A Basic Guide on how to use the CAN Website

This page gives some basic information on how to get started using this website and creating material for it. If there's anything not clear, or you are having any difficulties, contact Website Support or your own web-group administrator. (To contact website support please use the CAN contact form and choose the "website feedback" category)

The main things you'll want to do are:

  • Create an "article" for others in a group (or the general public) to read and comment on. It might also be a place to store some file attachments.
  • Comment on someone's article (maybe even your own)
  • Edit the information in an article (either your own or another person's), e.g. correcting minutes, or collaboratively developing some material

Some people may also need to create or edit other types of content such as "Pages", "Local Group documents", or "Submissions". This is done pretty much the same way as an article, except that there may be a few different settings you can use.

For even more details about various aspects of creating and editing different content on the website, including adding images or weblinks, check out our tutorials: Getting Started with this Website and How to Use the CAN Website.

Finding your way around:

To access your groups, you first need to be logged in. If you don't log out, your computer should continue to remember who you are the next time you return.

Once logged in, on the right-hand side is a menu of items that may help you:

  • Often on a group homepage there are permanent Resources listed that provide links to other useful reference pages e.g. all the meetings, submissions, or other group documents
  • "My Recent": A link to all recent material posted or commented on in your groups - this is a very handy tool when you want to see what's changed since your last visit.
  • "My Groups": A link to all groups that you are subscribed to
  • "My Content": A link that lists all content that you have created on the website - useful if you need to go back and edit something
  • "Create content": Links to let you create different kinds of content on the website (article, image, local group document, etc)
  • "My account": A link to your account details in case you want to change anything (e.g. password)
  • "Log out": A link for logging out if you need to (this will return you to the public homepage)

Hint: if you hover your mouse over many text items, additional explanatory text may pop up to help guide you.

To create an Article:

This will create a new webpage for recording discussions, resources, etc

  1. Click on 'Create content > Article'.
  2. Fill in the fields (those with a red asterisk have to be filled in while the others are optional). Title and Body are the most important, although Tags are useful searching later (hint: type a few letters and let the website find the most appropriate existing tag to use).
  3. Under 'Groups', select an audience; usually your own group and tick Public if appropriate. You can also select multiple groups, but don't "spam". (Warning: if you do not pick any group it will be assumed to be public!)
  4. If you want to add any files to the article, browse for them under 'File attachments' then click 'Attach' (can do this multiple times). Later you can re-order, rename or hide some of them on the webpage.
  5. If you want to check what your finished article looks like first, click 'Preview' at the bottom. You can then apply any changes required.
  6. Once you are happy with the content, click 'Save' to permanently save your article and make it available.

Most people creating/editing articles will want to use the Rich Text Editor when working on the Body (main content); this is a toolbar at the top of your Body input area that looks a lot like typical word-processors. You can format text and paragraphs in a variety of ways (e.g. bold, bullets), as well as add hyperlinks and paste in text from other documents (Note: for formatted documents like Word and Outlook, use the "Paste from Word" button to strip out the superfluous formatting code). Experiment a bit if you like; as you'll see there is also an 'Undo' button!

Note: If you can't see the toolbar try clicking 'Enable rich-text' below the Body input area.

To leave a comment on an article:

At the bottom of each article go to 'Post new comment'. Write your 2c worth in the Comment box, add a Subject line if you like, and click 'Save' (your username will be automatically added). You can also reply to a specific comment, rather than the article itself; go to the relevant comment and click on the link 'reply' underneath it. And if need be, you can also 'edit' or 'delete' your own comments later if need be. Note that some permanent or public pages will not have Comments enabled. See example of a comment at the bottom of this page.

Note: you usually can't comment directly to a web group itself - if you want to say something you must either create a new article or put a comment on someone else's article.

To Edit an existing Article:

At the top of each article page there should be an 'Edit' tab (assuming you have the necessary rights to edit it). Simply click on the tab and you will see an edit page, similar to when creating an article. Make any necessary changes and then Preview/Save as required.

Sometimes it's useful to add a brief note under 'Revision information' so that people know what changes were made or why. Also if it's a minor tweak, then under 'Notifications' you may want to disable notice of this change going out to those receiving email updates.

Note: Don't be too concerned about "losing" previous material - we can easily revert any posting page back to a previous version if you've botched it up somehow.

Groups audience: 


This is an example of a comment. You can even set a subject title (otherwise it will just choose the first few words from your comment, like this one)