At Adobe Summit 2015, Irina Guseva and Cedric Huesler hosted a session titled "What’s New in AEM Sites 6.1: Top 10 Hottest Features."

The first feature on their list of 10 is “Are We There Yet?” and describes features that have been added to AEM’s Touch-Optimized UI.  The techniques available in 6.1 make it significantly faster and easier for content authors to navigate, search, and edit pages in their sites.  AEM’s Touch-Optimized UI was first introduced in AEM 5.6.0 and then extended in 6.0. 

Here are the three new time-saving features in 6.1’s Touch-Optimized UI:

1. Use arrow keys to select pages in Siteadmin > Columns view

In the Touch-Optimized UI, go to the siteadmin (http://localhost:4502/sites.html/content) and choose a site or page.  Click the area in the upper right-hand corner click where it says “Card View”.  Click again to toggle to Column View.  Click any page shown in the columns and then you can use the keyboard arrow keys to navigate through other pages.  This allows authors to quickly and easily navigate through pages.

The same can be done with Assets (http://localhost:4502/assets.html/content/dam) after selecting Column View.  Highlight different pages by using the arrow keys.

Arrow Key Navigation

2. Save searches for quick lookup

Searches can now be saved for quicker content access.  Go to the siteadmin and navigate to a page or website (e.g., http://localhost:4502/sites.html/content/geometrixx-outdoors/en).  Search by keyword, location, and/or tags and hit Enter to see the results.  

Saving a search

Once you have the results you want, select Save and give the search filter a title to save the search.  The next time you search in AEM, you can select from your previous saved search. It appears that in order to save successfully, the search must be under /en or another language.  

Saved Search Confirmation 

3. Edit page properties of multiple pages

Adding a tag to a series of pages, one by one, can be very time-consuming.  In 6.1 (where it makes sense to do so) we can now configure multiple pages and edit their properties simultaneously.

Bulk editing is:

  • only available in the Touch-Optimized UI
  • only available for pages with the same resource type, and
  • not available for pages within a live copy.

If you want to bulk edit pages, they must be explicitly enabled in CRXDE.  If this requirement and the three above are not met, View Properties will not be shown as an option when multiple pages are selected.  Go to http://localhost:4502/crx/de/index.jsp, or click Tools > CRXDE Lite in the main left navigation.

In CRXDE, go to the page component (not the template, but the component), select its cq:dialog and add an attribute allowBulkEdit.  This is a Boolean and its value will be true.  As an example, I used this page component:


cq:dialog is a Touch-Optimized dialog, whereas dialog is a Classic dialog node.  More on the essential differences between Touch and Classic nodes here

This instructional article points out that in the out-of-the-box CRXDE, this /libs/ node happens to have bulk editing enabled:

/libs/foundation/components/page > cq:dialog/content/items/tabs/items/basic/items/column/items/onofftime/items/ondate

As the developer may already know, changes should never be made directly to anything under /libs/, but rather under /apps/, as /apps/ automatically overrides /libs/. 

If the pages have the same resource type, are viewed in the Touch-Optimized UI, and are not labeled Live Copy in the siteadmin, the author can select multiple pages and click …More > View Properties to perform bulk editing.

Bulk Editing Page Metadata 

When editing multiple pages, take note of mixed values.  If the fields of the individual pages or assets that are selected vary, they will not be shown in the bulk editing view; instead you will see blank fields. You can add a placeholder, for example “<Mixed Values>”, to prevent those fields from being blank.  This can be done by changing the existing JSP – see the heading “Defining An Indicator For Mixed Value".

Bulk editing can be done for Assets as well as Pages, in a similar way. This article has the complete details.