Create and Preview an Issue

From the newsletter show page, click on the "Create New" button to create a new issue. There, you will see these fields and options:

  • Publication date. This controls the date that will be displayed on the issue when you publish it. It also controls how the issues will be sorted when listed on your site(s).
  • Date display. This controls whether the issue displays the full date or just the month and year. Use month and year if you plan to publish monthly. Otherwise, use full date. This will default to the value you set for the newsletter.
  • Layout. The layout that this issue will use. This will default to the value you set for the newsletter.
  • Attach a header image. If you wish this issue to have a different header image from the usual image, upload it here. If you find yourself uploading the same image for each issue, you should upload that image as the newsletter's header image. It will then appear in every issue unless overridden using this field.
  • Introductory text. This text will appear at the top of the newsletter in most designs.
  • Zone 1 Title (this repeats for each zone). This will default to the value you set on the newsletter. If you do not have anything in this field, the zone's title will not appear in the issue.
  • Zone 1 Text (this repeats for each zone). This will default to the value you set on the newsletter. If you do not have anything in this field, the zone's text will not appear in the issue.
  • Conclusion text. This text will appear at the top of the newsletter in most designs.

Click "save changes" and you will be taken to the newsletter show page, which will allow you to edit the issue settings, find and add associated content, preview the issue, send a test email, or distribute and publish the issue.

Newsletter Show Page

The notion of "zones" is a key to understanding the newsletter tool. Different designs will have different rules, but in general, a Newsletter Issue will show these things in more or less this order:

  • Title of newsletter
  • Publication date of issue
  • Header image, if you have uploaded one
  • Introductory text, if you have any
  • Zone content:
    • Zone 1 header, if you're using it
    • Zone 1 text, if you're using it
    • Zone 1 associated content, if you have added any
    • [repeat for all zones]
  • Conclusion text, if you entered any

For our example, I created a newsletter called CHSSWeb News and then created an issue I intended to publish on September 14, 2020. I left the issue with the default settings I had established when I created the newsletter. For instance, I only used four of the zones. I did not add any text or associate any content. Here is the preview of that issue.

Barebones Issue Preview

To use the text areas or change your zone titles, use the Edit Settings button at the top right of the issue show page. Let's add a title for zone five, add introductory and conclusion text, and add text to some of the zones.

Here's how my newsletter looks now.

Newsletter preview with text

It is possible to publish an issue using just these text areas. You can add links and formatting to the text areas and that may be all you need to do what you need to do. But the real power of the newsletters comes out when you associate content.