Working with Channels, Tabs, and Columns

Many elements of MyFAU are customizable, but by far the most popular, and useful, is working with channels. MyFAU has many channels to which you can subscribe, and many of them use RSS feeds (the information in them changes over the course of the day, similar to what you would see on the CNN or other news websites). Other channels contain links to often-used information from the FAU website. Browse through all the available channels and find those that interest you and then add them to your view of MyFAU.

You can also customize tabs, adding, removing, and rearranging them. Some people create a tab called “Tools” or “My Stuff” and put all the channels they've added there.

The tabs you see when you first logged onto MyFAU depend on your role on campus. For example, all members of the University community have the Home, Help, and Library tabs, but only students have the Student tab (former students who are now employees may also see the student tab; to have that role removed from your profile, please submit a ticket through the online helpdesk at http://helpdesk.fau.edu). Likewise, faculty have the Faculty tab and not the Student tab. You have the ability to add new tabs to which you add the content you want. You can also rename, rearrange, and remove most of the tabs.

Lastly, on most of the tabs you can rearrange the order and width of columns as well as add and remove columns.

If after customizing MyFAU you realize you want to start over with the default layout (the set of tabs and channels you saw the first time you logged onto MyFAU), please submit a ticket through the online helpdesk (http://helpdesk.fau.edu) and ask that your layout be reset.

For any kind of customization you want to do with MyFAU, you will always start at the same place: click the link labeled Contact/Layout which is in the upper left corner, beneath the MyFAU banner.

You will then be presented the User Preferences window which displays a layout view of your MyFAU tabs, columns, and channels. All customization of tabs, columns, and channels will start here. In the example below, the user has all three main MyFAU roles: student, faculty, and employee.


Channels


Tabs


Columns


Channels

Adding Channels

When you add a channel, you will need to decide on which tab you want to place it and where on that tab (which column? how far down?). Then you can select the channel and add it in the spot you want:

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window.
  2. A window titled User Preferences will display the layout of the tab that you were last using. Click on the tab on which you want to add the channel.
  3. In the column and space where you want to add the channel, click the Add Channel button. (For example, in the image below, to add a channel beneath the Personal Announcements channel, you would click the Add Channel button under Personal Announcements).
  4. The layout page will be replaced with a window from which you can browse through and choose the channel to add (unfortunately it is not possible to preview channels; you will need to add the channel to see what it contains, and then delete it if it is not to your liking). Categories include the following:

    Administrative Resources
    links to FAU information and resources that FAU administrators and admin assistants are likely to need.
    Applications
    An interactive dictionary, thesaurus, weather, etc.
    Arts, Entertainment, and Culture
    News and information related to the various arts and culture
    Computing and Electronics
    News and information related to the topic.
    Games
    News and information related to online games and gaming.
    News
    Generally RSS feeds from various news sources.
    Other
    Miscellaneous channels on topics that didn’t fit categories.
    Sports
    Sports news and information.
    Student-Specific Info
    FAU information and resources of interest to students.
  5. Select the category you want and click the GO button.

  6. If the category you selected has subcategories, you will be prompted to select a subcategory. Otherwise, a list will display all the channel titles in the category you selected. Click on the channel title you want, and then click the Add Channel button.
  7. The User Preferences layout page will be displayed, and you should see the placeholder of the channel you just added. Click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using. You should see the channel you just added.

Removing Channels.

Not all channels can be removed. For example, the Personal and Campus Announcement channels are set so that users cannot remove them, and the self-service channels are also not removable. If you cannot delete a channel, the delete icon (an X in the upper right corner of the channel's box) will be “grayed out.” However, for the most part, channels that don't interest you can be removed. As with adding channels, you first need to click the Content/Layout link near the top of the MyFAU window.

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window.
  2. A window titled User Preferences will display the layout of the tab you were last using. Click on the tab that contains the channel you want to remove.
  3. The channel's representation in the layout page will have an X in the upper right corner if it is removable. Click the X. You will be prompted to answer if you are sure you want to delete the channel. Click Yes to continue removing the channel. Note that there is no undo command so be sure you are deleting the correct channel. You will then be returned to the layout display and the channel will no longer be displayed.
  4. If you deleted the wrong channel, just follow the directions above for adding a channel to put the channel back where you want it.
  5. Click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using. You should no longer see the channel you just deleted.

Moving Channels

As with deleting channels, not all. channels can be move from one column to another or up and down within the column. For example, the Announcement channels cannot be moved. However, most channels can be rearranged.

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window. A window titled User Preferences will display.
  2. Click on the name of the tab that contains the channels you want to rearrange.
  3. Each channel in the layout will have up to 4 arrows, depending on its position in the column, pointing up, down, left, or right. If a column cannot be moved in one of those directions because of where it is in the column that particular arrow will be "grayed out" or inactive. For example, the top channel's up arrow will be grayed For the channel you want to move, just click the arrow that represents the direction in which you want to move it.
  4. When you move a channel to another column, the channel will be placed at the bottom of that column. If you want the channel to be in some other position within that column, you'll need to use the up arrow until it is in the spot you want.
  5. Click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using.

Tabs

Adding Tabs

If you want to add many channels, it's a good idea to add a new tab to hold them. That way all the other tabs, which already have many channels, won't get unwieldy.

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window. A window titled User Preferences will display.
  2. Click the Add New Tab button which is on the far right of the row of tabs. A new section will open above the columns and tab names where you can enter the information about the tab you want to create.
  3. Enter a name for the tab (since windows can be crowded, try to keep the name short).
  4. Select if you want a Traditional tab (like the Home tab, one with columns and channels) or a Framed tab (one in which you have a web page displayed). If you select Framed, enter the URL for the web page that you want displayed. Keep in mind that a framed tab can contain only one web page/URL.
  5. Click the radio button that represents where in the row of tabs you want the new tab placed.
  6. Once you've entered all the information for the new tab, click the Submit button.
  7. The layout section of the page will now show the new tab, and, if it's a traditional tab, you can begin adding channels to it.
  8. Click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using.

Removing Tabs

Be careful when removing tabs because there is no "undo" command. Once you've removed the tab, it's gone. If you later decide you want that tab back as it was when you last saw it, you will need to add the tab and then add each channel it contained. However, if you want to go back to the default layout (the arrangement of tabs, columns, and channels you saw the first time you logged into MyFAU), contact the OIT Computing Help Desk (http://helpdesk.fau.edu) and ask to have your layout reset.

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window. A window titled User Preferences will display.
  2. Click on the name of the tab that you want to remove.
  3. The various options for that tab will be displayed. If the tab is removable, it will have an option labeled Delete this tab.
  4. You'll receive a prompt asking if you're sure you want to delete the tab. This prompt is a good opportunity to double check that you're deleting the correct tab.
  5. If you want to continue, click Yes; otherwise click No to cancel the operation.
  6. The User Preferences layout page will be displayed, and you should no longer see the tab you just deleted. Click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using.

Note that not all tabs are removable. If a tab cannot be removed (such as the Home tab), the Delete this tab option will not be displayed.

Moving Tabs

You can generally rearrange the various tabs in MyFAU, but you cannot move the Home tab; it must always be the first tab. Follow these steps to rearrange tabs:

Move tab arrows

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window. A window titled User Preferences will display.
  2. Each tab that can be moved has a right and left pointing arrows, as relevant. If a tab cannot be moved to the right or left because of where it's positioned in the row (at the beginning or end of the row), it will not have the right or left arrow as appropriate). For the tab you want to move, just click the arrow that represents the direction in which you want to move the tab.
  3. Click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using.

Default Active Tab

The default active tab is the tab that will be opened "on top" of all the others when you long onto MyFAU. It is analogous to setting your home or start page in a web browser. The system is set so that it always opens with the Home tab, but you can select any other tab to be the default active tab.

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window. A window titled User Preferences will display.
  2. Click on the name of the tab that you want to make your default tab.
  3. The various options you have for the tab will be displayed. Click on the option Make this the default "Active Tab".
  4. The layout display will return to your screen. Click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using. The next time you log into MyFAU, the tab you selected will be the open, or active, tab.

Renaming Tabs

When you rename a tab, you change the tabs label, the text you see on it. Some tabs cannot be renamed (Home and Library, for example, cannot be renamed). Follow these steps to rename tabs:

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window. A window titled User Preferences will display.
  2. Click on the tab you want to rename.
  3. The various options you have for the tab will be displayed. If the tab can be renamed, the option Rename this tab followed by a text entry field will be displayed. Enter the new name you want the tab to have in that field.
  4. Once you've entered the new name, click the Rename button. You'll be returned to the User Preferences layout page and the tab's name should now be displayed.
  5. Click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using.

Columns

Adding Columns

MyFAU gives you the ability to change the layout of each tab of information by adding new columns in which you can add or move channels. Keep in mind that the more columns you add to each tab the more difficult it will be to view the channels in each column. It is recommended that you limit the number of columns to three.

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window. A window titled User Preferences will display.
  2. Click on the tab where you want to add a column.
  3. Click the Add Column button where you want the new column to be placed. Add Column buttons are vertical buttons between or on the side of columns.
  4. At the top of the window will be displayed the steps for the column. Decide what percentage of the entire tab you want the column to occupy, and enter that number followed by the percent sign (%) in the box for the column. Adjust the percentages for the other columns so all the columns add up to 100%.
  5. Once you've entered all the percentages, click the Submit button.
  6. The User Preferences layout page will be displayed, and you should see the the new and empty column. Click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using.

Removing Columns

Not all columns can be removed, but for those that can be deleted, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window. A window titled User Preferences will display.
  2. Click on the name of the tab that contains the column you want to remove.
  3. Click the Select Column button in the column you want to remove.
  4. At the top of the window will be displayed the options for the column. If the column can be removed, Delete this column will be displayed as a link. Click the link.
  5. You will receive a prompt asking if you are sure you want to delete the column. This prompt is a good opportunity for double checking what column you had selected.
  6. If you want to continue, click Yes; otherwise click No to cancel the operation. This prompt is a good opportunity to double check that you're deleting the correct column.
  7. The User Preferences layout page will be displayed, and you should see the placeholder of the channel you just added. Click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using.

Moving Columns

You can move columns to the right and left, but this procedure does not merge the columns; it just rearranges their order. If you want to merge columns, you will need first to move the channels from one column to the other, and then delete the empty column. Follow these steps to rearrange or move columns:

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window. A window titled User Preferences will display.
  2. Click on the tab that contains the columns you want to move.
  3. To the left and/or right of each Select Column button is a left or right pointing arrow. If a column cannot be moved to the right or left because of where it's positioned, it will not have that arrow. For the column you want to move, just click the arrow that represents the direction in which you want to move the column.

    Move column arrows
  4. Once you've moved the column where you want it, click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using.

Changing Column Width

Sometimes a channel's content won't fit correctly in a standard column. In that case, you can try resizing the column:

  1. Click the Content/Layout link in the upper left corner of the MyFAU window. A window titled User Preferences will display.
  2. Click on the name of the tab that contains the column you want to resize.
  3. Click the Select Column button in the column you want to resize.
  4. At the top of the window will be displayed the options for the column. Decide what percentage of the entire tab you want the column to occupy, and enter that number followed by the percent sign (%) in the box for the column. Adjust the percentages for the other columns so all the columns add up to 100%.
  5. Once you've entered all the percentages, click the Save widths button.
  6. The layout display will return to your screen and you should see the altered widths. Click the back to Home Tab (or whatever "back to" link is displayed -- it will show the name of the tab you were last on) link at the top of the window to return to the tab you had been using.