How to Author Teaching Files

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This article is a shorthand guide for creating and editing MIRC documents using the MIRC Author Service.

1 Prerequisites

To use the MIRC Author Service, you must have an account on the storage service where you will create documents. See your MIRC site administrator, who will create an account with user and author roles. Your account will consist of a username and password which you will use to access the author service.

2 Creating a New Document

To create a new document, launch your browser and go the MIRC site's query page. Select the storage service on which you wish to create a document and click the "Author Service" button on the right side of the page. The browser will display a dialog box for you to enter your name and password.

The author service will then display a page welcoming you. Enter your name, affiliation, and contact information as you wish to see it appear in the document. This information is remembered by the author service and filled in for you each time you create a new document.

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Select the template you wish to use to create the new document by clicking the down arrow on the selection box and choosing one of the items in the menu. Several templates covering all the standard display modes are provided. Your MIRC site administrator may have created additional templates. A template is simply a starting point for editing a document. Templates can simplify the task of creating documents, but no matter what template you select, you can make changes to create the document in any format you wish.

After selecting the template, click the "Submit Request" button.

The author service will display a page like the one below.

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The page contains four sections. On the right is a column of icons representing all the files you have in your private file cabinet. You can learn about how to insert, delete and manage files by reading <a href="">How to Use the MIRC File Service</a>.

At the top is a toolbar providing various functions. As you roll the mouse over the buttons, a short description of the function is displayed.

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The left-most button switches the author service between the simplified normal mode and the advanced mode which is described in the Advanced Functions section below. The next two buttons save the changes you make to the document and display the document in a separate browser window so you can see how the document will look to users who view it.

The next group of buttons allows you to create, delete, and move document sections. The template you chose to begin creating the document contained one or more sections. With these buttons, you can modify the document to fit your current purpose. If you create a new section, you will want to change its heading as described in the Advanced Functions section below.

The last group of buttons allows you to insert, delete, and move various kinds of items that may be placed in sections. For instance, some of the buttons insert paragraphs, captions, images, patient tables, and quizzes; another removes selected items, and the last two move selected items up or down on the page.

Under the toolbar is a row of section titles.

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If you click on a section heading, the contents of that section are displayed in the main body of the page, with each paragraph, caption, image, patient, and quiz shown in a separate box. Clicking on a box selects it, allowing you to edit it, remove it or move it up or down on the page.

Browse the sections of the document, adding, deleting, and modifying content where you wish. - While you are editing a paragraph, if you enter a lot of text into a box and want a larger box, click the "Save" button. The author service will resize the text boxes. - When entering text in a text box, if you separate text lines by a blank line, the author service will generate separate paragraphs for you. If you start a new line with a '-' character, the author service will generate a bullet list for you. If you start a new line with a '#' character, the author service will generate a numbered list for you.

Note that some sections are fixed in place and cannot be deleted - Document, Title, Authors, Abstract, Keywords, References, Indexed Content, PHI, and Permissions. If you don't have anything to add to such a section, you can leave it alone; empty sections are not displayed to users. If you create or move sections, they are constrained to positions between Keywords and References.

As you work, you should periodically click the "Save" button to save the changes you have made. When you click the "Save" button, the author service will redisplay the editor page to allow you to continue editing. If the author service indicates that the document had an error, see note 2 below.

If you wish your document to be private, or if you wish to otherwise restrict access to it, see the section on "Creating Private and Public Documents".