LawCMS Manual

Browser Requirements

LawCMS is a content management system for maintaining the UW Law School website

To use LawCMS you must use Firefox (version 3 or higher), Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer (version 8 or higher), with JavaScript enabled. Some LawCMS features may not be available in Safari, Opera, or Netscape.

Enabling JavaScript in Firefox: Tools > Options > Content > Enable JavaScript (checkbox should be marked)

Enabling JavaScript in Google Chrome: Customize > Settings > Show advanced settings... > Privacy > Content Settings > JavaScript > Allow all sites to run JavaScript

Enabling JavaScript in Internet Explorer: Tools > Internet Options > Security > Custom Level > Scripting > Active Scripting (radio button should be selected)

Table of Contents

  1. Logging In
  2. Two Ways to Begin Editing: Page Browse and Directory List
  3. Editing an Existing Page
  4. Creating a New Template Page
  5. Uploading Files (.pdf, .rtf, etc.)
  6. How to Add an Image
  7. Embedding Videos
  8. Converting Files to PDF: How & Why

Logging In

In order to edit pages or use LawCMS you may be prompted to log in.

  • Enter your campus NetID and password (the same used to log into WiscMail) to complete the login process.

  • Your login will expire when you close all browser windows related to the current session, or after eight hours, whichever comes first.

NetID Login

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Two Ways to Begin Editing

Page Browse

Go to the page you want to edit, and scroll to the bottom of the page.

  • Click on the gold padlock (circled below) to begin editing the page.
  • If you are denied editing access, email

Page Browse

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Directory List

LawCMS (located at lists each page on the website according to the directory in which it is located, with each directory represented by a yellow folder icon. Clicking the folder icon or the directory name will reveal its contents in the form of sub-directories, webpages, and files.

Click the button to reveal all pages and documents within a section.

Directory List

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Editing an Existing Page

Pages using the "Basic" Law School template have three editable areas:

  • PageTitle
  • PageSubtitle
  • Main content area

(Links in the left sidebar column are edited separately; please contact for assistance)

Editing Mode

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Using the Editing Toolbar

The editing toolbar has two main functions:

  1. allows content or formatting changes
  2. allows all changes to the page to be saved/cancelled (including changes to the PageTitle and PageSubtitle)

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Icons in the Editing Toolbar

Save Save
Insert Link Create a link on selected text
Remove Link from Selection Remove the link on selected text
Insert Image Insert an image
Insert Table Insert a table
Styles Dropdown menu:
Mark up text as paragraph, heading, alignment:
Align LeftAlign CenterAlign Right
BoldMark selected text as bold
ItalicMark selected text as italic
Ordered ListMark selected text as ordered (number) list
Unordered ListMark selected text as unordered (bullet) list
OutdentOutdent (Removes blockquote within normal text, or un-nests a list)
IndentIndent (Marks normal text as a blockquote, or nests a list item)
HTML/Rich Edit ToggleToggle between Rich-Text/Preview Mode and HTML Mode
falseEmbed a law school page within current page
Embed Object (such as YouTube video)
falseFix formatting: Paste copied text from Word

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Content Areas

PageTitle & PageSubTitle

PageTitle and PageSubtitle may contain text only.

To edit the PageTitle or PageSubtitle, click on the corresponding field.

Main Content Area & Formatting Options

The main content area appears in the space below the editing toolbar and may contain text, links, images, lists, block quotes, tables, etc.

Further documentation is not yet available. Contact if you need assistance.

Note: Do NOT copy and paste from Word. Copying and pasting from Word or other word processing programs will cause significant formatting and display problems. It will break compliance with ADA standards. Instead, either work directly in the editor, or make text plain before copying and pasting. Use WordPad or TextEdit to make plain text.

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How to Create Links

Links to Webpages

To make a link to a page on the Law School website:

  1. Open the desired page for editing.
  2. Type the text that will show up as a link.
    • Tip: Give links meaningful text by using them to highlight relevant words/phrases—avoid "Click here"
    • Example of what to do: See the Law School Rules for more information.
    • Example of what NOT to do:  For the Law School Rules click here.
  3. Highlight the text that will show up as a link by selecting it with the cursor.
  4. Click the "Insert Link" button Insert Link button icon.  A smaller window will pop up.

For Links to Other Pages on the Law School Website

  1. In the "Insert Link" popup window, open folders until you have drilled down to the subfolder where the desired page is stored.
    • Tip:  If you know the URL of the page you want to link to, you can figure out which folder it is stored in.  The first segment of the URL following "" and between slashes represents a top-level folder, and any segments between slashes following that segment are sub-folders inside of that.
    • Example: In the URL, these segments are between slashes:  /current/rules/and the chap1.html is the html file you need to link to.
      To make a link to this page, open the folder named "current," then the sub-folder "rules" inside of that, and then click on the file named "chap1.html."
  2. Click on the filename of the page that should be linked. The name will appear in the URL box at the top of the popup window.
  3. Click the "Insert Link" button in the popup window.

For Links to Other Websites

  1. In the URL box at the top of the "Insert Link" popup window, type or paste the web address of the webpage that should be linked.
    • Tip:  The URL can be pasted by placing the cursor in the URL box and either right-clicking to select the "Paste" command, or using the Ctrl + V keystroke command.
    • A complete URL is required:make sure  http:// is included.
  2. Click the "Insert Link" button in the popup window.

For Links to Email Addresses

Making a link to an email address is similar to making a link to another website.  Instead of pasting a URL into the "Insert Link" popup window, type in "mailto:" followed by the email address, and click the "Insert Link" button.

For example, this is what to type in to make an email link to

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How to Create Anchor Tags

  1. Click on the golden padlock to start editing.

  1. Go to the section you want to "drop down" to and click your cursor in front of the title.

Where to Click Your Cursor

  1. From the edit menu, select anchor tag.

Anchor Tag Box

  1. In the popup window, insert the name of the anchor tag. Tip: keep the name simple (one word, lower case letters, no spaces, etc.)

Anchor Tag Box

  1. Once you name an anchor, a red box will appear above the title.

Anchor Tag Box

  1. Go to the text where you want to make a link to the section below, highlight the text and click the link icon.

Making a Link to the Anchor Tag

  1. In the popup window, scroll down to the folder and page you are using and add #name (e.g.   /mwclc2011/schedule.html#human)

Entering Name of Anchor Tag in LawCMS

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Creating a New Template Page

Create the New Page

Use LawCMS to browse to the subdirectory where you want to create a new page.

  1. Click the button located on the same line as the intended subdirectory to create a new page, as shown in the example below.

Where to Click to Create Template Page

  1. Click the button located on the same line as the intended subdirectory to create a new page, as shown in the example below. On the next screen, give the new page a filename using the following guidelines:
    • All lowercase
    • No spaces (use hyphens or underscores to separate words if needed)
    • End with .html (under most circumstances)

  2. Click the "Create Page" button to finish creating the new page.
Naming the New Page

  1. Click "Edit the New File."

Where to Click to Edit the New File

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Uploading Files (.pdf, .rtf, etc.)

Situations when you might want to provide information in .pdf or .rtf content on your website:

  • Documents that are intended for printing from the website (e.g. order forms, long articles)
  • Documents that cannot be easily replicated in .html format (e.g. brochures, fliers)

Prepare the File for Upload

Make sure the file has a filename that follows these guidelines:

  • All lowercase
  • No spaces (use hyphens or underscores to separate words if needed)

Additionally, take steps to ensure that the file size of the document you are putting online is not prohibitively large.  Many website visitors are unhappy/unwilling to wait for PDF downloads exceeding 5-10MB.
PDF file sizes can often be dramatically reduced if you choose the optimized option.

Upload the File

Use LawCMS to browse to the subdirectory where you will be uploading the file.

  • Click the button located on the same line as the intended subdirectory to upload the file.
Where to Click to Upload a File

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How to Add an Image

Adding an image to a page is a two-part process. First, the image must be uploaded to Medialink, an online photo repository. Second, the image can be added to the desired page.

Preparing an Image for Upload MediaLink

Photos taken with a digital camera are frequently too large to be displayed at their original size on a webpage.  Before uploading these images to LawCMS, resize images so that they will fit on a "basic" templated page:

  • 200 pixels wide will take up about half the width of a page's editable column
  • 450 pixels wide will fill the entire editable column of a page

Uploading an Image to MediaLink

MediaLink is a photo repository. Everything in MediaLink is organized around the idea of categories. When you log into MediaLink, the first ten items that show up are "Uncategorized" (i.e., things that you haven't labeled with category).

  1. Go to

  2. Click the Album Icon button to create a new album (you can either create a new album or subscribe to someone else's album)
    • Tip: for photo sharing purposes, there are two albums: public and private. Anyone who uses Medialink can discover and subscribe to other peoples' public categories. If someone wants to share their private categories with other people, they must provide a special authorization key to allow the other people to subscribe.

  3. To upload an image, drag and drop the image from your computer to the box that says "Drag files from your computer here to upload them."

Adding an Image to the Page

*Reminder: the image must already be in MediaLink.

  1. Open the desired page for editing.
  2. Click the "Insert Image" button Insert Image button icon

    Where to Click to Insert Image

  3. Click the "Insert Image" button again.
  4. In the popup window, click on the image to be inserted. The name will appear in the URL box at the top of the popup window.
  5. Type a short description of the image for "Image Alternate Text."
  6. The "Float" drop-down menu aligns the image with the right or left side of the page and makes text flow around the image (so that it will appear to be inset to the right or left within a paragraph of text).  Keep it set to "None" if this behavior is not desired.
  7. Click "Insert Image."

    What to Do Before Inserting an Image

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Embedding Videos

  1. As shown below, copy the embed code provided by the video program you are using.

    YouTube Embed

  2. Open the desired page for editing.
  3. Click on the "Embed an Object Icon"
  4. Paste code in prompt box by right-clicking and selecting paste.
    Note: The embedded object may not appear correctly until the page is saved.

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Converting Files to PDF: How & Why

How to Create a PDF for Use on the Website

In Microsoft Word

Contact Tech Services by e-mailing to set up the ability to create PDF documents using Microsoft Word.

In WordPerfect

  1. Select File Menu, then "Publish To," then "PDF."
  2. When the "Publish To PDF" window opens, hit "Browse" and select the location where you want to save the PDF (so you can find it later).
  3. Click "OK" and it will create a PDF at the location you selected.

When Are Plain HTML Pages a Good Choice?

Overall, the people viewing your website will find HTML pages easier to use than any other format because web browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer can read HTML pages without opening a separate program or requiring a plugin.  HTML pages are also generally faster to display than PDF documents and are often easier to revise.

When Are PDFs a Good Choice?

PDFs are a good choice when:

  • the end user is more likely to print out the document than read it online.
  • the document is a form or brochure that cannot easily be converted to HTML format.
  • you are unsure what type of software the end-user will have installed on his/her computer for reading documents.

In most cases, it is better to provide a PDF than a Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect document because most modern browsers can display PDF documents by default (whereas people without Word/WordPerfect installed on their computers may not be able to open Word/WordPerfect documents).  This will particularly affect students with Apple computers, as the company that makes WordPerfect no longer makes a Mac version).

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    Related Resources

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    Please e-mail with your questions and feedback. Make sure to include the URL of the page where you encountered a problem if you are reporting a bug.

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