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Understanding iconic controls in the Views interface

From: Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data

Video: Understanding iconic controls in the Views interface

Views controls aren't always obvious. So I figured it's worth taking a minute to walk through them. Along the way, we'll take a closer look at the interface and make our view just a little bit prettier. As always to get to our Views interface, we go to Administer, Site building, and Views. And then click to edit the view that we want to change. In this case, the people view. In order to decide what it is we want to change, we first should go and preview the view and see what it looks like. So we'll scroll down a bit and remember this live preview, we just click on the Preview button and that shows us what our view will look like. The first thing that I see here is that we have this Title, Tom de Nada. Obviously that's the person's name, not their Title.

Understanding iconic controls in the Views interface

Views controls aren't always obvious. So I figured it's worth taking a minute to walk through them. Along the way, we'll take a closer look at the interface and make our view just a little bit prettier. As always to get to our Views interface, we go to Administer, Site building, and Views. And then click to edit the view that we want to change. In this case, the people view. In order to decide what it is we want to change, we first should go and preview the view and see what it looks like. So we'll scroll down a bit and remember this live preview, we just click on the Preview button and that shows us what our view will look like. The first thing that I see here is that we have this Title, Tom de Nada. Obviously that's the person's name, not their Title.

We are going to change the word Title to the word Name because that's more descriptive of what it is. To do that, we scroll up and we find the field itself. Here it is. Node: Title. We click on it and we get once again all of our configuration options for that field. Scroll down so we can see all of the options and I'm going to change the Label to Name. Click on Update. Now, if we come down here and look at our preview, we see it's been changed, Name: Tom de Nada. The next thing I want to do is to remove this label Headshot. Obviously, we know it's a headshot. It's pretty self-explanatory. So I'll scroll back up, click on Headshot, and once again I get all of those configuration options below. Scroll down and you'll notice that the Label here is not given in the same way as before, with the Node: Title, it was just a type-in field. You could enter whatever you wanted.

Here you have several radio buttons and that's something to mention about Views. It's not always consistent from one option configuration to another, but it's generally appropriate. In this case, you have options of automated labels. If you wanted to do something custom as we did before, you would just click on Custom and then you could type in what you wanted. In our case, I'm just going to remove that Label, and click on Update. And we saw it change immediately. One more thing that I want to do, remember how we categorized each of these people as being either a Friend of the family, or Raised in the family, or Married, or a Pet. I'm going to add that taxonomy, that categorization, so that it shows up in each of these cases. I scroll up, and that's easy enough, we already know how to do it.

I add the field, scroll down. I find the kind of field that I want to add. And again, I could scroll through this whole thing or I can look at the groups and as it happens, there is a taxonomy group. We see our options in Taxonomy here. This gets a little complicated and I'm just going to select All terms. In other words, if someone is both a friend and married into the family, however I have defined it, I want to see them all in one place. So I'll click there, and click Add. Once again, we have an option of saying exactly how we want this to be output. I'm going to change this All terms label, so it's Relationship because again it's the relationship to family we're interested in. When this shows up in our view, it will be linked to the Term page. That Term page is automatically created by taxonomy. So if we have a node that says that someone is a friend of the family and we click on that word Friend, we then see all of the friends of the family. That is all nodes that were labeled as Friends.

There is only one change here that I want to make and that's, Limit terms by vocabulary. In our case it really doesn't matter that much because we only have one vocabulary, that Relationship to family. However, once you start working with taxonomies, you may find that you have many of them set up, and then you'll start throwing out inappropriate information. So I usually generally turn it on whenever I'm working with taxonomies. I'll scroll down and see what my options are and as you can see there is only one vocabulary, I'll check it, and say Update. Good. Now we actually see in each one of these nodes, Relationship: Raised, or Married, or whatever is appropriate. As always, I scroll up and Save after each step.

Now, let's take a quick look at some of the fiddly little icons on the Views main screen. You already have experienced with one of them. That's this little plus icon where you can add fields, or add filters, or later add relationships, or arguments, or sort criteria. This other little one next to the plus sign with the two arrows on it is the change order icon. I've used it very briefly earlier but I'm going to use it again right now. I go into Fields, and click on it, and scroll down. Here we see all of the fields that have been added to this view. I could then rearrange them by dragging on these little compass icons. I can also delete fields from the screen and this is in fact the easiest way to delete multiple fields from a view, should you decide to do that.

If you just click on these little icons here, it immediately deletes it. In our case, we want the Name to be at the top, I'm going to follow that with the Headshot. We actually don't need the Family name or Personal name, I told you, we would be removing them, and here we go because that's all covered by this Name at the top. So I'm going to remove Personal name and Family name. And the rest of this looks pretty good. Let's Update that, and take a look at our preview. And see already it looks better. Everything is in an order that's more understandable and it's much more compact. It starts with the Name, ends with the Relationship, starts with another Name, and so forth.

Moving on I want to talk about how you actually change things once they are already in the View. You've seen this already, when we click on something here like Node: Title, we can then change all of the options related to that. But sometimes the changes require a few steps and in those cases, you see this little gear icon here like you see next to Row style fields. That's actually the one I'm going to click now because I want to rearrange the way that these fields appear inside a row. I scroll down. The option in this case is whether to put multiple fields in a single line. I'm going to do that with my Date of birth, Married to, and Taxonomy. I'm going to separate each of these with a little slash like this.

I will click on Update just to see what that looks like. Incidentally, for this Separator, I put a space after it but not before it. One thing about Views that's sort of peculiar is it automatically puts a space before a Separator but that's a small point. We'll click on Update, and see how it looks and if we don't like it we could always change it. Now, it's even more compact. We have this Date of birth, followed by Married to, followed by Relationship. You might still notice a problem here with this Married to field. First of all, it looks strange to have that Label there when there is nothing next to it, and second of all the divider doesn't appear when the field is empty.

For example, Tom de Nada here isn't married to anyone, so there is no little divider between Date of birth and Married to. We'll explain why we're leaving it this way and we'll provide fixes in the video that explores Views Grid, List and Table formatting. The last little icon to look at in our Views main window is this little question mark, which you will see throughout the main window. It only appears if you've installed the Advanced Help Module as we suggested you do in the video, understanding why views are useful. As you might guess, clicking on it gives you guidance on how to use the item it sits next to.

For example, Fields, I click on it and it pops-up a little window explaining what fields are. This kind of context sensitive help is really useful. So again, if you haven't done so already, I recommend you get the Advanced Help module. You now have a pretty good sense of how Views work. The rest is really just details but there are a lot of those details. In other videos, we'll show you ways to actually display this information and make those displays look really good.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data
Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data

50 video lessons · 11248 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
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  1. 12m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Reviewing requirements
      3m 35s
    3. Using the exercise files
      3m 11s
    4. Touring examples of data visualization
      4m 58s
  2. 27m 56s
    1. Planning data structure
      8m 26s
    2. Importing and manipulating data
      6m 40s
    3. Looking at Drupal's database
      6m 13s
    4. Deciding whether to store personal data as nodes or users
      6m 37s
  3. 1h 13m
    1. Understanding the Content Construction Kit (CCK)
      4m 57s
    2. Creating new content types with CCK
      7m 26s
    3. Hiding the Body field
      2m 46s
    4. Reflecting CCK field data in the Title field
      7m 28s
    5. Managing CCK field placement
      7m 34s
    6. Exploring CCK's other features
      8m 22s
    7. Using other CCK field types
      3m 25s
    8. Adding date information as a CCK field
      8m 43s
    9. Including images as CCK fields
      10m 23s
    10. Connecting content to existing nodes
      5m 58s
    11. Using taxonomies to categorize and group data
      5m 59s
  4. 53m 54s
    1. Understanding why views are useful
      6m 12s
    2. Using SimpleViews to create basic content views
      5m 49s
    3. Diving into the Views interface
      11m 16s
    4. Adding fields to a view
      7m 12s
    5. Understanding iconic controls in the Views interface
      7m 15s
    6. Surveying the Sort, Filter, and Field options in Views
      5m 40s
    7. Adding view displays as pages, blocks, and RSS feeds
      10m 30s
  5. 43m 34s
    1. Overriding default settings on view displays
      8m 56s
    2. Attaching more information to views
      10m 57s
    3. Improving view appearances with grid, list, and table formatting
      9m 20s
    4. Surveying other basic display settings in Views
      11m 3s
    5. Altering a view's appearance through CSS
      3m 18s
  6. 55m 8s
    1. Importing, exporting, and cloning views
      6m 9s
    2. Controlling access to views
      7m 19s
    3. Learning from built-in views
      5m 52s
    4. Creating views that aren't based on nodes
      10m 6s
    5. Extending views with arguments
      10m 17s
    6. Extending views with relationships
      7m 2s
    7. Going further with relationships
      8m 23s
  7. 46m 40s
    1. Understanding geographic data
      4m 26s
    2. Setting up the Location module
      16m 20s
    3. Entering geographic data with the Location module
      10m 10s
    4. Displaying basic maps with the GMap module
      6m 43s
    5. Integrating the GMap module with Views
      9m 1s
  8. 54m 21s
    1. Exporting data in tabular form
      11m 25s
    2. Planning with the calendar modules
      11m 31s
    3. Using the Charts module and Google Charts
      7m 11s
    4. Graphing data with Open Flash Chart
      4m 50s
    5. Making important data pop out with tag clouds
      7m 46s
    6. Putting it all together in an attractive package
      11m 38s
  9. 36s
    1. Conclusion
      36s

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