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Users, Authors & Group Permissions

This guide runs through what Users, Authors & Permissions are, and how they are used within the application.

Authors & Users
These two words are interchangeable. Author is more often used for someone who submits articles to your website, while a user can be anyone who has login access (including the Website Administrator). There is a default User Group (explained below) called 'Author' which assigns users the permissions to post an article and blog from the public area. When creating any content type, you assign an 'Author' to it which is used to keep track of who authored that item but they can be any user, not just those assigned to the 'Author' user group.

Non-Interactive Users
Non-interactive users are authors that do not have a username or password and thus can not sign in. This is a useful feature in situations where the author of the content being posted is never going to login, but you still need to attribute the content to them (such as when republishing an article from a third party web site).

The interactive user option in the control panel's edit/create user page.

User Groups & Permissions
User Groups restrict users in what they have access to and what they are allowed to do in the control panel and public area. These are changeable via the 'User Groups' (formally 'Groups') link in the control panel. The application comes with 5 default user groups: Author, Contributor, Editor, Site Manager and System Administrator. The admin user created during the installation will automatically be placed into the System Administrator group, where they have access to everything. The System Administrator user group is not editable.

If you have author registration enabled, you can specify what the default user group for new authors will be. This option is available via the Settings page under the 'Author Settings' tab.

The default author option on the settings page.

The following image is taken from the edit page for the default 'Author' group.

Permissions are split into sections. The above image shows two such sections; 'Control Panel Articles' and 'Public Area Articles'. Within these sections there are individual permissions. If you wish to give a group all or none of the permissions in a section, you can use the checkbox next to the section title to quickly select and de-select all permissions within that section. Each permission also has a helptip associated with it that you can mouseover to find out more information about a specific permission. Changing the permissions will immediately affect all users within that group.

The above image concerns permissions for the article content type. The 'Control Panel Articles' section controls permissions relating to articles from the control panel. The 'Public Area Articles' section controls permissions for articles being posted from the Public Area of your website. Removing a permission will mean the user no longer has access to that option or action. The 'Permissions apply to all users articles' means that when checked, the above permissions (create, edit, delete, etc.) will be extended to include articles written/owned by any user. Without that option checked, the above options only apply to each user's own articles.

When editing or creating a user group, there is the option to have the permissions apply to some or all of the article categories on your website. This may be useful if you wish to limit users to posting in only certain categories. Or, if you wanted to create editors for certain categories, you could allow them special permissions just for certain categories.

Users can be placed into multiple groups. The permissions from both user groups are then combined. If one or both groups grant permission to an option or action, then the user will have that permission. If both groups disallow an option, the user will not have access to it.
Group1 Grants Permission + Group2 Denies Permission = User Granted Permission
Group1 Grants Permission + Group2 Grants Permission = User Granted Permission
Group1 Denies Permission + Group2 Denies Permission = User Denied Permission

The user group option when editing a user. This is accessible via the 'Users' link in the control panel. You can use shift-click or control-click to select multiple groups to assign this user too.

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