Table to Contents

Overview

The Blocks Library is where all of the block instances that have been created for your site are located. These blocks are then placed into the regions on your site, where they will eventually be populated with content, based on how they're setup. The Blocks Library contains a variety of blocks, but new blocks can be created very easily. 


From the dropdown in the the upper left choose Design / Blocks (Not sure how to access BLOX Applications? Click here).

To create a new block, select the + New button from the Block Library. This will open the Create a New Block window. This window contains all of the available block types on the left-hand side of the window, as well as, a block template selector scroll on the right-hand side. Block templates can easily be located by utilizing the search field at the top of this window. Search criteria can be reset by selecting the Reset button.

Choose a block type from the list, based on the content that you're working with, such as Editorial or Classifieds. Editorial blocks are the most common type of block that will be used on your site.

Block Types

The following block types are available: 

  • Editorial Asset Block: Used with block templates that pull in assets from the database, for example: slideshow-thumbnails, asset-index-lead-presentation, asset-index-centerpiece. This is the asset block type with the greatest flexibility and is the most often used.
  • Business Asset Block: Used with block templates that pull in assets using the Business Directory application.
  • Calendar Asset Block: Used with bock templates that pull in assets used with the Calendar application, such as calendar-widget.
  • Classifieds Asset Block: Used with block templates that pull in assets used with the Classifieds application.
  • e-Edition Asset Block: Used with block templates that pull in blocks using the e-Edition application. 
  • Ads Block: Used with block templates that pull in blocks using the Banner Ads application.
  • Email Card Blocks: Used with block templates that pull in blocks using the Email Reach application.

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Once a block type has been chosen, a scroll list of appropriate block templates populates the right-hand side of the window. The block template scroll contains a preview of how that template will display on the front end, as well as a textual description of the template.

You can toggle the Show and Hide Summaries options at the bottom of the Create a New Block window to either view the available block templates as a list, or in a user-friendly way with included preview.

After a block template has been selected, the name of the block will automatically populate within the Give The Block a Name field, based on the name of the template that has been chosen. The name can be modified to suit preference. Select the Continue button to continue. This will open the Edit Block window.

Edit Block Window

The Edit Block window is where the characteristics of a block can be modified. Depending on the block template that is being used, the Edit Block window can be made up of the following sections: ContentAppearanceLinks, Configuration, and Widget.

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Content

Under Content, you can set up the query and sorting rules for the block.

Content is divided into three main sections: 

  • Query Rules : On the left-hand side, allows a user to modify the query rules of the selected block. Options include: + AddEdit, and Remove.
  • Sorting Rules : On the lower left-hand side allows a user to modify the sorting rules of the selected block. Options include: + Add, Edit, and Remove.
  • Query Results : The main area displays the assets that will be pulled into the block, based on the chosen query and sorting rules. Options include: Add Pinned assetsEditPin, and Unpin. The bottom of this also offers options to toggle the Show and Hide Summaries options to either view the available assets as a list, or in a user-friendly way.  

Query Rules

  • In this we can set up the query rules for a block. Options include: + AddEdit, and Remove.
  • To create a query rule, from the Edit Block window, select the + Add button. This will open the Choose a Rule Type window. Select the type of rule that you would like to add, and then select the Continue button. This will open the Edit Rule window where the corresponding rule specifics can be modified.  There are multiple Query Rule Types to use when establishing your query, each has their own Option Types and Values.  They are all listed below.
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Query Rule Types

  • Rule types include: Display priorityAsset typeStart date/timeArchive date/timeTitleLikesFlagsKeyword tagsSection tagsGeo tagsSite tagsAuthor, Presentation, and Source application.

Asset Type

  • Operation: Options include: Asset type is or Asset type is not.
  • Asset type: Choose an Asset type(s) value that corresponds with the chosen operation. Options include: ArticleAudioHTML, PDFVideoSyndicasterZIPTableImageFlashLinkPollYouTube, and Collection assets.

Start Date/Time

  • Operation: Options include: On this dayEarlier than, or No earlier than.
  • Value: Chose a Start date/time value that corresponds with the chosen operation by utilizing the calendar dropdown menu.

Archive Date/Time

  • Operation: Options include: On this dayNot On This DayEarlier Than, or Later Than.
  • Value: Choose an Archive Date/Time Value that corresponds with the chosen operation by utilizing the Calendar dropdown menu.

Title

  • Operation: Options include: Matches or Does Not Match.
  • Value: Choose a Title Value that corresponds exactly with the chosen operation.  If your selected Operation is 'Matches', the Value must be enclosed in quotes, and capitalized exactly as the desired assets are.  
  • The query rule is most useful as an exclusionary rule; to exclude an asset that is specifically not wanted in this block.

Likes

  • This function is no longer supported.

Flags

  • Operation: Options include: With Flag or Without Flag.
  • Flags: Choose the Flag(s) that corresponds with the chosen operation.

Keyword Tags

  • Operation: Options include: With Keyword or Without Keyword.
  • Value: Choose the + Add button to add Keyword(s) that correspond with the chosen operation. Keyword(s) can be removed by highlighting and then choosing the - Remove button.

Section Tags

  • Operation: Options include: Mapped To SectionNot Mapped To SectionMatches Current URL, or Matches Current URL or Descendant.
  • Value: Choose the + Add button to open the Select Sections window and choose the Section(s) that correspond with the chosen operation. Multiple sections can be chosen by holding down the Ctrl key as the sections are being selected. Section ranges can be chosen by holding down the Shift key as the range of sections is selected. Sections(s) can be removed by highlighting and then choosing the - Remove button.
  • Include children: Place a Checkmark here if you would like child sections included in your selection.

Geo Tags

  • Operation: Options include: Has Geo Tag or Does Not Have Geo Tag.
  • Value: Choose the + Add button to open the Edit Geo Tags Rule window and choose the Geolocation(s) that correspond with the chosen operation. In FLEX, just click the box next to Geolocations you want to select.  Geolocation ranges can be chosen by holding down the Shift key as the range of locations is selected. Geolocations can be removed by highlighting and then choosing the - Remove button.
  • Include Children: Place a Checkmark here if you would like child sections included in your selection.

Site Tags

  • Operation: Options include: Has Site Tag or Does Not Have Site Tag.
  • Value: Choose the + Add button to open the Edit Site Tags Rule window and choose the Site(s) that correspond with the chosen operation. Site Tags can be removed by highlighting and then choosing the - Remove button.

Author

  • Operation: Options include: Has User or Does Not Have User.
  • User: Choose an Author that corresponds with the chosen operation by utilizing the User dropdown menu.

Source Application

  • Operation: Options include: Has Application or Does Not Have Application.
  • Application: Choose an Application that corresponds with the chosen operation by utilizing the Application dropdown menu.

Sorting Rules

  • In this we can set up the sorting rules for a block. Options include: + Add, Edit, and Remove.
    • To create a sorting rule, select the + Add button. This will open the Edit Sorting Rule window. Select the type of rule that you would like to add and then choose the OK button to confirm your selections. Options include: Sort By and Direction.
    • Sort by: Options include: Display Priority, Start Date/TimeArchive Date/TimeTitleLikesStart Date, Update Time, or Random.
    • Direction: Direction options change based on the Sort By criteria. These options include: Lowest First or Highest FirstOldest First or Newest Firstto Zto A, or Ascending or Descending. You can also Sort based on User Reactions (Angry, Sad, Funny, Wow, and Love). Sorting on User Reactions is only available with the Editorial Block Type - for more information on User Reactions, Click Here.
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Query Results

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  • In this we can view the results of our query rules for a block. The assets that are listed here will change, based on the Query and Sorting Rules that were chosen on left-hand side. Options include: Add Pinned AssetsEditPin, and Unpin. The bottom of the Query Results  offers options to modify the query size. This also features the same Show and Hide Summaries options as mentioned above, to either view the available assets as a list or in a user-friendly way, with preview, as shown in the examples below.
    • Add Pinned Assets: Pinned assets (formerly Sticky assets) are assets that are pinned directly to a block and completely ignore the Query and Sorting Rules. Pinned assets are useful when adding content to a block quickly, without concern of how the block was configured. When an asset has been pinned, it can be distinguished from other assets by noting both the red pushpin indicator, as well as, the bold line beneath it. Using this option will open a Search Results window where assets can be pinned to the block. Choose the Add Selected Assets button to confirm your selection.
    • The order of pinned assets can be modified by simply dragging the assets into the correct order as desired.
    • Edit: An asset can be edited directly from within a block by choosing the Edit button. The asset will open in the same way as it would within the Asset workspace.
    • Pin: Choose this option to pin an asset that has already been generated through the Query and Sorting Rules.
    • Unpin: Choose this option to unpin an asset that has previously been pinned to the block.
    • Change: Choose this option to modify the number of items to display in the block. The number of display items appears at the bottom of this window, just to the left-hand side of the Change button. Options include: Max. items and First Item.
      • Max. Items: Maximum number of items to display in the block. Any pinned assets will count against the limit. An asset block may not display more than 50 items.
      • First Item: Position in the query's result set from which to begin displaying items.

Links

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Under Links, you can setup links that you would like to be included within the block on the front end of your site. Options include: AddEdit, and Remove.

  • Add: Choose this option to add a new link. This will open the Edit Block Link window. More than one link can be added.
    • Link Text: Enter the link title/text that will be displayed on the front end.
    • URL: Enter the fully qualified URL path in which you want to link to and click Okay when done.
  • Edit: After a link has been created, it can further edited by using the Edit option.
  • Remove: After a link has been created, it can be removed by using the Remove option.

Name/Description

  • In this , we can setup the name of the block and add a meaningful description for admin users of the selected block. Options include: Name and Description.
    • Name: The name of the block.
    • Description: A brief description of the block can be included for admin users. The block description will NOT be displayed on the front end. 

Tags

  • In this , we can add tags to the selected block. Tags are searchable keywords and can be beneficial when a user is trying to locate a particular block within the Block Library. Options include: AddRemove, and Disable Block.
    • Add: Choose this option to add a new tag to the selected block.
    • Remove: Choose this option to remove a tag that has already been assigned to the selected block.
    • Disable block: Place a Checkmark in this box to disable the block from displaying on the front end. 

Block Usage

  • In this , we can view the URLs that the selected block is currently assigned to. Options include Load Page
  • Load Page: After a URL has been highlighted, choose Load Page to quickly navigate to the specified URL, right from within the Block Manager.

Widget

Options

  • Use Secure URL: Place a Checkmark in this box to have a secure URL generated for widget placement.
  • Width: Choose a width value for your widget.
  • Height: Choose a height value for your widget.
  • When width and height values are entered, those values will carry over into the embed code. For example, if a width of 4 and a height of 6 was entered, the following code would be generated: <iframe src="http://www.asickler.townnews365.com/tncms/block/595058/" width="4" height="6"></iframe>

Embed Code

  • This provides the embed code that will later be placed on a third-party site. The code can be utilized by simply copying and pasting the code to a third-party site. 

Preview

  • This provides a user a preview of how the block will look on a third-party site.

Note: Widget embed codes will not work for blocks that are setup with a section tag setting of "Matches current URL" or "Matches current URL or descendants". For the widget code to work on a third party site specific section tags must be used within the query rules.


Cloning A Block

  • Cloning a block is most often used to make changes to a certain block, without changing it on other pages. For example, you might have the same blocks set up on your sports, opinion, and news page. If you want to make a change to the block on the sports page, but not the opinion page, you will want to clone that block and make the changes on the new block. Then the changes on the sports page won't affect the opinion or news pages.
  • Cloning a block can be easily accomplished by first selecting the block that you would like to duplicate within the Blocks Library. Next, right-click to reveal a dropdown menu, and then choose the Clone option to make a duplicate of the selected block. This will bring up the Edit Block Instance window.
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  • Notice that all the information is the same as the block you copied from except it has (copy) after the name. You can now change the name and any other information on the block that you would like to make for this new block and click the Save button when you're done.
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Exporting/Importing A Block

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  • The block Export / Import options are located at the bottom of the Block Library .  These options can be useful in the event that a user wants to either export or import blocks between BLOX sites. Options include: Export Search ResultsExport Selected Blocks Only, and Import Blocks.
  • Export Search Results: Use this option when exporting a group of blocks that have been generated from a search query. For example, if a query was performed on the term Lists, this option would package all blocks that contain the term Lists into the block export. 
  • Export Selected Blocks Only: Use this option when exporting one or more blocks. Multiple blocks can be selected by holding down the CTRL button, and then selecting the other desired blocks. All of the selected blocks will then be highlighted in blue. Next, select the Export Search Results option to complete the export.
  • Import Blocks: User this option when importing blocks from another site. This will populate an Upload File window where a user can upload the appropriate .tpm file to the Block Manager.