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Surreal CMS Instructions

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Basic Functions

To make changes show up on the website, click on Publish to Web.

To make something:

  • bold: Highlight the text, then click on the B icon
  • italics: Highlight the text, then click on the I icon
  • underlined: Highlight the text, then click on the U icon
  • a link to a different site: Highlight the text, then click on the insert/edit link icon that looks like a sideways 8. Make sure the link url starts with http://. Under Target, choose Open in a New Window.
  • a link to a page or file in the same site: Highlight the text, then click on the insert/edit link icon that looks like a sideways 8. Click on the yellow folder icon to the right of the link url entry box and choose the folder and page or file you wish to link to. If the file needs to be uploaded first, please see the instructions below.
  • a link to an email address: Highlight the text, then click on the link that looks like a sideways 8. In the Link URL section, type in mailto: and then the email address. So, if the link goes to, it would read
  • not a link: Highlight the text that’s linked, and then click on the broken link symbol, which is to the right of the sideways “8”
  • indented to the right: Highlight what you wish to indent, then click on the symbol that looks like a block of text with an arrow pushing it to the right. To make it not indented, do the same but click on the icon with the arrow pushing it to the left.

Maintain the website’s consistent styles

When you want to style text PLEASE DON’T choose a font size or color, or anything from the dropdown that starts with “Format” or “Paragraph”. Instead, highlight the text and choose a style from the Styles dropdown in the toolbar.

Uploading and linking to a document such as a PDF, a Word document, etc.:

Note: This is a two-step process. If you try to do it in one step, things can get messy.

  • Step 1: Upload the document
    • Make sure there are no spaces in the name of the document. It’s also safer to have file names be all lowercase. For example, change Information Sheet.doc to information_sheet.doc.
    • Click on the symbol that looks like a sheet of paper. It’s to the right of the anchor, and says “Insert a Document” when you mouse over it.
    • To upload a new document, first navigate to the folder where you want the document to reside on the server. This might be called “documents” or “pdf” or a similar name. THIS IS IMPORTANT SO THAT ALL THE DOCUMENTS DON’T CLOG UP THE ROOT DIRECTORY!!!
  • Step 2: Link to the document
    • Highlight the text that you want to link to the document
    • Then, click on Browse at the bottom of the pop-up window and select the document from your computer.
    • Once it’s uploaded, highlight it in the righthand column of the pop-up window. Then click Select File.

How to make a “soft return” (not skipping a line)

To do a “soft return” and not skip a line, press shift + return at the same time.


Horizontal rule line

To insert a horizontal line (to divide sections), click on the symbol that looks like a straight horizontal line.


Make an anchor to another part of the page:

  • To make an anchor, which will allow you to link from one part of the page to another, click on the anchor and then type in what you want it to be called. For example, if the headline says, “Headline #1” you might put your cursor at the beginning of the headline, then click on the anchor and type headline1.
  • Then, at the top of the page, you could type “Headline #1” and when you highlight it and click on the link symbol, you’d choose Anchors and then choose that link (“headline1”) from the pulldown menu.


Create a new web page

  • When you’re at the menu of pages on the site, click on Clone to the right of the page you wish to copy.
  • Type in a file name with no spaces, capital letters or accented characters. Use an underscore or a dash instead of spaces. So, instead of “Conseil pour des étudiants” you would type “conseil_pour_des_etudiants”
  • Click “Create New Webpage”
  • Edit the label to be whatever you want. This is only for Surreal CMS.


Linking to a page on the site

  • From the Surreal CMS menu, click on the small url of the page you want to link TO. (it should start with a /)
  • Copy the URL of the page being previewed.
  • Edit the page you want to link FROM
  • Type in the text you want to link from.
  • Highlight the text you want to link from.
  • Click on the chainlink symbol, and paste in the URL from the page you previewed.
  • Click on Insert.


Copying and pasting from Microsoft Word and other applications:

Instead of copying from Microsoft Word and pasting directly into SurrealCMS, please click on the icon that looks like a clipboard with a “T” on it. This will remove the bloated Microsoft formatting.


Uploading an image and altering how it appears:

  • Make sure there are no spaces in the name of the image. It’s also safer to have file names be all lowercase. For example, change Building Picture.jpg to building_picture.jpg.
  • Click where you want to insert the picture
  • Click on the icon that looks like a tree in a box. It’s to the right of the anchor.
  • Click on the folder icon to the right of the box that says “Image URL”
  • In the new File Manager screen that opens, doubleclick on the Images folder to the left.
  • At the bottom of that screen, click on Browse to the right of the box that says Upload
  • Select the file you wish to upload from your computer. Click Open. This will upload it to the server, into the Images folder.
  • The file will appear in the right column of the File Manager screen. Click on it, and then click “Select File.”
  • Fill in the Image Description field with a few keywords. (This is useful for search, for handicapped people or for slow-loading computers.)
  • Click Insert.
  • The file will appear on the webpage in Surreal CMS.
  • Click Publish to make it appear on the internet.
  • There are a few more ways to alter an image. To see them, highlight the image so that you see little squares on the corners of the image, and then right-click on the image. Choose Insert/Edit Image.
    • In the first tab, General, add a short image description if you haven’t already. Use words or phrases people will search on and that describe the image.
    • In the second tab, Appearance, choose the alignment. Also, you can set margins (space) around the image so that it doesn’t bump up against other elements such as text that are next to it. Set the border to 0 so that there isn’t a border around the image.
    • Don’t worry about the third tab, Advanced.


Enter text that will help Google and other search engines to find you:

There are lots of ways that search engines determine which sites to put at the top of their results page. Among other things, these include the content of the site, the number of other sites that link to a site, the title of the page, and the keywords and description of the page. You can edit the webpage title, keywords and description of a page by selecting the Properties tab, which is between Content and History.

  • Title (69 characters max)  Your title tag is the single most important tag on any page. It should briefly describe the content on the page and follow with your brand name if desired. Page titles should be different on every page; this can be the difference between falling into Google’s supplemental pages or a high ranking.
  • Description (156 characters max)  Similar to your title tag, this should also describe the page’s content but in a little more detail. This is the text you see in search engine result pages and is a factor in attracting a user to click on your site.
  • Keywords (1000 characters max)  This is a tag that has been declining in importance for a few years now. Due to abuse, many search engines now either completely ignore this tag or place less emphasis on it than they did 5 years ago. However, at this point in time it’s still worth including on every page, as they may not have a lot of influence but they don’t do any harm. (NOTE: Google no longer uses it.)

Inserting a YouTube video:

  • Copy the code in the “URL” slot on the YouTube video. It’s on the upper right.
  • On the page in SurrealCMS, click where you want the video to go, and click on the icon in the top row that looks like a filmstrip.
  • Keep Flash chosen for the first choice. Then paste the URL where it says “File/URL”
  • If you click in the Preview box, the video will show up.
  • Click on Insert.
  • Then, Publish to Web.