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Sunday, 13-Jan-02 16:59:09 EST Space Customising your search results screen
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Customising results

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You can customise your site search results screen to match the look and feel of your website by changing the value of the hidden input header and footer fields from "Default" to your own code.

*Before you begin* print out this screen for reference.

There are two hidden fields in the search form, called header and footer. These hidden fields control the look and feel of the results screens your users get.

*Tip* If you don't know how to edit hidden fields in forms, you probably shouldn't be trying this. Try and get some help from someone in your organisation who knows how to edit hidden fields in forms, or ring us on our FREECALL number 1800 065 754 and we will try to help you.

The relevant lines of site search code look like this:

<INPUT TYPE=hidden NAME=Header VALUE="Default">
<INPUT TYPE=hidden NAME=Footer VALUE="Default">

The hidden fields contain the value 'default' which tells our system to return a standard look and feel for the results screen.

You should replace the word 'default' with any valid HTML text - it's the HTML you put in to replace 'default' which will customise your results screen.

The header field defines the look and feel, including text and link colours, as well as the background colour of the screen.

Example of setting up the Header content - a string of single quote HTML tags inside one normal double quote tag:

<INPUT TYPE=hidden NAME=Header VALUE="<HEAD><TITLE>Customising your search results screen</TITLE></HEAD>
<BODY BGCOLOR='#FFFFFF' LINK='#FF0000' ALINK='#FFC200' VLINK='#8F3802'> ">

The above example is how this screen looks, with a white background, red links and brown visited links.

The footer field should contain your site navigation and links back to the main areas of your site. All links back to your page must be absolute URLs.

Example of absolute URLs in part of the Footer content:

<A HREF='http://www.yourname.com.au/'>Home</A>

<A HREF='http://www.yourname.com.au/search/'>Search Your Name Again</A>

Important notes on customising your header and footer
There are some important rules to follow when inserting your own HTML header and footer code to ensure that the results screen displays properly.

If you take any HTML code from your website and add it to the default header and footer fields you will need to make some modifications to it for it to work.

Be sure to edit in the HTML source code view of your WYSIWYG editor, or edit in a text editor rather than a WYSIWIG editor. WYSIWIG editors may add extra spaces, change the code, and generally think they know better.

As the Header and Footer code is a string of HTML tags inside one HTML tag, all the double quotes in your string of header and footer code must be changed to single quotes - and then the whole string is encolsed in one set of double quotes (see Header example above).

Some other important points to note.

  • The header field should contain all of the HTML from the start of the document up to and including the body tag. The header field defines the colour of your background, links, text etc. If you have images defined in this area, all links to the images must be absolute.

    For example:

    <IMG SRC='http://www.yourname.com.au/images/logo.gif'>

  • The footer field should close the HTML document correctly with </BODY> and </HTML> tags.
  • If you add links in the header or footer to other parts of your site, you must use absolute URLs, not relative URLs. This is because the results page of your search comes from our server and not your own. Modifying the header and footer fields in the search input form tell our server how to output your results.

    For example:

    You must use absolute URLs
    <A HREF='http://www.yourname.com.au/search/'>Search Your Name Again</A>

    Do NOT use relative URLs

    <A HREF='/search/'>Search Your Name Again</A>

For more tips on building your site search inside a frameset, customising your site search results screen, and absolute versus relative anchor references, please visit our troubleshooting screen.

See some examples
Many cultural organisations already use the Culture and Recreation Portal's search services. Have a look at how other cultural organisations have implemented the site search on their websites and customised their results screens.

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