Skip to Main Content
Research Guides

Manifold Guide: Design, Layout, and Customization of a Project

Customizing Your Project

To edit the design and layout of your Manifold project, log in to Manifold, enter Admin Mode, and select your project from the list of Projects on the left side of the screen. This will take you to a project “Analytics” page, where you can see additional menu options on the left hand side of the screen. Begin by customizing settings on the Properties, Layout, and Access menus.


  1. At the top of your screen you can view and edit the “Title” and optional “Subtitle” for your project.
  2. The "Publication Date” field will automatically update when you publish your project.
  3. Customize your project a “SLUG,” or short URL, to make sharing your project easier. For example, if you set your slug to “Bob-manifold-project,” the URL for your project will read: Your SLUG can be edited as needed, however, if you change your SLUG after publishing your project’s URL, people with the old URL will not be able to find your project.
  4. Select a “Thumbnail” for your project. This image will appear next to your project title. The left-most box displays your current Thumbnail image, which defaults to a Manifold icon with glasses. You can change the color of this default Manifold icon by selecting a Background Color from the middle box, or you can upload a custom Thumbnail image in the right-most box.
  5. In the “Taxonomy” section, you can choose Subjects and Tags from drop-down menus. These are not necessary, but can be used to pull multiple projects into a series, and allow for more searchability on the Manifold project home page.
  6. Under "Presentation,” the only important setting is the first: Draft Mode. Keep your project in Draft Mode (toggled green) as you load and edit materials. When in Draft Mode, only those with editing permission (discussed under Access) will be able to view, edit, and annotate texts in your project. When you toggle out of Draft Mode, your project will be published.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the Properties page to edit your projects “Restrictions.” You can choose to disable or enable public commenting and annotations on your project.
  8. Save your edits by clicking the “Save Project” button at the bottom of the screen.


Hero Block: The options under “Hero Block” allow you to customize the visuals and content on the top half of your project’s landing page. Click the “pencil” icon on the right-hand side of each of the three items under Hero Block to edit them. You can view your layout as you make changes by clicking the “View” icon in the shape of an eye, underneath your project title at the top of the page.

  1. "Description + Images,” under Hero Block, allows you to enter a project description blurb, a background image that will be displayed at the top of your project landing page, and a cover image that will appear over the background image. Dark mode changes the background of your landing page to a light gray. Be sure to credit your images, and click save.
  2. "Calls to Action” allow you to add buttons and links that take users to internal or external resources associated with your project. Click the plus sign to add a button or link where you would like it to appear (right or left side of your landing page). You can click the plus sign multiple times for each location. When you click the plus sign, enter the details of your call to action into the pop out menu. Under “Type” you can select from a drop down menu that includes an option for users to download a resource. Use the Visibility dropdown menu to change the visibility settings to either Always Visible, Visible Only When Authorized, or Visible Only When Unauthorized. The first option is the most accessible one, while the second option is good for restricting users. The third option is good for when you want to give a brief preview of your project to unauthorized users. Click save in the pop-out menu before returning to the Hero Block page.
  3. "Social Links" allows you to connect social media accounts and hashtags to your Manifold project. Click the “pencil” logo to edit, enter your account ID’s or hashtags into the pop-out menu, and hit save within the pop-out menu before returning to the Hero Block page.


Content Blocks: Add and re-organize content blocks to build the rest of your Manifold project page. Under “Blocks” you can add new types of content to your page by clicking the plus sign. Under “Layout” you can drag and drop to rearrange your content blocks, and hide them by clicking the “eye” icon. Click and hold on the equals sign on the far right side of each content block to change its order in the layout. Projects can contain multiple Markdown, Table of Contents, and Texts blocks, while the Metadata, Recent Activity, and Resources blocks can only appear once. Preview your changes by clicking the “View” icon in the shape of an eye, underneath your project title at the top of the page.

  1. Markdown: Use to add text blocks, which can be formatted using Markdown (see this Markdown guide).
  2. Table of Contents: Select a text whose table of contents you would like displayed and linked on your home page.
  3. Texts: This block will display texts you have uploaded to your Manifold project.
  4. Metadata, Recent Activity, and Resources will automatically update when you add this information further in your setup.


Under "Editor Permissions,” you can grant editing access to other Manifold users. Click the “Grant editor permissions” button, and type the user’s name into the drop down menu that appears. Use the toggle buttons to select what permissions to grant each user you add. Users must already have a Manifold reader account. This is the way to add contributing authors, editors, and students to your project. For more details on permissions, check out the Manifold GitHub page.

"Project Entitlements” relates to controlling access if you wish to restrict your content behind a paywall. You do not need to adjust this setting.