0.00 (0 votes)

 

Introduce

Layout Builder is a tool included to EF4 Framework that allows to customize layout of your template using a user-friendly interface.

Layout Builder Introduce

The template layout consists of multiple blocks. Each block may contain one or more module positions. Using Layout Builder you are able to:

  • change the template width in pixels or percent
  • change the gutter size
  • change the order of blocks
  • enable or disable the full width recalculation
  • enable or disable full width for a section
  • change the order of main columns
  • change the width of main columns basing on Bootstrap grid size
  • choose the number of modules in a flexiblock
  • assign module positions
  • exclude unused blocks
  • hide a block or a single module depending on the screen size
  • change the width of modules in a flexiblock depending on the screen size
  • save your settings and assign them to selected menu items

Layout configuration has never been easier.

 

Configuration

Layout Builder is located in the back-end of your template:

Extensions -> Template Manager -> [template_name]

Click on the Layout Builder tab:

Layout Builder Tab

Current Layout - choose a layout from the dropdown that you want to edit. This area allows you to:

  • save changes in layout
  • duplicate layout
  • remove layout
  • set layout as default
  • restore layout to default settings

Template width – enter the template width in percent or pixels.

Gutter size – enter the gutter size in percent or pixels.
Gutter is a space between blocks, modules and other elements on the site.

There are 2 sections that you may customize: layout structure and responsive layout.

Layout Builder Tabs

Customize layout structure

Change the order of blocks:

TIP: Hover on the image to see animation.

Layout Builder Order Blocks

Enable or disable the full width recalculation:
Read more about this feature

TIP: Hover on the image to see animation.

Layout Builder Full Width Recalculations

Enable or disable full width for a section:

TIP: Hover on the image to see animation.

Layout Builder Full Width Section

Change the order of main columns:

TIP: Hover on the image to see animation.

Layout Builder Order Columns

Change the width of main columns:

TIP: Hover on the image to see animation.

Layout Builder Columns Width

Choose the number of modules in a flexiblock:

TIP: Hover on the image to see animation.

Layout Builder Modules in Flexiblock

Assign module positions:

TIP: Hover on the image to see animation.

Layout Builder Assign Positions

Exclude unused blocks:

TIP: Hover on the image to see animation.

Layout Builder Exclude Blocks

Customize responsive layout

On the top you can choose which layout you want to customize.

Available layouts:

  • Large Screen - 1200px and above, usually desktops
  • Normal Screen - 980px-1199px, usually landscape tablets and desktops
  • Medium Screen - 768px-979px, usually tablets
  • Small Screen - 481px-767px, usually portrait tablets and landscape mobiles
  • Extra Small Screen - 480x and below, usually mobiles

Layout Builder Responsive Layout

Hide a block or a single module depending on the screen size:

TIP: Hover on the image to see animation.

Layout Builder Hide Block or Position

Change the width of modules in a flexiblock depending on the screen size:

TIP: Hover on the image to see animation.

Layout Builder Resize Module

 

What does the full width recalculation means?

There are two ways of displaying modules in a flexiblock.

Option 1: Full width recalculation enabled (default)

In a flexiblock, if any module will be not published, then the width of the rest modules will be automatically recalculated to fit the full width.

Let's see on examples:

a) modules are equally divided on the responsive layout tab:

Layout Builder Responsive Layout

Basing on the Bootstrap grid size, each module has the span3 width:
span3 | span3 | span3 | span3

If one of them is missing, then each module has the span4 width:
span4 | span4 | span4

If two are missing, then each module has the span6 width:
span6 | span6

If only one module is displayed then it has the span12 width.

b) modules are not equally divided on the responsive layout tab:

Layout Builder Responsive Layout

Basing on the Bootstrap grid size, let's suppose that the first module has the span6 width, all the rest modules has the span2 width:
span6 | span2 | span2 | span2

If we unpublish the second module, its width will be divided starting from the next module to the missing one (span1 per module):
span6 | span3 | span3

Option 2: Full width recalculation disabled

If you want to have more control to the width of modules in a flexiblock, you can disable the full width recalculation. All modules will take exactly the same size which you have set on the responsive layout tab.

NOTEIf one of the modules will be not published in a flexiblock then there will be an empty gap on your site.

INFOIf you want to display a different number of modules in a flexiblock on some pages, you can simply copy the layout, change the number of modules and assign it to the menu items you need.

 

Add a new layout

There is a possiblity to create as many layouts as you need. This feature may be useful for you if you would like to assign different layout styles to selected pages on your site.

There are 2 different ways to add a new layout: copy layout in Layout Builder or add a file manually.

Copy layout in Layout Builder

Go to the Layout Builder tab in the template parameters. Simply click on "Copy layout" and follow the onscreen instructions:

Step 1:

Layout Builder New Layout

Step 2:

Layout Builder New Layout

New layout will be available on the list as well as it will appear as file in the following directory:

/templates/[template_name]/tpl/

Add a file manually

Go to the following directory on your server:

/templates/[template_name]/tpl/

Copy default.php file and save as another file in the same directory.

Layout Builder New Layout

 

Assign a layout to menu items

Once you have created a new layout, you can assign it to selected menu items. This option is very useful if you want to use different layouts for many pages. It is also very useful if you have disabled the full width recalculation and you want to display a different number of modules in a flexiblock on some pages.

To assign a layout to menu items you need to click on the following tab:

Layout Builder Assign Layout

Select menu items for which you want to assign a layout:

Layout Builder Assign Layout

 

Blocks structure

Each layout contains of blocks and modules. Using Layout Builder, you are able to change the order of blocks, you can assign module positions and lot more. However, if you would like to add a new block or edit the block structure then you need to edit a layout file.

Once you have created a new layout file, you can edit it and customize.
The block structure is defined using the following code:

// define default blocks and their default order (can be changed in layout builder)
$blocks = $this->getBlocks('top-bar,topmenu,system-message,header,top1,top2,main,bottom1,bottom2,footer-mod,footer');

If you would like to add a new block to a layout, you can do it as follows:

$blocks = $this->getBlocks('top-bar,topmenu,system-message,header,top1,top2,main,bottom1,bottom2,footer-mod,footer,block-name'); //block-name added

The block name used in the above code should be the same as the block file name. More about creating a new block you will find out in the next chapter.

 

Add a new block

Once you have added a new block to a layout, you need to create a block file.

All blocks are located in the following directory:

/templates/[template_name]/tpl/blocks/

The created block should have the same name as the block name in a layout file.

Layout Builder Add Block

 

Add a new module position

There are two ways of including module positions to a block file: single module and flexiblock.

Single module

If you need to add a single module, then the code looks as follows:

<jdoc:include type="modules" name="<?php echo $this->getPosition('position_name') ?>" style="jmmodule" />

Take a look on example:

<?php if($this->checkModules('header')) : ?>
<section id="jm-header" class="<?php echo $this->getClass('block#header') ?>">
    <div class="container-fluid">
        <jdoc:include type="modules" name="<?php echo $this->getPosition('header') ?>" style="jmmodule" />
    </div>
</section>
<?php endif; ?>

Flexiblock

Using a flexiblock you can display up to 6 modules in a row. A flexiblock gives you additional settings in Layout Builder:

Customize layout structure tab:

Layout Builder New Position

Customize responsive layout tab:

Layout Builder New Position

If you need to add a flexiblock, then the code looks as follows:

<?php echo $this->renderFlexiblock('position_name','jmmodule'); ?>

Take a look on example:

<?php if($this->countFlexiblock('top1')) : ?>
<section id="jm-top1" class="<?php echo $this->getClass('block#top1') ?>">
    <div class="container-fluid">
        <?php echo $this->renderFlexiblock('top1','jmmodule'); ?>
    </div>
</section>
<?php endif; ?>

Define a module position

Once you have created a module position, you need to define it in the following file:

/templates/[template_name]/templateDetails.xml

You can do it as follows:

<positions>
        <position>top-bar1</position>
        <position>top-bar2</position>
        <position>top-menu-nav</position>
        <position>header</position>
        <position>position_name</position> <!-- your new module position -->
</positions>

 

Load a style sheet

For each layout you can load a specific style sheet. This feature may be useful for you when you have some different styles for a layout and you do not want to include them to all layouts. It may have a positive impact on the speed of your site loading.

Step 1: Create a LESS file

First of all, you need to create a less file. The file should be located in the following directory:

/templates/[template_name]/less/

Step 2: Load the created file

Next, edit a layout file from the following directory:

/templates/[template_name]/tpl

In the head section, you need to add the following code:

<?php $this->addCompiledStyleSheet(JMF_TPL_URL.DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR.'less'.DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR.'new-layout.less', true, JMF_TH_TEMPLATE); ?>

Take a look on example:

<head>
    <?php $this->renderBlock('head'); ?>
    <?php $this->addCompiledStyleSheet(JMF_TPL_URL.DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR.'less'.DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR.'new-layout.less', true, JMF_TH_TEMPLATE); ?>    
</head>

Step 3: Add styles

Now, you can add LESS or CSS styles to the created LESS file.
You should remember to import variables and mixins if you want to take advantage of them:

/* ====================
   VARIABLES import
   ==================== */
   
@import "template_variables.less";
@import "bootstrap_variables.less";
 
/* ====================
   MIXINS import
   ==================== */
 
@import "override/ltr/mixins.less";
@import "../../../plugins/system/jmframework/includes/assets/template/bootstrap/less-ext/mixins-ext.less"; //JM extended mixins
@import "template_mixins.less";

Users' reviews

Total rating: