you can't get back to the original computer.

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    I used Under Construction [or made a spelling mistake] in the title of one of my pages. Now, whenever anyone opens the page they see the title in the blue strip at the top of the browser, even though I've filled in the page and republished it.  How can I change what people see at the top of the page?

    It's easy to change the title:

    1. Get into Contribute and open the offending page in Edit mode.
    2. From the Format menu, click Page Properties (or press Control-J).
    3. Fill in the new title.
    4. Click Apply and then OK.
    5. Publish.

    This doesn't change the FILENAME, just the title. If you want to change the name of the file on the server as well as the title, you have a few more steps:

    1. Edit the page in Contribute.
    2. From the File menu, choose Actions --> Save as new page.
    3. You'll get a warning about there being no links to the new page: that's OK because you'll have to re-create the links after renaming.
    4. Fill in the new title (user friendly: spaces OK) AND filename (no spaces or special characters) and click Publish.

    Go back to the main page or wherever you linked to that page and change the link to reflect the new name.

    1. In edit mode, right-click on the link and choose Link Properties.
    2. Click the Drafts and Recent pages button top left of the popup window and choose the page you want to link to.
    3. Click OK and the Publish the page.

    Do this for any pages with links to the newly renamed page.

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    To edit a page in Contribute I usually click a link to that page on my Index or Course pages. The other page appears, and I can click the Edit Page button to make changes. But some of my pages appear without the Edit button - so I can't change them. What can I do????

    You have made the page a popup. When you click the link, Contribute's browser opens a new browser window instead of moving to the page in Contribute (If you take a close look at the page, you'll see that it has the E that represents Internet Explorer - or the logo of whatever browser you're using - in the upper right, rather than the Contribute logo).

    You can either:

    1. Change the link to the page to the default: Edit the page with the link to the one you're unable to edit. Right-click anywhere on the text with the link and then click Link Properties on the popup menu.
    2. If you don't see a Target Frame box at the bottom, click the Advanced button.
    3. In the Target frame box, pull down the choices and click Default. Then publish the page. Now when you click the link the page will appear inside Contribute and you'll be able to use the Edit Page button.

    Or:

    1. In Contribute's browser mode (when you're not editing a page), click the Choose button at the top right.
    2. A list of all pages and folders on your site opens up. Click the name of the page you want to edit it.

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    Last updated: 11/19/2007