Editor Enhancement Toolkit: Module Overview

The module formally known as “Enhance the Editor Experience” is now known as the “Editor Enhancement Toolkit”; it has been refactored and includes cool new features. The source can be downloaded from GitHub and the module is available on Sitecore’s Marketplace.

The “Editor Enhancement Toolkit” is based on my “MySpace the Content Editor” blog trilogy. The concepts are similar but the code, features, and approach have improved.

What benefits does this module provide you and your Sitecore implementation?

The module was initially created as a tool to improve a content author’s experience editing content in the Content Editor as well as the Experience Editor. It’s useful in disguising architectural mistakes, but shouldn’t be used as an excuse to purposely make poor decisions.

Feature 1:  Using the rules engine, we can target items based on the conditions like the ones found in “Item Hierarchy,” “Item Attributes,” “Item Information,” “Security,” etc.

Currently 10 actions are there to help you.  Just set up the conditions and if they pass, the action(s) fire.

Field and Section Actions:
Located: /sitecore/system/Settings/Rules/EditorEnhancementToolKit

  • Display Field Name As– Have a field that is not named accurately in some of the areas it is used? This could cause a lot of confusion. Use the conditions to target that item, on the action, enter the original field name, and give it a new name*.
  • Display Section Name As– This action functions the same as the “Display Field Name As” action.
  • Hide Field/Hide Section– Sometimes it’s unavoidable due to tight deadlines, changing requirements, and/or bloated templates filled with a lot of fields or sections that often go unused in certain areas of the site. These actions will help reduce the bloat; just set up the rule conditions to target those unnecessary fields and sections and when the conditions are met, the action fires, hides those areas defined, and hopefully reduces the content author’s confusion and anxiety moving forward.
  • Set Field Name’s Short Description– This action gives you the option to modify the short description if needed.
  • Set the Source for Field– I am aware that on certain list fields you can use Sitecore queries and specify multiple datasources, but I thought why not provide another option?  Example: A developer is developing a multi-site implementation of Sitecore and they’re following the principles of Helix to the best of their ability. In the ‘Foundation’ templates, the dev decides that they want to reuse a template that contains an image field across all the sites. Normally the source field should point to the site’s image folder unless the images are used globally. In this instance, the images are site specific. The dev decides to be lazy and points the source to the root media library item. Good news; this action allows you to change the source depending on the conditions you define. Now if this template is used on Site A, it will pull from the Site A image folder that you defined on the action.
  • Map File**– This action comes in handy when bulk changes are needed. Using XML, fill in the nodes with the correct data. The directory that this file is placed into is customizable in a config setting. After the editing is complete, place the file in the defined location and then enter the filename in the action.
  • Style the Section Header and Field Labels– I included these in honor of my original posts titled “MySpace the Content Editor.”  Relive your youth and the fun you had learning “CSS” and go crazy with the inline styles!

Feature 2: The Virtual Section.  The virtual section doesn’t exist in Sitecore; it’s defined in the XML.** Currently its only function is to act as a container for an author’s “most favorite” of the “Standard Fields.”  Leaving the “Standard Fields” located in the “View” ribbon is unchecked allows the Virtual Section to appear under the ”Quick Info” section.  The fields that are defined in the XML are removed from their normal locations and appear in this new section. If the “Standard Fields” checkbox is checked, the fields will move back to their original location and the Virtual Section will no longer be visible.

* These actions do not alter the Sitecore items in any way. They simply mask the field and section names, keeping the original hidden and untouched.

** The ability to create, edit, and delete these XML files easily in the Sitecore UI is in development and is scheduled for the module’s 2.0 release.

Do you enjoy my oddly themed blogs and wish you had access to even more of me and my ideas? Good news, you’re in luck!

If 140 characters is your thing, follow me on Twitter.

If you hate reading and watching Sitecore videos entertains you, head over to my YouTube channel! Sometimes I entertain, sometime I provide useful Sitecore information and sometimes I can do both in the same video.

I can also be found hanging out on the Sitecore channels on Slack, I like it, although it occasionally triggers AOL chat room flashbacks from the olden days.

You can also find me adding content on LinkedIn and on Reddit.