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Documentation >> Misc. >> Labels Documentation
Messages now have a new property: label.


What Are Labels?

If you're a Mac OS user, this will sound familiar. Like the Mac OS's Finder labels, Conversant labels are a way to group and identify visually the messages. Since they have an associated color and name that can be displayed in DG message listings, you could use labels to identify the messages related to one subject or another, or to give them a certain level of importance.

But there's more: Labels also have an associated access right setting that allows admins and editors to select the access rights required to see a message. So you can have a label that will hide to your users the messages you write to create bound pages or to store data (images, random quotes, etc). Or you can have a label that will hide to others the discussions you have with your editors.

Setting-Up Labels

If your conversant site has been created after July 2000, it has been set-up by default in such a way that you could use labels immediately. In this case you may skip this section for now and come back to it, if needed, when editing your templates.

If your conversant site has been created prior to August 2000, you'll certainly have to add labels to your templates (at least to some of them). The following links will take you to how-to's that explain in details how to display labels in your pages.

Managing Labels

Each conversation has its own set of labels that you can manage completely.

Go to "/yourSite/admin/conversations/yourSite/labels"

The screen has two sections, Preferences and Labels.


These preferences let you define who is allowed to set messages' label, and who is allowed to see them.

  • Editors
    Only the conversation admin(s) and a group of editors can set the label of a message. This popup menu lets you define this group of editors.
  • Viewers
    From here, you may choose who will see the labels: only admins and editors, or everyone.


This table displays the labels that exists in this conversation, and allows you to create/edit/delete them.

  • Delete
    The checkboxes in this column allow you to delete existing labels. Check the box of the labels you want to delete and click on "Delete Checked". You'll be prompted to confirm.
  • Position
    The label's position is used in message listings (such as the DG Calendar pages or the search results), when the listing is sorted by Label. Label positions are unique (that is you cannot have two labels with the same position in a same conversation).
  • Name
    The label's name may be anything you want. It doesn't even have to be unique (but that would certainly make things easier). It will be used in the popup menus that allow you to set messages' labels, and it may be displayed or not in the listing or DG messages (depending on the macros you call from the templates - see Setting-Up Labels).
  • Access
    The label's access lets you define the minimum access right required to see the messages with that label. It may be set to "Everyone", "Members" or "Editors" (conversation admins will always see all the messages).
  • Color
    This color will be used when displaying labels in DG messages or listings. By default labels will appear as a colored blocks (see Setting-Up Labels for how to change the way they're displayed).
  • Text
    This is the color that will be used for the label's name, when it's displayed over the label's colored blocks.
  • Prev
    This preview lets you check the label's color, the text color, and how they fit together.


When you create a new label, you may set the position it will have. It defaults to the next position, but you can set it to anything else. When you do so, though, you don't have to change the position of existing labels. Their position will be updated automatically when you'll click on "Add".

That's the same when you delete one or several labels: you don't have to change the position of the remaining labels. They'll be updated automatically.

However, when you edit the labels positions, you must make sure there are no duplicated positions. If several labels are set to the same position, the names and colors will be saved, but not the positions.

Important: When you delete a label, the label attribute of all the messages that had this label will be reset to "None".

Using Labels

Setting A Message's Label

As mentioned earlier, only conversation admin(s) and label's editors who owns a message can set its label.

  • If you're the only editor in your conversation, set the "Editors" field of the Labels Preferences to [None].
  • If you have several editors in your conversation, and if you want to allow them to set messages' labels, enter the name of their group in the "Editors" field.
  • If you want every user to be able to set his/her messages' label, set the "Editors" field to "All_Members".

Once you're a conversation admin or an editor, you'll see a popup menu in the edit screen of DG messages. This popup menu will contain the name of each label in this conversation, sorted depending on their position attribute. That's how admins and editors set the label of a message.

Now, there are two different main ways to use the labels: You can identify and/or hide DG messages.

Identifiying Messages

Here, identifying messages means have a way to identify them visually and to narrow the searches.

You may choose to give the benefit of these features to:

  • only your site's admins and editors
  • all your users

If you choose to show the labels only to admin and editors (by checking "Editors" in the "Viewers" field of the Preferences), guests and non-editor members won't see the labels. They'll see the labels column of the DG Calendar page, for example, but they'll see it empty. Also, they won't see the labels popup menu in the query form.

If you choose to show the labels to everyone (by checking "Everyone" in the "Viewers" field of the prefs), everyone, guests included, will see the labels. Also, everyone will see the Labels popup menu in the query form (but its content will depend on the access rights of the user and your current settings. See below).

Hiding Messages

Hiding messages is different than hiding labels as we saw above. Whether the labels are visible or not to the users, you may hide some messages so only members and admins/editors (or only admins/editors) will see them.

For example, maybe you use the randomizer macro (as we do on Conversant Home Page to display random quotes in the left side column). In this case, you have a message that contains the snippets of HTML that are picked up randomly. But this "utility" message doesn't have to be public. Give it a label whose access is "Editors", and presto, you're the only one to see it (along with the other possible admins and editors, of course).

Another example: you need a message that will be seen by the members of your site but not by the guests. It's child's play: just give it a label whose access is "Members".

Note that a message which is set to be hidden to a user will be hidden to this user everywhere: he/she won't see the message in the DG Calendar pages, nor in the Topics and the Full Thread pages; he/she won't see it in the result of a search and will get a 404 (page not found) error when requesting the message itself. Also, this message won't be emailed to this user if he/she is set to get DG messages by email, and won't be visible to him/her in the news-group interface.

Also, if you set a label's access to "Admins", for example, and if you've set the labels to be visible to "Everyone", a guest wouldn't see that label in the query form's Labels popup menu.

Labels Legend

This simple macro allows you to display a Labels Legend box showing the label's names and colors. This legend will be viewable by the people that are allowed to see labels (as defined in Labels Preferences), and these users will see only the labels they're allowed to see. Finally, conversation admins and label's editors will also see the access level of each label.

Viewed by an admin
Viewed by a guest

This macro may be called from any page or template in a conversation, like this:


The labels Legend has two templates that allow you to define how it looks, Labels Legend Main Template and Labels Legend Item Template.

These templates are located at:


Labels Legend Main Template

This template is used to draw the box itself.


There's only one macro call in this template, and it's required.

  • labelsLegendContent
    This will be replaced with the content of the legend. Required

Labels Legend Item Template

Each label displayed in the legend passes thru this template.


Here are the macros you may call from this template:

  • labelCellStyle
    This macro is intended to be called from inside a <td> tag. It will set the bgcolor of this cell to the label's color.
  • labelColor
    This will simply be replaced with the label's color. Use it if you don't want to use a table to draw the labels legend.
  • labelTextStyle
    This is intended to be called from a <font> tag, or from a <span style='...'> tag. This will be replaced with "color=" + the label's text color (or with "" if there's no text color defined.)
  • labelTextColor
    This will simply be replaced with the label's text color. Use it if you want another way to set the text color than labelTextStyle.
  • labelName
    This will be replaced with the label's name.

More Infos

If you have problems or questions, feel free to post a message on the support site

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