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Plone FAQ Basic

Plone FAQ


This document is an FAQ on how to use Plone. If you have any questions, please feel free to write to, and we will try to add the answers to the FAQ. We recommend that you use Mozilla Firefox to edit the IIT Bombay alumni website for best results.


BASE_URL in the document below refers to

Navigation Tabs: At the top of every page is the banner. The bottom of the banner contains a series of tabs like 'IITB HF', 'IITB AA', etc. Clicking on these tabs will take you to the appropriate area of the website.

Navigation Tree: When you click on any of the navigation tabs, the page that is displayed will have three columns. The left hand column is the Navigation Tree which will allow the user to navigate to any page within that tab.

Content Area: The second column in the page is the main content area. This is the widest column in the page

News/Events Column: The right most column is the News/Events column. This column will display any new 'news items' or new events that have been added to the system.

Breadcrumbs: In the content area, below the banner is the breadcrumbs line. This line shows the hierarchy of the pages that the user has navigated to reach the current page (it is like a file path)

Content Editor Header: In the content area in each page (that you are allowed to edit) you will see a light green row. The first row has a set of tabs like 'View', 'edit', 'sharing', 'history'. The second line contains a few drop downs like 'actions', 'add new..', 'state:...' etc.

Editor Toolbar: When you click on the content area, you will enter the edit mode where you can make changes to the page. A toolbar appears above the content area which presents various formatting options. This is the Editor Toolbar

0. What is Plone?

Plone is an open source content management system that we are using to manage the IITBHF & IITBAA website. To get more details on plone go to

The main features of Plone (and most other content mgmt systems) is that it allows for different people to access to editing different portions of the website. It also keeps a history of all the edits that have been made and allows easy recovery of any past edits. This allows us to have a large diverse team of volunteers maintaining our website.

Documentation for Plone is available at:

1. How do I log in to the system?

To log in go to BASE_URL/login. Enter your username and password and click Login. If you do not have a username and password send an email to

2. How do I edit a page on the system?

We use FCKEditor as the WYSIWYG editor - we recommend starting out with the "How to use FCKEditor" webpage or click here for the FCKEditor User Guide.

To edit a page you will need to have a username and password. Users are given access to specific portions of the website (ie the San Francisco Chapter folks can only edit the pages in the San Francisco area of the website). If you need access to edit the website, please send a mail to

Once you are logged in, you can navigate to the page you are interested in editing and click on the content area of the page. It will drop you into an editor where you can make your changes and then click the Save button. The changes will take effect immediately. The editor is a simple WYSIWYG editor which allows you to control formatting, add links etc.

3. How do I add a new page?

To add a new page, go to the place you want to add a page to and then click on the 'add new...' link on the Content Editor Header. Then choose 'page'.

You can then enter the title of the page and the content. Click 'Save' to save the page. NOTE: The new page will NOT be visible to people who are not logged in to the site. The default state of the page is 'private'. This allows a group of people to collaborate on the page and finalize the content before making it visible to the whole world.

To make the page visible to the whole world, click on 'State: ..' drop down in the Content Editor Header and choose 'published'.

4. How do I add a new news item?

Plone allows you to tag certain items as News and Events. These items automatically show up on the right hand side. To create a new news item, go to the "Current" folder under News, click on the 'add new...' drop down in the Content Editor Header and choose 'news item'. You can then enter the news item, in four parts -  short name (always use "-" instead of spaces for multiple words), title, one paragraph summary and full text. Once you enter it, click Save, and then change the state to "Publish" at the top right of the edit screen. Check and make sure that the news item shows up in the News page in the appropriate order. You can also change the date that shows up along with the news item by clicking on the 'Dates' tab in the news item and changing the "Publish" time.

5. How do I add a new image?

To add a new image, click on the page to get into Edit mode. Then click on the Tree icon in the editor tool bar. You can then choose to upload a new image, or insert an existing image.

6. How do I undo changes?

Lets say you have made a change you want to undo, you can click on the 'history' tab in the Content Editor Header. This will take you to a page that shows all the versions of the content. You can choose a version to compare to or revert to there. 

7. How do I exclude my page from showing up in the Navigation Tree?

When you add a new page, the link to that page automatically shows up in the navigation tree. For some pages, this is not desired. If you want to remove the page from the navigation tree, click on the 'edit' tab in the Content Editor Header, then click on the 'Settings' tab. There you can check the 'Exclude from navigation' checkbox and click Save. 

8. How do I add a link to a page? And how can I add a link to another spot on the same page?

When you are in edit mode you can highlight any text and click on the "Insert/Edit Link" chain icon. This will bring up a folder view of the site and you can select the page you want to link to. This allows plone to keep track of the links and in case we move pages or delete pages, Plone will warn us/fix the relative links. Note that you can also add links to text within the same page using anchors ... for example, clicking here will take you to Question 0. To add an anchor at a spot, use the "anchor" icon for "Insert/Edit Anchor" in the Plone editing menu, right next to the "Insert/Edit Link" icon. Once the anchor has been set at a spot in the page, you can point to it from anywhere else using the "Insert/Edit Link" chain icon.

9. How do I edit the URL for a file uploaded to the site?

In the Content view of a folder, select the file for which you want a custom URL and click on the "rename" button ...


In the next screen, you can rename the "Short Name" which is what is used for the URL of the file:


10. How do I edit the calendar for a chapter?

Send a mail to webteam and ask him to add you as a manager for the chapter calendar. We use Google Calendar on the site. An email will be sent to you saying that a calendar has been shared. On receipt of the email, you can go go to Google Calendar ( and add that calendar to your list. Then you can add/delete/modify events in that calendar and it should show up in your chapter calendar automatically.

11. How do I set up a new chapter?

Send a mail to with the email address of the  person responsible for maintaining the chapter page. A new account for the person will be created and given access to a new chapter area. A calendar will also be set up on the domain for the chapter and access will be given to it to that person.

12. How do I set up the default view of a folder?

Go to the folder, click on display and then on 'set content item as default view' (or it could also be called 'change content item as default view'. Then select the page you want to be the default and click save. For example, if you are working with a folder such as "bangalore" and want to make the page "Home" in that folder as the default page to open when that folder is clicked (i.e., then click on the "DISPLAY" (Green menu bar) and then SET CONTENT ITEM AS DEFAULT VIEW or CHANGE CONTENT ITEM AS DEFAULT VIEW ... and then pick the page titled "Home" as the default view.

Plone Menu








 13. Setting up a new chapter:

Create an account for the user that is going to maintain the site.

Go to the chapter folder (

Check the SF bay area box and click on Copy and then paste.

Then click on the link that says "Copy of..." then click Edit and change the title to the new chapter. Save.

Now  go back to the chapter folder and click the checkbox next to the new chapter. Click on change state and then check the box that says 'Include contained items'. Then publish the chapter. (You may want to hold of doing this till the chapter content is updated).

Go to ZMI ( and check the box next to new new chapter and click rename. Enter the chapter name and click save. (If you dont do this then the URL when people go to the new chapter will look weird. It will say copy-of-san-francisco...).

Now go to the new chapter page and click on sharing and give permissions to the new user.

Log on to

Create a calendar and share it with the person (Give full manage permissions)

Customize it and set the timezone, width and height as per existing calendars.

Copy the embed codes and paste it in the chapter page.



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