Drupal 6: Creating and Editing Custom Themes

with Chris Charlton
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Drupal 6: Creating and Editing Custom Themes
Video duration: 0s 4h 11m Intermediate


Drupal is widely recognized as a powerful back-end system for web sites, but Drupal 6: Creating and Editing Custom Themes shows how the application can also be used to manage the look and feel of a web site. Web architect Chris Charlton introduces the core themes that ship with Drupal. He shows how to install and administer new themes, change color schemes, and add sub-themes to existing themes. He also demonstrates how to build a custom theme from scratch; integrate HTML, CSS, and JavaScript; and apply themes to specific nodes and blocks. Exercise files are included with this course.

Topics include:
  • Setting themes and theme permissions
  • Using the Color Module to change color schemes
  • Building sub-themes
  • Adding HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to themes
  • Understanding templates
  • Applying themes to pages, nodes, and blocks
Developer Web


(Music playing.) Hi! I am Chris Charlton. Welcome to Drupal Creating and Editing Custom Themes. In this course, we will explore all of the tools and techniques needed to improve the design of a Drupal website by building and implementing custom themes. We will begin by building a basic Drupal website with a default theme and getting familiar with the tools every Drupal theme designer needs. I will go through how to control and build on top of the standard themes that come with Drupal 6.

Then we will create a custom theme for Drupal by integrating graphics and web technologies like CSS and HTML. Finally, we will cover the specifics of applying custom designs to various pages and elements in Drupal, known as Nodes and Blocks. I have been teaching how to develop web pages for almost a decade and manage one of the largest Drupal user groups in the world. From my experience, Drupal is the most exciting web platform I have come across in my career. It is my favorite solution for building websites.

So let's get started with Drupal themes.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Drupal 6: Creating and Editing Custom Themes .

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Q: I'm editing the code in the file page.tpl.php as shown in the movie "Building a sub-theme: Adding custom theme regions":

<?php if ($content_top) ?>
<div id="content-top" class="clear-block">
<?php print $content_top ?>
<?php endif; ?>

But the browser shows the following error message: 
Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_ENDIF in /home/u/u5522419/www/drupal/sites/all/themes/subgarland/page.tpl.php on line 80.
A: The code is incorrect. (The syntax error, by the way, displayed indicates which line of code contains the error.) The line containing the IF statement is missing the colon character ( : ). It should read:
<?php if ($content_top): ?>
Q: I have a button in Flash, but Internet Explorer is blocking it from opening up. At the top of the window, a message appears saying "Pop-up blocked. To see this pop-up or additional options click here..."
What can I do to this button so that it opens a new browser window and keep IE from thinking it's an unauthorized pop-up?
A: To get around the pop-up blocker, try using the "_self" parameter in Flash. So instead of:
navigateToURL(myURL, "_self");
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