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Introducing the New Element UI

Elements are the key to our simple to use content management system. From the beginning, our partners, LightCMS, have built the platform with an "edit in place" approach, using simple toolbars that overlay the various editable pieces of content on a site. It's one of the things that sets us apart from most other dashboard-based systems. And so it is with great pleasure that we introduce the newest version of our platform's Element functionality, to be released very soon. Take a look below at everything that's new.

The New Element Toolbars
First off, we've redesigned the Element Toolbars. You're used to seeing black bars at the top of each element. Our new toolbars are more modern and discreet. They're designed to blend into your site while still serving their main purpose of marking your elements and providing access to the element menus. The element menus themselves have been redesigned as well, sporting fresh new custom icons. Take a look at the new toolbars and menus in the image below.

The New Add Element Bar
Next, we've updated the Add Element bar found at the bottom of each editable region. The old Add Element bar was a thick, black bar with the same weight as the Element Toolbars. We felt this made it difficult to distinguish between the tops of elements and the bottoms of regions. We have replaced this bar with an add element button and a thin line to mark the location where you can add elements when in edit mode. This approach more naturally blends with the design of your site while at the same time subtly marking those locations where you can add elements.

As before, the Element Toolbars and Add Element buttons are displayed only in edit mode to logged-in administrators. See the new Add Element Bar in the image below.

The Add Element Modal: Beautiful, Responsive Design with Fewer Clicks
Now comes the most exciting change — the new Add Element modal. Clicking the Add Element button now brings up a beautifully-designed, responsive modal with fresh, custom icons representing each of the available elements. Simply click (or touch) the element you want and it is immediately added to your page. See the Add Element Modal in the image below.

The modal adapts to the size of your device's screen, enabling you to easily add elements on desktops, laptops, tablets and phones. Plus, if you're a click counter, you'll notice that the new modal requires two fewer clicks for every element you add!

Sharing is the New "Copy"
We've also updated our copy element functionality. For one thing, we're now calling it "share" instead of "copy." For the most part, sharing an element works just as copying an element used to work. With sharing, you can place an element in multiple locations across your website. Updating the content of the element in one location automatically updates it everywhere it is shared.

However, we have made one big improvement in sharing vs. copying. Previously, when you copied an element, you had to select the element you wanted from a dropdown list that included every single element on your site. This list of elements could get very long and it could be quite cumbersome and time-consuming to select the element you wanted.

So, we've addressed this issue by creating a new Is Shareable property on the advanced settings of every element (see the image below). Now, only those elements that are marked as shareable are included in the share element list. By default, new elements will not be marked as shareable. However, when we release this new feature, we will automatically mark any element that you have currently copied as shareable.

All you have to do to share an element is to select the "Share an Element from Another Part of Your Site" dropdown list on the Add Element modal (see image of the modal above). Remember, this list displays only the elements you have marked as shareable, so if you don't see the element you want, you'll need to go to the Advanced tab in that element's settings and check the Is Shareable checkbox.

But Wait, There's More!
The new Element UI is a major upgrade and a big step forward for the LightCMS Platform. However, there are some other features, enhancements and resolved issues included in Release 2014.9 as well. For full details, see the 2014.9 Release Notes below.

Launching on September 2nd
Because of the significance of the changes in this release, we felt it important to give you advance notice of what is coming in 2014.9. These changes are tentatively scheduled for release on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. We look forward to bringing you these updates soon!

Release Notes for 2014.9

New Features

Added an Is Shareable checkbox on the element settings Advanced tab. Selecting this box marks the element as shareable, and it makes it available for selection on the shared element dropdown list on the Add Element modal.
Introduced the Add Element modal, offering a completely redesigned, mobile-friendly experience for adding elements to a page. This also reduces the number of clicks required to add an element by 50%.

Redesigned the Element Toolbars, giving them a more modern and discreet appearance.
Improved the appearance of the Add Element bar.
Reduced the Element Toolbar markup and sped up the addition of an element.

Resolved Issues
The checkout page would hang when the user entered the zip code if the currency format used periods for the thousands separator and commas for the decimal.
For accounts on the Partner Platform, the Update Subscription page should allow a maximum 10x markup. However, the page allowed only a 5x markup, which is the maximum markup for legacy accounts not on the Partner Platform. The page now allows a maximum 10x markup for legacy accounts.
USPS First Class shipping was not calculated and presented as a shipping option for the customer, even when it was selected as an option in the store settings.
Clicking the HTML button on the UI resulted in a minor display issue of the text field.
The text area on the Blog Summary, Checkout and Payments Page, and on the Policies tab extended below the bottom of the frame, blocking the WYSIWYG controls located at the bottom of the field.
Selecting the HTML button on the text editor displayed the HTML code, but clicking the Design button did not revert back to WYSIWYG mode, and the editor continued to display HTML code.
Changes made within the Image Editor were not saved.