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Editing group pages, and other forms of rocket science
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How do I customize my margins and footers
Christopher Brooks, 21 Sep 2009
Last updated: 28 Jan 2011

The CHESS/CPS-FORCES/E3S/Embedded/iCyPhy/TerraSwarm/TRUST server provides a facility that allows the pages that you author and that appear in your workspace to be customized. To customize your pages, you need to:

  • Turn on the "Fancy HTML" option in your group's configuration options.
  • Create a file called "toc.html" in the root directory of your HTML files. (That is, in the same directory as the index.html file you see when you go to chess.eecs.berkeley.edu/groupname.)
The toc.html file can contain anything you want. However, the server parses it looking for pairs of HTML comments that look like this:
My margin text
If the parser sees a block like this, it extracts the text between the comments and places it in the left-hand margin of the displayed page, instead of the links that it would normally generate.

You can also append text to the existing auto-generated margin text by inserting the "+" sign, as follows:

Text appended to margin
Several fields can be specified in this way:
  • margin: text is inserted or appended to the left hand margin that appears on every page.
  • footer: text is inserted or appended to the footer that appears on every page.
  • header: text is inserted or appended to the header links that appear on every page.

In addition, a block named options can be used to specify additional formatting and display options. the syntax is

Currently the following options are supported:
  • margincolor: The background color of the left-hand margin.

Once you have a custom setup for your site, you may wish to further customize subdirectories in your site. You can do this simply by placing another "toc.html" in sub-directories that you wish to customize. Note that you will need to duplicate all fields in your top-level file -- for example, if you put a footer in your top-level toc.html, you will have to put one in the sub-directory's toc.html too.

Note also that on all sites except e3s, toc.html is not "inherited." If /diva has a toc.html, and /diva/x has a toc.html, but /diva/x/y does not, then files in /diva/x/y will use the toc.html from /diva, not the one from /diva/x.

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