Forums | Mahara Community
Copying text boxes
30 August 2012, 4:45 AM
I know that when you create a new text box, their is also a note created, which can be edited either in the text box or the note.
All well and fine so far.
However, if I create another new text box and select "use content from another text box" (now I have text boxes A and B, but both are still note A). If I update the text in text box A, it also updates in B.
This is not so good.
Also, if I copy a page with a text box (the note) in it, it creates a link from the note to both pages (with no option what to do with the text box/note) and if I update the text box in one page, it updates them in both.
Again, not good.
Imagine I create a template for students to use and pass that down to them to use as a template themselves to copy for 10 reports. As soon as they copy the template, then change their first page, this changes their template and then effectively messes up their template for the other 10 pages to be created.
Would it not be better if copying pages, that the notes are also copied and new ones created rather than linking to the exising note?
Thoughts? Is this a bug? If so, I'm happy to raise one.
30 August 2012, 6:36 AM
I would disagree with your assessment that the current implementation of the copying of the text box is messing up your portfolio.
Being able to update a text box in one page and have it updated in a second was a requirement. That way it is more like other artefacts in Mahara, e.g. journal entries, files, resume and profile information.
When you copy a text box, it explicitely says right above the editor: "If you edit the text of this block, it will also be changed in 1 other block(s) where it appears. Make a copy (link to make a copy)".
The same text also appears when you intend to edit a text box in a page / template you copied. Thus, you can de-link the text boxes.
Should that maybe rather be a pop-up window instead of a note above the editor that some users may not read?
31 August 2012, 3:16 AM
Hi, Been struggling with this for hours and your advice has solved the problem.
I would strongly recommend that the "Make Copy" option be made much more explicit.
31 August 2012, 8:35 AM
I think that this should be a bit clearer too. Even after your post yesterday I still failed to see it until I saw a student editing the new box.
I assumed that this would be done as part of the creation/copying process.
Thanks for the feedback
01 September 2012, 9:03 PM
Hello Wullie and Arthur,
I filed a tracker item at https://bugs.launchpad.net/mahara/+bug/1044878
Text boxes are not the only artefact that can be centrally updated and thus everything changes on other pages. It's not different from journal entries, plans, resume entries etc. Do your students, Wullie, also have issues with these things being copied and updated in all instances or why are text boxes different?
03 September 2012, 3:36 AM
The reason I feel text boxes are different is that you can put in specific layouts of text as templates.
The example I have at the moment is for horticulture students creating plant information sheets. There is space/placeholders for the students to add images of the plant being displayed, which are not an issue when copying a page.
There is however also a table with headings (plant name etc..) in a text box on the template page to help the student create information on the plant.
The intention is that the student will create multiple instances of these sheets throughout the year.
Once the student has the template and taken a copy of it for their first plant, the table is updated in both the copy and the template (it won't be now that I've seen the copy bit at the top of the page), which kind of defeats the purpose of the template page.
With regards to the text, I followed through a copying of blocks and pages earlier on (first chance I've really had) and I notice that the text is hidden to begin with, then once you choose a page to copy in the bottom half of the window, the text appears at the top. Would it not be more sensible for it to appear below the page listings (if I didn't know it was there, I'd have never looked back up to the top)?
Hope this helps
03 September 2012, 5:43 AM
Thank you for the further explanations. We put the information about the text box being used in other pages and whether a copy should be made or not above the text box because ideally, users would read from top to bottom and see it esp. in text boxes where there is already content.
Furthermore, if there are many text boxes listed with lots of content, the information may not be seen if it were at the bottom because the user has already moved up to the top into the editor. By placing the message close to the formatting tools and by distinguishing it with a colored bar we hoped that users would see it, which doesn't work for all as we see now.
The only really obvious change I can think of is to make it a pop-up. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to ask a developer if it is possible to include a link.
03 September 2012, 10:23 AM
Thanks for the feedback and I would agree that people would normally read top to bottom. The problem though is in the process of creating the copy, as per below
- Drag down a new text box
- Click on the "Use content from another text box" text
- Scroll down to see all the pages
- Select the page that you want
- The "The text you have selected is not editable on this page. Make a copy" text now appears as a small row of text in normal font right at the top of the page, above the content that the person is copying.
My eyes are automatically drawn to the content I am trying to copy (making sure I am copying the right text box) and the list of pages because they are much larger areas, rather than to the text at the top of the page. If it was at the top of the list of pages (between that and the content preview) or just above the Save button, my eyes are more likely to be drawn to the message (IMO).
Again, hope this helps
03 September 2012, 1:12 PM
When I drag down a text box and click on the "Use content ...." option I am presented with a list of Notes not Pages. I presume I am doing something very different from yourself.
Is it a version difference or am I missing something here? We are using v1.5.
04 September 2012, 2:54 AM
My apologies, I do of course mean a list of notes, not pages.
After selecting a page, just above the preview content you should see the Make a Copy text.