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Create user groups and quickly set page security

7 May

Earlier this year we surveyed the top 100 educators on PBworks and asked them how we could make their workspace even better. The number one request was USER GROUPS!  Specifically people wanted to easily add the same group of users to a page or folder and make it easier to set page security.

dianemain:  I currently have my students change their display names to include graduation year and to take out full last names (so, for example, Joe Student graduating this year would become “2010 Joe S.”).

It would be great if I could put them into groups and then be able to add or remove groups of students to/from a folder instead of having to add/remove them all manually at the start and end of the school year.

Well – we listened!  Today we’re pleased to announce that all premium workspaces can create user groups.

Premium workspaces have custom security.  This allows them share pages with specific users, and hide that content from all other users.  Now you can assign page and folder-level access using the groups that you create. Here’s how:

First, place each user in a group.

Next, add the user group to set page-level access.

This feature rounds out our improvements to the user panel – now all premium workspaces can easily add groups of users to pages, and with the recent security improvements, immediately know what your users can see, and edit.

Coming Soon – Nested Folders

13 Apr

We’re pleased to announce that all users of PBworks will soon have access to nested folders. This means that soon you will be able to place a folder inside of another folder.

This has been one the the top requests from users and we’re excited to release this feature to our entire user base  – including free users!

The PBworks Security Model

Nested Folders is deceptively simple feature, particularly with premium workspaces that have folder level permissions.

Placing a folder inside a parent folder works exactly the same as placing a page inside a folder.  If a folder has no security controls, it will adopt the security controls on the ‘parent’ folder. If the folder has specific security controls, they will override those set by the ‘parent’ folder.

As always, the more specific security controls override those more general controls.

Learn more about PBworks Nested Folders and Folder Security.

PBworks – Iterative Development at it's Best

12 Apr

This spring the PBworks team has been on fire – have you noticed?

In just the past month our small team has released a brand new editor, advanced workspace security, a new users panel and navigation changes that (finally) help people unearth their uploaded content.

Not only that! Many people don’t see the extensive website work, or the bugs that our Gentleman of Quality fearlessly roots out and rips apart.

We work hard and release new features every week.

For folks interested in seeing what a week at PBworks actually looks like, check out our Engineering Release Log.

This is a behind the scenes look at what we work on every week – including some work for features that aren’t out yet.  Enjoy!

Huge Security Improvements for Premium Workspaces

5 Apr

We are pleased to release a set of improvements that will make it much easier to understand what your users can see, and edit.

On basic workspaces all creators have to option to add users, and set workspace-wide permission.  This means that you can add an editor to your workspace, and that editor can make changes to every page.

Many of you need more flexible access controls – not all users should be able to view or edit every page.  That’s why premium workspaces have advanced access controls, allowing the administrator to lock pages, hide pages and even set specific access controls on each page.

Until now it’s been difficult to understand which users have access to what pages and what those users can view.  With this release, the security improvements give administrators a much better idea of what each user can see and who can view each page.

What can a user see?

On the new users panel we’re introducing a better way to view a users profile.  Click on a users name to view their email, location and profile. If your users panel is visible, all users can view this information.

Administrators have the option to view what content users can view.   When administrators click  “What can this user see”, they will see a list of all the folders, pages and files that the user has access to.


Who can see this page?

Not only will you have better visibility into what your users can see, you will also be able to understand which users have access to specific pages.  Click on the link that says “control access to this page” to view who can see and edit the page.

Here’s what our customers have to say:

Wow!!!! This is exactly what was missing. I am so looking forward to these updates!!!!
– Eduardo

New workspace editor live this week

29 Mar

Earlier this month we announced upcoming changes to your workspace editor including, improved formatting, easier bulleting and more accurate pasting from Word.

This week the new editor will be rolled out to all remaining users.

Thanks to your feedback and lots of hard work by BK2, this update has seriously improved the performance and reliability of the workspace editor.

Here’s what customers have to say:

“I absolutely love “Save & Continue” and the reduced amount of formatting code being imported along with Word docs. I spend far too much time cleaning up code for my users who can’t re-format after uploading”  -Barbara

“One new thing I really like is the option to save and continue. I also like the new feature for editing already posted links. The are both very nice. Thank you.” – Susan

Enhancements to your Users Panel

18 Mar

As the list of users on your workspace grows, it can become difficult to locate the user information that you’re looking for.

Today we’re pleased to announce a new user panel that makes it easier to locate users.  Instead of searching through many, many pages of names, now you can find the person you want.  You can now located users in many ways:

  • Sort by first and last name
  • Filter by email, name and permission level
  • Order based on last log in

By default this user list is available only to the administrator of the workspace.With this enhancement you can chose to share the users list with all the users on your workspace (only workspace users will see the users list).  This makes it easier for users to find workspace administrators, contact each other, and network outside of your workspace.

To expose your users list to other users go to Workspace Security and chose “Let workspace users see the Users Tab”.

Coming soon – New Editor

5 Mar

At PBworks we keep track of all those support questions and feature requests that we receive from millions of users. Over time we noticed a pattern of frustration.  The number one support request has consistently been, PLEASE FIX YOUR EDITOR!

Some of the things that you brought to our attention have been:

  • Bullet points and numbering are funky
  • Spacing and formatting are difficult
  • Tables frustrate the living daylights out of me!

We totally agree.  That’s why super-engineer BK2 spent the last six months building a faster, smarter, better editor. With this new editor it will be much easier to create lists, add tables and link images.  Pages will load faster.  Paragraphs will consistently maintain their formatting.  Life will be a better place.

This is what the old editor looked like:


This is what the new tool bar will look like:

New features include the ability to create strike-through text.  Also on educator workspaces, you can now create sub-script and super-script font.

There aren’t many changes to the tool bar, but there are a lot of changes to how the editor works. Here are a few things you will notice:

Linking –  Just click a link and you’ll have the option of changing its URL or removing the link.

Tables – It’s now easier to insert a table AND format the column/cell/row.

Color – Now when you highlight a word, we save that color so you can apply it more than once.

Pasting from word – What you paste from word, we now remove more of the Word source code – which means you can edit and re-format your content.

Tell us what you think in the comments, or just leave a note for super-engineer BK2!

Navigation Improvements are Live!

18 Feb

Last week we mentioned that navigation changes were coming soon.

Today we’re excited to launch a better way to navigate your workspace! Now it’s easier for you – and your users – to find key features like uploaded files, get in touch with other users and locate tasks and milestones (for Business Edition).

We made a few tweaks based on your earlier feedback and rest assured we’re keeping all your desires in mind.

With these improvements, we wanted to:

  • Tie your workspaces together and make moving between them easy
  • Make navigation within your workspace clear and simple
  • Highlight common and popular actions and bring them into easy reach

These changes are available now. To see them log into your workspace, or take a look at these screenshots from a sample standalone and business edition workspace.

For more details, check out our usermanual.

Standalone Workspace Navigation:

Standalone Workspace

Business Edition Network Workspace:

Network Workspace

Details about the navigation:

On stand-alone workspaces, the breadcrumbs allow you to navigate directly to your personal list of workspaces (also listed on your my.pbworks.com page), and view the list of workspaces that you have recently used.

On networked workspaces, the breadcrumbs allow you to navigate to your network dashboard and to the the workspaces that you have recently used.



These workspace tabs allow you to access the front page of your wiki, quickly navigate to your uploaded files and administrators will be able to view their settings. These features act the same, only the navigation has changed. If a user does not have access to your uploaded files, they will not be able to view the list of files on your workspace.

What do you think about these improvements? Tell us in the comments.

Coming Soon: Host a Conference Call from your Workspace

9 Feb

At Enterprise 2.0 we announced our Real Time Collaboration update, integrating chat and live broadcasting on all Business Edition networks. Today we’re excited to introduce the final part of the real time update – Voice Collaboration.

Voice Collaboration is the fastest and easiest way to set up a conference call with vendors, clients and colleagues.  There is no need to set up an external conference line, instead place a call and add participants from your workspace.

Voice collaboration will be available on all Business Edition networks soon.

Here’s how to create a conference call in two steps:

1.  Choose Voice Collaboration on the bottom right of your workspace.

2. Add conference call participants – you can add existing users or enter a phone number. Now start your conference call.

It’s that easy!  Now you can host a conference call while streaming live edits and chatting on IM all from one place. Voice Collaboration will be available on all Business Edition networks soon.

“You’ve done it again.  Intuitive functionality, tight integration, and affordability.  Team members or clients are directed to a workspace page, the call is launched and collaboration begins… It’s single-button functionality that accelerates team collaboration.”

–Tracy Campbell, CEO, Simplicated LLC.

PBworks Presenter Packs are Back!

8 Feb

Do you present about technology and show others how to use a wiki?

For you thousands of presenters, we’ve developed materials that make your job easier – the PBwiki Presenter Pack. This is a free virtual presentation guide that include videos, how-to guides, AND three free premium wikis!

Who can apply for a PBworksPresenter Pack? This program is designed specifically for educators, and instructional technologists.

Already over 3,000 people have applied for and received their free wikis. If you’re presenting at an upcoming conference, apply for your presenter pack today!