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Preview: Carleton College Web Services Group FAQs

Carleton College Web Services Group FAQs

FAQs from Web Services

Copyright: Carleton College, 2017

I want to add a document to my assets. Should it be a PDF or Word file?

Thu, 15 Jul 2004 01:56:45 -0500

  1. First, see if you can put the information on a web page or set of pages. It may be a little more work, but it is much easier to link to and create links within the information. In addition, our search engine cannot search the contents of non-web page documents. So, if you can, make it a web page. You will be glad you did when it comes time to edit the information!
  2. PDFs are the best format if that fails. One good example is a form that must be printed out and signed.
    • Most modern browsers can display PDFs, and Adobe's PDF viewer is free and available for all major computer platforms.
    • PDFs include your fonts inside them, so they do not require the person who downloads the file to have the correct fonts installed on their computer.
    • Most document editing tools, such as Word, Pages, and Google Docs, give the option to export documents as PDFs, so the format is easily accessible.
  3. Word files are the last choice, for several reasons:
    • Microsoft Word is an expensive program, so many users do not have a copy.
    • Your visitors may not have the same fonts you used in your Word file, so it will not look the same to them as it does to you.
    • Browsers rarely give the option to preview Word documents, so users must download them and then open them in another tool instead of reading them online.

How do I log in to Reason?

Wed, 05 Jul 2006 10:35:05 -0500

Go to the Reason login page or look for the "Login" link at the bottom of an page. You will be prompted to log in; use your normal Carleton netid and password.

How do I add the Carleton banner to a page?

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0600

It depends on how your web pages are built. There are a variety of methods outlined on the page The Carleton Banner. Please read up on which pages are permitted to use the Carleton banner as well, to make sure that everything is kosher.

Is there a template I can use for PowerPoint presentations?

Thu, 07 Oct 2004 03:36:50 -0500

We have created two simple templates that you can use to give your PowerPoint presentation a Carleton look.

Download the PowerPoint templates:

To use this template, go to:

Format - Slide Design - Browse to the location of the template on your computer

How do I add information or links to the course descriptions on my site?

Tue, 17 Aug 2004 01:29:47 -0500

  1. If you don't already have them, contact Web Communications to have courses added as an editable item on your site.
  2. Go into the Reason side of your site, and click on Add/Edit Courses.
  3. Click on Add Course.
  4. On the editing form, you can:
    • Select the course name and number on the Course drop-down.
    • Enter the url of the site of the course's current offering in the Course Page URL field.
    • Add additional text to further describe the course in the Extended Course Description field.
  5. Click Save and Finish.
  6. Go to the public site and check your Courses page to see the effects.

How do I see my changes as I make them?

Thu, 22 Jul 2004 07:30:36 -0500

Open two browser windows or tabs -- one with Reason, and the other with your public site. Then you can switch between them to see the effect your changes are having.

Here's a step-by step explanation of how to do this:

  1. Go into your Reason site. There will be a link near the top of the page labeled Go to public site.
  2. Click this link, and a new window with your public site will appear.
  3. Go to the original Reason window, which will be under the new window. In Windows, use the taskbar at the bottom of your screen to switch between the two. On the Mac, you can switch between them using the browser's Window menu.
  4. Enter whatever item you want to edit, and make some changes.
  5. Click Save and Continue Editing.
  6. Now go to the public site window you opened earlier.
  7. Browse to the page that should be affected by your changes. If the changes do not seem to have happened, click the browser's Reload/Refresh button.
  8. If you need to make further changes, go to the Reason window again, make them, and hit Save and Continue Editing.
  9. Continue going back and forth until the page looks the way you want it.
  10. When the page looks right, click Finish in Reason's yellow editing menu to complete your edits.

Please note: this process only works when you are editing an existing item. New items do not show up in the public site until they are "finished" the first time, so their changes will not be visible on the public site. You can still hit Save and Continue Editing as many times as is necessary to make sure your changes are saved, and you can go to Preview within Reason's yellow edit menu to see the results of your changes.

How do I change the info about a faculty or staff member?

Wed, 21 Jul 2004 03:38:02 -0500

  1. In your Reason site, go to Faculty/Staff under Add/Edit (The information is not kept on the staff page itself.)
  2. Browse to the username of the faculty or staff member.
  3. Click on Edit next to that person.
  4. On the editing form, you will see three main fields:
    • User ID: This is the person's username. You probably won't need to change this very often!
    • Affiliation: If the person is appearing on your site as a faculty member when they should be listed as staff (or vice versa) you can fix that here. If everything is OK, you can leave this field blank.
    • Content: Here you can enter any additional information about the person that you'd like to appear on the faculty/staff listing. You can even make a link to their personal home page, if you want.
  5. When you have made your text changes, click Save and Continue Editing.
  6. If you would like, post the person's photo next to their entry in the faculty/staff list.
  7. When you're done with this person, click Finish in the editing menu.

How do I change the photo for a faculty or staff member?

Thu, 22 Jul 2004 03:06:02 -0500

  1. In your site in Reason, go to Faculty/Staff under Add/Edit.
  2. Click on Edit next to the faculty/staff member's username.
  3. In the yellow edit menu, click on Choose Faculty/Staff Photo.
  4. You should now be on the page that lists out all of the photos that have been uploaded to your site. You will need to take one of the three following actions, depending on whether the image has been uploaded into reason yet:
    • If the image has already been uploaded into Reason, scroll down and click Select next to that photo. The image will be moved to the top of the page under the heading Selected.
    • If the person's photo appears on another site, click on Borrow Image From Another Site to browse available images. If you find the one you want, click Borrow next to it, and then click Back to selecting image.
    • If the image has not been uploaded into Reason, click on Add Image and follow these directions. When you finish adding the image, it will show up as the faculty/staff member's photo.
  5. Click Finish in the yellow editing menu. You're done!

When I delete a faculty/staff member, why don't they go away?

Wed, 21 Jul 2004 04:00:00 -0500

To understand why that is happening, it is useful to understand a bit more about how the faculty/staff page works:

  • The faculty/staff page compares the information in Reason with the directory, which contains its own list of who's in your office or department -- which, in turn, comes from Colleague (Carleton's HR, bookeeping, and registration system).
  • When someone is assigned to your office/department in Colleague, the faculty/staff page shows them regardless of whether that person is in Reason.
  • So, for someone who is not part of your office, their information needs to change in Colleague before they will be taken off your site. Contact Human Resources to fix the Colleague information.
  • Once Human Resources has made the change, you will be able to remove the person from your site. Usually it takes a couple of days before the changes flow into the directory.
If you have any more questions about your faculty/staff page, contact Web Communications.

How do I put a web form on my site?

Mon, 19 Jul 2004 11:19:00 -0500

It depends on what you want to do with the web form. Here are the basic kinds of forms, and how we can help you put them together:

  • Simple forms -- These forms fit on one page (though they can still be long, if needed), and send an email to one or more carleton email addresses when they are submitted. We can set you up with Reason-based tools for forms like this. The advantage of a simple form is that you will be able to manage the form yourself, and the form can be online in a matter of hours.
  • Forms with credit card processing -- these forms allow visitors to make a payment with a credit card. They currently require custom work by Web Communications, so make sure to request a credit card form several weeks in advance.
  • Multi-page forms -- these forms take the results of one page and use them to customize the next page's questions. These are very complex, and may require several months of custom development. Please contact us as soon as you think you may need one of these forms.
  • Surveys -- If you want a web form so that you can conduct a survey, first check the Institutional Review Board's guidelines to see if you need to submit your survey for approval. Their Administrative Research policy is particularly helpful in this regard.
  • Authenticated forms -- these forms require visitors to sign in before completing the form, and include reliable information about who submitted the form. These can only be used by people who have Carleton user accounts. They generally require a couple of weeks to create, so contact us early.
  • Database-backed forms -- rather than sending an email, database-backed forms put the results of visitors' submissions into an online database for easy searching and browsing. These are another of the more labor-intensive forms, requiring a couple of months lead time.
We hope that information is helpful in figuring out what kind of form you need and how to go about getting it. Please contact us for more information or to request a new form.

How do I email a long link to someone without it breaking?

Mon, 19 Jul 2004 10:28:27 -0500

We've created a service that allows you to create shorter "shortcut" urls to pages with unwieldy web addresses. It's called go.carleton, and here's how to use it:

  1. Go to the page with the long web address, and copy its url.
  2. Go to and paste the url into the form there.
  3. will generate a short url (like that will be easier to paste into emails, and which will act as a shortcut to the page with the long url.
If the page is one of yours, you might want to think about trimming down its url instead of using Here's how.

How do I add a newsletter or calendar to my site?

Mon, 19 Jul 2004 11:10:02 -0500

Reason offers easy-to-manage newsletter and calendar tools. Just contact us and we can set you up with the tools and training you need to use them!

Some of my pages have very long urls. How do I fix that?

Mon, 19 Jul 2004 10:38:47 -0500

By following a few simple guidelines, your pages can have nice, concise urls.

  1. Don't create too many levels in your site. One way to do this is to keep from having too few children per page, and your site will be "wider" rather than "deeper". Too many children is a problem, too -- we think an ideal number is in the range of 4-8 children per page. Another way to think about it is this -- a page with one child, which has a child, which has a child, will create terribly long urls!
  2. Use terse, non-redundant url fragments. If your page has repeated words in the url, you could probably remove some of that redundancy. For example, if a page is at the url /curricular/deptname/majors/deptname_major_guide/, its url_fragment could be sensibly changed to just "guide," shortening the full url to the more concise /curricular/deptname/majors/guide/. Think about the full url as a noun, where the page's parent and grandparent are adjectives.
  3. Use short words if possible. So, in an extreme example, comprehensive_exercise_presentations becomes comps_talks.
  4. Eliminate underscores. Sometimes they are useful, but they are hard to type, and often they can be removed. So daily_specials becomes dailyspecials.
  5. Use abbreviations and acronyms, but with caution. Commonly understood abbreviations and acronyms are fine, but avoid ones that are only understood within your office or profession.
  6. Use lower-case letters exclusively. Upper-case letters are hard to type, and are not common within urls, so they confuse people browsing your site. Besides, they take up more space than lower-case letters!
By following these simple guuildelines, you can slim down just about any site's web addresses. If you still need yet shorter urls for use in email or print, try

How do I put an image into Reason?

Wed, 14 Jul 2004 17:30:00 -0500

  1. Make sure you have a web-ready image on your personal computer. "Web-ready" means the file is in .jpg or .gif format. If the file is in another format, such as .bmp or .tif, you will need to convert it using an image editing tool like Paint, Photoshop or GIMP. Don't worry about how big the image is -- Reason will automatically resize it for the web. (Note: If you are using Photoshop to convert your image, be sure to use "Save for web" instead of "Save as." There is a bug in Internet Explorer that causes problems when viewing images that are saved using "save as" in Photoshop.)
  2. In Reason, click on "Images" under "Add/Edit".
  3. Here you will see the list of images. click "Add Image" in the upper-right.
  4. You will be taken to a form that allows you to enter the relevant information about the image.
  5. Enter the appropriate information in the following fields:
    • Name: A name for internal reference. One use for this field is to differentiate several photos of the same person by entering "John Doe, Portrait" and "John Doe teaching"
    • Author: If you know who took the photo, put their name here. This may come in handy if someone later wants to track down originals, or if you want to recognize a student worker for taking a good picture.
    • Short Caption: A brief description of the photo, like "John Doe," or "Willis Hall." This will appear under the photo's thumbnail (i.e. small) version
    • Long Caption: A longer description of the photo. this will appear under the normal-sized version of the photo. Here you might enter, "John Doe, Cratchit Professor of Cyptology and Watercolor," or "Willis Hall, home of the Economics Department". This is particularly useful for identifying individuals in a group photo.
    • Keywords: Any words you think would help in searching for this photo. It would be a shame if someone wanted searched for photos about "Integrative Exercise" and you have only entered "Comps!"
    • Photo Taken: If you know when the photo was taken, you can enter that information here, in Month/Day/Year format. If the photo was taken on a digital camera, Reason will probably (no promises here!) automatically figure out when the photo was taken. But sometimes the camera has the wrong date, so you might want to double check that this date is correct after uploading the photo!
    • Image: Click the Browse button next to this field and browse your computer to find the image you want to upload.
    • Thumbnail: Reason will automatically generate a thumbnail image from the one you upload, so typically you will not need to enter anything here. If you have created your own thumbnail image, however, you may browse to it that same way you did for the main image.
  6. Okay, now you can just click on one of the Save buttons. If you want to check to make sure everything was uploaded correctly, click on Save and Continue Editing. If things look good after saving, you can just click on Finish in the yellow editing menu. If you clicked on Save and Finish, you will automatically go back to the image listing.
  7. Now you are ready to place the image on a page!

How do I put an image on a page?

Wed, 14 Jul 2004 17:16:00 -0500

The easiest way is as follows:

  1. Under Pages, find the page and click Edit.
  2. In the editing menu (the yellow box on the upper-left,) click Place images on this page.
  3. If your image has already been uploaded into your site's image library, click Select next to that image. If you have many images, you can search for the one you want using the Filters form.
  4. If you want to use an image that you have on your personal computer, click Add Image to upload the image and place it on the page. (instructions)
  5. If you want to use an image that is elsewhere on Carleton's site, see if it is available by clicking Borrow Image from another site. If it is there, click on Select next to the desired image, and then click on Back to Selecting Image to return to editing the page.
  6. Click on Finish in the yellow editing menu when you are done.
  7. If you experience any problems, please do not hesitate to contact us.