Variations - Authoring Fragment Content

Last update: 2023-05-03
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AEM 6.4 has reached the end of extended support and this documentation is no longer updated. For further details, see our technical support periods. Find the supported versions here.


Some Content Fragment functionality requires the application of AEM 6.4 Service Pack 2 ( or later.

Variations are a significant feature of content fragments, as they allow you to create and edit copies of the master content for use on specific channels, and/or scenarios.

From the Variations tab you can:

Perform a range of other actions depending on the data-type being edited; for example:


After a fragment has been published and/or referenced, AEM will display a warning when an author opens the fragment for editing again. This is to warn that changes to the fragment will affect the referenced pages as well.

Authoring your Content

When you open your content fragment for editing, the Variations tab will be open by default. Here you can author the content, for Master or any variations you have. You can:

For example:

  • Editing a simple fragment

    A simple fragment consists of one multi-line text field (visual assets can be added from the full-screen editor).


  • Editing a fragment with structured content

    A structured fragment contains various fields, of various data-types, that were defined in the content model. For any multi-line fields the full-screen editor is available.


Full-Screen Editor

When editing a multi-line text field you can open the full-screen editor:


The full-screen editor provides:


The following actions are also available (for all the formats) when the full-screen editor (i.e. multi-line text) is open:


The options for editing multi-line text depend on the format selected:

The format can be selected when the full-screen editor.

Rich Text

Rich text editing allows you to format:

  • Bold

  • Italic

  • Underline

  • Alignment: left, center, right

  • Bulleted list

  • Numbered list

  • Indentation: increase, decrease

  • Create/Break hyperlinks

  • Open the full-screen editor, where the following formatting options are available:

The actions are also accessible from the full-screen editor.

Plain Text

Plain Text allows for rapid entry of content without formatting or markdown information. You can also open the full-screen editor for further actions.


If you select Plain Text you might lose any formatting, markdown and/or assets that you have inserted in either Rich Text or Markdown.



For full information see the Markdown documentation.

This allows you to format your text using markdown. You can define:

  • Headings
  • Paragraphs and Line Breaks
  • Links
  • Images
  • Block Quotes
  • Lists
  • Emphasis
  • Code Blocks
  • Backslash Escapes

You can also open the full-screen editor for further actions.


If you switch between Rich Text and Markdown you might experience unexpected effects with Block Quotes and Code Blocks, as these two formats can have differences in how they are handled.

Viewing Key Statistics

When the full-screen editor is open, the action Text Statistics will display a range of information about the text. For example:


Uploading Content

To ease the process of authoring content fragments you can upload text, prepared in an external editor, and add it directly to the fragment.

Summarizing Text

Summarizing text is designed to help users reduce the length of their text to a predefined number of words, while keeping the key points and overall meaning.


On a more technical level the system keeps the sentences which it rates as providing the best ratio of information density and uniqueness according to specific algorithms.


The content fragment must have a valid language folder as an ancestor; this is used to determine the language model to be used.

For example, en/ as in the following path:



English is available out-of-the-box.

Other languages are available as Language Model Packages from Software Distribution:

  1. Select Master or the required variation.

  2. Open the full-screen editor.

  3. Select Summarize text from the toolbar.


  4. Specify the target number of words and select Start:

  5. The original text is displayed side-by-side with the proposed summarization:

    • Any sentences to be eliminated are highlighted in red, with strike-through.
    • Click on any highlighted sentence to keep it in the summarized content.
    • Click on any non-highlighted sentence to have it eliminated.


  6. Select Summarize to confirm the changes.

Annotating a Content Fragment

To annotate a fragment:

  1. Select Master or the required variation.

  2. Open the full-screen editor.

  3. Select some text. The Annotate icon becomes available.


  4. A dialog will open. Here you can enter your annotation.

  5. Close the full-screen editor and Save the fragment.

Viewing, Editing, Deleting Annotations


  • Are indicated by the highlight on the text, in both full-screen and normal mode of the editor. Full details of an annotation can then be viewed, edited, and/or deleted, by clicking on the highlighted text, which will re-open the dialog.


    A drop-down selector is provided if multiple annotations have been applied to one piece of text.

  • When you delete the entire text to which the annotation was applied, the annotation is deleted as well.

  • Can be listed, and deleted, by selecting the Annotations tab in the fragment editor.


  • Can be viewed, and deleted, in Timeline for the selected fragment.

Inserting Assets into your Fragment

To ease the process of authoring content fragments you can add Assets (images) directly to the fragment.

They will be added to the paragraph sequence of the fragment without any formatting; formatting can be done when the fragment is used/referenced on a page.


These assets cannot be moved or deleted on a referencing page, this must be done in the fragment editor.

However, formatting of the asset (e.g. size) must be done in the page editor. The representation of the asset in the fragment editor is purely for authoring the content flow.


There are various methods of adding images to the fragment and/or page.

  1. Position the cursor at the position you want to add the image.

  2. Use the Insert Asset icon to open the search dialog.


  3. In the dialog you can either:

    • navigate to the required asset in DAM
    • search for the asset in DAM

    Once located, select the required asset by clicking on the thumbnail.

  4. Use Select to add the asset to the paragraph system of your content fragment at the current location.


    If, after adding an asset, you change format to:

    • Plain Text: the asset will be completely lost from the fragment.
    • Markdown: the asset will not be visible, but will still be there when you return to Rich Text.

Managing Variations

Creating a Variation

Variations allow you to take the Master content and vary it according to purpose (if required).

To create a new variation:

  1. Open your fragment and ensure that the side panel is visible.

  2. Select Variations from the icon bar in the side panel.

  3. Select Create Variation.

  4. A dialog will open, specify the Title and Description for the new variation.

  5. Select Add; the fragment Master will be copied to the new variation, which is now open for editing.


    When creating a new variation it is always Master that is copied, not the variation that is currently open.

Editing a Variation

You can make changes to the variation content after either:

  • Creating your variation.
  • Opening an existing fragment, then selecting the required variation from the side panel.


Renaming a Variation

To rename an existing variation:

  1. Open your fragment and select Variations from the side panel.

  2. Select the required variation.

  3. Select Rename from the Actions drop down.

  4. Enter the new Title and/or Description in the resulting dialog box.

  5. Confirm the Rename action.


This only affects the variation Title.

Deleting a Variation

To delete an existing variation:

  1. Open your fragment and select Variations from the side panel.

  2. Select the required variation.

  3. Select Delete from the Actions drop down.

  4. Confirm the Delete action in the dialog.


You cannot delete Master.

Synchronizing with Master

Master is an integral part of a content fragment and by definition it holds the master copy of the content, whereas the variations hold the individual updated and tailored versions of that content. When Master is updated it is possible that these changes are also relevent to the variations and, therefore, need to be propagated to them…

When editing a variation you have access to the action for synchronizing the current element of the variation with Master. This allows you to automatically copy changes made to Master to the required variation.


Synchronization is only available to copy changes from Master to the variation.

Only the current element of the variation will be synchronized.

Synchronization only works on the Multi line text data-type.

Transferring changes from a variation to Master is not available as an option.

  1. Open your content fragment in the fragment editor. Ensure that the Master has been edited.

  2. Select a specific variation, then the appropriate synchronization action from either:

    • the Actions drop down selector - Sync current element with master
    • the toolbar of the full-screen editor - Sync with master
  3. Master and the variation will be shown side-by-side:

    • green indicates content added (to the variation)
    • red indicates content removed (from the variation)


  4. Select Synchronize, the variation will updated and shown.

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