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People and companies, move locations, change cell phone numbers, staff positions change. To avoid having to change that type of information in many places in a web site, use variables.

A concrete example from a web site might be a statement like:

  • "Located in Podunk since 1987, we have over 12 years experience in serving the Podunk community, call us at (123) 456-7890" or similar information in different locations throughout the site.

Ask yourself this: in a site with dozens or hundreds of pages, can you honestly remember to change items like "Our cell phone number is 123-456-7890" everywhere it appears when that fact changes?

  • Here's where Fusion custom variables are your solution.

What's a Custom Variable?

In Fusion, a Variable is any piece of information that:

  • you want to use in many places in your site, and
  • may possibly change in the future.

For example, a Variable could be something like your mailing address, the number of years you've been doing something, your fax number, etc.

Where are Custom Variables set up?

Assets View

To set up a new Custom Variable:

  1. Switch to Assets View
  2. Click the Variables Tab
  3. Right-click anywhere in the blank area of the view
  4. On the pop-up menu, select New User Defined Variable
  5. In the New Variable dialog, enter a unique name for the Variable, and the information (value) you want to associate with that variable. For example, Marketing as the name, Joe TopSeller as the value.

Switch to Page View. On every page where you want to place the name of your marketing person, do this:

  1. Place the insertion point where you want the name to appear.
  2. On the Menu, click Text, Insert Field
  3. Select User Defined Variable as the field type, and the Marketing entry.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Repeat the process on each page where your Marketing person's name should appear.

If Joe TopSeller leaves your company, and you get Harry SalesWhiz as your new marketing person, you just edit the variable like this:

  1. In Assets View, Variables Tab, double-click the Marketing Variable to open it.
  2. Change the Value box from Joe TopSeller to Harry SalesWhiz.
  3. Publish your site.

Harry SalesWhiz now appears everywhere Joe TopSeller did, and you only had to edit the single variable.
Page View

You can also create new Variables as needed from Page View. To do that:

  1. Place the insertion point where you want the new variable to appear.
  2. On the Menu, click Text, Insert Field
  3. Select User Defined Variable as the field type, and click the New button.
  4. Create your variable as before, and
  5. Click OK.

Your new variable will now be in the list of variables you can place in other locations in your site.
The only bad news with working with variables in Page View is that you can't edit existing variables. To do that, you have to switch to Assets View (as explained above).

Type it once, Publish, and it's updated everywhere

Whenever you publish your site, the information in all Variables gets updated automatically to whatever value the Variable has when you hit the "Publish" button. With imaginative use of Variables, you can save countless hours of manual updates when various facts in your web site change.

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