Category Archives: Upgrade 2012

Form Permissions are Different in Winter 2012


So, you are going to update your CommonSpot simple form, but there is no Edit Fields option. 


No worries, this is a new security feature in CommonSpot Winter 2012, and permissions are easily updated by the owner of the form or ITCS.

The default form security now allows only the owner (creator) of the form to administer (edit fields, delete, etc.), the form.  Therefore, other groups or users must be given that permission.  Here’s how this is done:

1.  From the Simple Form options menu, choose Form Security.  The Simple Form Security dialog box opens.

 Form Security

2.  This dialog box allows changing the form’s owner or adding individual contributors or contributor groups. 

3.  The permission level will be set to Administer.

4.  If the owner of the form no longer edits your site, enter an IT service request ticket, and ITCS will update the permissions for your form.

NOTE:  We suggest that a group be added rather than an individual unless there are special circumstances that require an individual be added to the form permissions.

Simple Form Security

CommonSpot Update


Good afternoon,

It has been about a month since the CommonSpot upgrade.  We made it!

This was a huge upgrade for both the backend administration and the contributor interface. There have been many changes for all of us. We know you have experienced quite a learning curve getting up to speed with this new version.  We appreciate your efforts.

From the backend of CommonSpot, quite a few items were completed starting with the servers that were upgraded from 32 bit to 64 bit, then the databases were switched to UTF-8, followed by ColdFusion being upgraded from v8 to v9, and finally we could upgrade CommonSpot from v5 to v7.  Wow, that was a lot!

For all of you, our contributors, you were presented with an entirely new interface to learn.  Plus, there were strict browser requirements to get used to.  As you report issues to us, we are finding solutions or contacting the vendor for a solution.  We appreciate your patience as we work through these issues.  We have fixed many of them, but there are still a few outstanding.

Outstanding Issues

Here are the issues that you have reported that are currently outstanding.

  • When you are editing a page and click on a link in a Formatted Text box, it doesn’t take you to the page.  In the previous version, clicking the link would take you to the page. Currently, you can use the Tools>>Find or Reports>>Pages, Templates, Uploaded Documents. We are contacting the vendor for a solution.
  • Occasionally the browser window greys out.  Reloading the page is required.  We are contacting the vendor for a solution.
  • Occasionally “MyCommonSpot” tab bar disappears.  Reloading the page is required.  We are contacting the vendor for a solution.
  • Adding words to the dictionary gives an error in IE9.  We are working on this.
  • Occasionally logging in using IE9 doesn’t work.  We are contacting the vendor for a solution.
  • Occasionally on the 770 wide templates, pages are being cached in the “Printer Friendly” view.  “Printer Friendly” is currently disabled.  We are contacting the vendor for a solution.

Here are a few solutions, enhancements and best practices we would like to share with you.


  • When using a 960 theme, switching themes will show a link to “return to previous page”.  Clicking this link fixes the problem.
  • When viewing a page that you want to edit and the URL starts with, change “www” to “author”.  This will take you to the page on the author server where you can login to make changes.
  • If you have a simple form that was created by someone else and you aren’t able to edit the form fields, contact us.  We will need to change your permissions for the form.


  • Login button added. When viewing a page you want to edit and the URL starts with, you should see a “Login” button in the top left beside the “ECU word mark” (logo).  Click this button to login.
  • Subsite Tools button added.  Once you are logged in to author a page, you should see a “Subsite Tools” button in the top left beside the “ECU word mark”.
  • Submit Ticket added to Subsite Tools.  Once on the Subsite Tools page, you will see a “Submit Ticket” button.  This will allow you to quickly submit a ticket to us regarding a page that you are having difficulty with.
  • Responsive Design has been implemented on all 960 pages.  This will allow pages to be displayed properly for all devices whether it is a mobile phone or a desktop browser.

Best Practices

  • Be sure to use one the supported browsers for contributing/authoring/editing in CommonSpot.  See list of vendor-supported versions.  Most of the problems we have encountered were because an unsupported browser was being used.
  • When you are experiencing a problem, try the following:
    • Clear your browser cookies and cache
    • Reload the page and force your browser to bypass the local cache.  Follow the directions for your specific browser below:
      • Chrome
        • Windows: Hold down the Ctrl key and press the F5 key.
        • Mac: Hold down the Cmd key and press the R key.
      • Firefox
        • Windows: Hold down the Ctrl key and press the F5 key.
        • Mac: Hold down the Cmd key and press the F5 key.
      • Internet Explorer
        • Hold down the Ctrl key and press the F5 key.
      • Safari
        • Hold down the Shift key and press the Reload toolbar button.
  • Resize your images before uploading to CommonSpot.  This will improve the load time of the page.

If you have suggestions for other solutions or enhancements, please feel free to share them with us by sending us an email, or posting on yammer.  Using yammer to share information is helpful.  If you are having an issue, be sure to put in a ticket as we do not monitor yammer like we do the ticketing system.

If you are having an issue, please submit a ticket using either the new ticket location mentioned above or via the Help Desk at

Again, thank you for your patience and please continue to share your feedback with us so we can continue to improve.


Simple Image Editors on the Web


Because of a conflict with the progressive design stylesheet we’re using, which adjusts the size of your web page to the visitor’s screen size, the ability to scale a photo within the CommonSpot image dialog box has been turned off.  This means that, while you can add a border or space around an image through CommonSpot image tools, you can no longer resize (scale) from this feature.  Images and graphics need to be sized correctly before being placed on your web page.

For those of you who don’t use PhotoShop, Becky has created a great tutorial introducing two FREE online photo editors that are super easy to use–even for beginners!

iPiccy requires no registration and is easy to use for cropping a picture or resizing.  fotoflexer doesn’t require you to join or register, either, and has many fun special effects. For a great explanation, see this Simple Image Editing

For those Mac or Windows users who decide to try either of these editors, please Yam your experiences using either eidtor on the CommonSpot User Yammer Group.

Only a Few Pages Showing in a Search


While in the Winter 2012 intro session this morning, I finally figured out the difference between “My Pages” and “Page Finder” in Winder 2012.  Remember that “My Pages” is a listing of all the pages you’ve created–pages for which you are the owner–while “Page Finder” generates the entire list of pages, documents, etc., in your web folder.

Both features are found in the “My CommonSpot” site menu at the top of the page (the gray one), but they are each under a different category.

My Pages

For a list of the pages you created, click the “My Content” menu and choose, “My Pages…”

List of pages you created

All Items Report

Generate a list of the pages, templates, uploaded documents and registered URLs in your web folder from the “Reports” menu. This includes any item, no matter the owner. From the report, click an item to open.

List of web folder items

Firefox and CommonSpot


As Belinda noted, the new version of CommonSpot only supports Firefox up to the version 10 ESR release.  I have noticed that if I try to use FF14, that many of the editing controls do not respond properly and some of the reports of problems that we have had sound like users are also encountering this problem.

So, if you want to use Firefox, make sure that you are using version 10 ESR and not any of the newer releases.

You can download 10 ESR here:

More on Missing Editing Controls in IE


As an update the to previous post, here is a permanent solution to the missing control problem that makes changing the URL of the page unnecessary.

  1. Open up Internet Options
  2. Pick the Security tab
  3. Pick the Trusted Sites option
  4. Click the  Sites button
  5. Add
  6. Click Close, then OK
  7. Restart IE

Everything should now work.

Missing Editing Controls in IE


If you are using IE, you might encounter a problem that has come up a few times. In author mode, the links for adding new elements appear, but the links for editing existing content (the gear icons) do not, as you can see here:

To try to fix this, change the URL of the page that you are looking at from https://[URL] to http://[URL] (in other words just remove the “S” after the http.  When we do this, the controls show up:

We will get this resolved so that it doesn’t matter which address you use, but until then this workaround should help.

Missing Flash Element after Upgrade


We have  had a couple of reports of missing Flash elements post-upgrade.  There is a relatively easy fix you can try that has fixed all the examples that we have seen so far.

  1. Select the Flash option from the Element submenu.  A popup like this will appear:

    Click the Edit Button

  2. A new popup will appear:
    • If you have a local copy of the Flash file, skip this step. Copy the URL (labeled “1” in the screenshot). Open[copied URL] in Chrome or Firefox (IE will not work). Save the Flash file to your desktop by using File..Save As or Control + S
    • Change the type to “New Document Version” (labeled “2”).
    • Click Next
  3. Pick the local copy of the file that you just saved in the next window

Click Save to close out. The element should be working properly.

Download the Appropriate Firefox for CommonSpot (ESR)


In the last post listing the supported authoring browsers for the CommonSpot upgrade, I mentioned that the appropriate Firefox version is called, “ESR.”  So, what is the ESR version and where do users download this version? 

What is “Extended Support Release”?

First a definition.  “ESR” stands for “Extended Support Release.”  This version is appropriate for CommonSpot users as it has limited updates (security updates are an exception to this) for at least a year.  Downloads are available for Windows, Mac and Linux.  Various add-ons are also available for the ESR version.

PaperThin, the vendor for CommonSpot, endorses and supports the Firefox ESR version as working with the Winter 2012 version of CommonSpot (our new upgrade version).

How do Users Download?

Visit the Extended Support Release download page and choose your language (scroll down for “English (US)”).  Click the “Download” button for your OS and install on your computer.  Any existing version of Firefox will be overwritten.  Bookmarks will transfer over to the ESR version.  The update also checks your current add-ons for incompatibilities.

 Note that the version number for Firefox ESR is 10.0.6esr. 

 Why Should Users Switch to this Version?

Authoring with the Firefox ESR version will resolve several of the recent problems contributors have experienced when frequent browser updates—which is normally a good thing—take the web technology beyond what our CommonSpot version’s authoring can handle (CS is not updates as often).  Therefore, using a version where updates are further apart slows down this problem and CommonSpot/Firefox work together well for a longer period of time.

Add-Ons Link

To search for available add-ons for Firefox 10.0.6esr, navigate to the add-ons page, type the version into the search box.  The list of add-ons that work with the ESR version will be available.