Once you’ve got some items in your project, you will need to add structure to them. Adding structure to items is essential as it enables you to add content to them.
What is structure?
The structure is essentially the building blocks of items and consists of different content input fields such as text fields, asset fields and selection fields. You can combine different field types depending on the type of content that is required. As a basic example, for a news article, you may need an asset field for the article image, a text field for the article title, and another text field for the main article content. Structures are rigid in that they can't be changed on the fly by authors, allowing for more accurate content creation.
Structure vs a template - What's the difference?
An item can have a 'custom structure', which is a specific structure that exists only on that item, or the item can have a template applied to it.
A template is a saved structure, which can be easily applied to other similar items. Using the example above, you can save the news article structure as a template called 'News article' and use that template across multiple items that are also news articles. This not only saves time but also ensures content requirements are consistent and accurate.
Tip: Plan to migrate your content using one of our CMS integrations? All of our integrations with CMS systems work on template mappings, so we recommend saving all item structures as templates if you plan to migrate your content.
Please note: If you plan to migrate content to your CMS using one of our integrations, your items must use Templates. Custom structures will not be recognised when creating field mappings.
For more information on how to use and manage templates, read our Using Templates help article.
How to add structure to an item
You can add structure to an item in two ways, from an item and from the Structure tab in your project.
From an item
1. Open a blank item (without a template currently applied). You'll see "No template applied" at the top of the item which opens a dropdown box.
2. To browse and apply a new template to the item click the "Choose a template" box.
3. Selecting "Edit the structure" will take you to the structure tab allowing you to edit the pre-existing structure after which you can save it as a "custom structure" or a new template.
From the Structure tab
1. Navigate to the Structure tab.
2. Click the 'Create New' button and add a name for the template.
Building your structure
1. Drag the fields that you want in this structure from the left onto the middle of the page to build up your structure.
2. Hovering over fields will reveal extra controls on the right side. Here you can select a field (to select and delete multiple fields at once), drag the field to reorder it or delete the field.
3. Customise fields with field names to reflect the content you want to collect. You can also add instructions for further clarity.
4. Some fields have certain settings you can change. Text fields for example can be set to be plain text only (no formatting) or have character/word limits set. On Scale and Transform plans, you can create repeatable text fields.
5. Tabs allow you to break up the required content of an item. For example, you may want to separate metadata into its own tab to keep this technical area separate from the main content.
For help using tabs, read our using tabs help article.
6. Save the structure by clicking the 'Save' button. Clicking the dropdown and selecting 'Save & Close' will save your changes and return you to where you left off. For custom structures, you'll also have the ability to save the structure as a template.
There are five different types of fields that you can add to your structure. These allow you to be really specific with requirements when gathering content from authors and stakeholders.
Text fields are used to store any text content. You can switch between a rich text field (default) or a plain text field, depending on if you want to allow formatting. Name your fields to let your people know what content should be added.
Use the field instructions shown underneath the field to make it clear what content you're looking for in a field, for example, a specific tone of voice, or a number of key points to cover.
Add word and character limits to your rich text fields, to better guide your content writers on how much content to write.
Asset fields are how GatherContent handles anything that isn't text. This can be an image, a PDF or a Word Doc that's going to be attached to a webpage, or any file up to 50MB in size.
You can add a field label to all asset fields so it's clear what files you're expecting to be uploaded, and you can add instructions to the field for extra clarity.
Tip: Any files or images uploaded to an asset field won't be compressed or edited.
Tip: You can view and download all the assets in a project at once.
A guideline field can be used in a structure as an area to add instructions about the content to be added or provide links to key resources or information that your content writers might need, such as brand guidelines or links to wireframes. These are best used for more general instructions rather than those specific to individual fields.
A checkbox field can be used to collect information about an item. Much like a radio button field (below), they are a set of defined variables that people can select. Unlike radio button fields, you can select as many of these options as you want. A good example of this could be if a blog post needs a number of categories to be selected, specific labels on this item or a product selection on this page.
Similar to checkbox fields, radio button fields can be used to collect information about the item. Much like a checkbox field (above), they are a set of defined variables that the author or stakeholder can select. But unlike checkbox fields, you can only select one of these options.
Tip: You can also add an "Other" option to select from the list for a less commonly chosen option.
A component is a group of fields that can be used multiple times across multiple templates. Components are useful when used for commonly repeated structures, like headers and footers, image galleries and testimonials. When editing a template, clicking this button will show your component library, where you can simply drag them into place. To find out more, read our dedicated component help article.
You can use tabs to display different pieces of related content, for example, if you have content in multiple languages or multiple versions, or SEO content for a webpage or blog post.
Add a tab to a structure
1. Open the structure editor. This can be done in two ways:
From an item, by clicking the structure applied to the item ( 'No template applied' or the template name), and then 'Edit the structure/the template'.
By editing the template directly from the Templates tab
2. Click the 'New tab +' button.
3. Enter the name of your new tab and press Enter/Return on your keyboard.
4. Add the fields you need to create the new tab's structure.
5. Click the 'Save and close' button.
Duplicate a tab
In structure edit mode, select the tab you want to duplicate.
Click the cog icon.
All fields and instructions text will be duplicated. Content in the item on the original tab will not be duplicated.
Delete a tab
1. Open the structure editor.
2. Select the tab you wish to delete.
3. Click the Cog next to the tab title.
4. Select 'Delete'.
5. Click the 'Save and close' button.