Site Structure It! - Advanced File Handling.


This is an explanation of how Site Structure It! (SSI) uses files to help you define and work with your structure.

There are two types of files that SSI uses. The CSV file exported from your MKL and the STR file that SSI uses to store the tier structure you define.

CSV Files.

A CSV file is a 'Comma Seperated Values' file. It is a simple text file that contains a number of rows of data with each row containing values separated by commas. It is NOT an Excel file. If you have Excel installed on your PC then Excel will associate the CSV file type with itself because Excel can handle CSV files but it is still just a plain old text file with comma separated values in it.

The CSV file is created when you export your keywords from your Master Keyword List (MKL). The file is usually saved as 'keywords.csv' in whichever directory you choose or the default download directory set for your broswer.

An important note about the CSV files is the fact that they are never altered by SSI. No matter what you do with your structure, all of that information is stored in the STR file not the CSV. The CSV is never changed.

The STR file.

An STR file is a file that contains the saved information about your tier structure, the keywords mapped to the tier pages and the notes entered for the tier pages.

The STR file is saved in a proprietary format that only SSI understands. It is not usable by any other program such as Excel and should not be edited or changes in any way other than by use of SSI.

Opening Files with Site Structure It!

Hopefully now it should be clear that when you open your keywords file (the CSV file) if your tier structure displays as well then something extra has happened. You only opened one file (the CSV) but the tier structure was loaded as well which is in a separate STR file.

The answer is pretty simple. To save time for the user SSI tries to be clever when you open a file.

If both of the files are named the same, for example ‘marching bands.csv’ and ‘marching bands.str’ then if you open either the CSV or STR SSI will find the other one and open it as well.

If you name the files differently, for example ‘keywords.csv’ and ‘marching bands.str’ then there will be no way for SSI to automatically understand that they are related and should both be opened together.

This may seem odd at first but it is done to give you flexibility. If you name STR and CSV files the same and keep them in the same directory then they will always open together, if you name them separately or place them in different directories then you can use the same keyword file with many STR files and try different structures for your site.

If you have trouble opening your Structure you created then it's possible you have the MKL saved as ‘keywords.csv’ and have saved your structure as ‘something.str’.

In this case just open the CSV file as normal and then click 'Open' again and select 'Structure Files' from the drop down at the bottom of the open dialog. Now select the structure file you saved and click open and you will have your structure open and ready to work on.