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Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS
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Reviewing the module insertion code


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Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS

with Jen Kramer

Video: Reviewing the module insertion code

As a quick review, let's take a look at the template code in the template.css. This is a review of the Joomla! Creating and Editing Custom Templates course. I would like to just review quickly where the HTML is located and the Joomla! codes that control the modules. So if you will go to the back end of your website and make sure you have logged in, we are going to go to Extensions> Template Manager. There are four templates that are associated with this website. Three of which have come by default with Joomla! and the fourth one called Inside is the custom template that we coded in the Joomla! Templates course.

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Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS
2h 29m Intermediate Jan 09, 2009

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Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS shows how those familiar with Joomla! and with hand-coded HTML and CSS can take the next step in creating a dynamic website with a unique look and feel. Jen Kramer McKibben goes deep into the functionality of this open-source content management system, exploring topics like putting more style into modules, editing CSS on the fly using the Firefox Web Developer toolbar, creating horizontal and vertical menu layouts, and including images in those menus. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Using the Firefox Web Developer toolbar
  • Styling Joomla! modules
  • Styling a multi-page article
  • Creating horizontal and vertical menus
  • Incorporating images in menus
  • Styling banner ads
Subjects:
Developer Web CMS Web Development
Software:
Joomla!
Author:
Jen Kramer

Reviewing the module insertion code

As a quick review, let's take a look at the template code in the template.css. This is a review of the Joomla! Creating and Editing Custom Templates course. I would like to just review quickly where the HTML is located and the Joomla! codes that control the modules. So if you will go to the back end of your website and make sure you have logged in, we are going to go to Extensions> Template Manager. There are four templates that are associated with this website. Three of which have come by default with Joomla! and the fourth one called Inside is the custom template that we coded in the Joomla! Templates course.

It is also the template that was installed by default when you installed the lynda.com tutorial component and ran it. I will select Inside and select Edit. From this screen, we can edit the HTML or edit the CSS. I am going to show you the HTML now. In our Joomla! template, we have several regions of this web page that are calling for modules. Right here in this particular line is the code that calls for a module. This module is assigned a position of top, which we will find in the drop-down in our Module Manager and the style is XHTML.

XHTML means that a single div generally of the class of module cable will be wrapped around the particular modules that are in the top position. But there are some other choices that we can use for the XHTML style. Another style that we are going to use later in the course is rounded. Rounded puts four divs around the particular module and that will help us to get some rounded corners associated with the outside box of our modules. Other choices that you can use in this spot include Outline, which is useful for debugging. Vertical, which is a table-based layout that will layout your modules in a table in a vertical direction, one module per cell. Horizontal, which will write a table with a series of cells going horizontally, one module per cell.

None is also a position. None will not write any mark-up surrounding the module at all. But it also will not write the module title in place if you have decided that you want the module title to show. Let's also take a look at the HTML that we can use for setting up menu items. I have canceled out the HTML screen because I don't want to make any changes at this point in time and I am going to cancel out this screen as well. Now I am going to go to Extensions > Module Manager and I am going to take a look at our Main Menu Setting.

By default, when you create a new menu in Joomla!, a module is also created. The menu controls will allow you to add pages and components to your menu structure where the module determines where that menu will appear on your web page. As with all Joomla! modules, on the left side of the page, there is space for a title, whether that title will show or not, whether the module is enabled or not, and what position your module will appear. These positions, as we learned in the Joomla! Templates course, are controlled by your XML file. We can also assign this particular module to certain pages on the site.

On the right side of the page, there are a number of settings that are associated with your menus. You can choose which menu you wish to display within the module and you can choose the menu style. The menu style I recommend you always use is List, which may be written inside of a div if that's the way you have configured it. The three legacy settings are old settings in Joomla!. And they are generally based on table layouts. I recommend that you not use these. There are plenty of other parameters that are located inside Menu module such as those under Advanced Parameters and these under Other Parameters. I will be going through these in another movie where we will actually be applying a few of these to the menus on our website.

Now you have a handle on where all of the HTML is coming from that comprises your website and now you know where to go to change that HTML for styling purposes. We will be using this many times in this course.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Joomla! 1.5: Styling with CSS.


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Q: I’m having trouble understanding the role of the Start Level/End Level function in developing a menu, as described in the  “Styling Menus Vertically” video.  What is the key to understanding this function?
A: The Start Level and End Level are the way a menu is segmented, to show all or part of that menu.

By default, the Start Level and End Level are set to 0. This means that the entire menu will show.

If you would like to have just the top level navigation show (perhaps for a top menu bar), but none of the secondary, tertiary, or deeper navigation, set Start Level to 0 and End Level to 1.

If you would like to have just the secondary navigation show (i.e. you're in the "about" portion of the site and you'd like to have the about secondary navigation show on the left side of the page), set the Start Level to 1 and the End Level to 2. If you'd like to show all of the navigation (secondary, tertiary, and any deeper navigation), set the Start Level to 1 and the End Level to 0 (i.e. infinite).

The only tricky part about setting the Start and End Levels is that zero means different things in different locations.

For the Start Level, zero means the very beginning of the navigation. Engineers start counting with zero, while we are normally taught to start counting with 1, so this may be the cause of some confusion.  This means that 1 actually corresponds to the second level, 2 to the third level, and so forth.

For the End Level, zero indicates "infinity", or however far out the navigation goes.
 
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