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Creating New Files

An integral aspect of content management is the ability to create new content. To create new content files with Tina, you will need to configure and register content-creator plugins with the CMS.

Currently, Tina provides content-creator plugins for both Markdown and JSON files in Gatsby projects. Once registered, actions from these content-creator plugins are accessible from the sidebar menu. If you have an idea for a new content-creator plugin, consider contributing!

content-creator-plugin-tinacms

General steps


  1. Add a content-creator plugin
  2. Register the plugin with Tina
  3. Configure how content is created by:

    • Formatting the filename and path
    • Providing default data (front matter, Markdown, or JSON)

Prerequisites

1. Add Content-Creator Plugin

There are two content-creator plugins to use with Gatsby.

  • RemarkCreatorPlugin: Constructs a content-creator plugin for Markdown files.
interface RemarkCreatorPlugin{
     label: string
     fields: Field[]
     filename(form: any): Promise<string>
     frontmatter?(form: any): Promise<any>
     body?(form: any): Promise<string>
}
  • JsonCreatorPlugin: contstructs a content-creator plugin for JSON files.
interface JsonCreatorPlugin {
  label: string
  fields: Field[]
  filename(form: any): Promise<string>
  data?(form: any): Promise<any>
}

These classes need to be instantiated with at least these three things:

  • label: A simple action label displayed when users interact with the + button in the sidebar.
  • filename: A function whose return value should be the path to the new file.
  • fields: An array of field objects. Read more on field definitions.

Markdown Example

import { RemarkCreatorPlugin } from 'gatsby-tinacms-remark'

const CreatePostPlugin = new RemarkCreatorPlugin({
  label: 'New Blog Post',
  filename: form => {
    return form.filename
  },
  fields: [
    {
      name: 'filename',
      component: 'text',
      label: 'Filename',
      placeholder: 'content/blog/hello-world/index.md',
      description: 'The full path to the new Markdown file, relative to the repository root.',
    },
  ],
})

The createRemarkButton function is deprecated as of gatsby-tinacms-remark: 0.4.0. This is a function that served the same purpose as the RemarkCreatorPlugin class. Below is an example of createRemarkButton in use.

import { createRemarkButton } from 'gatsby-tinacms-remark'

/*
 ** Deprecated — gatsby-tinacms-remark: 0.4.0
 ** in favor of RemarkCreatorPlugin class
 */
const CreatePostPlugin = createRemarkButton({
  label: 'Create Post',
  filename: form => {
    return form.filename
  },
  fields: [
    //...
  ],
})

JSON Example

import { JsonCreatorPlugin } from 'gatsby-tinacms-json'

const CreatePostPlugin = new JsonCreatorPlugin({
  label: 'New JSON File',
  filename: form => {
    return form.filename
  },
  fields: [
    {
      name: 'filename',
      component: 'text',
      label: 'Filename',
      placeholder: 'content/data/puppies.json',
      description: 'The full path to the new Markdown file, relative to the repository root.',
    },
  ],
})

Where To Add the Plugin

When adding a content-creator plugin, you’ll have to consider when you want this functionality available to the editor. If the component where you registered the plugin is actively rendered on the site, you will be able to add new content via the plugin.

These are some places you may want to add the plugin:

  • The Root component: it will always be available
  • A Layout component: it will always available when that Layout is used.
  • A Blog Index component: it will only be available when looking at the list of blog posts.

2. Register Plugin to Sidebar

Now that we’ve created the content-creator plugin, we need to add it to the sidebar so we can access it. When we register the plugin to the sidebar, a create-icon will show up in the sidebar menu. Keep in mind this icon will only show up when the component that registers it is rendered.

content-creator-icon

Adding the Button to the Blog Index

In this example, we will add the button to the Tina sidebar when visiting the blog index page. There are 3 steps involved:

  1. Install tinacms
  2. Import RemarkCreatorPlugin and withPlugin
  3. Create the content-creator plugin
  4. Add the plugin to the component

First, if you haven’t already, install the tinacms package.

$ yarn add tinacms || npm install --save tinacms

Example: src/pages/index.js

// 1. Import `RemarkCreatorPlugin` and `withPlugin`
import { withPlugin } from 'tinacms'
import { RemarkCreatorPlugin } from 'gatsby-tinacms-remark'

// Note: this is just an example index component.
function BlogIndex(props) {
  const { data } = props
  const posts = data.allMarkdownRemark.edges

  return (
    <Layout location={props.location}>
      {posts.map(({ node }) => {
        const title = node.frontmatter.title || node.fields.slug
        return (
          <div key={node.fields.slug}>
            <h3>
              <Link style={{ boxShadow: `none` }} to={node.fields.slug}>
                {title}
              </Link>
            </h3>
            <small>{node.frontmatter.date}</small>
            <p
              dangerouslySetInnerHTML={{
                __html: node.frontmatter.description || node.excerpt,
              }}
            />
          </div>
        )
      })}
    </Layout>
  )
}

// 2. Create the `content-creator` plugin
const CreatePostPlugin = new RemarkCreatorPlugin({
  label: 'Create Post',
  fields: [
    {
      name: 'filename',
      component: 'text',
      label: 'Filename',
      placeholder: 'content/blog/hello-world/index.md',
      description: 'The full path to the new markdown file, relative to the repository root.',
    },
  ],
  filename: form => {
    return form.filename
  },
})

// 3. Add the plugin to the component
export default withPlugin(BlogIndex, CreatePostPlugin)

NOTE: No changes need to be made to the BlogIndex component itself.

Creating Content

With the plugin in place, open TinaCMS and click the menu button in the top-left corner. The menu panel will slide into view with the button at the top.

Click the “Create Post” button and a modal will pop up. Enter the path to a new file relative to your repository root (e.g. content/blog/my-new-post.md) and then click “create”. A moment later the new post will be added to your Blog Index.

3. Customizing the Create Form

RemarkCreatorPlugin accepts a fields option, similar to Remark Form. When using a custom create form, all callback functions will receive an object containing all form data.

Example: Create Posts in Subdirectories

const CreatePostPlugin = new RemarkCreatorPlugin({
  label: 'Create Post',
  fields: [
    { name: 'section', label: 'Section', component: 'text', required: true },
    { name: 'title', label: 'Title', component: 'text', required: true },
  ],
  filename: form => {
    return `content/blog/${form.section}/${form.title}/index.md`
  },
})

4. Formatting the filename & path

The RemarkCreatorPlugin must be given a filename function that calculates the path of the new file from the form data.

Example 1: Hardcoded Content Directory

const CreatePostPlugin = new RemarkCreatorPlugin({
  label: 'Create Post',
  fields: [{ name: 'title', label: 'Title', component: 'text', required: true }],
  filename: form => `content/blog/${form.title}.md`,
})

Example 2: Content as index files

const CreatePostPlugin = new RemarkCreatorPlugin({
  label: 'Create Post',
  fields: [{ name: 'title', label: 'Title', component: 'text', required: true }],
  filename: form => `content/blog/${form.title}/index.md`,
})

Example 3: Slugify Name

The slugify package is also great for this usecase.

const CreatePostPlugin = new RemarkCreatorPlugin({
  label: 'Create Post',
  fields: [{ name: 'title', label: 'Title', component: 'text', required: true }],
  filename: form => {
    let slug = form.title.replace(/\s+/, '-').toLowerCase()

    return `content/blog/${slug}/index.md`
  },
})

5. Providing Default Front Matter

The RemarkCreatorPlugin function can be given a frontmatter function that returns the default front matter. Like the filename function, frontmatter receives the state of the form.

Example: Title + Date

const CreatePostPlugin = new RemarkCreatorPlugin({
  label: 'Create Post',
  fields: [{ name: 'title', label: 'Title', component: 'text', required: true }],
  filename: form => {
    let slug = form.title.replace(/\s+/, '-').toLowerCase()

    return `content/blog/${slug}/index.md`
  },
  frontmatter: form => ({
    title: form.title,
    date: new Date(),
  }),
})

6. Providing a Default Body

The RemarkCreatorPlugin function can be given a body function that returns the default Markdown body. Like the previous two functions, body receives the state of the form.

Example: Title + Date

const CreatePostPlugin = new RemarkCreatorPlugin({
  label: 'Create Post',
  fields: [{ name: 'title', label: 'Title', component: 'text', required: true }],
  filename: form => {
    let slug = form.title.replace(/\s+/, '-').toLowerCase()

    return `content/blog/${slug}/index.md`
  },
  body: form => `This is a new blog post. Please write some content.`,
})

Deleting Files

When you need to provide the option of deleting files in a Gatsby site, the config is much simpler. Instead of adding a creator plugin to the sidebar, all we need to do is pass a delete action to the form options object and the ‘action’ will be added to the sidebar.

Head to the template file where you may have a Tina form setup. Read more on setting up forms for content editing with remark or JSON. First, you’ll need to import the DeleteAction from gatsby-tinacms-remark. Then, in your form options object just before the field definitions, add the action.

import { remarkForm, DeleteAction } from 'gatsby-tinacms-remark'

const BlogTemplateOptions = {
  actions: [ DeleteAction ],
  fields: [
    //...
  ],
}

These form options then get passed to the RemarkForm higher-order component, as seen in this example. With the DeleteAction now passed to the form, you’ll be able to access it via the three-dot icon in the lower right-hand corner of the sidebar.

tinacms-delete-action-example