Tech Zone Help

Last Revision: March 2021


This webpage includes tips, best practices, and FAQs for Tech Zone's backend, Drupal 8.

Supported browsers

The following browsers are supported by Drupal 8/Tech Zone:

  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Opera

Additional Resources

To find branding, trademarking, templates, and other resources:

Add Assets

Tech Zone assets include videos, blogs, documents, podcasts, utilities, and tools.

Documents and blogs are usually imported from Word or ScreenSteps (see Import). But for any new asset, you must set the metadata tags, General Settings, Central Catalog Settings, PDF settings, publishing and/or scheduling, and other options covered in this section.

Creating a New Resource

To create a new resource, operational tutorial, quick-start tutorial, deployment considerations guide, fundamental document, or blog on Tech Zone:

  1. Navigate to Content > Add Content.
  2. In the Add content pane, select the type of asset you want to create, such as Resource.
  3. Apply the appropriate meta data tags and General Settings, described below.

General Settings

General settings enable or disable specific features (such as PDF generation, comments, etc.), help sort and track asset types, and help increase discoverability when our customers search.

To populate the General Settings:

  • Title – Enter the asset title.
  • Label (Optional) – This field is not necessary to fill out; for some document types, it is provided automatically.
  • Read Time or Duration – Enter the minutes manually if the auto-generated number is off-putting, or leave it blank to populate automatically.
  • Read Time/Duration Visible on Resource – Click the radio button make the read-time visible to readers.
  • Table of Contents (TOC) – Accept the default, or change to Doc without TOC.
  • Summary – Enter an enthusiastic/informative blurb about why readers should click through to consume the content. This is a great place for keywords. The longer the summary, the more likely the end will be cut short in a search results hit list.

Central Catalog Settings

Fill out the Central Catalog Settings as follows:

Note that Audience is required, and you can select only one. Other settings are optional, and you can select multiple options if they apply.

  • Audience – You must select at least one:
    • Customer – Everyone can see the asset without logging in.
    • Authenticated – Used by the NSX team only for their logged-in customers and staff.
    • VMware – Only employee staff can see the asset.
  • Internal – If the asset is for internal use only, you can specify the group: Communities / Compete / ControlUp / Tech Spotlight / TechSummit20
  • Solution – You can select one or both or none: Workspace ONE / Horizon.
  • Type – Select only 1 format: Blog / Document / Podcast / Utility / Video
  • Level – Select only 1 level: Overview / Intermediate / Advanced
  • Category – Generally speaking, you should select only 1 category: Activity Path / Announcements / Deep Dive / Deployment Considerations / Experts Talk / Feature Walk-Through / Hands-on Lab / Interactive Demo / Operational Tutorial / Opinion / Quick-Start / Reference Architecture / Technical Overview / Tool / What’s New
  • Product – Select as many as are relevant – these help our audience find the assets that are most relevant to them: AirLift / App Volumes / Carbon Black Cloud / Dynamic Environment Manager / Horizon / Horizon Apps / Horizon Cloud Service / NSX for Horizon / Unified Access Gateway / Workspace ONE Access / Workspace ONE Intelligence / Workspace ONE Productivity Apps / Workspace ONE UEM
  • Operating System – Android / AWS / Azure / Chrome / iOS / Linux / macOS / VMC / Windows 10
  • Phase – Design / Deploy / Manage / Migrate / Optimize
  • Use-Case – App & Access Management / Business Continuity / Identity-Access Management / Modern Management / Office365 / Secure Remote Access / Windows Delivery / Zero Trust

Visual Customization

Fill out the Visual Customization settings as follows:

  • Thumbnail Image – Browse for a thumbnail image and upload. If no image is provided, the color block is used.
  • Render as HTML, Render as PDF – Leave default checked to render as HTML, or uncheck to render as PDF.
  • Resource Pre-Set Color – If no image or color is provided, then the default color block is used.

Page & PDF Settings

Provide the following PDF settings:

  • PDF – To attach an existing PDF, click Browse, and then Upload.
  • Generate a PDF – Accept the default to have Tech Zone create a PDF on demand.
  • Generated PDF Metadata ‘Author’
  • Product / Technology / Version – Enter the product, technology, and version number data to track with this resource.
  • Product Version Visible on Resource – Click this check box to enable the product version to be visible to the public. Leave it unchecked if versions should be hidden, such as with a cloud product that shows no versions.
  • PDF Index – Leave the checkbox unchecked, or the PDF will be indexed instead of the HTML page.

Resource Content

Resource Content is the area where you can add content, edit, reorder, and remove Sections and Sub-Sections. See also FAQs.

  1. In the Title field, enter a title for each section or subsection.
  2. In the Content field, add content. You can easily paste text and graphics from Word.
  3. To modify the content, you can use the Drupal editor tools above each field, or click Source to modify the HTML source code manually.
  4. For the Section ID field, if you leave this blank, Drupal auto-generates a number for it, so it’s better to name it yourself using lower-case and dashes.

Publishing Options

Saving and publishing are separate steps:

Save a Draft

To save an asset:

Simply scroll to the end of the editing page and click Save.

Note: If you Save without publishing, your work will be saved but not displayed in the browser. To see your edits, click Edit > Moderate.

Publish an Asset

To publish an asset:

  1. Scroll to the end of the Tech Zone edit page.
  2. In the Publishing options, select Published.
  3. Then click Save.

Scheduling Options

You can schedule any asset, new or published, to be published or republished at a future date, as follows:

  1. At the bottom of the edit page, click Schedule a status change, and leave the first Change to field as Draft.
  2. In the second Change to field, select the appropriate state, set the date to publish, and click Save.
    Graphical user interface, text, application</p>
<p>Description automatically generated
    Note: To schedule multiple changes (Draft, Needs Review, Publish, Unpublish), click Add Another.
  3. (Optional) On the right, expand Authoring Information, and reset as the scheduled date to make the asset appear in the “most recent” list on Tech Zone’s home page.
  4. At the bottom left, click Save.
    The browser view now displays a View Draft option, which you can click to preview the content as it will appear to customers on the scheduled publication date.
    Graphical user interface, text, website</p>
<p>Description automatically generated

Cron Jobs

The cron determines the time of day that a scheduled asset gets published. It’s hard to schedule an exact time because the cron runs periodically, but we don’t know exactly what time, or even what time zone its server is in. I usually schedule for 4 AM in hopes that the asset gets published in the first cron run.

You can also force the cron to run immediately, as described below. This isn’t usually necessary, but it might be useful if you had a batch of assets, some of which were scheduled days apart. In that case, you could force the cron to run them all at the same time with one click.

To force an immediate cron run:

  1. In the upper left, click the blue G icon.
  2. In the drop-down menu, click Run cron.

Time Zones

When you set a publication schedule, the date is based on your time zone. To set your time zone:

  1. In the tool bar at the top, click People.
  2. Search for your name via email or username, and click Edit.
  3. Under Other Settings, you can verify or reset the time zone:


The LinkedDocs option adds Next, Previous, and Home icons to help readers navigate through the chapters.

The RA is the only asset currently using this option. The RA is set up manually as a focus page with sections, banners, and tiles. When each chapter/section is created, the LinkedDocs section is enabled to add the icons at the top and bottom of each page. You can edit it to say something slightly different. Complete the LinkedDocs section to activate the 3 icons.

image 0

Additional Options

Before publishing, check out the additional options on the right:

The most often used options are:

  • Scheduling Options – Set a target date and time for Drupal to automatically publish the asset. See Scheduling Options for more details.
  • Authoring Information – Set the author, if you are publishing for someone else, and update the Creation Date, which pushes the asset to the top of the Tech Zone latest assets list.

Canonical tags

Canonical tags tell Google that we copied the content from another source. Setting the Canonical tag prevents Google from flagging our copied content as plagiarism. Here's how:

  1. In the right-hand pane of the Create/Edit Blog Post window, expand META TAGS, and scroll down to the Canonical URL field in the lower right (
  2. In the Canonical URL field, enter the link to the original content, and then Save to draft or Save to published.

Edit Assets

This section covers editing topics such as revisions, fixing broken links, reordering sections or sub-sections, comparing documents or revisions, deleting assets, adding redirects, etc. It also includes tips about editing directly in Drupal, which you normally wouldn’t do for imported assets, reimporting would erase any manual edits.

Edit assets

Usually, we import content from Word or Screensteps, but you can edit existing resources manually:

  1. Hover the cursor in the lower left of the open asset, and click Edit:
  2. In the edit window, you can modify both the content and the metadata tags as you did during creation. For details, see General Settings.
    Note: If the asset was originally imported, any manual edits you make to the content will be lost the next time this asset is re-imported.
  3. When you finish editing, add comments in the Revision log message field before saving. For details, see Logging Changes.
  4. When you're finished, choose either Save an unpublished draft, or Save to Published. For details, see Publishing Options.

Log Changes

To log changes to a resource:

  1. When you finish modifying an existing asset, you can summarize the changes you made in the Revision log message.
  2. When you're finished, click Save a draft, or Save to Published. For details, see Publishing Options.
  3. To see all of the changes made, select Revisions:


You can work with multiple authors to create new drafts of existing content without immediately publishing unverified changes.

To illustrate, Rob composed a new Resource, added content, and published. Then he revised it, and saved as a new draft of this previously published content.

The results are as follows:

  • A: Revision 9084 - Rob created it with "I am writing this and immediately publishing it."
  • B: Revision 9085 - Rob edited it and saved a new draft, with the text "This content is being written, but will not be published. Instead, I will save this as a draft."
  • C: As this asset is published, the newest revision must be what is published. Because of this, Revision 9086 is simply an automatically-created clone of 9084 which was the most recently published revision prior to the new draft 9085.

This relates to the color codes of these revisions as follows:

  • Red only: Indicates the newest draft, with no published versions.
  • Green only: Indicates the published version, with no unpublished drafts.
  • Green and red: Indicates a published version with an unpublished draft, as in the above example.

Clone assets

Usually, we import content from Word or Screensteps, but it is possible to clone an existing resource and modify the content in the Drupal edit window:

  1. Hover the cursor in the lower left of the open asset, and click Clone Page:
  2. In the cloned draft, you can modify both the content and the metadata tags as you did during creation. For details, see General Settings.
  3. When you finish modifying the clone, add comments in the Revision log message field before saving. For details, see Logging Changes.
  4. When you're finished, choose either Save an unpublished draft, or Save to Published. For more details about how to publish, see Publishing Options.

Delete assets

Before deleting an asset from Tech Zone, first set up any redirects to alternate assets, activity paths, or webpages. Then make sure a source file is saved on One Drive for historical reasons. And remember that deleting is not reversible.

  1. Set up any redirects to alternate assets, activity paths, or webpages.
  2. Make sure we have a Word or SS source file for historical reasons.
  3. In the TZ Edit view of the target asset, click the Delete tab, and click Delete.
  4. There is no longer a way to redirect during the delete process.

Redirect URLs

When you unpublish or delete an asset from Tech Zone, you can redirect its URL to a new target to maintain readership.

  1. Gather the URL(s) that you want to redirect to your target asset.
  2. Open the Edit page of your target asset.
  3. Scroll to the bottom right pane, and expand URL Redirects.
  4. In the From field, copy-paste the URL of the deprecated asset, and click Save.
  5. For multiple redirects, click Add URL redirect.
  6. In the Add URL redirect page, enter the Path from and to, and click Save.
  7. Republish, and test to verify.

About redirect format

Redirects can follow any of the following formats:

From this format:

To this format:<somepageurl><adifferentpage><somepageurl>





Some assets have two URLs, such as videos, for example:

Drupal also supports the /share URLs. When you redirect a multi-URL asset, you need to do BOTH redirects—one for the normal URL and for the query shortcut URL. So, to redirect this video, you’d need to build redirects for the following:

Break locked documents

To prevent simultaneous editing, content is restricted to only one editor at a time. If you try to access content with an inside page—such as a Resource or Blog—while it is locked, the following warning message appears:


Videos do not have inside pages, so there is no warning message. The lock does not reliably auto-release when a user is done editing.

If you can’t edit a document because it is locked by someone else, you can unlock it manually (after first verifying that they finished editing): Content > Locked documents > release lock.

Add Sections and Sub-Sections

To add new Sections in the middle of existing Sections in Tech Zone:


  1. Scroll to the end of your document.
  2. Click Add New Section.
  3. Add at least the header, and Save.

Reorder Sections and Sub-Sections

  1. It is easier to see ( but not required) if you collapse sections before moving them.
  2. Drag the section to the desired location to reorder the sections.
  3. Moving a sub-section outside its original section is not supported at this time.

Delete Sections and Sub-Sections

  1. Open the Section or Sub-Section to display its content.
  2. Scroll to the end, identify the correct Remove button, and click it.image-20210211113059-3
  3. When you save, Tech Zone re-orders the remaining Sections and Sub-Sections.

Paste from Word

Usually, we import content via Word or ScreenSteps. But if you are copy-pasting from Word to Tech Zone, or editing manually in the Tech Zone editor, you have two options for stripping out unnecessary Word tags: the Tx button and the Text Format.

Tx Button

When spot-pasting from Word:

  1. In the Content window, select the pasted content.
  2. In the toolbar, click the Tx button.

Text Format

Sometimes the Tx button fails to strip out all attributes and inline Word tags entirely, as in the following example:

In this case, you can temporarily lower the Text Format to Basic HTML.

Note: This is not recommended for composing or editing an entire asset, and might impair items like tables depending on how they were constructed in Word.

Use Framed info-boxes, Call-outs, or Panels

To create a border around a block of text to form an info-box/call-out/framed panel, use the Div button in the Drupal editor:


Section IDs are manually determined (author's choice). Creating section IDs allows a document to reference internal sections within the same document.

Note: Make sure section IDs are lowercase.

To link to figures, tables, or terms within a document, you need to add an anchor:

  1. Add an anchor to each term by using the anchor tags.
  2. When you save, a red flag icon appears at each anchor.
  3. Throughout the manual, add links to those anchors.

The process for fixing internal and external links varies slightly.

Check for broken links

  1. In one browser, open the asset in the user's view, and in another browser, open it in the editor's view.
  2. In the user's view, click a link in the paper.
  3. If broken, find the same link in the editor’s view, and fix it.

Fix external links

  1. Copy the URL from the original Word or PDF file.
  2. In the editor view, select the text that should contain the link.
  3. In the tool bar, select the link icon.
  4. Paste the URL in the field.

Fix internal links

  1. In the editor, look for the Section ID of the target of the link.
  2. If not in editor view, open a reader's view, select the target in the ToC, and the Section ID will be the last term in the URL.
  3. Copy the Section ID.
  4. In the editor view, select the text that contains the link.
  5. In the tool bar, select the link icon.
  6. Paste the URL in the field.

Add content in a numbered list

To add content between numbered list items without breaking the numbering, use Shift+Enter.

Edit tables

Use the right-click menu to manually edit cells, rows, and columns in a Tech Zone asset, to add or delete, merge or split, and more. This functionality is available whether the table is imported, copy-pasted, or created manually in Drupal.

Compare Versions

To compare versions of a document in Tech Zone:

  1. Navigate to the Moderate tab of the document to compare versions.
  2. In the upper left, click Compare revisions. A list of versions is displayed by date and editor.
  3. In the Compare column, click the radio buttons of two versions to compare (usually you would choose the left column for an older version and the right column for a newer version).
  4. At the top, click the Compare button.
  5. A list of differences is displayed in sequential order, with deletions highlighted in yellow, and additions in blue.
    Note: If you compared the wrong set of versions, click the browser Back button to return to the list of versions and start over at Step 4.


Blog posts are a temporary point in time that’s expected to become obsolete with no plan to update, and that are used to announce new releases, calls to action, or to call attention to new TZ assets. Adding blogs is similar to Adding Assets, especially the metadata tags. This section covers differences such as bootstrap tabs and bootstrap collapse, video and podcast embedding, and more.

  1. In the left-hand nav bar, click Content > Add content > Blog Post:
  2. In the middle pane, provide the General Settings:
    • Title – Required.
    • Image – Click Browse, select the thumbnail, and upload it.
    • Read Time/Duration – Enter manually if the TZ-generated read time would be off-putting.
    • Read Time/Duration Visible on Resource – Click the radio button to enable.
    • Summary – Provide a brief and catchy summary to compel readers to read the blog.
    • Body – Enter the content of the blog, which can be copy-pasted from Word.
  3. In Central Catalog Settings, provide the metadata tags as described in Central Catalog Settings.
  4. In Associated Content, you can add associated content, if any, as described in Adding Associated Content.
  5. In Publishing Options, select the features you want to use and save the content as a draft, review, and then publish, as described in Publishing Options.

Remove Unwanted Formatting

With Drupal 8, you can now remove Word formatting via the prompt when you copy-paste from Word.

You can also remove unwanted formatting manually by selecting the content, and clicking the 'Tx' option from the editor toolbar.

Add Horizontal Bootstrap Tabs

You can add a horizontal row of tabs within a blog post which readers can select as they wish.

  1. With the format set to Full HTML, place the cursor where tabs should go, and click Insert Tabs:
  2. In the Bootstrap Tabs dialog box, enter the Tab Set Title, select the Number of Tabs, and click OK.
  3. Edit the tab headers, then add the content for each tab in the format skeleton that is displayed.
  4. Set tab default. You can set the default to display a target tab open first:
  5. To remove a tab, double-click any tab, and select Remove a Tab:
  6. Scroll to the end of the blog post and click Save.
  7. The result is a horizontal row of tabs that readers can select as they wish.

Add Vertical Bootstrap Collapse

You can add a vertical set of collapsible headers which readers can expand and collapse as they wish.

  1. Place cursor where the new section will go, and click the Bootstrap Collapse icon.
  2. In the Accordion Title fields, enter the sub-headers. In the Accordion Content fields, enter your content:
  3. Scroll to the end of the blog post and click Save.
  4. The result is a vertical row of headers that readers can expand or collapse.

Embed Videos within Bootstrap Collapsible

You can use HTML to manually embed videos in collapsible headers via HTML.

  1. In the editor toolbar, click Source:
  2. And copy-paste the video embeds, using the following format:

<div><iframe frameborder="0" src="/sites/default/files/imported-images/node_2124_0322-154122/<_unique-youtube-identifier>?autohide=1&amp;controls=1&amp;showinfo=0"></iframe></div>

  1. Copy the unique YouTube identifier from the end of a typical YouTube link. For the following link, _OwTOQdw96g is the identifier:

CAVEAT: Using the editor to modify the bootstrap box wipes out the HTML you entered manually. So, you need to do all subsequent editing in HTML. It’s recommended you make a copy in a text file of the entire HTML source before editing, if necessary.

You can add internal links within a blog post by using blog anchors:

  1. In the blog's edit view, highlight the text where the link will be, and click the link icon.
  2. In the Link Info tab, enter the URL.
  3. Select the Advanced tab.
  4. Under Stylesheet Classes, enter blog_anchor, and click OK.
  5. Save your work and double-check.

Focus Pages

Focus pages are like landing pages that focus on a specific topic, followed by curated and/or uncurated links to related TZ assets. A curated list is a finite list that somebody gathered. An uncurated list is a hit list generated by a search. Activity Paths are a type of Focus Page.

This section covers the possible sections that can be included as you build a focus page, as well as focus-page-related FAQs.

Elements of a Focus Page

Focus pages can include all or some of the possible elements. The following diagram shows how the elements are laid out.

Each focus page can contain the following elements, some of which are optional:

  • Banner – The banner image and title appear at the top.
  • Action Bar – A button bar includes icons to search, share, and so on.
  • Message Bar – You can include a Message Bar to display a call-to-action message plus a link on every page for a period of time, such as, “Sales kick-off is in one week.”
  • Prime Area – The bit at the top of the page is the prime area.
  • CTA BAR – An example of a call-to-action bar is the blue bar on the WS1 page (see Example 1 below).
  • Sub Area – This is the rest of the page. You can include multiple sub-area sections like the RA focus page has.

Here are a few examples of focus pages:

  • Example 1: The Workspace ONE Resources focus page includes the banner, a call out, an action bar with icons, an uncurated list in one column and a curated list in the other, a call-to-action message, and the latest results of a search.
  • Example 2: The VMware Tech Tools focus page, a simpler version of Example 1, has the same banner, a spotlight calling out an asset, the action bar, and an infinitely scrolling list of links.
  • Example 3: The RA page focus page has a simpler banner, no spotlight, a completely different action bar, an introductory section, and a third section with some text and a curated list of assets.
  • Example 4: The Digital Workspace Activity Paths focus page contains the banner with a spotlight in it, a curated list of product assets, and a curated list of solutions.

Add a Focus Page

To build a focus page:

  1. In Tech Zone, navigate to Content > Add Content > Focus Page.
  2. In the Create Focus Page editor, provide the General Settings (Title, Thumbnail, and Summary).
  3. In the Central Catalog Settings section, provide the metadata tags that will help this focus page be discovered in searches:
    • Audience
      • Customer: Can view what's available to logged-out public and customers.
      • Partner: We don’t distinguish between Partner and VMware.
      • VMware: Can view everything that’s published and available to logged-in users.
    • Internal
    • Product
  4. If you pick Workspace ONE, you can sort further and select Intelligence, for example.
  5. Provide all or a subset of the following sections detailed below, and Save.

Hero Section

To display a hero section:

  1. Under Enable Banner, click Enable Banner:
  2. Under Banner Type, select an image, icon, or entry banner:
  3. For Image or Icon Banners, provide an image.
  4. For Entry Banner, provide:
    • Background Image
    • Title
    • Content
    • Resource

Resource Ribbon

To add a resource ribbon:

  1. Click Enable Resources Ribbon:
  2. Provide a title, set the background color gradient, and add icons from the menu:image-20210210132050-1
  3. You can rearrange the icons and rename them if you want. Add between 2 and 7 icons for the best results. More than 7 does not display well. Icons for restricted audiences will not display for readers who are not logged in.

Action Bar Settings

To display an action bar:

  1. Under Enable Action Bar, select the options to include:

Message Bar Settings

To display a message:

  1. In Message Bar Settings, click Enable Message Bar.
  2. In the Message of the Day field, enter the message to display.

Prime Area Settings

To populate the Prime Area:

  1. In Prime Area Settings, click Enable Prime Area
  2. In Prime Area Type, select one of the following types:
    • Latest Feed
    • Featured Assets
    • Split View
    • Showcase
  3. In Number of Latest Entries, select a number.
  4. In Featured List, provide a Title and add a Featured Asset.
  5. To add multiple Featured Assets, click Add another item.

CTA Bar Settings

To display a call-to-action (CTA) bar:

  1. In the CTA Bar Settings section, click Enable CTA Bar
  2. In the CTA Text field, enter the call-to-action message.
  3. In the Link Text field, add the text and respective URL.
  4. Optionally, you can set this button to open in a new window.

Sub Area

Add curated lists to the sub-area:

  1. In the Sub Area section, click Enable Latest Feed
  2. In Sub Area 1, click Enable Sub Area.
  3. In Sub Area Type, click one of the following options:
    • Curated List
    • Showcase
  4. In Curated List, provide a title, and enter an introduction to the curated content list.
  5. In the Curated Assets, enter the URL.
  6. To enter multiple curated assets, click Add another item, and add the URLs.
  7. You can change the order of the curated assets by dragging the plus sign icon on the left of the window.

Change Log

To display a change log in your focus page:

  1. In the Change Log section, click Show Change Log.
  2. In the text editor, create the change log table and enter the changes you want to make visible to your readers.

Add External Content

You can use External Content to associate your Tech Zone webpage with other websites.

To add External Contents, start by creating an external asset, then copy the URL to that asset, and finally, link to it from the focus page. Each external item must be added to Tech Zone in the form of an External Content, as follows:

  1. Click Content > Add Content > External Content:
  2. Provide the following information:
    • Title – Required.
    • URL – Required.
    • Thumbnail Image – Optional. (Rick prefers none.)
    • Label – Optional
    • Warning Message – Optional.
    • Indexed – Leave disabled for external content because we don’t want to index it.
    • Summary Required.
  3. For the Central Catalog Settings, set appropriate metadata tags:
    • VMware – Internal VMware employees only
    • Partner – Partners of VMware, VMware employees
    • Customer – All external customers, partners, and employees
  4. Set the publishing and scheduling options, authoring information, and other tags as usual.

Note: Andy has added revisioning to Downloads, PowerPoint, and Basic Pages (404, Search, Tools). HOWEVER, this only applies to the pages, not to the attached files. So, if you add a new PPT to an existing PPT tile and later roll back, you'll get the old tile but with the new PPT.

Focus Page FAQs & Troubleshooting

This section includes FAQs and tips about Focus pages, Activity Paths, and External Content.

Why aren't added resources visible for VMware-only audiences?

Problem: When I create a Focus page and add resources to the prime area or sub-area, they do not appear unless the resources are marked as “customer”. The focus page is marked as “VMware” and since none of our content is public, I wanted to create an entire VMware-only focus page for now.

Solution: The audience feature is probably turned off. If you edit the home page, you’ll see this section.

It controls where you can display info to different audiences. As you can see, the screen capture shows it was set to off. Set it to ON for internal visibility.

Why aren’t the links in my Activity Path visible in the un-logged-in view?

Check to see if they are tagged as VMware for internal viewing only. If so, change the tag to Customer.

How do you link directly to a sub-section of an asset?

To link to a sub-section of an asset, such as a chapter of the RA, manually add the Anchor ID in the Anchor ID or Tab Name field of the Activity Path page. In the following screenshot, the Anchor ID is a number following the hashtag # near the end of the URL.

Note: The Anchor ID is anything and everything following the hashtag, not necessarily a number.

General FAQs

This section includes frequently asked questions and miscellaneous troubleshooting tips.

Who do you subscribe to VMware Tech Zone?

  1. In your profile page (<yourname>), click Edit.
  2. Scroll down to TechZone Subscription, and select Yes.
  3. Click Save.

What if I receive a Drupal update message?

If you receive an update message when you launch TechZone, notify Rob Petrin and avoid activating the update.

Notify Rob Petrin and avoid activating the update.

What if a 404 error appears when accessing a TechZone asset?

Sometimes edits to a document don't show up immediately when you open it in the public site, or the edits seem to take an inordinately long time to take effect, or you get a 404 error when launching an asset. If this happens, try clearing the cache:

  1. From the admin site, in the Home menu, select Flush all caches. Ignore the options.
  2. The screen refreshes, and you may see a message that the cache was cleared.
  3. If this doesn't solve the problem, Andy can take additional actions.

What if Tech Zone acts up for no reason?

If Tech Zone appears to ignore your commands, try opening it in a browser in Incognito mode. Sometimes that circumvents cache in the regular browser view that simply won't flush away.

Why don’t my edits show after saving?

There is sometimes a delay between saving and displaying to the public. Try the following:

  1. Double-check that you saved to publish.
  2. Run a hard refresh on your browser:
    • Shift-Control-R
    • Command or Control key + F5
    • Command or Control key + Refresh button
    • If Tech Zone appears to ignore your commands, try opening it in Incognito mode to circumvents cache in the regular browser view.
  3. Flush cache: In the upper left, click Tech Zone’s blue icon > Flush all caches:

When do Dell Quarters end?

Table 1: Anticipate quarter end

Dell Quarter

Date Range

End of Dell Quarter


Nov-Jan 2021

First Monday of February


Feb-Apr 2021

First Monday of May


May-Jul 2021

First Monday of August


Aug-Oct 2021

First Monday of November


Nov-Jan 2022

First Monday of February

How do you create meeting invites in Zoom/Outlook?

Now that the Zoom plugin for Outlook has been removed, there’s a new way of creating meeting invites. It works well, but you have to hunt for the button. In this screenshot, the window has been widened to show all the buttons:

Trouble changing that gigantic Zoom view?

When you enter a Zoom meeting, do you get a primary window with a huge view of yourself with no minimize button? And you have to go searching for the view with everybody else in it? Here an example of the primary window after I located the "real" Zoom meeting window:

If so, here's what you can do to hide the huge primary window: Navigate to Settings > General, and uncheck the Enter full screen automatically... checkbox:

How do you find files on One Drive?

Click the filename in the upper left and then click the Location:


This takes you to the folder containing the asset, where you can see the One Drive path.


This section contains processes, best practices, and troubleshooting tips for working with diagrams, screenshots, and other graphics in Tech Zone.

Add Graphics to Resources

You can add graphics to resources in two ways:

Click-n-Drag from Desktop

  1. Select the graphic file in the Explorer folder or on your desktop.
  2. Use the cursor to drag the file into the target location in the Tech Zone edit window.

Copy-Paste from Word

  1. Select the graphic in Word or desktop.
  2. Either right-click the graphic and Copy, or click Ctrl-C.
  3. Place cursor in target location in Tech Zone section.
  4. Click Ctrl-V (right-clicks don't work in Tech Zone).

Insert Image via toolbar Image icon

  1. In TZ Edit page, click the Image Icon in the toolbar at the top.
    Add image
  2. In the Insert Image window, click Open File Browser.
  3. In the library under public > field, click image, and then click Upload > Add file.
  4. Navigate to, and double-click the image to select it.
  5. In the TZ library, double-click the image to insert it.
  6. In the Insert Image window, add the required Alternative text, and click Save.

Image Sizing

After a graphic file is in the Tech Zone edit window, you can resize it by dragging the corner in or out.

It is best practice to shrink graphic width to no larger than 800px. This will ensure it fits on both desktop and mobile.

Embed GIFs in Assets

We have had challenges adding GIF files to resources and imported assets, but I’ve been successful using the following 2 methods: Tool bar, and if that fails, entering manually in the HTML.

Plan A: Use the Tech Zone editor tool bar

  1. In the tool bar of the Editor, navigate to: Image > Upload > Add an image.
  2. Navigate to the GIF on your hard drive, select it, and click Open.
  3. Wait until it appears in the Image Info window (it could be minutes), and click OK.
  4. Save.

If that doesn’t work, try entering it in manually in the HTML.

Plan B: Use HTML Source

In the upper left corner of the Editor, click Source, and enter the GIF file manually:

<p>&nbsp;<img height="351" src="/sites/default/files/imported-images/node_2124_0322-154122//sites/default/files/DidItWork.gif" width="624" />&nbsp;</p>

Use Alt Text for Graphics

Adding alternative text to a graphic is helpful because if the graphic fails to display properly, the alt text describes what it would show. Alt text is also a place to add SEO keywords that can help boost your document in a search. When alt text is implemented in Word and ScreenSteps files, it is included when the file is imported into Tech Zone. This section describes how to add the alt text in Word, and then how to verify that it imported into Tech Zone.

Hannah gives us the following pointers for composing alt text:

  • Keep your alt text fewer than 125 characters. Screen-reading tools typically stop reading alt text at this point, cutting off long-winded alt text at awkward moments when verbalizing this description for the visually impaired.
  • Don't start alt text with "picture of..." or "Image of..." Jump right into the image's description. Screen-reading tools (and Google, for that matter) will identify it as an image from the article's HTML source code.
  • Use your keywords, but sparingly. Only include your article's target keyword if it's easily included in your alt text. If not, consider semantic keywords, or just the most important terms within a longtail keyword. For example, if your article's head keyword is "how to generate leads," you might use "lead generation" in your alt text, since "how to" might be difficult to include in image alt text naturally.
  • Don't cram your keyword into every single image's alt text. If your blog post contains a series of body images, include your keyword in at least one of those images. Identify the image you think is most representative of your topic, and assign it your keyword. Stick to more aesthetic descriptions in the surrounding media.

Add Alt Text in Word

To add alternative text to graphics in Microsoft Word:

  1. In the Word file, right-click the graphic.
  2. In the pop-up menu, select Edit Alt Text.
  3. In the Alt Text field on the right, enter the alternative text.
  4. Save the Word document (Ctrl-S).

Add Alt Text in ScreenSteps

To add alternative text to graphics in ScreenSteps:

  1. In the ScreenSteps editor, select the graphic.
  2. In the Image ALT Tag field on the right, enter the alternative text.
  3. At the top, click Save & Publish.

Verify Alt Text

To verify that the alternative text in Word is preserved after importing into Tech Zone:

  1. In the Tech Zone editor, double-click the graphic.
  2. In the Alternative Text field, verify the alt text you entered earlier in the source file.

Associate Thumbnails to High-Rez Graphics

You can embed a standard-resolution graphic (thumbnail) in your content, and then associate it with its high-resolution counterpart, which will display on a separate tab when you click the thumbnail. For diagrams like those in the Network Ports guide, this allows readers to zoom in and easily read the details of the diagram. You can do this in Word, and the association persists when imported to TZ, as well as in the PDF. You can't do in ScreenSteps because ScreenSteps doesn't support adding URLs to graphics. This section describes how to do it manually in TZ.

The association process takes three main steps:

  • 1st, add the thumbnail to the content, either TZ or Word.
  • 2nd, add the high-resolution image to the library.
  • 3rd, associate the hi-rez version with its thumbnail counterpart.

Step 1: Insert thumbnails in content

You can add graphics by importing or copy-pasting, and Pixels will soon add the ability to click-n-drag image files into TZ. Here's how to do it manually in TZ:

  1. In TZ Edit page, click the Image Icon in the toolbar at the top.
  2. In the Insert Image window, click Open File Browser.
  3. In the library under public > field, click image, and then click Upload > Add file.
  4. Navigate to, and double-click the image to select and upload it.
  5. In the TZ library, double-click the image to insert it.
  6. In the Insert Image window, add the required Alternative text, and click Save.

Step 2: Add high-resolution graphics to the library

For each thumbnail that needs it, add its high-rez counterpart to the TZ library.

  1. In TZ Edit page, click the Image icon in the toolbar.
  2. In the Insert Image window, click Open File Browser.
  3. In the library under public > field > image, and then click Upload > Add file.
  4. Navigate to, and double-click the image to select and upload it.
  5. In the TZ library, verify that the hi-rez image uploaded and note its filename.

Step 3: Associate a hi-rez version with its thumbnail counterpart

You can associate the thumbnail to its hi-rez counterpart just like adding a URL to a string of text. You can do this in Word, and it imports to TZ and persists in the PDF as well. To do this manually in TZ, see Andy's demo at, or read on:

  1. In the TZ Edit view, select the image, and then click the Link icon:
  2. Click Open File Browser.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • If you already uploaded the hi-rez file, scroll the library to find and select it.
    • If you didn’t upload the hi-rez file yet, follow the instructions above to navigate to the file and upload it.
  4. When the URL of the selected file pops into the link field, click Save.
  5. Click Save.

You can now click a complex graphic and a high-resolution version of that graphic will be displayed in a new tab (see examples in the Network Ports guide). You can zoom in and easily read the details.

Alignment & Text Wrapping

You can align graphics and surrounding text using Image Properties

Graphics can have alignment set to None (float), Left (text wraps to right), Center (float), and Right (text wraps to left). This can be set in the Image Properties tool.


Drupal 8 and Tech Zone support importing from both Word and ScreenSteps at this time.

Import from Word

This section describes how to import directly from Microsoft Word files to Tech Zone. Use the same process whether you are importing for the first time, or reimporting an existing import.

Note: You can also import Word content over an existing asset that was originally composed in Drupal, using the same process. That is rare by now, but it means switching to a Word source file is easy. The same is not true for ScreenSteps imports.

How to Import Word to Tech Zone

  1. In Tech Zone, click Content > Import Word Document.
  2. In the Import Word Document Form, select one of the following:
    • First-time import – Provide the title in the Document Name field.
    • Re-import – Select the title from the pop-up menu. Search by entering the first word of the existing title. The existing asset does not have to have originally been imported from Word. Note that importing/reimporting overwrites any and all pre-existing content.
  3. In the Select Word Document field, click Choose File, navigate to and select the Word file, click Open, and then click Submit.
  4. Wait until the import process finishes, and the newly imported document is displayed.
  5. In the lower left, click the Edit tab and provide the general, central catalog, and PDF settings, as well as any other optional settings such as Associated Content, etc., as described in Add Assets, and save.

Note: The Word-to-Tech Zone Import:

  • Ignores ToCs, so there's no need to remove a ToC from the source file before importing.
  • Ignores Word font tags and some formatting tags, and applies those of Drupal 8.
  • Ignores Strong. Use Bold instead of Strong.
  • Recognizes bulleted lists and numbered lists, but not sub-lists yet.
  • Recognizes and imports tables, such as the Change Log table.
  • Recognizes screenshots & graphics.
  • Recognizes external hyperlinks.

Re-Import from Word

You can reimport from Word the same way you import for the first time, with one exception: Select an existing asset in the Document Lookup field:


Note: Importing/reimporting overwrites any and all pre-existing content.

Import from ScreenSteps

Note that Import SS is not at the same level as Import Word Document:

  1. Navigate to Content > Add content > ScreenSteps.
  2. In General Settings, enter the title, summary, and chapter title if any.image-20210125160053-2
  3. In ScreenSteps Settings, enter the ScreenSteps ID and click Yes for Import from ScreenSteps.
  4. In Central Catalog Settings, enter the meta data under each tab that is appropriate.
  5. In Visual Customization, populate the fields as appropriate.
  6. In Associated Content, add the content to associate with this asset, if any.

Re-Import from ScreenSteps

To re-import an existing ScreenSteps asset, first verify that all edits are finalized, approved, and fully published on the ScreenSteps side.

  1. In Tech Zone, open the Edit window of the document, and verify that the ScreenSteps ID is correct.
  2. Enable the Import from ScreenSteps option by clicking Yes.
  3. Wait until the re-import process finishes and the newly imported asset is displayed. You might need to hard-refresh your browser if it decides to display a cached version.
  4. In the lower left, click the Edit tab, and provide the general, central catalog, and PDF settings, as well as any other optional settings such as Associated Content, etc., as described in Add Assets, and save.

ScreenSteps FAQs

This section contains FAQs and troubleshooting tips about importing from ScreenSteps.

Why won't my document import from ScreenSteps?

After you import a document from ScreenSteps, double-check that all chapters and all articles are published properly. A number of things can interrupt the import process:

  1. Verify the ScreenSteps ID number. Tech Zone does not support importing the same SS ID twice. To re-import, you must either:
    • Modify the Edit page of the original in Tech Zone, and reimport from ScreenSteps.
    • Delete the original from Tech Zone, then import it again from ScreenSteps.
    • Alternatively, you could clone the existing document in ScreenSteps, which gives it a new Document ID, and import the clone.
  2. Verify the publication status in ScreenSteps. Tech Zone does not support importing chapters or articles that are unpublished in ScreenSteps. Make sure that every section that you want to import is fully published in ScreenSteps before import.

Why does an article go missing when imported from ScreenSteps to TechZone?

If one article of a chapter does not import properly to Tech Zone, verify that it was published properly in ScreenSteps. Tech Zone sometimes misinterprets the state of publication if the article is not fully published, or is referenced in multiple ScreenSteps instances but is unpublished in one of them.


In this screenshot, on the left, the problem article is missing from the Tech Zone import, and on the right, it is unpublished in ScreenSteps.


This section covers how to enable Drupal’s PDF auto-generate option, use of the VMware template-based PDF, and PDF-based troubleshooting tips.

Attach a VMware Template-based PDF

We have been converting Word files to PDF to a) protect the content from tampering, and b) to present a more professional, brand-aligned document than Tech Zone can provide. The resulting PDF retains the formatting of the original document, including embedded links.

LEFT: PDF generated by Tech Zone. RIGHT: PDF generated by Word.

  1. Start with a Word document that has the text, links, images, etc., ready for publication.
  2. Click File > Save As or Save A Copy, and rename the file if needed.
  3. In the Save as type drop-down menu, select PDF (*.pdf).
  4. Under file type, click More Options, and next to Optimize For, select one of the options:
    • Standard (Publishing Online and Printing usually works.
    • Minimize size (Publishing Online) use if Standard doesn’t work.
  5. Optional/Troubleshooting: Sometimes the links fail to convert when choosing Standard. If that happens, start the process over, and for Optimize For, select Minimize size (Publishing Online).image-20210210135531-2
  6. Click the Options button, and in the pop-up, uncheck the ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A) check box. Click OK and Save. The embedded links in the converted PDF file should now work.
  7. Indicate where to save the PDF, and click Save.
    The PDF file is created and the links in the Word doc are retained.

Tech Zone-Generated PDFs

Tech Zone auto-generates PDF if you enable that option. We do this for ScreenSteps imports, because TZ-generated PDFs meet our standards better than SS-generated PDFs.

Note: The asset must be published for the auto-generated PDF to work.

To enable automatic generation of PDFs, make sure the PDF Settings are set:

  1. In the Edit view of TZ, expand the Page & PDF Settings section.image-20210128135551-1
  2. Choose whether to attach an external PDF or have one auto-generated:
    • Attach an external PDF – Click Browse to search for and attach the PDF.
    • Auto-generate a PDF via Drupal – Click Generate a PDF from HTML Content.
  3. Generated PDF Metadata ‘Author’ – Add an author.
  4. Product / Technology / Version – Add the product version if appropriate.
  5. Product Version Visible on Resource – Click the checkbox to display the version to the public.
    • PDF Index – Choose whether to have search engines index the webpage or the PDF:
    • Index the webpage – Leave the checkbox unchecked if you want the webpage indexed instead of the PDF.
  6. Index the PDF – Click the checkbox if you want the auto-generated PDF indexed instead of the webpage. If the PDF is attached instead of auto-generated, add "noindex" to the end of the filename, such as: filename_noindex.pdf.
  7. At the bottom of the Edit page, click Save.

If the links in the PDF content are not live, troubleshoot by optimizing:

  1. Under file type, click More Options.
  2. Next to Optimize For, select one of the following options, and then click Save:
    • Standard (Publishing Online and Printing - Usually works.
    • Minimize size (Publishing Online) - Use if Standard doesn’t work.
  3. Optional/Troubleshooting: Sometimes the links fail to convert when choosing Standard. If that happens, start the process over, and for Optimize For, select Minimize size (Publishing Online).
  4. Click the Options button, and in the pop-up, uncheck the ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A) check box.
  5. Click OK and Save. The links in the PDF file should now work.


This section covers how to make your PPTX searchable, include copyrights and confidential notes, and associate PPTX files with other Tech Zone assets as Associated Content or as Downloads.

Make your PPTX Searchable

PowerPoints were not originally intended to be part of the Downloads menu on Tech Zone, so by default, they're not indexed and therefore can't be discovered via search. To make your PPTs searchable:

When adding a PPT as a download, select the Indexing/Visibility flag BEFORE you upload the file. If you select it after uploading, it won’t work and the PPT won’t get a tile. This is an issue that Andy is working on.

In January 2020, Andy researched whether or not we need to put Confidential on our work. Brand & Legal have now confirmed that we DO NOT.


Confidential is on PPT slides by default because 90% of VMware slides are generated for a restricted audience. We have permission to remove Confidential from our templates, but we must keep the “©VMware 2021” tag. Please remember this when making videos or Captivate demos.

©VMware 2021

To update the “©VMware 2020” tag to "©VMware 2021":

Open the deck in question, open the Slide Master, and update the footer on the first slide, as well as any other template slide that is needed.

Associated Content & Downloads

You can add Associated Content or Downloads to TZ assets, such as externally created PDFs, supplementary PPTs or other documents. The content files then appear in the More tab at the top of the asset, which readers can download. The file must first be added to Tech Zone.

To add the Download content to Tech Zone:

  1. Click Content > Add Content > Downloads.
    Downloads or Associated Content
  2. Provide the title, and click Browse to locate, select, and add the downloadable file.
  3. You can provide the file type, an optional label, a thumbnail image, and summary.
  4. Set the Central Catalog Settings as described above.
  5. Save.

Associated Content

To associate the previously added Download file to a specific asset:

  1. In the Single Resource field, start entering the name of the file to associate. It should appear in the auto-fill menu, where you can select it. If it does not appear, check the filename, and verify that it was added as Download.
  2. Optional: In the Visible Custom Label field, you can click the Custom Menu Text checkbox to enable custom menu text. Add a brief name to distinguish this content from other content also associated to this asset.
  3. Click Add Associated content.

User Profiles

When we add the work of a guest author to Tech Zone, we create a profile for them with their photo and bio.


Gather the following from the guest author to display on their profile page:

Photo - Squarish headshot photo

Title - Full position in the following format:
<Level>, <Function>, End User Computing, VMware.

Bio - Summarize what makes them a writer you want to read using approved format

Create Bio Page

  1. In Tech Zone, click People > Add user.
  2. In your page, provide/change the following fields:
    • Username - Enter the person’s name as it will appear to viewers, complete with spaces.
    • E-mail address – Enter the person’s VMware email address.
    • Password - Provide a password and send that to them, such as VMware1!
    • Confirm password – Confirm the password.
    • Roles – Click roles that apply.
  3. In the lower left of your page, click Create New Account.
  4. Navigate to the new profile page, such as:<new profile>
    • One way is to open an asset they authored, and click Read More from the Author in the upper left.
    • Or click <New Account>.
  5. In the lower left corner of the new profile page, click Edit.
  6. Verify the following fields:
    • Username: Full name
    • Email address: VMware email address
  7. Click Personalization, and provide:
    • Upload Picture: Navigate to the photo and upload it
    • Bio: Copy-paste the summary provided by the guest author
  8. At the bottom, click Save.
  9. Note the URL to the new bio page, send to guest author, and invite them to review and approve it.

Bio Format

Bios should use the following approved format, for consistency across bio pages:

<Level>, <Function>, End User Computing, VMware.<BR>

Example 1

Andy Morris

Sr. Manager, Tech Marketing Content Management, End User Computing, VMware.<BR>

Andy has been working as a VMware EUC product marketeer since 2015, managing enterprise products and the famous Workstation and Fusion personal portfolios. Prior to VMware, Andy was VP of product management at Abaca, and worked for AppSense, LogLogic and IBM. Andy holds a computer science degree from DeMontford University. He currently owns the Tech Zone platform.

Example 2

Upendra Shrestha

Sr. Solution Architect, End User Computing, VMware.<BR>

Shrestha Upendra is part of the EUC business unit Field Engineering team at VMware. As the Field Engineering resource, he covers all of the Asia and Pacific region. His primary focus is VMware Horizon Services hosted on Cloud (VMC, SoftLayer, and Azure), Workspace ONE, and Horizon Enterprise. He has worked with key accounts in the region, including some of the biggest telco and transportation companies.

Grant Ability to Edit Bio Pages

When we create profiles for guest authors, they can’t edit their profiles unless you make them a contributor (or higher), first. If you grant them this ability, they can include additional links to their profile page, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, GitHub, and more.

To grant guest authors the ability to edit their profile page themselves:

Calculate Tech Zone Readership

Our mission is to drive readership by 30% each year. We have two ways to measure annual readership growth: pageviews and registered users.

Registered Users

To count the number of registered users on Tech Zone:

People > Add User > List > Search with no filters.

  • Q1 (Feb-April 2020), we had over 8,000 subscribers.
  • Q2 (May-July 2020), we had 10,098 subscribers.
  • Q3 (Aug-Oct 2020), we had 12,915 subscribers.


To count the number of pageviews via the Unique Visitors panel in Google Analytics :

Audience > Behavior > New vs Returning:

  • 2019 (Feb19 – Oct19) = 824,633
  • 2020 (Feb20 – Oct20) = 1,252,192


This section includes procedures and frequently asked questions about working with videos in Tech Zone resources.

Demo: How to publish videos on YouTube & Tech Zone

The following videos demonstrate how to publish videos on YouTube – which must be done before publishing on Tech Zone – and then on Tech Zone:


When you publish a video, the summary/excerpt must include the following boilerplate language:

VMware End-User Computing (EUC) solutions empower the digital workspace by simplifying app & access management, unifying endpoint management & transforming Windows delivery. Learn more on the Digital Workspace Tech Zone:

Add Videos

To add videos and their cleaned-up transcripts to Tech Zone:

  1. Locate the auto-generated subtitles in YouTube, assuming they're there.
    Note: YouTube Studio changes often so these instructions may vary.
  2. Click Actions and select .SBV to generate a copy-able .SBV file.
  3. In Tech Zone, create a new resource: Content > Add content > Videos.
  4. Add the video's basic settings.
    Note: Drupal supports both long and short YouTube formats:
  5. Add the summary and transcript.
  6. In Tech Zone, complete the Central Catalog settings.
    • YouTube tags should also include VMware, EUC, Tech Zone.
    • If the video references links to blogs or articles, make sure to add those links in the Associated Content.
  7. Identify the author.
  8. Save to Published.

Clean Up Transcripts

Note: Clean up transcripts by correcting the spelling of VMware product names, as well as other products, such as macOS, tvOS, etc., only.

We clean up video transcripts because the transcripts are used for search engine priming. The mechanism for indexing works like this:

  1. The Title, Excerpt, and Transcript are all indexed together in an additional field (hidden within the back-end editor). The Transcript file has the timestamps (first line, then every three lines) and blank lines (third line, then every three lines) parsed out.
  2. This field is auto-updated anytime the video is updated, with changes detected in any of these three fields.

For example, customers who search for “Horizon,” and select a video from the resulting hit list, will jump to the exact time/place in the video where they are discussing Horizon.

It is assumed our customers won't search on names of SMEs, but on names of VMware products, as well as other products, such as macOS, tvOS, etc. Therefore, it's not cost effective to correct non-technical words, punctuation, and terms not likely to be used in a search.

The same goes for YouTube transcripts. Our functionality supports reading the corrected transcription in Tech Zone, not in YouTube. If you have the time and inclination to do more, consider the following options:

  • Clean up YouTube transcripts in YouTube, before downloading as .SBV files.
  • Clean up the .SBV file, upload it back into YouTube, and set it as the default.

Add Video Transcripts

We use the same fields to index Videos for searchability as we do for Resources. We also support the ability to add video transcripts generated by YouTube. These transcripts are indexed by Tech Zone with the timestamps in them, which anchor search results to the time within the video.

  1. Download the .sbv file format of the auto-generated transcript from YouTube.
  2. In the Inside Resource section of the video edit window, include your search excerpt in the first text Section.
  3. Open the .sbv file in any text editor, clean up misspellings of products and main topics, and then copy-paste the contents into the first text Sub-section field.

Embed YouTube Videos

To embed a video in a blog post or guide:

  1. Copy its YouTube URL (no other URLs will embed properly).
  2. Click the video icon on CKEditor.
  3. In the pop-up window, paste the YouTube URL, and click OK.

To embed a YouTube link without embedding the video itself:

Instead of changing the target, go to the Advanced tab, and add the Stylesheet Class video_modal.

Add Associated Content to Videos

To add associated content to videos, you must download the content (PPTX, MP4, whatever), to your local machine, sometimes reduce the size, upload it into Tech Zone, and then associate it with a video in Tech Zone. The following steps are based on Andy's demo:

Add PowerPoints as Associated Content

To add a PowerPoint file as associated content to a video:

  1. In TZ, click Content > Add content > Add PowerPoint.
  2. In Create PowerPoint, add a title, and deselect the YES for indexing/visibility so that indexing is disabled and the PPTX is NOT indexed.
  3. Below Indexing/Visibility, click Browse, and in the Media browser, click Choose File.
  4. Navigate to the file, select it, and back in Media Browser, click Upload.
  5. When it has uploaded, click Next.
  6. In the bottom of the Tech Zone edit page, click Save.
  7. In the Visible to Staff pop-up window, click Publish.

Add MP4 Files as Associated Content

To add an MP4, locate and download the MP4 file to your local drive, and add it to Tech Zone:

  1. In TZ, click Content > Add Content > Downloads.
  2. In Create Downloads, add a title, and deselect the YES for indexing/visibility so that indexing is disabled and the MP4 is NOT indexed.
  3. Just below Indexing/Visibility, click Browse.
  4. In the Media browser, click Choose File, navigate through Explorer to the file and select it, and back in Media Browser, click Upload, and wait as it uploads.
  5. When uploaded, click Next.
  6. Add a Summary and set the Central Catalog metadata tags.
  7. Click Published and then click Save.
  8. In the Visible to Staff pop-up window, click Publish.

Associate PPTX or MP4 Content with Videos

After your associated content files are in Tech Zone, you can associate them with a video:

  1. In the target video, launch the Edit Videos page.
  2. Scroll down and expand Associated Content.
  3. Click Add another item, if necessary. Start entering the name of the associated content, and select from the pop-up menu.
    • Note: Sometimes multiple assets with the same name are displayed:
    • In that case, select one, and compare ID numbers to make sure they aren’t the same.
  4. In the Publishing Options, add a note re what you did, change the state to Published, and click Save.
  5. In the Visible to All window, click Publish.

Verify Success

To verify success, launch the video and use the More button:

  1. Launch the video, and verify that the More button appears at the top tool bar.
  2. Click the More button, and verify that the content that you associated earlier is included in the menu.
  3. Select the options in the menu to verify that they download properly.

Enhance Videos Using PowerPoint Features

Bini demonstrated how to use PowerPoint features to enliven and enhance an otherwise static video. See her demonstrations and PowerPoint files at: ​Folder icon HubTemplates_BiniTest

Create Transcripts when YouTube Fails

If YouTube fails to produce a transcript automatically, you can use Camtasia or Dragon to create one. You need to 1) get an audio recording, 2) transcribe the recording, 3) apply timings to the resulting transcript, and 4) paste the timed transcript into Tech Zone.

You have multiple options for Step 1:

Step 1: Get an audio recording using Camtasia on PC

  1. In Camtasia 9 or later, launch the video MP4 file in question.
  2. Click New Project, and start recording. As Camtasia counts down, turn on the video so that the recording starts when the video does.
  3. When the video ends, end the recording and save, which produces a *.camproj file.
  4. Create captions (Camtasia's name for transcripts) via this video:
  5. Export the captions into a .SRT file. Note: Tech Zone can't read this, so don't paste in yet.
  6. In YouTube, launch the video, click Edit Video, and in the Transcripts section, upload the .SRT file.
  7. Save the .SRT file, and download it as an .SBV file, which is what Tech Zone requires.
  8. In Tech Zone, paste the transcript in the Resources section of the video, and Save.

Step 1: Get an audio recording using Camtasia on Mac

  1. Follow the instructions in this video to generate the text:
  2. Clean up the transcript carefully. Note: Gina found chunks of text were missing in places.
  3. Upload the transcript to YouTube to set timings, and publish the video in YouTube.
  4. Copy the transcript with its timings into TechZone.

Step 2: Get a transcript using Dragon Naturally Speaking

  1. Run the audio recording WAV file through Dragon, transcribe, order a Word output (not DragonPad output).
  2. From DragonBar, select Tools > Transcribe Recording to open the Transcribe dialog box.
  3. Enter relevant information to identify file to transcribe and where to save output.
  4. Configure options to apply and click Transcribe.
  5. Check the Dragon transcript against the video and clean up all product names and phrases that our audience might use as search terms. We're assuming SMEs' names won't be used as search terms.
  6. Save the cleaned-up Dragon transcript. Dragon transcripts do not have times, but YouTube can apply those.

Step 3: Set timings using YouTube

Note that YouTube is subject to frequent change:

  1. In YouTube, click Edit Video, click Transcripts > Add [English] or Add Language.
  2. Under Select Method, click Transcribe and auto-sync.
  3. Paste the Dragon script into the window provided, and click Set Timings.
  4. Wait as it sets timings, then grab the transcript from YouTube, and paste into Tech Zone.

Step 4: Download the timed transcript

  1. Download the timed transcript from YouTube in SBV format.
  2. Paste into Tech Zone.

Video FAQs

Frequently asked questions about videos.

Why aren't my YouTube videos working?

YouTube videos will function correctly only if they use the proper YouTube URL format such as the following (Tech Zone URLs do not work):

Example YouTube URL Formats:

Can you add a thumbnail graphic to a published video?

If you discover that the thumbnail graphic is missing:

  1. In the following example, the PPT presentation has no graphics:
  2. To fix that, open the PPT in your local drive, select an appropriate slide from it.
  3. Copy that slide and attach it as a thumbnail to the PPT uploaded to Tech Zone.
  4. Then repeat the steps above to relaunch the video, click the More button, select the PPT. This time, it should include the graphic:

How do you compress oversized video files on PC?

When you are uploading the PPT and MP4 files to Tech Zone, or attaching them to a video as Associated Content, you might run in to size issues. If the system flashes a “too big” warning, try compressing the graphics.

  1. Download PPT from OneDrive to local desktop.
  2. Compress the graphics:
  • Open in Desktop App.
  • Select a screenshot.
  • In the ribbon, click Compress Pictures (might be buried in a menu).
  • Compress to 720 I think. Once you hit compress, it applies that to all images.
  1. Download MP4 to local desktop.
  • Might have to reduce size here also.

How do you compress oversized video files on macOS?

Offered by Andreano: Here's a script for those of you macOS folks that you can use to streamline video compression with ffmpeg (assuming you've installed it):

movc () {

ffmpeg -i $1 -c:v libx264 -preset fast "${}"


origsize=`du -k "$1" | cut -f1`

newsize=`du -k $newname | cut -f1` echo -e '\n'$1 $origsize"KB"

echo $newname $newsize"KB"

}mp4c () {

ffmpeg -i $1 -c:v libx264 -preset fast "${1%.mp4}"-opt.mp4


origsize=`du -k "$1" | cut -f1`

newsize=`du -k $newname | cut -f1` echo -e '\n'$1 $origsize"KB"

echo $newname $newsize"KB"

}mpgc () {

ffmpeg -i $1 -c:v libx264 -preset fast "${1%.mpg}"-opt.mpg


origsize=`du -k "$1" | cut -f1`

newsize=`du -k $newname | cut -f1` echo -e '\n'$1 $origsize"KB"

echo $newname $newsize"KB"


Just add that into your zshell profilfe at ~/.zshrc then you can simply run mp4c filename.mp4 and it will spit out a filename-opt.mp4 file at about 1/10th the size...

Why are unpublished videos visible on YouTube?

Even if a video is unlisted on YouTube, if you configure it with a playlist, it will show up on the Channel page and people can view it. This is due to a playlist bug in the YouTube code which is outside our ability to fix.

For example, leave the video temporarily unlisted if you want to post it on YouTube but wait until a specific release date to publish. When you are ready to publish it, add the playlist. That way, you can control when the video is visible to the public.

Why does the video play when I press the Edit button?

I wanted to edit a video, but when I clicked the edit button, it played the video instead of opening the edit page. No error messages were displayed.

It was because it was locked. To unlock the video: Content > Locked documents > release lock.

To see the Locked Documents page, click this link:

The reason for this behavior is to prevent simultaneous editing on Resources. Content is locked to only one editor at a time. The lock almost always releases correctly, once a user is done editing. But sometimes an interrupted connection keeps a lock intact. If you try to access content with an inside page--such as a Resource or Blog--while it is locked, the following warning message appears:

However, Videos are a content type that does not lead to an inside page, so it is not possible currently to render this same type of warning message.

Appendix A: SEO via BrightEdge

Thanks to Hannah, we can make our Tech Zone assets easier to discover by applying the concepts of search engine optimization (SEO). Here's the process:

  • Run a BrightEdge report to analyze how an asset is performing online
  • Determine the keywords that customers use to find it
  • Add or improve keywords to improve performance
  • Verify that performance has improved.

In general, she found that you get more punch from:

  • Adding keywords in headers, 1st paragraphs, and as alt text behind 1st or 2nd graphic
  • Including keywords exactly as users enter them, including errors such as "vmware on azure"
  • Publishing fewer, more dense assets so less in-house competition

Run a BrightEdge report

To optimize a Tech Zone asset, the first step is to run a BrightEdge report to see how the asset is currently performing online:

  1. Log in to BrightEdge:
  2. Locate the binoculars icon on the left, click Research > Content Research.
  3. In the search field, enter the URL of your website, webpage, or keyword, and click Search:

    Note: If you don’t get results, your subject might be too new. For details, see SEO FAQs.
  4. In the row of tabs near the top, click High Ranking Keywords (ranked on Page 1), and scroll down to the Top 5 Keywords list:

    In this screenshot, you can see that all 3 keywords rank low (from 52nd – 79th), but that “how does Kerberos authentication work” has gone up. Maybe this would be worth taking action on.
  5. Proceed to the next section to explore the results report in more detail.

Review results

After running the BrightEdge report, review it to see how the asset is performing online and identify the top keywords that customers are currently using to find this asset:

  1. On the Overview tab, you get the data analysis for Tech Zone:
    1. The higher the number, the better.
    2. Total Organic Keywords. The more organic keywords, the more chances they’ll have of high on hit list.
    3. Ranked on Page 1 is the most important – the keywords will show up on page 1 when users search for something, find your thing, and find the keyword on the front. We have 611, but compared to Citrix, small. This is where we want to grow.
    4. Ranked on Page 2 and Ranked on Page 3 are of little significance. Many people research if they don’t find what they want on the first page.
  2. The left-hand column shows pages that increased, right-hand column shows pages that decreased in their Data Cube score:
  3. To the right of the Overview tab, click the High-Ranking Keywords tab, and on the far right under Search, click Filters:
  4. Click Add Filter, and in the Add filter(s) window, enter filter terms, and then click Apply Filter(s):
    • Search Volume
    • Greater than
    • 999
  5. View the results: from 611 keywords to 14 ranked on page 1 with over 1000 searches:
  6. To see long-tail keywords with more than 99 Search Volume, click the next tab, Long-Tail Keywords. You can click the Search Volume filter and edit it to say just 99 for this tab:
  7. This shows that we have 17 ranked on Page 1 that have been searched for more than 100 times:
  8. After adding that number to the worksheet, click Clear Filter so it doesn’t throw us off, and click the next tab to the right, Content Strategies.
    • Total results: 634
    • Videos: 62 – We have 238 on TZ, only 62 come up in searches! Room to improve.
    • Images: 473
  9. Note that these results are people speaking English the American way, it is not a global result:
    1. You can expand this field, and see the list of all languages that we are paying to have translated.
    2. There is also United States (S) – English. The “S” stands for Smartphone.
    3. So, click that: United States (S) – English.
  10. Result: Our score for the mobile devices is 468, much lower than for the 7000 for desktops:
  11. Total Organic Keywords: 14. Possible conclusions:
    • People maybe aren’t looking for highly technical information on smartphones.
    • Our formats don’t cater to smartphone viewing.
    • So, she’s not too worried about this difference in rankings.

Optimize the asset

After identifying the top keywords currently being used to find the asset, you're ready to add or improve keywords to optimize the asset.

You can add keywords here:

In general, you get more strength from:

  • Adding keywords in headers, first paragraphs, and behind first or 2nd graphics as alt text
  • Including keywords exactly as users type them in, warts and all, i.e., "vmware on azure"
  • Publishing fewer, more dense assets so less in-house competition between your own assets

Verify improvement

To verify that adding strategically placed keywords did improve online performance of the asset, return to Step 1 and run another BrightEdge report.

Use BrightEdge dashboards

BrightEdge provided 3 standard dashboards for us: Executive, Intent Search, and Universal Presence. These are the standard three that Tom Battle, our BrightEdge contact, usually sets up for beginning BE users. We need to be careful about taking these dashboards too literally for two reasons: (a) they are based on the assumption that our TZ website is our company website instead of a team website, and (b) the assumption that the website's purpose is to drive sales, whereas ours is to drive readership. That said, they can be of interest to us.

To open a BrightEdge dashboard, you must first be logged in:

  1. In the left-hand nav bar, select Dashboards:
  2. In the upper left corner, click the down arrow of All Products Action Plan Dashboard, and select from the menu:
  3. From the menu, select one of the following custom dashboards:
    • TechZone-Executive Dashboard
    • TechZone-Intent Signal Dashboard
    • TechZone-Universal Search Presence Dashboard
  4. Review the initial information on each dashboard. For example:
  5. In the lower left corner of most dashboards, you can click View Report to see a chart in table format, or a table in chart format. For example:
  6. From the report summary, you can often click a value to display which keywords are contributing to this statistic.

The following sections summarize what you can find on these three dashboards.

TechZone-Executive Dashboard

This is a generic dashboard that has been customized for TechZone by populating it with our keyword list. This dashboard provides an SEO strategies overview, based on the following 4 questions:

  • How is our content performing in the search results?
  • What is our Share of Voice compared to our top competitors?
  • Which sites are competing with us for market share in organic search?
  • What are our highest traffic keywords and how did their rank change in the last week?

TechZone-Intent Signal Dashboard

This is a generic dashboard that has been customized for TechZone by populating it with our keyword list. This dashboard leverages the power of Intent Signal to identify opportunities and next actions for our keywords. It includes the following charts and sections:

  • Keyword Prioritization
  • Chart: What is our share of page versus named competitors?
  • Chart: Organic Friendly KWs Over Time vs Our Performance
  • Keywords to Defend
  • Keywords to Optimize
  • Keywords for Content Creation
  • Keywords for Collaboration

TechZone-Universal Search Presence Dashboard

This is a generic dashboard that has been customized for TechZone by populating it with our keyword list. This dashboard displays the following sections:

  • Universal Search Presence
  • Universal Search Presence – Page 1 Competitive Overview
  • Classic Rank – Trended Average Rank
  • Blended Rank – Trended Average Rank
  • Classic Rank vs Blended Rank


This section includes FAQs and troubleshooting tips if your BrightEdge research has problems.

What if BrightEdge shows nothing?

If you don’t get a reading when you run a BrightEdge query, you can try a number of things.

If your asset is old enough to have history

If the asset you're researching has been available on the Internet for months, try changing the date slightly. This works only if the asset is old enough to have some history that Google can detect.

If your asset is brand new

If your asset is too new for BrightEdge to detect traffic to it, you can enter keywords into the search field. This will give you an idea of which keywords might bring value to your new asset.

Then revisit your asset in a couple of months to see how effective the initial keywords were, and to see if BrightEdge can detect enough traffic history to generate a reading.

SEO Vocabulary

The following terms can be helpful as you work with BrightEdge to optimize your Tech Zone asset (see also SEO Terminology):

Table 2: SEO-related terms that you might run into



Blended Rank

The factors that BrightEdge considers when calculating the health of your website, including types of searches, such as how-to or name-based queries, text-based searches, image searches, or video, social, or local searches.

Blended Rank Change

Whether your keyword is trending up or down, and by how much, in the target time period.


What type of searches your audience is using to discover your content. In this example, your audience searched by regular Web listings (text-based searches) and image searches. In addition to those, they could be making video searches, social searches, and local searches (special search engines to find what you want within geographical proximity, like “restaurants near me”).

Content Strategies

Performance of images, videos, quick answers, and People Also Ask results:

Data Cube

Data Cube is the BrightEdge software that calculates performance based on billions of data points, either site-wide or for a specific page of your website. The larger the number of your Data Cube score, the better your website is doing. The arrow indicates trend, so an up arrow with a large number indicate a healthy website.


The words or phrases your audience use to discover your webpages.

Local 3-Pack

A colorful, prominent map that presents the three businesses Google considers most relevant to the query and searcher's location, and of the highest quality. See How to get in the Local 3-Pack.

Local search

A search for something within a geographical area, such as “restaurants near me”

Long-Tail Keyword

Longer, more specific keywords that provide a more focused search, but might be used less often. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific. They allow you gradually to get more traffic and to be found by new and motivated audiences.

Organic Keywords

A keyword used to attract free traffic through optimization, as opposed to pay-per-click (PPC) keywords, which are bought.

PPC Keywords

Pay-per-click (PPC) keywords are bid on through paid search marketing campaigns.

Ranked on Page 1

Keywords that land on the first page of the hit list.

Ranked on Page 2

Ranked on Page 2 and Page 3 are for opportunities for improvement

Regular Web listing

Text-based search, as opposed to other types of searches such as video, social, or local searches

Search Volume

How many searches have been made in the target time period. Search volume is used as a measurement in keyword analysis to assess the potential search engine traffic for a given keyword.


Adding keywords without meaningful context can be detected by Google and interpreted as stuffing or stacking, and can result in your webpage going down in rank rather than up. So make sure all keywords are used in a meaningful context, even in image alt-text.

Universal Search

When you search for something, Google displays the results of a Universal Search. This includes a text-based hit list, ranked from most relevant to least relevant, as well as images, maps, videos, rich snippets, local businesses that match your criteria, etc. How your page shows up depends on how your audience searches. If they enter a “how to” query, they might get a Google Quick Answer, a video, and a series of text-based hits. If they enter a noun-based query, they might get images, news articles, standard websites, etc.


Appendix B: EUCTM Styles

This section includes agreements made on how we format and style assets consistently.


To keep up with product name changes over time, see:

Change Logs

We agreed to add change logs as follows:

  • To mark major changes of interest or relevance to audience
  • At end of Summary and Additional Resources section, just before Authors section
  • Table format to enable brevity via incomplete sentences and phrases

Example of a Change Log

Note: If you use slashes in the date (such as 2020/02/10), the Tech Zone table displays the date all on one line. If you use dashes in the date (such as 2020-02-10 above), the Tech Zone table sometimes breaks the date up via wraparound.

For more examples of change logs in existing assets, see:

Appendix C: Policies

TZ policies for Internal Content, Associated Items, Focus Pages, and more

Policy docs can be found on OneDrive at Documents > Tech Zone Resources > Policy documents:

Thank you for helping direct us as we formulate our newest tech zone policies. The leadership team have listened to, and accepted most of your ideas. We also modified a few of them. Here’s the list of new policies.

  1. Confidentiality
    • We will NOT host Company Confidential information
    • Nothing on TZ will be marked Company Confidential
  2. PowerPoint
    • We will NOT post internal only slides – See point (1)
    • Tech Spotlights will be posted but all the internal only slides will be deleted
      • Who will remove this content from the Tech Spotlights?
      • How many versions of Tech Spotlights will be available on TZ (do we continually replace the old with the new, or allow for multiple versions to be seen)?
      • If we are removing the internal only content from the Tech Spotlights, why can we not just publish this information publicly on TechZone?
    • We will NEVER distribute PowerPoint to customers.
  3. Confluence
    • We will NOT recreate internal confluence pages.
  4. Associated Content
    • Videos
      • We will tie video series together
        • Such as Peter’s current privilege elevation series
        • Such as the what’s new series
      • We will tie what’s new videos to Feature Walkthroughs where sensible
      • We will also tie videos together using YouTube cards
      • We will NOT allow the downloading of video transcripts
      • We will allow internal users to download PPT’s used in videos
      • We will allow internal users to download MP4 versions of videos
      • I want to draw your attention to the video part of the policies I sent earlier. When you post a video to Tech Zone we now require:
        1. YouTube link (with transcript if you can)
        2. MP4 file (optional)
        3. PowerPoint file (optional)
        4. List of other assets this video should be associated with
      • These last 2 are for SE’s to download and use. We don’t always need all 4, that’s your call based on the content.
    • I want to add a further level of detail to our policy around posting associated assets to videos, and in general. I’ve set a hard limit on downloaded assets to be 150mb. This means you need to be mindful when creating MP4 and PPTX:
      • For MP4 please encode your files as 1280x720 (known as 720p).
      • For PPTX please delete all internal slides. The compress all images to 150dpi and delete all clipped areas.
      • We have a hard limit that I’m loath to lift of 150MB per downloadable file. Reducing a video to 720 is one way to get under that limit. If you know how to encode a huge file under that size, I’m more than happy to have them hosted on our platform. If everyone does 1920x1080 we should be OK.
  5. Captivate
    • We will allow internal users to download Captivate zips.
  1. Legacy Content
    • We will remove the phrase LEGACY CONTENT from the current banner and just use the descriptive sentence

Types of older assets

Jim provided the following: Bigger picture is that we are trying to figure out a way to deal with these old assets consistently and are still struggling with a good solution to use across the board. I see 4 broad categories:

  1. Assets that are out of date and have no value that we don’t intend to update. Easy choice to remove from Tech Zone. We have nowhere to redirect so we run the risk of 404 errors. The other option is to tag it with the legacy banner. I think the deciding factor is does it do more harm than good being out there? Peter – in the case of the assets that you have run into issues with, do they do more harm than good? Why or why not?
  2. Assets that are out of date and have some value, but we don’t intend to update. Trickier because users ask for updates that are not coming and they can also miss our warnings and treat the asset as current. Solution may be to put out of date warning on every page.
  3. Assets that are out of date and we do intend to update. More or less the same as above except once we update, we can remove and redirect.
  4. Assets that we have updated. Redirect old asset to the new asset.

Appendix D: Twitter

If you publish a noteworthy asset that you’d like to promote, you can send a couple of tweets to Jack & the Lewis Pulse team to help promote it. Lewis Pulse will promote our tweets without additional cost to Jack’s budget, as long as we write them ourselves. The following are some of their tips for tone of voice and best practices:

  • Brevity. Short, clear, and actionable copy performs best, especially on Twitter with the condensed character limit. Incorporate a clear CTA (Learn More, Read Here, etc.) to encourage followers to click through on our content.
  • Tags. Tagging VMware spokespeople and partner handles significantly improves engagement on posts and also helps us avoid using full titles in posts which can come across as too formal to followers.
  • Hashtags. Incorporate hashtags directly into post copy rather than adding at the end of a post. If necessary, we recommend adding no more than one additional hashtag to the end of the post to avoid overkill.

Here are a few example tweets incorporating the above tips:


Your feedback is helpful.

To comment on this paper, contact Cindy Carroll at







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