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Creating & Managing Browse Categories

Browse categories can be a very useful feature to add to an exhibit because they enable you to highlight different groupings or subsets of your exhibit items based on search terms, metadata values, or tags. These groupings give exhibit users an easy way to understand topics and themes present in the exhibit and to explore those topics. (For this reason, some exhibits use the Pages widget to highlight more prominently one or more browse categories on the exhibit homepage.) Browse categories are also relatively easy and quick to create.

Creating a browse category

Every exhibit comes with one browse category: All Exhibit Items. While this category might be useful to retain, you probably want to create additional browse categories that focus on smaller subsets of your exhibits items, such as particular themes or topics. To create a new browse category:

  1. Generate a search result that includes all of the items you want to include in the browse category. You can do this by searching on a term or phrase in the exhibit site search box, selecting one or more facet values, or some combination of search terms and facets.
  2. Alternatively, if a combination of search terms and/or facets is yielding a search result that contains specific items you can't otherwise filter out, you can construct a Boolean search string to accomplish this. For example, the Browse category Montauk and Fire Island in the Andy Warhol exhibit was created using the Boolean string: fire OR montauk NOT trucks NOT escape NOT hydrant. The specific Boolean string was constructed because the search "fire OR montauk" included a few additional images that did not belong in the browse category, but appeared in the search result due to the presence of those terms in the robust descriptive metadata.
  3. From the Save this search pop-up window, the Relevance button allows you to permanently order the display of your search results by the dropdown options of year, author, or title. The default if you select nothing is a display by relevance, a pre-configured parameter that applies across all exhibits, and may or may not be useful to you.
  4. From the search results page that contains the desired items, select the Save this search button.
  5. Select Save.

When the browse category is saved you will see a notice on the search results page. You can continue to work with the search results and options to save other searches in the same way. When you are ready to develop a saved search into a browse category, navigate to your dashboard and select Browse from the Curation sub-menu.

Editing a browse category

Saved searches are automatically listed in the Browse Categories list. From this list you can view, delete, publish, edit, and reorder saved searches/browse categories. Clicking View for a category takes you to the public display for that browse category. Clicking Delete for a category will prompt you to verify that you are sure you want to delete the saved search. Click Okay if you want to delete the saved search or Cancel if you want to keep it. To publish a browse category, click the checkbox to the left of the category thumbnail.

Editing a browse category

To edit a saved search/browse category, click on Edit below that category. In the "Description" section you can change the title of the category and add a description to be displayed at the top of the browse category to help users better understand the content of this category. Clicking the box next to Display search box will display a search box at the top of this category that will allow users to perform text searches specifically within this category (see the Italian Architecture browse category as an example). You can also decide on the appropriate default view for the category. Users will be able to select the other views from a menu, unless you have turned off one or more of these options under the Search > Results menu.

Editing browse category default settings

In order to modify browse category default settings: sort order, result items to show per page, and result view:

  1. Execute a new search with the same query terms, tags, and/or facets selected as the original search that serves as the basis for the browse category you want to update.
  2. From the results page, you can: change the default sort order option, the default result items to show per page, and the default result view to use for displaying the result items, as desired.
  3. Select Save this search.
  4. From the Save this search window, use the Select a title to update a previously saved search option to select the title of the browse category you want to update.

The browse category will be updated with the new selections you made on the results page.

Updating a browse category

If you'd like to modify the search that generated a browse category so that it includes or excludes some content, you can do this by following the steps below.

  1. Create a search that generates the new set of results that you'd like to use for the browse category.
  2. From the search results page that contains the desired items, select the Save this search button.
  3. From the Save this search pop-up window, select the title of the previously saved search that you would like to update from the drop-down list available under "Select a title to update a previously saved search."
  4. Select Save.

Your search and the browse category based on that search will be updated to reflect the new search parameters.

Browse category thumbnail

The browse category thumbnail image is a small image used as a preview of the browse category on the Browse page (or whatever you might have renamed that to) or when a browse category is inserted on a page using the Browse Categories widget.

To create a browse category thumbnail:

  1. Select an option in the "Image source" section to either upload an image or select an image from the exhibit. The image will be displayed in the "Cropped image" section (depending on the size of the image, it might take a few moments for it to be displayed).
  2. A rectangular cropping box is displayed over the image. You can move and adjust the size of the cropping box to select a slice of the image to use as the masthead's background image. The proportions of the cropping box are fixed so as you adjust one side of the box, the size of the other side will also change.
  3. Click Save changes to save the cropped thumbnail image.

You can replace the browse category thumbnail image at any time by repeating the steps above. The video below shows how to create a site thumbnail. This process is very similar to the process for creating a thumbnail for a browse category.

Some exhibits contain only non-image items, or contain browse categories that aren't suited to being represented by an image. If that's the case for your exhibit you can download from Box a colored background image tile created specifically for use in Spotlight at Stanford exhibits. There are a range of tiles to choose from, each one in a color from the Stanford Identity Toolkit. To use this option, first download a tile to your computer and then follow the instructions above to upload the image to use as the browse category thumbnail. You can use multiple colored tiles to give your exhibits browse landing page visual variety.

Browse category masthead

An image-based browse category masthead can strengthen the visual identity of a particular browse category and help users with understanding where they are on your site. To add an image that will be used as a background image in the browse category masthead:

  1. Select an option in the "Image source" section to either upload an image or select an image from the exhibit. The image will be displayed in the "Cropped image" section (depending on the size of the image, it might take a few moments for it to be displayed).
  2. A rectangular cropping box is displayed over the image. You can move and adjust the size of the cropping box to select a slice of the image to use as the masthead's background image. The proportions of the cropping box are fixed so as you adjust one side of the box, the size of the other side will also change.
  3. Click Save changes to save the cropped image and display it as the background image of the browse category masthead.

You can replace the browse category masthead image at any time by repeating the steps above. The video below shows how to create a site masthead. This process is very similar to the process for creating a masthead for a browse category.

Reordering browse categories

Browse categories can be reordered to your liking or to fit the perceived needs of the users. Select Browse from the Curation sub-menu. Click and hold on the three stacked lines on the top left of a browse category you'd like to move and drag the category to its new location in the list of categories, then release the mouse. Be sure to click Save changes when you are done to save your work.