Checkout: A handy LCMS feature

Most documents in LCMS (Luminis Content Management System) at IWU are web page documents. These documents are stored in a format that can be edited directly. When you click “edit” for a web page, the Edit-On Pro window loads up, which gives you all the tools you need to manipulate text, make links, and insert pictures.

But what happens when you need to edit or replace a picture, Word document or PDF? One way you might do this is:

  1. Save a copy of the old file to your hard drive
  2. Make your changes to the new file.
  3. Import and submit the new file with a new name
  4. Change all the referring pages to point to the new file
  5. Submit all those same referring pages
  6. Delete the old file

This is a totally functional way to go but leaves a few loopholes open. What if another web page links to your picture or PDF? Those links will be broken since you have changed to a file with a different name. What if you forget a couple of the 17 different places on your own site that refer to your form or document?

Even worse, what if you find a mistake in the new file and have to do it all over again? What if the picture needs to be cropped a little more? This method can be very tedious.

Instead, you might try using the “Checkout” feature. If you do this for a normal web page nothing will happen. If you check out a picture or some other file that Edit-On Pro can’t handle, something much cooler occurs.

LCMS will send a copy of the file in question to the hard drive of whatever computer you are using. It will be saved in the “C:/Documentum/Checkout” folder. (Vista users, you may have to “trust” servers to convince your computer to allow this. Call us if you need a hand working this out.)

Once the file is on your hard drive, you can edit it with whatever program you prefer. I like to use Photoshop Elements for images, and I have Adobe Acrobat Professional for working on PDFs. Once the file has been edited, save it in the same place you found it with the same name.

When you go back to LCMS, click “Checkin” which will automatically pull the new version from your hard drive. You can then add a comment to describe the changes you made. The new updated version will need to be submitted, but none of the pages that link to it need to be touched at all!

Another nifty trick is to check out a file, then replace it with another one. As long as the new file goes into the Documentum Checkout folder and has the same name as the file you checked out, LCMS doesn’t care. The new file will appear in the same place as the old, with the same name, keeping all links and image insertions intact. If for some reason you have specified a height and width value for an image in LCMS (something I don’t recommend) you will need to make your new image match those dimensions.

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