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Additional Custom Field types for Movable Type Pro
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readme.md

More Custom Fields Overview

Note: This version 2.0 update represents a significant overhaul to More Custom Fields. Upgraders: be sure to read through the Prerequisite and Installation sections of the documentation, below.

The Custom Fields found in Movable Type Pro are a boon to creating a flexible and robust site. When the standard field types don't quite meet your needs however, get More Custom Fields!

  • Checkbox Group: easily create a group of checkboxes.

  • Message: administrators can edit the contents of the Message field text area, but any other use can only read the contents. Useful for displaying instructions or other data you don't want the user to edit.

  • Multi-Line Text (WYSIWYG): expands upon the standard Multi-Line Text field by adding the CKEditor WYSIWYG editor.

  • Multi-Use Single-Line Text Group: don't let the crazy name scare you -- this field type allows you to create a reusable group of fields, perfect for including a list of your favorite bookmarks, for example.

  • Multi-Use Time Stamped Multi-Line Text: another mouthful of a field name, but easy to use. This field type provides a reusable Multi-Line text field. When saved, each Multi-Line text field has a time stamp saved with it.

  • Radio Buttons with Input: build a group of radio buttons, where the last option is a text input field.

  • Reciprocal Entry Association: used to link two entries together. When editing Entry A and linking Entry B, an association from Entry B back to Entry A is automatically created. When deleting an association, the reciprocal is also removed. The best part: on the Edit Entry screen is a link to edit the reciprocal Entry, allowing authors to easily jump between Entries.

  • Reciprocal Page Association: just like Reciprocal Entry Association, but for Pages.

  • Selected Entries: select other entries from a pop-up dialog, to easily create a related entries list or string multi-part articles together. The number of entries selected is unlimited, entries can be sorted by drag and drop, and Edit/View links are available for the linked entries.

  • Selected Pages: works just like Selected Entries, but for Pages!

  • Selected Entries Or Pages: works just like Selected Entries, but allows you to select a combination of Entries and Pages.

  • Selected Assets: as you may guess, this field also works like Selected Entries: select assets from a popup dialog. Note that each asset type is registered as a separate custom field, so in addition to the generic "Selected Assets" custom field, "Selected Images," "Selected Audios," "Selected Videos," and "Selected Files" are also available to filter the types of asset you want the field to work with.

  • Selected Comments: again like the Selected Entries field, this field allows you to choose from published comments. The number of comments that can be selected is not limited, comments can be sorted by drag and drop, and an Edit link is available for the linked comments. (No View link is present because how and where you may publish comments can vary considerably.)

Prerequisites

Movable Type Pro 4.2x or Greater

This plugin works with Movable Type Pro 4.2x or greater. Additionally required:

Movable Type Pro 5.12 or greater

This plugin works with Movable Type Pro 5.12 or greater and does not require Config Assistant (though to be clear, it specifically does not use this plugin because it's not yet MT5 compatible). Installation requires an additional (likely familiar) step, noted below.

Installation

To install this plugin follow the instructions found here:

http://tinyurl.com/easy-plugin-install

This plugin requires a newer version of the YAML::Tiny Perl module (1.4.4) than is included with Movable Type. Included with this plugin (in the extlib/ folder) is a newer version of YAML::Tiny. Copy from the plugin archive extlib/YAML/Tiny.pm to $MT_HOME/extlib/YAML/Tiny.pm to update Movable Type's copy of this plugin. This is a required, non-optional step!

This plugin requires a newer version of the jQuery library (1.7.x or greater) than is included with Movable Type. Included with this plugin (in the jQuery/ folder) is a newer version of JQuery. Copy from jQuery/jquery.js to $MT_HOME/mt-static/jquery/jquery.js to update Movable Type's copy of jQuery. ** This is a required, non-optional step!**

Movable Type 5 Installation

Install as noted above. Be sure to update YAML::Tiny as instructed.

Movable Type 5.1x includes jQuery version 1.4.x and so needs to be updated. Movable Type 5.2 includes jQuery version 1.7.2 and therefore does not need to be updated.

Static content needs to be copied. (This is handled automatically with Movable Type 4 and Config Assistant, but needs to be manually done with MT5.) Copy the contents of $MT_HOME/plugins/MoreCustomFields/static/ to $MT_HOME/mt-static/support/plugins/morecustomfields/.

Configuration

More Custom Fields creates several additional field types that are available when defining custom fields:

  • Checkbox Group
  • Message
  • Multi-Line Text (WYSIWYG)
  • Multi-Use Single-Line Text Group
  • Multi-Use Time Stamped Multi-Line Text
  • Radio Buttons with Input
  • Reciprocal Entry Association
  • Reciprocal Page Association
  • Selected Entries
  • Selected Pages
  • Selected Entries or Pages
  • Selected Assets (and "child" types: Selected Images, Selected Audios, Selected Videos, Selected Files, and any other type of registered asset)
  • Selected Comments

Use these field types as you would any other: from the Preferences menu select Custom Fields, and create a new custom field.

The Checkbox Group field type options should be specified in a comma-delimited list. Each item in the list will become a checkbox.

The Message field type should receive a default value. This value is the "message" displayed for all other users. The field options allow you to specify whether no user should be able to edit the field data, or if administrators should be able to override the supplied default.

The Multi-Line Text (WYSIWYG) field type is a textarea with the CKEditor WYSIWYG editor to the make text entry and formatting easy.

The Multi-Use Single-Line Text Group field type is a mouthful. A breakdown of this field: The Single-Line Text field is included with MT Pro and lets you create a one-line text field. This field type can have many single-line text fields grouped together. Lastly, this is a multi-use field and provides an "add another group" button to add a limitless recurrence of the text fields you've defined. A popular use for this is to display URLs (with "Link Name" and "Link URL" text fields), and being multi-use means that an author can provide many URLs. Specify a comma-separated list of text field labels. Example: "Link Name,Link URL".

The Multi-Use Time Stamped Multi-Line Text field type is another mouthful. Breaking down this field: The Multi-Line Text field is included with MT Pro and lets you create a textarea field. This field type also lets you create a textarea field, and it can be re-used over and over simply by clicking an "add another..." link. Additionally, each instance of the textarea is saved with a time stamp, marking when the data in that textarea was added. This field has no options.

The Radio Buttons with Input field type options should be specified in a comma-delimited list. Each item in the list will become a radio button. The last item in the list will have a text input field appended to it, so you'll likely want to specify the last item as "Other" or similar.

The Reciprocal Entry Association and Reciprocal Page Association field types allow you to link to an object of the same type, and automatically create a reciprocal link: when you link Entry A and Entry B, Entry B is automatically linked to Entry A. Note that the Reciprocal Entry Association field can only associate Entries, and that the Reciprocal Page Association field can only associate Pages. This field is non-functional for categories, folders, and users. Specify a blog ID as this field's option to determine which blog's Entries (or Pages) are available for selection. Blog IDs must be separated with a comma to create a string (as in "1,12,19,37,112"), or the value "all" may be used to include all blogs. Leaving this field blank will use the current blog.

The Selected Entries, Selected Pages, Selected Entries or Pages, and Selected Comments field types provides the ability to select those object types -- as many as needed, sortable in whatever order is needed. Specify a blog ID as this field's option to determine which blog's objects are available for selection. Blog IDs must be separated with a comma to create a string (as in "1,12,19,37,112"), or the value "all" may be used to include all blogs. Leaving this field blank will make the current blog's objects available.

The Selected Assets field type (and the related asset types) work similar to the Selected Entries field type: select an unlimited number of assets and sort in any order you wish. This field type has no options and works on the current blog only.

Lastly, use your new fields! Don't forget to place them in your templates.

Using More Custom Fields with your Theme

If you're building your site as a theme, custom fields can be specified and automatically created when the theme is applied (refer to Theme Manager for more information). A list of the field types along with their keys is below, which may help expedite your theme creation.

  • Checkbox Group: checkbox_group
  • Message: message
  • Multi-Line Text (WYSIWYG): wysiwyg_textarea
  • Multi-Use Single-Line Text Group: multi_use_single_line_text_group
  • Multi-Use Time Stamped Multi-Line Text: multi_use_timestamped_multi_line_text
  • Radio Buttons (with Input field): radio_input
  • Reciprocal Entry Association: reciprocal_entry
  • Reciprocal Page Association: reciprocal_page
  • Selected Assets: selected_assets
  • Selected Comments: selected_comments
  • Selected Entries: selected_entries
  • Selected Pages: selected_pages
  • Selected Entries or Pages: selected_content

Note that the Selected Assets field actually creates a different custom field for each type of asset field available (Selected Images, Selected Videos, etc). These fields can also be used, though because they are dynamically generated you'll need to determine the name of the field yourself. The following format is followed:

selected_[asset type]s

So, valid field types defined by the Community Pack would include:

  • Selected Audios: selected_asset.audios
  • Selected Images: selected_asset.images
  • Selected Videos: selected_asset.videos

Template Tags

Each of the custom field types that More Custom Fields is handled slightly differently. You can use all of the familiar Movable Type template tags to work with any custom field data, but keep reading for some specific notes and tips!

Checkbox Group field type

For an example use of the Checkbox Group field type, lets say you created a custom field named In the Toolbox, which generated the template tag EntryDataIn_the_toolbox.

Simply placing this tag in your template will cause it to produce a comma-separated list of whatever checkboxes were checked:

<p>Tools: <mt:EntryDataIn_the_toolbox></p> 

...will output:

<p>Tools: Hammer, Philips head screwdriver, Level</p> 

Use MT's if tag to check if a certain value has been selected. The following would only be printed if "Monkeywrench" were checked in the custom field.

<mt:If tag="EntryDataIn_the_toolbox" like="Monkeywrench">
    <p>Look out! He's got a monkeywrench, and he's not afraid to use it!</p>
</mt:If>

Message

The Message custom field can be output simply using the tag you define for the field. There are no special capabilities.

Multi-Line Text (WYSIWYG)

The Multi-Line Text (WYSIWYG) field can be output simply by using the tag you define for the field. There are no special capabilities.

Multi-Use Single-Line Text Group

As previously noted, this field type is a mouthful. To recap, a breakdown of this field: The Single-Line Text field is included with MT Pro and lets you create a one-line text field. This field type can have many single-line text fields grouped together. Lastly, this is a multi-use field and provides an "add another group" button to add a limitless recurrence of the text fields you've defined.

A popular use for this is to display URLs (with "Link Name" and "Link URL" text fields), so let's use that as an example. I create a new field named "Favorite Links." Specify the text field names within Options as a comma-separated list: "Link Name,Link URL." Lastly, my template tag is set to FavoriteLinks.

Outputting the saved contents of this field requires some special handling, and a special block tag is created to help with this. The text "loop" is appended to the specified template tag name to create this special tag. In this example, the special block tag is called FavoriteLinksLoop. So now we've got:

<h3>My Favorite Links</h3>
<mt:FavoriteLinksLoop>
</mt:FavoriteLinksLoop>

That doesn't output our content, however. Within the new Loop block tag, we need to output the variables containing the saved content. To do this you'll need to use the "dirified" name of your text labels. In our case, the text labels are "Link Name" and "Link URL," so the dirified names are link_name and link_url. Let's add these variables (and some HTML) to our template snippet:

<h3>My Favorite Links</h3>
<mt:FavoriteLinksLoop>
<p><a href="<mt:Var name="link_url">"><mt:Var name="link_name"></a></p>
</mt:FavoriteLinksLoop>

I've entered several links in the Favorite Links field I created, so it will output the following:

<h3>My Favorite Links</h3>
<p><a href="http://google.com">Google</a></p>
<p><a href="http://danandsherree.com">danandsherree.com</a></p>
<p><a href="http://eatdrinksleepmovabletype.com">Eat Drink Sleep Movable Type</a></p>

Also note that this field uses jQuery. If this field is used for author fields on user profile pages, you'll want to include jQuery in your Edit Profile template, or rewrite the Javascript for the field to work how you prefer.

Multi-Use Time Stamped Multi-Line Text

A long name, but the idea is simple: this field provides a multi-line text field that is saved with a time stamp. Add additional instances of this field by clicking the "add another..." link. The time stamp will be saved with each instance of the multi-line textarea. This field has no configuration options.

This field can be used in a "breaking news"-type entry, where there may be many updates to the story as it unfolds. Since the textarea is time stamped after each use, the exact time of each story addition can be published, making it easy for readers to see exactly how and when this breaking news is unfolding.

Outputting the contents of this field requires some special handling, and a special block tag is created to help with this. The text "loop" is appended to the specified template tag name to create this special tag. In this example the custom field-created template tag is BreakingNewsUpdates, so the special block tag is BreakingNewsUpdatesLoop.

Within this new tag we can output the variables containing the content added to this field. The variables text and date are used, as in the example below:

<mt:BreakingNewsUpdatesLoop>
<div class="breaking-news-update">
    <p><mt:Var name="text"></p>
    <p>Updated at <mt:Var name="date"></p>
</div>
</mt:BreakingNewsUpdatesLoop>

I've entered some simple text in the field, and when published it output the following:

<div class="breaking-news-update">
    <p>This is my first update to this story.</p>
    <p>Updated at July 27, 2011 4:56 PM</p>
</div>
<div class="breaking-news-update">
    <p>Another story update.</p>
    <p>Updated at July 28, 2011 8:12 AM</p>
</div>

This custom field can be sorted in ascending or descending order (according to the timestamp, of course). Use the sort_order key to specify "ascend" or "descend". Ascend is the default.

The text variable can be optionally formatted with the filters modifier. The date variable can be optionally formatted with the date formats modifiers, though placement of the arguments is unique. In the example below notice the placement of the format argument: inside the Loop block.

<mt:BreakingNewsUpdatesLoop format="%Y-%m-%e" sort_order="descend">
<div class="breaking-news-update">
    <mt:Var name="text" filters="markdown_with_smartypants">
    <p>Updated at <mt:Var name="date"></p>
</div>
</mt:BreakingNewsUpdatesLoop>

Radio Buttons with Input field type

The Radio Buttons with Input field type is much simpler. It works just like the radio buttons field, in fact: any field you create will output the selected option: if Banana is selected, <mt:EntryDataMy_favorite_fruit> will output "Banana." Similar to the Checkbox Group field type, if you want to check if a certain option is selected use MT's if tag:

<mt:If tag="EntryDataMy_favorite_fruit" eq="Banana">
    <p>Do you know how to defend yourself against a banana?</p>
</mt:If> 

If the last option -- the "Other" option -- is selected, <mt:EntryDataMy_favorite_fruit> will output "Other: Grapefruit." That is, the name of the option followed by a colon and a space, and lastly the contents of the text field. If you want to output just the text entry and not the "Other: " precedent, use MT's regex_replace modifier:

<mt:EntryDataMy_favorite_fruit regex_replace="Other: (.*)","$1"> 

Reciprocal Entry Association

The Reciprocal Entry Association field type allows you to link entries together. Output the linked entry with a special block tag, ReciprocalEntry. This tag takes one argument: basename. The basename of your custom field was created when you saved it; in this example it's my_reciprocal_entry.

<mt:ReciprocalEntry basename="my_reciprocal_entry">
    <p>Read this in Spanish: <a href="<mt:EntryPermalink>"><mt:EntryTitle></a></p>
</mt:ReciprocalEntry>

As the text in the above example implies, the reciprocal entry could be formatted with "read this in English" text to allow the user to go to their preferred language.

Reciprocal Page Association

The Reciprocal Page Association field type works just like the Reciprocal Entry Association field type does, except that it uses a different block tag, ReciprocalPage.

<mt:ReciprocalPage basename="my_reciprocal_page">
    <p>Read this in Spanish: <a href="<mt:PagePermalink>"><mt:PageTitle></a></p>
</mt:ReciprocalPage>

Selected Entries

The Selected Entries field lets you link to other entries. Publishing those entries is a more involved process than working with the other custom field types, but it is still a familiar process. But first, what happens if you just publish the the custom field?

In this series: <mt:EntryDataMultipart_entry>

...will output:

In this series: 119,120,123 

...which isn't very interesting. The numbers you see published here are entry IDs.

More Custom Fields includes a special block tag called SelectedEntries to help you output the kind of result you want! Using the SelectedEntries tag is the key to making this field useful: it makes your selected entries available with the full complement of tags available in the entry context. This tag takes one argument: basename. The basename of your custom field was created when you saved it; in this example it's multi-part_entry.

<mt:SelectedEntries basename="multi-part_entry">
  <mt:If name="__first__">
    <ul>
  </mt:If>
        <li><a href="<mt:EntryPermalink>"><mt:EntryTitle></a></li>
  <mt:If name="__last__">
    </ul>
  </mt:If>
</mt:SelectedEntries> 

Notice that within the SelectedEntries tag you can use the familiar tags found in the entry context, such as EntryTitle and EntryPermalink shown here, but any other tag will work, too.

Selected Pages

Selected Pages works exactly like the Selected Entries field does -- except it uses Pages. More Custom Fields includes the block tag SelectedPages to help output your selection, which works just like the SelectedEntries block does. If you've created a Selected Pages custom field with the basename of my_favorite_pages you might use the SelectedPages block like this:

<mt:SelectedPages basename="my_favorite_pages">
  <mt:If name="__first__">
    <ul>
  </mt:If>
        <li><a href="<mt:PagePermalink>"><mt:PageTitle></a></li>
  <mt:If name="__last__">
    </ul>
  </mt:If>
</mt:SelectedPages>

Selected Entries or Pages

Selected Entries or Pages works exactly like the Selected Entries field does -- except it allows you to select any combination of Entries and Pages for a single instance of this field. More Custom Fields includes the block tag SelectedEntriesOrPages to help output your selection, which works just like the SelectedEntries block does. If you've created a Selected Entries or Pages custom field with the basename of featured_content you might use the SelectedPages block like this:

<mt:SelectedEntriesOrPages basename="featured_content">
  <mt:If name="__first__">
    <ul>
  </mt:If>
    <li>
        <mt:if tag="entryclass" eq="page"><img src="pageicon.gif"/><mt:else><img src="entryicon.gif"/></mt:if>
        <a href="<mt:EntryPermalink>"><mt:EntryTitle></a>
    </li>
  <mt:If name="__last__">
    </ul>
  </mt:If>
</mt:SelectedEntriesOrPages>

Note: Because Entries and Pages use the same base object type, entry, many of the Entry tags can be used for Pages.

Selected Assets

Selected Assets also works like Selected Entries and Selected Pages -- except it uses assets. More Custom Fields includes the block tag SelectedAssets to help output your selection, which works just like the SelectedEntries block does. If you've created a Selected Assets custom field with the basename of my_favorite_assets you might use the SelectedPages block like this:

<mt:SelectedAssets basename="my_favorite_assets">
  <mt:If name="__first__">
    <ul>
  </mt:If>
        <li><a href="<mt:AssetURL>"><mt:AssetLabel></a></li>
  <mt:If name="__last__">
    </ul>
  </mt:If>
</mt:SelectedAssets>

Selected Comments

Selected Comments also works like the Selected Entries field type -- except is uses comments. More Custom Fields includes the block tag SelectedComments to help output your selected.

Known Issues

Movable Type Pro 4.24 and Earlier

Movable Type Pro 4.24 and previous versions (and Motion betas 1 and 2) don't run the api_post_save.author callback when saving an author profile from mt-cp.cgi.

This means that if you've defined a Checkbox Group custom field type (or any other custom custom field type) for authors and you try to save those options through the mt-cp.cgi Edit Profile screen, the options will not be saved. Options are saved if you're editing through the mt.cgi Edit Profile screen. This bug doesn't affect Entry, Page, Folder, or Category objects.

This bug is fixed in Movable Type Pro 4.25. Bug # 92832 http://bugs.movabletype.org/default.asp?92832

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