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If your question isn't answered here, on the Known Issues & Solutions page, or in the main CMS documentation, contact the Help Desk and we'll find an answer.

It says my text is too long! How do I find out how long it is?

Short answer:
Use Microsoft Word's word count feature

Long answer:
It depends on the field you're working with. WYSIWYG (Text Editor) fields -- like a Page's 'Body' field -- allow formatting, but that formatting adds (often significantly) to the visible length of text. On the other hand, basic text fields – like 'Title' fields – do not allow formatting but do still count spaces as part of the character length.

Learn more about the differences and how to find the character count.

Why am I seeing gibberish text when I save my page? I don't see it on the edit screen, but it appears when I save/publish the content.

Short answer:
Chances are, you have copied in some content from MS Word without using the Paste From Word button in the Text Editor.

Long answer:
Learn more about using the Paste From Word button here.



Why isn't our Promo Item displaying?

Short answer:
You either have a 3-column layout or the Promo Item has not been published.

Long answer:
If your sub-site uses the 4-column layout and you have Saved and then Published (both times!) the Promo Item, it should show. If not, please contact the Help Desk.

If your sub-site uses the 3-column layout, Promo Items will not appear. Yes, the Promo Item Content Type may be created, but it will never be seen by a visitor to the site.

The decision of using either a 3- or a 4-column layout was made by your group at the time of the creation of your sub-site. It is possible to change a sub-site layout, but it must be done behind the scenes. If your site needs have changed, contact the Help Desk to request a change from one layout to another.

See Also:
Sub-Site Homepage Layout
Promo Items


How do I (crop \ re-size \ edit) images for the CMS?

Short answer:
Use web-based app like

Long answer:
See the Image Editing page in the Managing Images section


How do I change the links on the Sub-Site Navigation (left nav)?

Short answer:
Apart from the pre-defined links (see Sub-Site Navigation), you can't.

Long answer:
While Academic and Non-Academic sub-sites have different sets of Sub-Site Navigation links, both types are pre-defined according to the information architecture identified during the CMS design sessions. These are the only links available for the Sub-Site Navigation (depending on whether each item is published or not).

For more info, see Sub-Site Navigation


Why aren't our pages showing in the search results when I use the keywords <X> and <Y>?

Short answer:
1) The pages aren't using the keywords being searched
2) Google's search engine may not have indexed the pages yet

Long Answer:
1) The CMS currently allows for three ways to increase the search ranking of content
  a) Including the expected search terms in the body of the content
  b) Titling content with the expected search terms so the URLs contain the terms
  c) Adding links to this content

  Unlike 'standard' web pages, the CMS does not allow for the use of meta tags (and these are often abused or mis-used, diminishing their reliability - except for audio and video content, of course).

2) The USM site uses the Google search engine, so we are dependent upon Google's search crawler for when that content will appear in the search results. While Google hits the USM site several times a day, it does not crawl the entire site contents each time. Moreover, we have no way of forcing it to index certain sections or increase its frequency.

Most frustratingly, Google keeps its search ranking algorithm secret, so there may be other factors determining rank, but the three methods described in 1) above are the core elements in determining search ranking.


Why am I getting a "Broken Link" message for a link that works fine?

Short answer:
This is a rare but known issue that's easily fixed. Contact the Help Desk and we'll get it resolved.

Long Answer:
This is generally a matter of timing. On occasion, a link is not valid at the time the system checks the links (generally around 4am each day) because the destination web server is temporarily down or unavailable, or the page has been moved or deleted. If the server comes back up or the page is replaced, the link will then show as valid when it is clicked, despite the error message.

Though the system does not check every link every day, the error message should be cleared within a few days, so if the message persists, please contact the Help Desk and we'll figure out why it's sticking and clear it.


There are no Admin Tools links to create Quick Links or Resources. Why not?

Short answer:
Use the Content List to find the Quick Links (or Resources).

Long Answer:
The Admin Tools links are for creating new items only. Since only one collection of Quick Links (or Resources) may be present for each sub-site, they may only be edited, not created, so they do not show in the Admin Tools section.

This is also true for the various pages that make up the Sub-Site Navigation (such as Location & Hours, Outreach, et cetera). Only single instances of these pages may exist, so they are not listed in the Admin Tools section.


How do I put a video in the middle of my page?

Short answer:
Paste the URL for the YouTube video ("") directly into the body of the page. DO NOT use either an Internal or External link.
See the "Embed within existing content" section of the Video (Embedded) content type.

Long Answer:
The CMS identifies the particular URLs of YouTube videos and automatically translates them into video previews, ready to play, wherever the URL string is located.

Since this is an automatic feature, it does not use the standard External Links or Video (Embedded) creation functionality.


How do I edit my department's Degrees?

See the Academic Catalog Tool

Why can't I edit my department's Degrees anymore?

See Catalog FAQ


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