You will be working with four stages of a ZippySlots template.
On this tool page you will:
1. Paste your template in the top window and add ZippySlots tags to it.
2. MAKE the ZippySlots template code in the bottom window.
This is the code you will save and use at home.
The preview screen will show what you will be using at home:
3. See what a ZippySlots template looks like with slots in place.
That is where you can use your slots to change data for your auction.
4. Preview what the actual auction template will look like with the
substituted words, and generate the plain HTML code for your auction.
You can bounce between the screens and add more tags in the top box as needed until you get just the template you want.
There is a one step "undo" in the top window for reversing tags immediately after adding them.
We recommend you just play around with a template a little before seriously tagging your first template.
When ready, start over with your real template. The Save button will download the tagged ZippySlots HTML file to your computer.
What can be tagged:
Only text or complete HTML tag sets (start through end) should be tagged with a slot.
Slots can't be used for attributes inside a tag (like width=200) because HTML tags can't be inserted within an HTML tag.
A complete script, including the script tags, could be slotted, but be aware that any required
quotes and apostrophes may be compromised, thus disabling the script.
Wildcards are set in slots outside of the code window.
Every instance of a particular word or phrase can be replaced,
wherever it occurs in the template, by using a global wildcard replacement.
This makes it convenient to set up seller links and buttons with a specific user id
or to set the base URL or folder name for images.
Wildcards can be used for attributes, but the ZippySlots markup may not display correctly
if the wildcard is not a recognized HTML/CSS attribute.
Wildcard replacements will be made before the ZippySlots are substituted.
An editing box allows you to enter a large amount of text, such as an item description.
The box can easily hold whole chunks of HTML as well, so this would be the approach to take
if entire blocks of text might be omitted from an auction. The text or code that is highlighted
when the slot is applied in the tool is the code that will appear in the editing box when first viewed for editing.
An editing box is also the place to add image galleries, flash objects, and entire image lists.
An bullet box allows you to enter a list, or lines of text, to create a bullet list.
Each new line will be a new bullet. Avoid using blank lines in the box as those would create extra bullets.
The editing line doesn't allow you to add more than a single line of code.
The purpose of providing a single-line slot is to maintain the integrity of image codes,
which might sometimes break if allowed to wrap across multiple lines. Because of its size,
this slot is also very handy for adding titles to a template.
The text or code that is highlighted when the slot is applied in the tool is the code that
will appear in the editing box when first viewed for editing. Note that if you highlight
multi-line code, only the first line will appear in the slot and the rest will be lost.
An editing word slot displays inline with the surrounding text, so you can see it in context.
It works best for just a word or two because you can't see more than that in the slot.
However, it is no more or less limited than the edit line above.
The option list works a little differently from the other slots. The highlighted text won't appear in the box.
Instead, what you create as the option list in the popup dialog is what will display in the ZippySlots page as a dropdown list.
All items to appear in the list must be separated with vertical | bars when you create them in the popup window.
The vertical bar (pipe) symbol is on the same key with the backslash "\".
The popup dialog only allows one long continuous line of information,
so if you premake your list ahead of time and paste it into the popup dialog,
be sure it runs on as a single line.
Wildcards (also called variables or global replacements)
are special characters or words that you place in your text
so that they can be found and then replaced with text of your choosing.
You can use the same wildcard phrase many times in your template and use only one
Wildcard slot to replace that phrase everywhere it occurs in your template.
Be careful to use unique phrases so that normal text or attributes won't be overwritten.
The replacement is not case sensitive.
For instance, if you have two selling IDs and want to use the same template for both of them,
you might code all your links with a wildcard called seller_id.
Then fill in the Wildcard slot with that special wildcard phrase to find,
and a separate notation reminding yourself what the slot is for.
If you want to present a set of specific substitutions for a wildcard, consider a dropdown list.
To create a dropdown list, enter your "find" word or phrase, a vertical bar, and then each possible substitution, separated by vertical bars.
In the adjoining field, enter your instructions to make it clear what this list is for.
How To Work with:
To create removable rows of data, provide a word slot for every cell in the row so that all the cells can be emptied.
When all cells in one row are empty, the row will usually collapse.
A sample image can be placed in the code and can then be highlighted for tagging. It will appear in the user slot.
To show where an image will be, add another full image tag as a placeholder in the comment popup.
The placeholder image will display on the ZippySlots page, but not on the final template.
When using the ZippySlots page, the image tag that appears in the editing slot can be edited with the desired image,
or it can be removed and no image will appear.
Option lists make it easier to specify minor details that might differ across listings.
Just about any text can be in the lists, but you'll want to keep each list to short phrases or single words.
Make a list of colors, sizes, item condition, electrical specs, images, configurations, etc.
You can also create a blank item in the list and use that option for omitting a section of text.
Just use two vertical || bars together,
and the item between the empty bars (nothing) will be an option.
To add "nothing" to the start or end of the list, start or end the list with a | bar.
Buttons & Links:
Wildcards simplify the customization of eBay buttons and links because
the seller name can be added as a wildcard field in every link in the template;
and they can all be replaced at once using a single global wildcard replacement slot.
Scripts, Flash, Forms:
There are some template elements that can interfere with your ZipplySlots,
but those are no longer allowed by eBay.
In general, ZippySlots will work best with basic templates.
When using your ZippySlots template on your own computer at home, Microsoft's XP and Vista computers may issue
a security warning asking if you want to allow scripts to run on your machine. This is perfectly normal when you
are accessing a local web page on your own computer instead of accessing it on the Internet.
Because this is your own trusted auction template, you can click the option to ignore the warning and continue editing.
Need more control than this tool offers? Try Tagbot,
the free Windows desktop program, or the online version of Web TagBot.
Provide a simple form-filler markup page for your clients.
Converting a template to a ZippySlots template will allow your customers to work directly
with the code you provide them, without any other support software.
and the code does not require an online connection
except to access images and backgrounds that may already be in your template.
While the level of slotting is rudimentary and is limited to text and whole chunks of HTML,
this is probably the largest area of demand for form fillers.
Designers may use and distribute the ZippySlots code that is generated by this tool,
but may not copy or distribute this online tool.
If you need even more control over the editable fields, or need more global variables or optional sections, you may want to look into free TagBot.
Tagbot is a desktop program that runs on Windows computers and allows you to tag plain text, HTML tags, or HTML/CSS attributes for user editing.
Both designer and user would download the free program. The designer would tag the template using the TagBot program,
and the user would read the template in TagBot, which would display the editing fields and generate standard HTML output.