Collections and Collection Sections
Collections are a list of stories.
Each item in the list has a title, description, image and link. A collection could be a list of ALL your Shorthand stories, just a few stories on a similar topic, or even a mix of Shorthand stories and other stories. You can also have multiple Collections, eg. one for 'Local news stories' and a different one for 'International news stories'
Collections can't be seen by an audience until they are referenced in a Collection Section within a Shorthand story.
Collection Sections are a part of a story that displays one of your Collections.
This is where the list of items in the Collection becomes visible to your readers.
Think of a 'Related content"' or 'More stories in this series' section that lists links to other stories.
Stories that include a Collection are automatically updated as the Collection is updated. Even if the stories are already published, they don't need re-publishing to show the updated Collection.
Creating a Collection
Note: these steps will only be available if Collections have been enabled for your workspace. Contact us if you would like to enable this feature.
To create a Collection, go to your dashboard and click the "New Collection" icon.
You'll be taken to the Collection Form.
The Collection Form is where you specify which stories you'd like in the Collection, their title, description and image, and the order in which the stories will be displayed.
Adding stories to the Collection
The Collection Form asks that you give your Collection a name that you will be able to recognise on your dashboard (eg: 'Festival stories collection'), and an optional title that will be used when you reference the Collection from within your stories (eg: 'Related stories')
The rest of the form is dedicated to adding references to individual stories. For each, you add an image, title, a subtitle, and the URL of the story.
Continue to add as many stories to the Collection Form as needed. They can be dragged into the order in which you wish them to appear in your stories.
When finished, click the 'Publish' button, and your Collection is ready to be referenced from any of your Stories.
Note: The Collection is just a list. Nobody can see it until you reference it from within one or more published stories.
The Collection is now shown as a card on your dashboard and can be further edited or shared with collaborators from there.
Adding a Collection to a story
To reference a Collection from within a story, add a Collection Section to the appropriate place within the story in much the same way as adding any other section type. This section is where all the stories that you added to the Collection Form will be shown.
The style of the Collection Section within your story is set by a combination of your story theme, the number of stories referenced, and changes made in the Section Options panel.
When your story is published, it will show the Collection Section and be automatically updated if you make changes to the Collection Form, without needing to republish the story.
A single Collection can be used in as many stories as you wish. You could, for instance, create a Collection called "Our latest feature stories" and include it as a section in the bottom of each of your many Shorthand stories. When you publish a new story, you could then modify the Collection Form to list the new story, and when the form is published, all the stories that reference the "Our latest feature stories" collection will automatically show the updated list of stories, without needing to re-publish each story individually.
Updating a Collection
You can go back and edit or modify the Collection Form at any time: such as to add new stories to the Collection. When you republish the form, every story that references that collection will automatically show the updates.
Your Collection Section will contain each of the stories you added to the Collection Form in the order in which they appear within the form. Now, if you update the form, the stories that it references will be automatically updated too - even if they are already published. They do not need to be re-published to have any changes applied. To achieve this, Shorthand manages the hosting of the file that stores the data for the Collection itself. Your stories may be hosted anywhere you have rights to publish.
A Collection doesn't have to reference Shorthand stories - it could list any content you wish.
The images used in your Collection section are not compressed. Consider the number of items in your Collection and how it will display when deciding on the size of images to upload. Your Collection Section will tend to look best if the size and aspect ratio of each of your images is the same.
If you would like to enable Collection Sections on your account, please get in touch with us.