Flex UI Quick Start

The latest UBCMS version has great features.

Flex UI is available to all UBCMS users now. Learn more.

On this page:

Last reviewed: June 2, 2022

First Impressions

The current 'Flex UI' version of the UBCMS is easy to learn, navigate and optimized to be very intuitive. Plus, it brings many improvements and enhancements, including keyboard shortcuts, search filters, and powerful tools such as the "Diff" Compare Pages tool and the ability to easily copy between pages.

Enhanced Functionality

  • Pages reload much less frequently when you make changes.
  • It is very easy to copy and paste content from one page to another.
  • One-key shortcuts especially to switch modes and open/close collapsible containers.
  • Easier to reposition items on pages and in list components. Flex UI has great support for drag and drop.
  • Easy to find and edit components -- Dividers are now more visible than in the previous version-- plus the Content Tree in Side Panel lists all components on a page.
  • Powerful search. Much easier to find your content, and results can be exported.
  • Search and Side Panel tools like Assets and Components Browser have many helpful filters.
  • References, Versions and History are clean and easy to navigate and are provided all in one Side Panel.

New and Smarter Tools

Many of these are only in Flex UI or developed expressly for the new version:

  • More tool and (i)nformation icons (with links to documentation).
  • Compare Pages (“Diff tool”) is much better.
  • Authoring Notes.
  • Stewardship Notifications.
  • Emulator (mobile device simulator)
  • Adaptive Crop settings give lots of control over small screen display of images.
  • H2 Section Heading.
  • Social Media Image setting.
  • Private Authoring.

Changes You Will Get Used To…

  • The Sidekick is gone. Its tools are relocated to other areas including Properties, Side Panel, and Command Menus.
  • No more double clicking or right-clicking. You now select and then click (or touch) a tool bar button. (Remember this is now designed to function on touch screen devices.)
  • Shift to Preview Mode to follow a link or see a Shared Content helper link (but new shortcuts make this easy)
  • New nomenclature; e.g. "activation" is now consistently “publish” and the 'Content Finder' is now the 'Asset Browser'.

Flex UI uses a series of consoles:

Sites Console: Like the Websites Admin Console, this is where you will create, rename/move, publish, and delete pages. It also has a Side Panel with 'drawers' for Content and Timeline (versions and modifications).

Edit Console: This is Edit Mode. Modify page content here, but you must generally return to the Sites Console to act on an entire page. There is no Sidekick or Content Finder, instead click the Toggle Side Panel button (upper left of the page) to reveal a sidebar with 'drawers' for Components and Assets (versions and modifications). And page properties and other tools are accessed by clicking the Page Information too ('equalizer' icon) at the top left of the page.

Assets Console: Only accessible from the Start page.

General Functionality

Keyboard Shortcuts: We developed a suite of keyboard shortcuts to help you do your work faster and easier.

Use Preview Mode to follow links: You can no longer follow a link in Edit Mode. Instead, switch to Preview Mode. This will also reveal those 'helper' references to embedded Shared Content. (Hint: click the 'm' key to toggle back and forth.)

Annotations are Hidden: Click the little icon at the top right of the window (it may show a number or a "+" sign) to reveal the annotations interface. We also added a new feature called Authoring Notes!

Think Touch-Screen Interface

Unlike traditional Windows applications, right-clicking and double-clicking have no special function in Flex UI. Instead, select an item then look for additional menus.

Where Did It Go? (New Feature Locations)

Last reviewed: May 13, 2021

This is a quick reference. A comprehensive chart is provided for all the changes to the Sidekick tools and features.

Used to Be in the Sidekick
Classic UI Flex UI
Activate Page / Deactivate Page
now 'Publish Page' / 'Unpublish Page' in Page Information ('equalizer' icon)
Audit Log Sites Console: toggle Side Panel and see Timeline
Components Edit Console: toggle Side Panel and see Component Browser
Copy Page Sites Console: select page then click Copy in Command Menu
Create Child Page Sites Console: click Create in upper right
Delete Page Sites Console: select page then click Delete in Command Menu
Move Page
Sites Console: select page then click Move in Command Menu
Preview Mode Edit Console: click Preview button in upper right
Page Properties Sites Console: select page then click Properties in Command Menu
Edit Console: click Page Information ('equalizer' icon)
Reload page no replacement, instead refresh browser
Show References
Sites Console: toggle Side Panel and see References  
Versions Sites Console: toggle Side Panel and see Timeline
Websites now called 'Sites Console'
Locations of Other UBCMS Features
Classic UI Flex UI
not shown until enter Annotation mode
Content Finder Edit Console: toggle Side Panel and see 'Assets Browser'
(developers only)
Start Page: see sidebar Tools + General
Digital Assets Manager
aka the "DAM"
now called Assets Console
Reports Start Page: see sidebar Tools + UB Custom Tools
Tag Admin Tool
(admins only)
Start Page, see sidebar Tools + General
Users / Group Manager
(admins only)
Start Page: see sidebar, see Tools + Security
Websites Admin Console now called 'Sites Console'

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