In this chapter, we will look at document type properties. From the built in properties, to adding our own properties to store specific content data, to tips and advice to help you know what properties you should add to your document types.
In the previous chapter, we created a simple document type called Home Page, and we created a Home Page in the Content section based on the Home Page document type. Even though we haven't added any of our own properties to the Home Page document type, Umbraco automatically includes a number of built in meta data properties. These properties will be available on all created content:
*If you want to store more data on the Home Page, you will need to add your own custom properties. *
You can't enter content until there is a place to store it.
What you want to do on the Home Page is add a property that lets you manage free form text - the Bodytext. Let's add a property to the Home Page document type so that you can enter your Bodytext content. You will go to the Settings section of the Umbraco Back Office, select the Home Page document type, and click on the Generic Properties tab.
This is where you** define** the fields and properties for this document type. Click on Add A New Property, and give the property a name that will be a visible label for your content editors. For example, name it Bodytext.
Umbraco automatically generates an alias that you'll use to access as a property later. By default, aliases are based on the name you enter. If you have a long name, you might want to enter a shorter alias.
Next, you will cite what data type to use to store the Bodytext. Umbraco's Rich Text Editor is the perfect way to store free form text, which could not only include words, but also links, images, bullet lists and more. We will take a closer look at data types in the next chapter.
You have chosen Rich Text Editor as the data type of your new property. You will also read about organizing properties with tabs in a future chapter, but for now you shall keep it simple and add your new property to the Generic Properties Tab. You will also leave mandatory Validation and Description for later chapters.
Now you will save your document type by clicking the Save icon, or Control + S on the keyboard. You can now see the summary of the properties already defined on our Home Pagedocument type.
On the Generic Properties Tab, you now have a rich text editor, with the internal ES of Bodytext, and a visible name of Bodytext. You can add more properties in the same way if your document type needed them.
Now that you have a place to store the Bodytext, you can add some content to the Home Page. Return to the Content section.
Below the built in properties, you have your Bodytext property. You can start typing your Home Page content.
You will also save and publish your page. As you will now notice, My Homepage is not grayed out in the tree anymore, *which means it is published. *
What bits of information do you need?
When adding properties to a document type, ask yourself this question: what bits of information do you want to save for this kind of page? Each bit of information will become a property on the document type. How many document properties you create, is entirely up to you.
Umbraco gives you complete freedom.
You can make as many properties as you need. Some kind of pages have very few bits of information, or maybe entirely free form text like a simple Text page. Some might be more complex.
A Staff Detail page has some information on each person working in the company. You will need a document type that can keep track of the person's Name, a photo, a Biography, a Job Description, his phone number and email. You would create these ES properties on your document type.
Now you know about Umbraco's built in Document Type Properties and how to add your own properties to store specific content data. Let's review this chapter.
1. You can't enter content until there is a place to put it.
*2. The properties depend on what you are building. *
This is the most important thing you need to learn about Umbraco. Understanding the concept of Document Types and how to work with them is the foundation of your Umbraco knowledge.