The Content Editor contains a fascinating flood of information. It’s all useful, but when you just want to add content, publish and call it a day it can be a little overwhelming. Sitecore is a large tool, and the CMS function has a lot of different arms and branches that perform different functions. There are a lot of tips and tricks that we, at Hedgehog Development, have learned over the years that simplify and organize daily processes within Sitecore itself. Using all of these tips and tricks will shave off precious minutes you spend in Sitecore each day. One of these several tricks is (drumroll please…)
Most people don’t even realize it’s a feature it’s so well hidden. The Gutter, officially known as the Quick Action Bar, is an unassuming white space that is exactly 20 pixels wide (yes, I measured. I’m that person). It’s on the far left of the screen, past all its colorful cousins. It doesn’t really scream LOOK AT ME, but Gutter Ribbons are so handy you’re going want to send me a thank you note.
Be brave. Be bold. Right click and turn the features on. Don’t be afraid; this is your Indiana Jones moment. You’re setting your preferences - this will only affect your user account, which means you won’t be altering the settings of anyone else on your team. This is all about you. The more ribbons you activate, the farther to the right things will stretch. As to the features themselves, there are twelve of them. Some are purely informational. Some let you be Batman. Item number one in your new superhero toolbelt: Locked Items. Once you’ve switched it on, Sitecore will not only put a friendly little padlock icon next to each Locked item but tell you who exactly locked it down. You won’t be able unlock items that other people have locked, but it takes a village and all. You can also employ My Locked Items which gives you an icon that looks like a person hugging the padlock and identifies only the items you personally have Locked. Useful and adorable. Workflow State (SURPRISE!) shows you the current state of the item when you hover over the icon. Sitecore allows you to perform the next workflow function (moving an item from “draft” to “awaiting approval” for example) with a left click by giving you only the option that is next applicable to the item in question. And the fun has just begun. There are nine more fabulous functions hidden in the Gutter.
The final ribbon option is Validation Rules, which allows you to see that item is good to go without having to investigate the item itself. Sitecore has you covered with color coded squares. They look like confetti. It’s fabulous. Any item that is good to go shows a blank white space, and red is a Danger Will Robinson, Errors Exist That Must Be Dealt With. The colors like beige, green, yellow, and orange exist between the two. You can hover over each square and Sitecore will tell you exactly what the issues are, which are generally categorized as Error, Critical Error, Fatal Error, Suggestion, Valid, and Warning.
A final note: as in so many things, the order in which you turn these ribbons on matters. Not in terms of functionality but in terms of visibility. The first feature you turn on will be the first one you see in the row. If Workflow State matters most to you, turn that one on first. If it’s Locked Items, switch that on before any other. The others will fall into place in the order that you turn them on. If you want to adjust it, turn everything off and then turn the features back on one-by-one in the desired order.