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Feature Request: Cloning an Article

Situation: I get 50 new articles from one person. Everything is the same except the body. sidebar. and teaser. I want to say: Make 50 copies of this article - everything identical. Then I can go in and past the body, teaser and sidebar.

SP1, or is there another way to do this? :)

Ryan
Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Copy/Paste - CTRL + C, CTRL + V. Or do you need something more?

Mark W
Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Here is one way that might get you a part of the way.  Create the article the way you want it and save it.  Then in the design view, copy the article and paste it as many times as you like.

The downside is article names: If your first article is "test," the first copy with be "Copy of test" the next will be "Copy of Copy of test" and so on.  So you'll at least have to rename and re-headline each article and at worst, City will start misbehaving if your filenames get too long doing the multiple copies.

Other ideas?

tk
Tuesday, February 19, 2002

I'd like to be able to set default field values for new articles in each directory. This way, when I create a new article at least some of the fields are already filled in for me (e.g. template, keywords, author, audience).

This would probably help with what you're doing, if the articles are all going into just a few different directories.

Darren Collins
Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Now that's a good idea, but tell me. If every article is going to be the same except for 1 or 2 fields, why not make a template with all of that information in it and just plop the body text in the body field? For the time you're working on those 50 articles, make it your default template and switch back when you're done.

So in the template, instead of

<HR>
This article was written by {$.author$}

put

<HR>
This article was written by Mark W.

Functionally very similar, though it does up the template maintenance.

Mark W
Tuesday, February 19, 2002

If you create a new template with the Author hard-coded, you reduce your site's maintainability. You can no longer list articles sorted by Author, for example. As you point out, if you want to change your site design you've got many more templates to edit (which negates the benefit templates give you to start with).

I didn't really elaborate on how directory-based defaults would help in my post above. Perhaps this will help...

In my site, articles of a given type (e.g. Photos) all live in the same directory. It would be cool if I could specify for that directory some default fields - put "(photo)" into the Keywords field (I can always add more keywords later), put me as the Author, set the Audience to Everyone, use the "Photo" template, and put "<Thumbnail Here>" into Extra1 so I don't forget which field to stick the thumbnail image in (similarly "<EXIF Data Here>" for the Sidebar field).

For my Links directory, I'd set Keywords to "(NFP)" (Not For Publication - I use this to keep links and blog entries out of my What's New lists), put "<URL>" in Extra1, "<Score>" in Extra2, set Template to "Blank", etc.

Darren Collins
Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Darren, I agree with you. I was talking about a workaround solution until (if) FogCreek solves this particular problem.

In any case, copy/paste really is ideal for Ryan's case. Copy/Paste articles and then enter the body into each one. In fact, copy/paste is very much like cloning, if not cloning exactly.

I think, actually, that the best way to do this is to implement some sort of multiple article type solution. "Create new Article" "Create new Story" whatever, user defined Article types that have their own field types & can be pre-filled with whatever you want. This is more flexible than folder-based pre-filling.

Mark W
Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Sorry, I misunderstood. We're on the same page now!

I know this has been mentioned before (and I'm getting more and more motivated to do it myself), but it would be cool if someone wrote a bunch of utilities that could do stuff with the Access database directly. Things like insert all text files in a given directory as articles, batch updating Author fields for a selection of articles, importing/exporting templates, report on articles that are past their Don't Publish After date, etc.

One day, when I get the time...

Darren Collins
Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Yes, the "CityDesk Accessories" package.  Sign me up.

TK
Wednesday, February 20, 2002

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