Content - interface overview

Once logged in, a user who has permission to edit the website will see two changes:

  1. The Administration Panel will appear across the top of the screen.
  2. Two tabs labelled 'View' and 'Edit' will appear at the top of the main content section on the pages the user has permission to edit.

Drupal's on-screen editing tools (click to enlarge)

These two changes represent the extent of Drupal's maintenance tools! Unlike many content management systems, Drupal does not have a 'back-end': a separate administrative area where content editing and creation takes place. Instead, all the tools are available while you're actually in the website itself - a much more dynamic and fluid way of maintaining content.

The Administration Panel appears as a strip across the top of the screen - depending on the roles assigned to your user account, the options in the Administration Panel will vary. The upper black part represents the administration options, while the lower grey part holds shortcuts to frequently-used options:

  • 'Add content' - this will allow you to create new website content. See Content types for rundown of the different types of content you can create.
  • 'Find content' - this link takes you to an overview of all content on the website - useful if you need to find something you create in the past and can't remember how to find it! You can filter content using the options at the top of the page. For example, choosing 'Blog entry' from the 'type' drop-down box and clicking the 'Filter' button will show all blog entries currently held within the site's database.
  • 'Maintenance guide' - a quick link to this guide!


Alongside offering options on the different types of content you can create, the website also offers options defining how that content is formatted. Standard websites use the coding language HTML to specify how content is formatted (eg. where paragraphs end, what words are in bold, where links go, etc). However, for those who don't know HTML different text formats are available to allow users of varying web knowledge enter text, links, etc:

  • Markdown. A quick shorthand language for formatting text with minimal coding. See the guide to Markdown syntax for further information.
  • Full HTML. For those experienced in HTML coding.
  • Plain text. This simply allows text to be entered into a textbox, but does not allow any formatting to be applied.

When you create new content, or edit existing content, the above options will be offered on most content creation text-boxes. However, unless you are confident with HTML it is recommended you use the Markdown format (the default).

The 'Text format' box is visible underneath most content-creation areas (click to enlarge)