redARTICLEFINDER:User Guide

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Redarticlefinder logo.png

redARTICLEFINDER is an article search engine for the Joomla! content management system. It allows you to build your own virtual search engine for your articles. Install the component and in seconds you are on your way in building your own front end search engine based on virtual search types and tags you associate to your articles.

redARTICLEFINDER has native SEF - Search Engine Friendly - support and generates SEF urls on the fly. Make it possible to search on virtual categories without having the articles actually containing any information related to the actual search. redARTICLEFINDER is available for Joomla! 1.5 and 2.5 and is free of charge.


Contents

Getting Started

Downloading and installing redARTICLEFINDER

Download the latest copy of redARTICLEFINDER from the Downloads section of the redCOMPONENT site.

RedARTICLEFINDER---Download.jpg

Once you have the appropriate version, install the component as you would any other Joomla! extension; visit the Install/Uninstall page in 1.5 or the Extension Manager in 2.5, select the package using the "Browse" button, and click on Upload. A notification will appear to indicate that redARTICLEFINDER has been installed successfully.

RedARTICLEFINDER---Install.jpg


redARTICLEFINDER's Main Menu

Open up redARTICLEFINDER by clicking on Components -> redARTICLEFINDER. You will be directed to the "Summary" page, where a quick overview of the total number of types, tags and associations made so far is displayed. There is also the "Parameters" button in the top right-hand corner which will open up redARTICLEFINDER's global configuration settings in a lightbox.

RedARTICLEFINDER---Main-Menu.jpg

At the moment there is only one setting available, "Article Description". This relates to redARTICLEFINDER's search results page and sets whether the long or short descriptions will be displayed for each article matching the search results.

RedARTICLEFINDER---Parameters.jpg


Building your custom search engine

Managing Types

The first step in building your own customized article search engine is to define the various "groups" or aspects by which articles can be filtered. These are referred to in redARTICLEFINDER as "Types".

Clicking on the "Types" submenu link to bring up the Types listing screen. On this screen is an overview of the available types and the choice of selector for each type, as well as the facilities to reorder them and change their published status.

RedARTICLEFINDER---Type-listing.jpg

When adding a new type or editing an existing one, you can choose the type of selector that will be displayed on the search form, depending on how many tags visitors should be able to use to search for articles:

You can also add a brief description to clarify what the "type" is about in the Tooltip field. Tooltips are displayed on the search form next to each type that has one, and the description can be seen when hovering over the tooltip icon.

RedARTICLEFINDER---Type-details.jpg

RedARTICLEFINDER---Frontend-search-form-tooltips.jpg



Managing Tags

Once you have your types set up, the next thing to do is to define the words or phrases that describe the article. These are referred to as "Tags", and they represent the options available for each type.

RedARTICLEFINDER---Tag-listing.jpg

Clicking on the "Tags" submenu link to bring up the Tags listing screen. On this screen is an overview of the available tags and the types they are options of, as well as the facilities to reorder them and change their published status.

Tags can be assigned to one or more types; when adding a new tag or editing an existing one, hold down the control key on the keyboard and click on each type to highlight and select it.

RedARTICLEFINDER---Tag-detail.jpg


Managing Associations

Now that article types have been defined and reference tags have been created for each, all that's left to do is to associate articles with their related tags. This can be done within the "Associations" section.

Click on the "Associations" submenu link to bring up the Associations listing screen. On this screen is an overview of all the articles associated with tags and the details of the types and tags associated to each. There are also facilities to change the order in which articles are displayed and whether those articles will appear in the search results (published).

RedARTICLEFINDER---Association-listing.jpg

When making a new association or editing an existing one, you first select the article that will be tagged. As of latest release, redARTICLEFINDER can make associations to Joomla! content articles; future releases may include associations with content from third party components.

RedARTICLEFINDER---Association-Details.jpg

Next you assign tags to the article, so that when those tags are chosen in the search form this article will appear in the results. Hover the mouse pointer over the list of types being displayed until you see the hand icon, and click on each type to open up a panel below with all their related tags. Simply check the boxes for each tag of each type that this article should be associated with and save when you are done. (Note: opening and closing the panel for each type will not affect any tags which have been checked.)

RedARTICLEFINDER---Association-Details-2.jpg



Working with your custom search engine

To make your customized redARTICLEFINDER search engine available for site visitors to start using, simply create a new menu item using the "Redarticlefinder Layout". (Note: While there are two menu items listed under the redARTICLEFINDER set, "Redarticlefinder Layout" and "Searchresult Layout", you do not need to use the second one as it will have no visible effect.)

RedARTICLEFINDER---Menu-item.jpg

redARTICLEFINDER displays one single search form, listing all types and tags and a "Find" button. It is only accessible through this menu item. In Joomla! 1.5, you can use the "Article Description" parameter (located in the "Parameters (Component)" panel) to set whether this form should display long or short descriptions on the results page, or simply leave it as per the global settings.

Click on the redARTICLEFINDER menu item link on the front-end to bring up the article search form. Types will be displayed with their tooltips, and tags will be displayed according to the selector type. The visitor can make their choices and then click on the "Find…" button.

RedARTICLEFINDER---Frontend-search-form.jpg

This will bring up the Search Results page, listing all articles related to the tags that were chosen. Each article will be displayed with its title (as a clickable link) and either its long or short description, depending on the global / menu item setting. If there are no relevant results, the message "Your search has not found any articles" will appear.



RedARTICLEFINDER---Frontend-search-form-results.jpg

At the bottom of the Search Results page, there is a button to run the "Search again" which will return you to the search form. There is also a "Link to this result" which can be shared with others or stored for later reference that will return these exact results whenever it is accessed.


Designing the search engine form

You can modify the look and layout of the redARTICLEFINDER search form and the search results page in various ways. You can take advantage of the CSS style hooks that the default templates come with and add the style code to the site templates CSS file. You can also take advantage of the "Page Class" menu item parameter for the "Redarticlefinder Layout" for additional style hooks.

CSS Style hooks

Search Form:
<div id="pfheader">
<div id="pfsearchheader">
<div class="hrdivider">
<div class="typename {type_name}">
<div class="typevalue {type_value}">


Search Results Page:
<div class="articlefinder_product">
<div class="articlefinder_titledescription">
<h2 class="articlefinder_title">
<div class="articlefinder_product">
<div class="hr">
<div id="link_search">
<div id="link_result">


Of course you can also create template overrides for the two pages; the original templates are stored in the {root}/components/com_redarticlefinder/views/redarticlefinder/tmpl folder, redarticlefinder.php - the search form searchresult.php - the search results page

Place your modified template overrides in the {root}/templates/{template_name}/html/com_redarticlefinder/redarticlefinder folder.

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