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Creating News items with the block editor

 

 

 

 

Table of contents

  1. Quick Guide
  2. Detailed Guide
  3. Options
  4. Management

**NOTE**

This article only contains information on using the block editor in News. For the complete guide to using all the features in News, including the block editor information shown below, please see the Creating and Managing News Items article.

 

Quick Guide

(For those familiar with news editors/block editors. Features mentioned in the following steps are covered further in the Detailed Guide section)

  1. In the News view, click the "+" in the action bar at the top.
  2. From the menu, select a template for your News item.
  3. Give your item a title and select the category you want to post it under.
  4. Add content to your draft. To add a new block, click the "+" button to the left of the draft and select the appropriate block for the type of content you want to add.
  5. In the column on the right, you can select the tile image for your article as well as set the publishing options for your item.
  6. At any time, you can go to the top right corner, open the action menu and select Save draft
  7. When you’re ready to post your item, click the Publish button.

 

Detailed Guide 

Creating News items with the block editor allows you to add multiple types of content to the same article and manage each of them independently, without having to worry about spacing or formatting.

 

The current content blocks include:

  • Text - can be manually entered or if format-free, copy and pasted
  • Image - browse and select or drag and drop image(s) into your article
  • Poll - create user surveys, answers can be image or text-based
  • Video - add videos from services like YouTube, Vimeo
  • Link Preview - takes a URL and turns it into a clickable preview of the content found there.
  • File Attachment - attach up to 6 files to your News item 
  • Embed - add embeddable content like forms and charts (and videos as well)

 

Getting started

To create your own News item, go to the action bar at the top of the News view, click on the Create New Item button (“+”), and select Blank Article, or any one of the other quick-start templates listed (details below).

 

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Templates

 

Blank article

"Blank article" is the base template for all the quick-start templates, so its features (shown below) will be included by default no matter what type of item you choose to create:

  1. Category select (featuring your customized News categories, learn more here)
  2. Title bar (titles have a limit of 100 characters)
  3. Text block (the block will expand with each line you type)
  4. Add block menu (click the + button to select the next type of block you want to add to your News item)

 

All quick-start templates

  • Blank article (Title field + Text block)
  • Blog post (Blank Article + above-title Image block)
  • Poll (Blank Article + Poll block)
  • Album (Blank Article + below-title Image block, w/gallery view for multiple images)
  • Video (Blank Article + Video block for service-hosted videos)

The Blog post quick-start template:

art_blogpost.png

 

TIP 

  • You can add/remove/rearrange any combination of blocks to your News item, regardless of which template you choose to start off with.

 

Web Article 

There is one other option, but it is not a block editor template. Selecting Web Article allows you to insert the URL of an external article or blog post and pull it into your own News. There is no character limits for Web Articles, but you are unable to add any additional blocks of content when using this option.

 

 

Using the block editor

To add a new block to your item, click the “+” on the left side of the editor and select the type of block you want from the menu. Repeat for every different and/or additional piece of content you wish to add.

BEblockmenu.png

 

TIPS

  1. You can reposition any block by holding down on its arrows icon, and dragging the block up or down to its new location.
  2. Click the "three dots" to the right of a block to open its options menu. You can also delete any block via the options menu.

 

Along the top of the News editor are your text options (bold, italics, underline, strikethrough, hyperlink) and formatting options. (NOTE — text color options are currently not available).

 

You can access the format options for your block content by clicking on the arrow and opening the dropdown menu.



TIPS

  • The Heading options aren't just for headings. For example, if you want your overall font size to be larger than the default size of "Paragraph", you can type your whole text block in "Heading 3" instead.
  • When using a text block, hitting Return will create a new block. To start a new paragraph within your current block, hold down Shift+Return.
  • If you want to include a list in your block, change the block format to Bulleted list or Numbered list (you can do this before or after typing the first item on your list). You'll then be able to hit Return after each item and populate your list within that block.

 

 

2. Image block

With the Image block you can drag and drop images directly into it or browse your files and select the images you want to insert. Once added, you can add a caption to the field directly below the image.

Click on the "three dots" to the right of the block to access the options menu.

 

Click on Edit image if you want to rotate, crop, and/or fill the image to the frame.

 

Adding multiple images to one Image block will automatically turn it into an album and display the additional images in a scroll below the main image*. These can also be viewed as a gallery.

*At this time, you cannot manually rearrange their scroll order once you've added them to the block.

And if you want to add multiple full-sized images to your News item instead, then just use a separate block for each image.



3. Poll block

A poll is a powerful tool to engage your audience, understand their interests, and foster participation. 

When you first add a Poll block, you'll see the settings where you can customize details like the number of options participants can select, the poll’s closing time, and whether votes will be anonymous.

 

Once you’ve configured these settings, you can revisit them any time by tapping the "three dots" located to the right of the block. 

 

After saving your settings, you can proceed to input the poll question and provide various options for participants to choose from during the voting process. (You need to include a minimum of two options in order to publish a poll.)

 

Poll options can feature both text and images, or they can be exclusively text-based or image-based. To add an image to your poll option, simply tap the image icon.

 

Additionally, you can rearrange your options by dragging the arrow icons, allowing for easy customization.

 

To remove or replace an option’s image or delete an option, tap the "three dots" to the right of the option to access those actions.

 

Once a poll closes, you will have the option to download a CSV file of the results from the action menu of the News item it was included in.

 



4. Video block

Once you add a Video block, you will need to add the URL of the video you want to insert into your News item.

vidblock.png

Once you’ve entered your URL, click the Save button to add the video to your News item.

BEvideo2.png

On the options menu for the video, you can only edit the video link, not the video itself.

BEvideo3.png



5. Link Preview block 

If you would like to insert a link to an external site or page and have it appear with a preview for your readers, you can you use the Link Preview block. Just insert the link you want to include in the field provided and click Save.

BElink1.png

Your link will now appear as a preview with a  thumbnail image and info blurb (if applicable). Open the options menu to edit your link or change the layout.

BElink2.png

 

6. File Attachment block 

fa01.png

The File Attachment block allows you to attach up to 6 files, in any compatible format, to your News item. You can drag-and-drop the files or browse and select them.

 

fa02.png

 

You can click on any of the attachments to preview the file in the viewer, then return to your News item by clicking the arrow in the top left corner of the preview.

fa04.png

 

7. Embed block

The Embed block can also be used to add videos, as well as any embeddable content, such as forms or tables and charts (for example, use the "Share" option on tables created in MS or Google products to retrieve an embed code and use that with the embed block to insert the table into your News article). The format and options are nearly identical to those of the Video block, except you’ll be entering an embed code instead of a URL.

embedblock.png

 

Enter your embed code in the given area and select Save to embed your content. 

BEembed2.png

 

As with the Video block, you can only edit the code you entered, not the embedded content itself. 

 

BEembed3.png

 

***

 

NOTE—below is a partial overview of the Options and Management features in News. These features are covered in more detail in the Creating and Managing News Items article (direct links included below, as well).

 

Options 

In the column to the right of the block editor you’ll find all the optional settings available for your News item.

Tile Preview

The Tile Preview is where you set the image you want displayed for your article on the News view. Click Edit in the upper right corner to select any compatible image from your article and set it as your tile image.


BEtile.png

Visible To  

Lets you target your News item at a particular audience using the List Selector. Learn more.

Feature in Banner 

Lets you draw attention to a News item by displaying for a set duration in a carousel that stretches across the top of your News view. 

Sign Off

Requires each reader to sign off that they have read and understood this News item. Learn more.

Commenting 

You can toggle comments on or off for your article as well as whether you want to be notified about them or not.

Publish Date and Auto-Archive 

These options allow you to set a time and date in the future to publish and/or remove your item from the News view.

Pin (so new users see) 

Allows you to pin must-read News items (policy changes, employee guides, etc.) at the top of your News feed for all current and future users, until read.

Publishing Role

News Editors and/or Reporters that belong to more than one one Reporter Group may be prompted to select their Publishing Role in order to access certain features.

 

options.png



Management

Publishing items

When you have finished creating your News item, you can click Publish at the top of the screen or Publish and Notify, if applicable (learn more about Notify here).

 

1-publish-menu-open.png

 

Scheduling items

If you set a Publish Date for your item, then instead of a Publish button you will see a Schedule button. Clicking this button (or the Schedule and Notify option) will send your item to the Scheduled list and then automatically post it on the date you set.

 

2-schedule-menu-open.png

 

Saving drafts

If you're not ready to publish, then you can open the drop down menu in the Publish button and select Save Draft so you can come back to it later.

 

3-save-draft.png

 

To edit a published item, open the item and click the Edit link in the upper right corner.

 

Managing items

At the top of the main News view, you can click on the action menu icon (aka "three dots") to access and manage the tables containing your Drafts, Published, Scheduled, and Archived items as well download overall viewing and sharing metrics reports

abactionnews2.png

 

To download detailed metrics for individual items, just go to the table they appear on, check off the boxes next to them and then open the action menu in the top right corner and select Download metrics

 

dlmetrics.png

 

 

 

Duplicating items 

News Editors have the ability to duplicate any News item and use it as a template for a similar item. This can be done two ways:

  • via the action menu while in Edit mode of a published item
  • from the action menu of an item on any of the management tables mentioned above (Archived, Published, Draft, Scheduled)

dup01.png

A duplicated item will copy all of the content and settings from the original (except for any time-related settings) and will be placed in the Draft table so the News Editor can make any changes to it they wish before saving or publishing it.

The default title of the duplicated item (which can be edited) will be the same as the original item's title, but prefaced with "Copy of".

dup02.png

 

This feature is also very useful for ghostwriting, or publishing an article on someone else's behalf. For example, if a CEO wants someone to publish an article under their name, then a News Editor can just go to any article that was previously published by the CEO, duplicate it, then use that as a template for the new article. When they go to publish the new article they can opt to keep the CEO as the author and then publish it on their behalf. 

 

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4 Comments

  • 0
    Avatar
    Katie Culpepper

    We used to place tables in the old news editor. How can we do that in the new one? The "tab" button doesn't work and I can't see the code of the text to edit it.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Permanently deleted user

    Hi Katie,

    Tables created in Google Sheets, Google Docs, or the cloud versions of Excel or Word can now be inserted into News articles via the Embed block. Depending on which product you've used to create your table, you can select either Share > Publish or Share > Embed to access an embed code that you can copy into an Embed block in your News article.

    And while you can't edit the embedded table, if you make edits to your original in, for example, Google Sheets, then those edits will be reflected in the embedded version in your article.

    Hope this helps!

    Vince

  • 0
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    Rebekah Hylton

    Are we able to customize the color of our text in the new block editor, like we could with the old version? Where is that feature? 

  • 0
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    Permanently deleted user

    Hi Rebekah,

    The text color options for the block editor are currently being revised, and will be added to the platform in a future update.

    Vince

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