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OpenCms documentation
OpenCms documentation


The explorer app allows browsing of the VFS. It provides several options to gather information about resources or to alter resources. These options include:

  • editing, renaming, moving, copying
  • locking
  • publishing
  • permission editing
  • comparison of historic resource versions
  • and much more

If you only want to browse and edit resources and do not need the various "special features" available via the explorer view, you may prefer mounting the VFS instead of accessing it via the explorer view.

Select the

You can open the explorer via the quick launch menu. It is one of the standard apps in the quick launch menu.

The following screenshot provides a good overview on the options you have in the explorer. The explorer's tool bar provides additional functionality.

An overview of the explorer view

The explorer supports the most common shortcuts and also has drag & drop support to move or copy resources.

In the sections below, we briefly describe several options of the explorer and explain various symbols.

  • Opens the publish dialog

  • searchBigIconActive

    Opens the "Create resource" dialog.

  • upload

    Opens the upload dialog.

  • Opens the explorer's context menu.

  • Quick Launch

    Switch to other apps

  • UserIcon

    The icons shows a user specific configurable picture. It provides access to user information and the logout button.

Edit the user preferences.

Switch the current project.

Show the publish queue.

Show information about your OpenCms installation.

The folder tree displays all folders starting from the chosen site. E.g., from "/" in the root site or from "/sites/default/" in the default preconfigured site. It allows you to easily browse through the VFS folder structure.

Furthermore, resources are highlighted to indicate their status.

The resource is the same online and offline.

The resource does not belong to the project you are currently working in. The current state will not be highlighted for such resources.

The resource is new and was never published, i.e., it is only present in the offline version of the VFS.

The resource has changed, i.e., it is present in the online and the offline project, but the versions differ.

The resource was deleted in the offline version of the VFS, but it still exists online, i.e., it has not yet been published since it was deleted.

The current folder's content is displayed with several details. The details shown can be adjusted via the little gear-wheel that appears in the upper-right corner of the "Current folder's content" view (see "Adjust shown columns" in the screenshot). Interesting and not self-explanatory are

  • the state highlighting
  • the context menu options for a resource.

Klicking on the name of a resource triggers the default action. The action depends on the type (and name suffix) of the resource. It typically is Display or Edit (in the most suitable editor). In the context menu, the default action is displayed in bold.

The only exception are folders. Here, the default action is to open the folder. It is not listed in the context menu.

Since OpenCms 10.5 the explorer reflects if a page is shown in the sitemap (in the navigation). Title and Navigation properties are printed bold if the page is shown in the navigation.

The state of a resource wrt. the online and offline versions is displayed as in the folder tree, but the view of the current folder's content provides more status information on the resources. In particular you get:

  • State indicators (colors as in the folder tree, but also lock and project state, as described in the respective subsections)
  • Resource type specific icons
  • Much more meta-information (what is displayed is configurable via the little gear-wheel in the upper-right corner of the "current folder's content" view)

If a resource is edited, its lock state is shown as a little lock at the resource's icon. The lock is opened or closed and can differ in its color, depending on the lock state.

  • No lock is shown, if the resource is not locked at all.New text.

  • lock_user

    An exclusive lock on single files and folders. You locked the resource

  • lock_user

    An inherited lock. If a folder is locked, all resources inside the folder are locked. Possibly exclusive locks on the resources are replaced by inherited locks. You locked the folder.

  • lock_shared

    For resources with siblings, the resource that is worked on gets an exclusive lock, all other siblings get a shared lock to prevent concurrent manipulation of the siblings.

  • lock_other

    The lock indicates that the resource is locked by another user.

If a resource is edited, flags indicate in which project the resource was edited.

  • There is no symbol if the resource is not manipulated in any project

  • project_this

    The flag indicates that the resource has changed in the currently selected project.

  • project_other

    The flag indicates that the resource was changed in a project other than the currently selected.

  • project_publish

    The resource is about to be published. It is already added to the publish queue, but publishing is not finished yet.

By right-clicking on a resource in the "current folder's content"-view, you get a context menu, exposing all functions available to change or explore the data of the resource. Depending on the VFS version you're working in, the options are different. Online you have much fewer options than offline since you can't change any resource online. Options also differ for different resource types. For example, you can edit XML content via the content editor, but for a text file you can edit only the source code and for folders there is no content to edit at all.

Below, we give you an overview of (most of) the menu options, grouped by different kinds of options and highlight at which resources these options can be performed. We assume you have administrator rights. Otherwise some options may not be available.

Display the XML content - works only if a detail page is configured for the content.

Opens the page in the page editor

Lock or unlock the resource. Available for all resources.

Shows resources in the folder that are locked by other users.

If the resource is locked by another user, you can steal it.

Publish the resource directly. For folders, all resources inside the folder will be published as well.

Publish the (file) resource or all resources in a folder at a chosen date, alter or remove the scheduled publish date.

Edit the content in the form-based content editor.

Edit the sourcecode of the files in the integrated editor.

Opens the properties dialog to view and change properties of the resource.

Copy the resource. A dialog is shown where you select the folder, where the resource should be copied. Furthermore, you specify the copy behavior. Note that drag & drop of resources is also possible to open the dialog.

Move the resource. A dialog is shown where you select the folder, where the resource should be moved. Note that drag & drop of resources is also possible to open the dialog.

Rename the resource

Delete the resource. Note that the resource is still availabe online until the deleted resource is published. Therefore, deleted resources are only struck out and not removed in the explorer view of the offline project until they are published.

Reset the offline version of the resource to the online version, losing all unpublished changes.

Upload another file that replaces the current one.

View and change permissions set for the resource

Edit the categories assigned to the resource.

Open the gallery dialog.

Rename all images in the gallery according to a configurable naming scheme.

Add title and description to (all) images in the gallery.

The information is available via the Info context menu entry.New text.

Lists all resources, the resource links to (has an outgoing relation)

Summary on the attributes of the resource

Lists all resources, that link to the resource (all incoming relations of the resource).

Lists all siblings of the resource.

Explore and compare the historic published versions of a resource. There is an option to restore historic versions, even deleted files in folders.

Touch the resource - for folder also resources inside the folder - and optionally rewrite the content. The touch operation can write a configurable last modified date.

Set, change or reset release and expiration date. Optionally enable and configure notifications.

Configure the export behavior of the resource and select if it should be served when requested - and if so, if only via a secured connection.

Change the resource type.

Edit the content's source code directly - not via the form-based content editor.

Restore files in a folder (and optionally its subfolders) that were deleted and published after deletion.

Opens the form-based content editor.

Opens a dialog to link a locale variant to the page.