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What do the locks mean and how do you get rid of them?

From Joomla! Documentation
This tutorial is for Joomla! CMS Version(s) Joomla 2.5 Joomla 3.x

At any given time you may see a padlock next to a specific item in Joomla!'s administrative backend. These padlocks may be displayed next to any of the following (Content Items, Menu Items, Modules, etc).

The Joomla! system places these padlocks next to an item to indicate that a user is currently editing the item (i.e. the item is "checked out"). The lock is removed when the user clicks on the "Save" or "Close" button for that item. If the user never clicks "Save" or "Close" and instead hits the "Back" button or navigates to another page, then the item remains locked. If a different user needs to work with an item that is in the "checked out" state he or she must first ask a manager or administrator to check the item in before any new changes can be made.
Checking Items In

There are three ways of checking items back in. One way is to contact the person that has the item checked out to see if they are done with the item. You can hover the cursor above the lock and the tooltip popup will display the name of the user who checked out the article.

If you have access to the administrative backend and sufficient rights and can also either click on the padlock to check only this item back in or click on Site->Maintenance->Global Check-in to check all items in.

The later option should be used very carefully, especially in multi-user environments. This single action checks in all previously checked out items, whether they were checked out by you or not. Possible undesirable side effects may be that multiple editors end up working on the same document. In this case whoever clicks the save button last has their version saved as the final copy.

For Administrators and Super Administrators Only

There can be numerous reasons for taking your Joomla site off-line. You don't need to take it off-line to add new articles or change the site however.
The site can only be taken off-line by super administrators or administrators: if you fall into this category, log in to the Back End Administration section.

Click on "global configuration" and then change the "site off-line" option button from no to yes. When you want to bring the site back online simply reverse the procedure.

Within this section of the Administration compliment you can also enter the message showing whilst the site is off-line.

This article is currently under review, as the topic of menus in Joomla is exceptionally important,and the help documentation built into Joomla is very sketchy.

Menus and templates.

The basic look of menus on your website is determined by the template you are using. You can't do much to alter this except by using a new template. Whilst we can create templates for you, we do not support third-party templates.


The first situation I cover is to add an uncategorised article to a menu. This illustrates a number of basic points so I hope you find it helpful

First create your article in article manager and save it, exceptionally in this instance do not allocate a category. If you look on your website you will see that there is no reference to the article in the menus (although there may be some references in boxes such as "most recent articles"

So you have to add it to one or more menus. For this illustration I am using screenshots from the comfycomputing Ltd website, and adding the article to the main menu. This is the menu on the left hand side, if you are not sure which is which, the easiest way is to temporarily unpublish each menu listed in the menu manager list and see what disappears. Don't forget to republish it.

Now, on your main control panel select the main heading menus, on the drop-down list, you should see a fly out marked add new menu item. Click on this. You should get a screen headed menu manager: new menu item.

On the left-hand side the first item asks for the menu item type click on select and the screen will go dark and display a box which you should select. Here is a screenshot:









and here is an enlargement of the highlighted area which is by far the most frequently used item




The Articles heading contains the following options:

  1. archived articles
  2. single article
  3. list all categories
  4. category blog
  5. category list
  6. featured articles
  7. create articles

In this initial scenario all you need do is select single article, you should then see on the right hand side of the Menu Manager new menu item screen an item headed required settings. Click select change and you will bring up a list of on the article to display. You then need to choose a title which will appear in the menu itself, if you give it a long title will take up a lot of space on the menu so you should use something short and clear.

Save the entry, then preview the results from view site, if all is well your new article will be diplayed on the menu of your choice.

The second scenario I should like to cover is changing the way articles are displayed after clicking in a menu. As you may be aware there are two basic ways of displaying articles: as a list of articles, or as a blog, in the case of Joomla this means rather like a newspaper.

If you have a category with only one or two articles in it you will probably have set the menu, or it will have been set for you, to display a blog layout.
However when you add more articles this becomes increasingly difficult to read and very long, so it would be more prudent to have an article list format.

This is simple to achieve: go to the menu manager for the relevant menu, then choose the menu item you want to alter in the relevant menu item manager. In this case we are changing from blog layout to category list layout, so amend the menu type to category blog and select the appropriate category. That's really all there is to it basically. There are plenty of options available to amend the way the category list appears, the easiest way is to try it and see.

Changing from Category to blog view is just the same, only backwards, if you see what I mean!

Using the TinyMCE editor.

The TinyMCE editor is the default editor that is displayed in article manager and it is worth studying in depth. You must take care however as the editor is not designed just for Joomla and there are some options you should not use.

Here is a screen shot of the top of the editor,
which provides many standard editing commands, as follows:

    Top Row.
        Buttons in the upper left allow you to make teTinyMCE bold, italic, underlined, or strikethrough. NeTinyMCE to that are buttons for align left, right, center, and full.
        Styles. Caption and System Pagebreak styles can be set. Highlight the desired text and select the style. This will allow this text to be formatted based on the manner specified in the template you are using.
        Format. Select pre-defined formats for Paragraph, Address, Heading1, and so on.

    Second Row.
        Unordered List, Ordered list, Outdent (move left) and Indent (indent right).
        Undo (Ctrl+Z) and Re-do (Ctrl+Y).
        Insert/Edit Link. To insert or edit a link, select the linked teTinyMCE and press this button. A popup dialog displays that lets you enter details about the link.
        Unlink. To remove a link, highlight the linked teTinyMCE and press this button.
        Insert/Edit Anchor. An anchor is a bookmark inside an article that lets you link directly to that point in the article. To insert an anchor, move the cursor to the desired location within the article and click this button. A window will display. Enter the name of the Anchor and press Insert. A small anchor icon will show in the location of the anchor. You can edit the name of the anchor by clicking on it and pressing this button. You can delete the anchor just by selecting it and pressing the Delete key.
        Insert/Edit Image. I recommend NOT using this.

        Cleanup Messy Code. I recommend NOT using this
        About TinyMCE editor. Shows the TinyMCE version.
        Edit HTML Source. A popup displays showing the HTML source code, allowing you to edit the HTML source code.

    Third Row.
        Insert Horizontal Ruler.
        Remove Formatting.
        Toggle Guidelines/Invisible elements.
        Subscript, Superscript, Insert Custom Character

Menus are a crucial part of Joomla: if you only ever modify articles from the front end editor, you need not worry too much about creating new menus, otherwise read on.

First basic point, however wonderful the article that you have created is, users of the website have to be able to bring it up on the screen to read it. This means it needs to appear on a menu somewhere.

If you do not give a category to the article, you will need to create a specific link on a menu, if the article is in a category, it will probably appear automatically by clicking the relevant link.

To explain a little further, Joomla menus can contain a variety of different behaviours depending on choices made when the item on the menu is created. If you go to the menu manager and click on the add item to menu link you can see all these options and these are covered in more depth in the article "Menus in Depth."

You will need to be acquainted with the way the menus on your own website work, the likelihood is that clicking on the main menu will lead you either to a list of articles in a particular category, or to a newspaper type layout which Joomla has chosen very perversely to call a blog.

If the menu item displays a blog then the article you have just written will be displayed at the top, the other articles being displayed in columns below it. Note that all these can be altered: see menus in depth.

If the menu item displays a list of articles or subcategories, the newly created masterpiece will appear at the bottom of the list.

It may be that this is sufficient to get the website working and you may need to go no further. Menus in depth covers menus in much more detail.