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The Reference component allows users to reference a different component from another page (or source) in the site and display a copy of that content on their page. When content is updated in the original location, it will also update here. Some components are ineligible for referencing, but when allowed helps CMS Authors to better provide more up-to-date content.

When to use it?

The Reference component may be used to feature related content on a page from another page in your site or another page in the CMS.

Where to use it?

The Reference component may be used in any column container in any position on a CMS page. However, the content you reference must be the same size as the container you choose to display the referenced content. For example, 2-column content will only display properly in a 2-column container. Rich text is the only exception to this rule.

Risks Associated with Referencing Content

Currently there is no way for the CMS to alert you if someone is referencing your content or to tell you when content you have referenced has been removed. If you have referenced content you did not create and the content author deletes that content, it will also be deleted from your page.

When referencing content, notify the content's author and ask that they notify you if they decide to remove it.

How to use it?

  1. Navigate to and open the desired page.
  2. Add a component.
  3. The component placeholder contains a reference (arrow) icon. Double-click on the icon or right-click and select Edit and an edit window will open allowing you to choose the location of the content you wish to reference. 
  4. To begin the selection process, click on the down arrow to open up the Select paragraph navigator window.
  5. The Select paragraph window resembles the Site Admin console's left-hand Navigation pane; the hierarchy of available content is visible within the expandable left-hand side tree. To find the content you wish to reference, navigate through the tree by clicking on the plus signs next to the various pages.
  6. Select the parent page of the section from which you wish to reference content, then choose the page on which the content appears. Any content available to reference will be displayed on the right-hand side.
  7. Select the piece of content you wish to reference. It will be highlighted in red.
  8. Click the Select button.
  9. You'll be returned to the initial Select paragraph navigator window. You'll see the full path to the location of your selected content in the Reference box.
  10. Click the OK button to save your selection. The content you selected will now be referenced in your page.

Hint: If you intend to reuse content often, create a hidden page on which you store your content and use the Reference component to reference it. This will mean when editing your content, you only have to go to a single page to do so.


Component Tutorial: Reference component

The Reference component allows you to reference any component in the CMS as long as it fits in the same column width or is allowed in the template you're using. This let's you edit your content in a single location, but change it globally.


Component Tutorial: Select paragraph directory list

Drill down through the directory list to find the page with the content you wish to reference. Remember this is just like searching for files on your local computer.


Component Tutorial: Selecting content to reference

Once you've found the page you're looking for, you'll see content components broken up into boxes on the right hand side of dialog. Scroll through until you find the content you want to reference and select it.


Component Tutorial: Path of referenced content

Once you've selected it, the path will appear in the original dropdown box.

Create a Hidden Page to Reference

When using the Reference component, making sure that you know where the original version of your content is kept is essential in managing it, especially if it's shared in multiple places throughout the NYU website.

We recommend that you create a hidden page on which to store your shareable content and use the Reference component to reference it. Then when editing your content, you only have to go to a single page.

  1. Create a new page.
  2. Double-click to open the page.
  3. In the Sidekick, select the Page tab.
  4. Select Page Properties.
  5. In the Basic tab, check the box marked Hide in Navigation. This will hide the page in the navigation. You will be able to see the page in your Site Admin console, but the page will not appear in the gray navigation bar within the NYU website.
  6. Add components to your page to reference (Rich Text, Image, Table, Promos, Video, etc). Please note the column width of the content you wish to reference as it is a restriction when referencing. For example, 2-column content can only fit in a 2-column space when referenced. Rich text is the only exception to this rule.
  7. Once the page is hidden and you've put in your content, use the Reference component or have others use the Reference component to share your content.



Tutorial: Hidden Page

By default, the Hide in Navigation box is not checked. Check the box to hide your page.

Component Tutorials

Still need help?

To report an issue with using components, please contact the IT Service Desk:


Reference Known Bugs


CMS page containing a referenced component yields a layout error on the live NYU website and the referenced content does not appear.


This occurs when a referenced component has changed location on its original page. The path to referenced content includes the column location of the original component within the page and so any alternation to that location will create an error. In order to fix this, recreate the path to the component by completing steps 3-10 again.


YouTube videos inserted into pages through the Video Player component are not able to be referenced on other pages.


Instead of referencing the video, insert a new Video Player component on that page.

Updated December 2015

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