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Stony Brook University

Scalar: An Introduction

Using the Scalar publishing platform.

Types of Content

The Basic Structure of Scalar  =  Book > Paths > Pages > Media

Content in Scalar is comprised of three units: Paths, Pages and Media.


Pages can be managed in Scalar's page editor. Every page must have a unique title. Uniqueness is important for the searchability of your page as well as providing descriptive information about your page. To help with further specificity, each page has the option to enter a description of the content found on the page. These descriptions may appear in multiple places in Scalar. Content can be added to pages much like adding content to a blog platform like "Wordpress." Visual and HTML views are available and the content editor allows for editing styles, alignments, headings, bullet points, etc. A single page can belong to multiple paths. 

**Note on pasting text: Always paste text in the HTML mode because this will remove all pre-existing styles. If the text editor tries to interpret and preserve a surplus of style code it could slow down your book and make editing tricky in the future.


Paths represent a linear sequence of content much like the chapters of a book. Paths can lead to other paths, other steps, and back to the home page. Any page or media file can be turned into a path by specifying the content it contains and the order in which it belongs in the linear sequence. Any time you want a reader to experience content in a specific order, use a path. When a reader arrives at a "path" they will see the content on the page as well as a list of its contents. The user can click "Begin Path" to continue to the first page of the path, or the user can click the hyperlink attached to any page on the path.

   To create a path: You can either make a new page or edit exsisting pages or media files to determine their type. From the page editor in your dashboard, click the "Relationships" tab. In this section, click "To Make This Page a Path," then "Specify the items that it contains." A pop-up window will appear. Here, you should select the items you want to add to this path and then click "Add Selected." You can then drag and drop those items in order to reorder them or remove them from the path as you wish.


Tags represent a non-linear grouping of content. Tags are often used as content descriptors and in Scalar they are used in much that same way, however, the tag itself is not just a bit of text, but a full-fledged piece of content. Any page or media file can act as a tag for other Scalar content. When your reader arrives at a tag they will see the information contained in the tag plus a list of items that share that same tag. 

   To create a tag: You can either make a new page or edit existing pages. From the page editor in your dashboard, click the "Relationships" tab. In the section choose,"To make this Page a tag." A pop-up window will appear. From the pop-up window designate the items you want to appear as tags and then click "Add Selected." To add tags to a page or media file, click "Edit" at the bottom of the page to take you to the page editor and from there click the "Relationships" tab. Next, click "To Tag This Page" to make a pop-up window of pages appear. From the pop-up window, select tags that apply and then click "Add Selected."