Guide to Comment Press

This is a guide to use Comment Press on this or any other of my sites. Comment Press is a plugin for the WordPress blogging platform, and it turns WordPress into a very functional program for publishing and commenting upon texts. I have included a video tutorial as well as a written guide.

This guide is divided into three sections:

1) Navigating through Comment Press

2) Adding Comments

3) Adding Blog Posts and Pages

1. Navigating through Comment Press

Below is an image of what a Comment Press site looks like when running on WordPress (you can visit the site here in a slightly different form):

Comment Press Page

There are two main sections of a Comment Press page: a page with texts (on the left side with the “Welcome” header) and the “Table of Contents” page on the right with a list of all the pages. There is also a navigating bar that extends across the top of the page (indicated here by the blue rectangles). These tool buttons help you navigate through a Comment Press site. When you click on one of the pages listed in the Table of Contents, that page will appear on the left side, and the Table of Contents will be replaced by a “Comments” column. It looks like this below:

I clicked on the “Outline of Book” page, so it is now listed on the left. Note how each paragraph is separated with its own heading on the left side and a corresponding “Comments on paragraph” section on the right. In Comment Press you attach comments to paragraphs, or you can add a general comment for the entire site that does not correspond to any one paragraph. In this example I see that I have three comments for paragraph two (see the blue rectangle), zero comments for paragraph four (see the red oval), five comments for paragraph seven, and five general comments for this page (listed as “whole page”). The number of comments for each paragraph also appears to the left of each paragraph on the left.

If I click on the “3 comments for paragraph two” listing on the right side, then the “Comments” section expands so that I can read each of those three comments (clicking on the “3 comments for paragraph two” again collapses the comments). Expanded, the Comments page looks like this (note how the second paragraph is now highlighted in green):

Someone with the online name “kkoltunf” left some interesting comments for this paragraph. One can even respond with comments to his comments. In this way a running dialogue can take place right next to the corresponding paragraph.

Let’s return for a moment to those tool buttons that run across the top of this page.

I can toggle between the “Comments” section and the “Table of Contents” section by clicking on the open book icon on the far right. If I click on either one of the bubble icons (located between the closed book and people icon in the middle), then one of two lists will appear: clicking the single bubble icon allows me to add a general comment to this site; clicking on the double bubble icon lists all the comments generated for this site (not just for this page but for all the pages, including whole page and paragraph comments). If I click on the people icon then a list appears with all the names of those who have commented on this site together with their individual comments. So I can add a general comment (single bubble icon), see all the comments (double bubble icon), and see comments listed under each individual commentator (the people icon). If you click on the pin icon next to the people icon, then the blog page (the yellow circle below) associated with this site appears. The blog page looks like this:

If I want to return back to the writing page with comments, then I click on the closed book icon (see the blue arrow above). So all those icons that run across the top allow me to navigate between the blog and the page posts for this site, and to see comments in various ways. It’s fun.

2. Adding Comments (return to top of page)

Now adding comments to a page is easy. To add a comment to a paragraph you click on the little bubble that appears to the left side of that paragraph, next to the number that reveals the number of comments associated with this paragraph. When you click on that bubble (see yellow circle below), the “Comments” section on the right expands and looks like this:

Once again the paragraph you want to comment upon lights up in green. A box appears on the right side for you to write a comment. When you are finished with your comment, click on the “Submit Comment” button, and that’s it. Your comment will now appear within the “Comments” section, and it will be recorded as a number next to the paragraph. And as I mentioned above, you can even attach a comment to a comment, and it appears as a nested comment. Easy!

3. Adding Blog Posts and Pages (return to top of page)

So that is how you view and add comments within a Comment Press site. But how do you add pages of text and blog posts? To add this kind of content to a Comment Press site you need to gain access to the Dashboard page. Only the administrator (me, in this case) and those granted access by the administrator can see and work with the Dashboard page. Those who visit the Comment Press page on the web never see the Dashboard page. This is why the Dashboard page and all it allows you to do is called the”back end” while the web page itself is called the “front end”. So if you want to add content, you login into the Dashboard page. There is a lot of stuff here, and it looks like this:

The toolbar that runs along the top of this page (see the blue arrows) allows me to navigate among all my web sites. Only I can see this toolbar because I administer this site, so you won’t see the toolbar at all. The menu running along the left side of the page lists all the various pages within Dashboard. The most important are the “Posts” and the “Pages” menu. But first take a look at that green box surrounding a section called “Right now”. Here you can see the number of posts, pages, comments and other stuff on this site. Within this section you can click on “posts” and a page to write blog posts will appear, or clicking on “pages” will take you to a place to add pages to this site, and so on. You can get to those pages via the menu on the left or here in the “Right now” section – it is your choice. Let’s go to the “posts” section that lists posts to the blog page. That page looks like this:

All your posts will be listed here, and you can view, edit, or even delete them. If you want to add a new blog post, just click on the “Add New” button either in the menu on the left or on the top of the page near the heading “Posts”. If you do so, this page now appears:

You can add a title and post (see blue text above), you can add categories to your post (see blue arrow), and you can preview, save a draft, or finally publish the post to your blog page (see green arrow). Make sure you save or publish your work – otherwise it will disappear. If you want to add a new page – perhaps an essay, or outline, or chapter – then click on the “Pages” menu on the left. The page below now appears within Dashboard:

Just like the post page you can see here a listing of all your pages. The first five pages listed are part of the Comment Press plugin, and you don’t want to touch them. But the other pages beginning with “Welcome” are all my pages, and I can do whatever I want with them. Notice how some of these pages are nested within other pages (see the dash marks). By nesting pages within other pages you can build a “chapter” with “sub-headings” or list whatever kind of hierarchy you prefer. If you click on “Outline of Book”, then you can see how you edit and nest pages:

Here I can edit the content, preview and then update the changes. Take a look at the “Page Attributes” section (the redarrow). What this tells you is that I want this page listed under, or nested under the “Welcome” page with the default template, and I want it first in the nested order. I have other pages nested under the “Welcome” page, but they follow the “Outline of Book” page (kind of makes sense). Now if I want to add another page to this site, I just click on the “Add New” button (just as I would for a new post). Here is what that page looks like:

This page has the same layout as the new blog post page. Note that within the “Page Atrributes” section (green rectangle with green arrow) it says “no parent” in the first drop down menu, and under “Order” it lists zero. If you want to nest your page under another page then you need to click on the “parent” menu, and a list of all your pages will appear. You just need to choose the parent page, and then number the new, nested page so that it appears in the desired order under its parent. This is how we make children! Click on the “Publish” button and you are done.

That’s it! You can navigate around the other menus in Dashboard and see how you can tweak this or that, but all you really need to do is post blogs, pages, and add comments to your site.

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