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Customizing node templates and variables

From: Drupal 7: Creating and Editing Custom Themes

Video: Customizing node templates and variables

Most content in Drupal that is not generated by a block or a view is considered to be a node and each node can be identified by its ID or type whether it's a page, article, or custom content type. These attributes give us great control over theming the HTML output by each node and its template. Based off our static mockup we are not doing anything special with the individual nodes or node types, other than simply cleaning up the HTML.

Customizing node templates and variables

Most content in Drupal that is not generated by a block or a view is considered to be a node and each node can be identified by its ID or type whether it's a page, article, or custom content type. These attributes give us great control over theming the HTML output by each node and its template. Based off our static mockup we are not doing anything special with the individual nodes or node types, other than simply cleaning up the HTML.

So let's begin by browsing to your editor and expanding the modules>node folder. And if we look in here we can see the node.tpl.php template. I am going to right-click and copy this and then I am going to paste this into my sites>all>themes>samoca>templates folder. Now that I have this in my folder I can go ahead and double-click on it to open it and take a look at what this template contains.

If we scroll down a little bit we can see Available variables such as $title and $content as well as other variables such as, $node, $type, $comment_count, and Node status variables to tell us whether or not the $view_mode is full, teaser, whether or not this particular node has been promoted to the front page or if it's sticky or whether or not the comment settings have been turned on. We can also see if there are Field variables available to us for each field instance.

As I continue to scroll down I can see the wrapping div and an HTML markup along with the variables that make up this particular page. Something new in Drupal 7 is the ability to hide and then render content later. This can be seen here in the div class content and as we take a look a little later at how we migrate from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7, this hide and render will come in handy in order to modify the layout.

For now though, all that we're interested in is actually removing any wrapping divs. And if we browse back to Drupal and we actually take a look through Firebug at how the page is laid out, I can navigate to the about us page and actually see a node in action. Within the main section, within the wrapping div, if I open it a little bit I'll see the system-main-block, which is the main content area, and then I finally reach the node.

I can see that I have a wrapping div for the node and if I expand a little bit further I see I have another wrapping div specifically for the content. I want to remove those two HTML elements from our design. Browse back to the editor and simply scroll up and remove the opening div, scroll to the bottom, delete the closing div, and then also remove the div for the content.

Save that node, browse back to Drupal, and Flush the page cache. Now if I inspect the node element, I should see that this block-system-main which is the main content region no longer contains a wrapping div for the node. If I browse back to the editor, we can see by simply removing the HTML elements, we have the ability to clean up the Drupal output.

Now for our particular theme we had no need to create additional node templates. But if you need to know the recommended template suggestions, we can quickly view the documentation. If we browse back over to Drupal, we can click on the drupal.org website for its template suggestions for a node. We can see that they're pretty simple. It starts with the node, followed by a node with the custom content type name, finally a node with the actual ID.

You can use these template suggestions to extend your theming needs. Examining what a node template is, where to find the template, and the best practice is for modifying its output, we were able to clean up some of the HTML to better suit our theming needs. What generally is in a node is considered to be a block of HTML and we will take a look at that next on how you actually go about modifying the output of a block in Drupal 7.

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This video is part of

Image for Drupal 7: Creating and Editing Custom Themes
Drupal 7: Creating and Editing Custom Themes

42 video lessons · 11691 viewers

Chaz Chumley
Author

 
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  1. 5m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 4s
    3. Viewing the finished project
      2m 51s
  2. 23m 21s
    1. Installing Drupal 7 (Mac or Windows)
      7m 23s
    2. Using a development environment
      3m 36s
    3. Installing contributed modules
      3m 43s
    4. Using the Administration Menu module
      3m 55s
    5. Using the Backup and Migrate module
      4m 44s
  3. 15m 35s
    1. Using the Devel and Theme Developer modules
      7m 23s
    2. Using Firefox, Firebug, and Web Developer extensions
      4m 55s
    3. Using the Block Class module
      3m 17s
  4. 9m 42s
    1. Exploring the Appearance interface
      3m 20s
    2. Choosing global and theme-specific settings
      2m 55s
    3. Installing prebuilt themes
      3m 27s
  5. 10m 40s
    1. Anatomy of a theme
      2m 57s
    2. Structure of a theme
      1m 52s
    3. Understanding templates and variables
      4m 11s
    4. Exploring the theme registry
      1m 40s
  6. 27m 23s
    1. Exploring the Bartik themes folder, file structure, and .info file
      5m 45s
    2. Exploring how CSS references work in Drupal
      10m 49s
    3. Exploring how script references work in Drupal
      5m 7s
    4. Exploring regions and how they are referenced in a theme
      5m 42s
  7. 11m 5s
    1. Using the Backup Migrate module to create content for a web site
      2m 33s
    2. Creating a theming roadmap
      3m 10s
    3. Creating a theme folder, theme structure, and a .info file and enabling a theme
      5m 22s
  8. 54m 5s
    1. Customizing HTML templates and variables
      5m 29s
    2. Customizing page templates and variables
      13m 43s
    3. Creating regions and rendering page variables
      11m 36s
    4. Customizing region templates and variables
      53s
    5. Customizing node templates and variables
      4m 49s
    6. Customizing block templates and variables
      12m 14s
    7. Customizing view templates and variables
      5m 21s
  9. 13m 36s
    1. Removing unnecessary modules
      2m 46s
    2. Optimizing the CSS and JavaScript
      2m 45s
    3. Enabling caching
      4m 43s
    4. Exploring the performance settings
      3m 22s
  10. 44m 19s
    1. Recreating HanselAndPetal content, files, and the .info file
      14m 0s
    2. Adding an HTML template and modifying page templates
      11m 25s
    3. Converting node templates and page variables
      10m 30s
    4. Converting block templates and page variables
      3m 41s
    5. Converting miscellaneous templates and cleaning up CSS
      4m 43s
  11. 1m 11s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 11s

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