Drupal Reference Guide for Department Websites

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Drupal navigation

When you are logged in you will see the basic Drupal interface. There is a black menu bar at the very top of your screen with "Manage", "Shortcuts", and your username, and then grey buttons at the bottom right of your screen with "View", "Edit, and "File Browser."

To access the homepage at any time, click the department name next to the university seal.

Editing a page

When you are logged in, all pages that you can edit will have a gray edit button at the bottom right. Clicking it will take you to the editing view for that specific page. Landing pages and the homepage are considered “blocks” and so you’ll see an “Edit Block” buton, while basic and modal pages will just say “Edit”, but both buttons have the same functionality by taking you to the editing view for that respective page.

Finding content to edit

To get to the content menu/browser, click on the “Manage” drop-down at the top right, and then “Content":

Content search in Drupal

The content menu/browser allows you to find any page or article that exists on your department site. Using the various filters, you can search by:

  • title
  • type of content
  • author
  • is this page published
  • taxonomy terms

Stripping Formatting

Be careful when copying and pasting text from an email or a Word/PDF document into Drupal. Those programs can include HTML styling behind the scenes that alters the pre-loaded fonts/spacing/colors that we've established in our design templates for the department website. To remove the formatting, highlight the pasted text and click the “Remove Format” icon (a large "T" with a subscript "x"). Be sure you use the remove formatting button every time you paste text into a Drupal page or article. Do this first, and then add any additional formatting (bold, italics, etc.) that you'd like.

Inserting links.

Highlight the text you want to use for the link and click the chain-link icon:

When the link menu opens,, enter the URL of the page you're linking to in the URL box, or if you're linking to an email address, change the "Link Type" drop-down to "Email..

Linking to documents

Follow the instructions above as you would for a link, but instead of entering a URL, click on the "Browse Server" button. In the file browser window that opens, click “Upload” at the top left, and then “Browse” to locate the document on your computer. After selecting the document, click the larger “Upload” button that appears in the dialog box.:

Your uploaded file will appear in the list on the right highlighted in blue…to finish, click “Insert File” (next to the green checkmark) on the top menu:

Inserting images in a basic page, modal page or article

Use the “picture frame” icon, and then follow the same directions as above for inserting a document. Be sure to size and crop your image before uploading it to the website and be sure to delete the auto-filled “width” and “height” fields after you upload. Also try to compress images to as small a file size as possible (without sacrificing quality) when editing them.

Photo sizing guidelines 

Pano images for landing pages and “feature stories”: 1440 x 525 

“Mini-pano” images for basic pages: 700 x 290 

"Local" article images: 450 x 517  

Newsleter images: 600x400

Faculty profile images: 450 x 515

Images to accompany phototext blocks on homepage/landing pages: 600 x 400

When adding photos to the body of a page, use your own discretion when it comes to cropping/sizing, but feel free to ask Scott for advice.

Embedding videos

To embed Youtube videos in a page or article, go to the Youtube video page, click on “Share” right below the video title, and then “Embed”. Copy only the code that comes after “src=” (see highlighted portion in screenshot below for example). Do not copy the quotation marks:

On the article or page edit screen start a new line where you want to embed the video and then click the “globe” icon in the text editor. Paste the code you copied from Youtube into the “URL” field, and then click “OK.:


The final step: after clicking OK, click on the ‘iFrame” box that appears in the text editor to highlight it, and then select “Video Container” from the “Styles” drop-down menu:

Click "save" at the bottom, and then you're all set.

Modal pages:

  • To reorganize sections of a modal page, click and hold on the cross-hatch to the left of the text box and then drag up or down.
  • To delete a section of a modal page, click the blue “Remove” button at the bottom of the section.
  • To change the name of a section on a modal page (these appear automatically in the green box of "anchor points" on the left side of the page), edit the text in the “Section Title” field.

  • If you want to link to a specific section on a modal page, you can include the “#” portion in the URL, i.e., to link to the Study Abroad section of the Asian Studies undergraduate page, the URL would be “http://asianstudiesdev.as.cornell.edu/undergraduate#studyabroad”

Article publishing and sorting:

From the editing screen of an article, if you scroll all the way down to the green "save" button, you'll see a tab above and to the left that says "Publishing Options". If you click that, you'll see three checkboxes:

By default, only the top one, "Published" will be checked on new articles.

The second option, "Promoted to the front page", enables you to quickly add old stories back to the homepage if you need to. You should also make sure to check this box on any new articles you create, unless you want them to go straight to the news archive without appearing on the homepage.

The third option, "Sticky at top of lists", allows you to "pin" articles to the top of the two news slots on the homepage so that they stay there permanently and won't get cycled out when you add new articles unless you remove the "sticky" option. This is useful when you have a statement or announcement that you want to remain visible on the homepage, even as other news stories come and go below it.

Below is the sorting hierarchy the websites use to determine the order in which articles appear on the homepage.

1. Promoted to front page articles that do not have this box checked will not appear on the homepage, and will appear in the news archive only.

2." Sticky"-articles with "Sticky" checked will get the top spot on the homepage and the first spot in the news archive. If more than one articles is made sticky, the one with the most recent "Dateline" will be first. If an article is made sticky, but isn't "promoted", it won't appear on the homepage and will be visible only in the archive instead.

3. Dateline -this field can be edited by you and also displays publicly on the article. After "promoted" and "sticky",  the sorting system uses the dateline to determine which article comes next. If there are no "sticky" articles, the homepage will display the two promoted articles with the most recent datelines. The dateline also determines the order of articles in the news archive.

Article tips:

  • Be sure to always add a 450x517 image to the "Image" field.
  • If you'd like the article to also appear in one of the "featured news" slots on the homepage, add a 1440x525 image to the "Pano Image" field in addition to the regular image above.
  • When writing/editing an article, be sure to add a one or two-sentence summary to the "Summary" field. The summary will appear underneath the article headline on the homepage. Do not include links in the summary field.
  • Stories from the Cornell Chronicle and Ezra Magazine and be reproduced on your department site so long as you include a link to the original story.
  • Stories from outside media cannot be reproduced completely: you must add at least a paragraph or two of your own content, after which you can copy a paste a small snipper or quote from the original story. Be sure to also link to the original story.
  • If an article mentions or discusses one of your faculty members, type their name into the "Related Person" field when editing. This will allow the article to appear automatically as a link in their faculty profile.
  • The article content type works well for general department news and announcements (i.e. job postings, awards, new publications), even if they haven't been covered by the Chronicle or on the A&S website. 
  • To add a new article: go to the "Content" menu in the black navigational bar at the top of your screen, and then click the blue "Add New Content" button near the top. Select "Article" as the content type.