Content Templater

Make predefined content in Joomla!

  • Last updated: 10-Oct-2017
  • Version: 7.3.0
  • Types: Component System plugin Editor button plugin
  • Joomla rating: 100%
Joomla rating: 100%

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Tutorial for Content Templater

There is a Free and a Pro version of Content Templater.
The parts in this tutorial that only concern the Pro version will be marked with: Pro only

Introduction

With Content Templater you can create predefined reusable content templates.

Not only can you make complete standard page layouts, you can also use Content Templater for text snippets. So any piece of text you want to use more than once, just make a content template of it!

It is very easy to insert these content templates into your article (or other content) editors by using the editor button.

But Content Templater goes further than just the content. You can also set/change other fields, like the category or title of an article. You can pretty much set any available field your article edit form has.

Creating templates

To create a template, simply go the the Content Templater component in your Joomla administrator. Then click the New button.

You will now be presented with the template edit screen.

Content Templater - New Item

If you want to make a simple template, then the first Content tab is pretty much all you need.

Simply give the template a name (on the right) and place your desired content into the editor field.
Save it and you are done.

You can now see that template when you click on the Content Template editor button that appears under all your editor fields, like in articles and Custom HTML modules.

Content Templater - Editor button

Selecting that template will insert the content you placed in the template's editor field into the editor field of your content item.

But, as you can see, there are a number of other tabs, all filled with settings.
These settings can make your template do a lot more!

I will walk you through all the available settings.

Content Settings

Content Templater - Content Settings

In this tab (including all sub tabs) you can set other form field values.

For instance, set the Title field to My Title.
Now if you create a new article and then choose this template, the Title field will be filled with My Title.

However, if you create a new article, manually give that article a title, like My new article, and then choose the template, then Content Templater will not change that Title field to My Title, as it is already filled in.

If you do want it to force change the Title field to My Title, even if it is already filled in with something else, then you need to switch on the first option you see in the Content Settings: Override Settings.

Here is an overview of the Content Settings:

Article Details

Title Title for the template
Alias The Alias will be used in the SEF URL. Leave this blank and Joomla will fill in a default value from the title. This value will depend on the SEO settings (Global Configuration->Site).
Using Unicode will produce UTF-8 aliases. You may also enter manually any UTF-8 characters. Spaces and some forbidden characters will be changed to hyphens.
When using default transliteration it will produce an alias in lower case and with dashes instead of spaces. You may enter the Alias manually. Use lowercase letters and hyphens (-). No spaces or underscores are allowed. The default value will be a date and time if the title is typed in non-latin letters .
Category The category that this item is assigned to.
K2 Categories
ZOO Categories
Tags Assign tags to content items. You may select a tag from the pre-defined list or enter your own by typing the name in the field and pressing enter.
Status Set publication status.
Published Set publication status.
Used instead of the Status field in 3rd party components, like K2 and Zoo
Access The access level group that is allowed to view this item.
Featured Assign the article to the featured blog layout.
Language The language that the article is assigned to.

Publishing Pro only

Start Publishing An optional date to Start Publishing the article.
Finish Publishing An optional date to Finish Publishing the article.
Created Date Created date.
Created By Select the name of the user who created the article.
Created by Alias Enter an alias to be displayed instead of the name of the user who created the article.
Meta Description An optional paragraph to be used as the description of the page in the HTML output. This will generally display in the results of search engines.
Meta Keywords An optional comma-separated list of keywords and/or phrases to be used in the HTML output.
Key Reference Used to store information referring to an external resource.
Robots Robots instructions.

Options: Ignore, Use Global, Index, Follow, No index, follow, Index, No follow, No index, no follow
Author The author of this content.
Content Rights Describe what rights others have to use this content.
External Reference An optional reference used to link to external data sources.

Image & Link Options Pro only

Intro Image Image for the intro text layouts such as blogs and featured.
Full Article Image Select or upload an image for the single article display.
Image Float Controls placement of the image.
Alt Text Alternative text used for visitors without access to images. Replaced with caption text if it is present.
Caption Caption attached to the image.
Link A, B & C The actual link to which users will be redirected.
Link Text Text to display for the link.
URL Target Window Target browser window when the menu item is selected.

Options Pro only

Show Title If set to Show, the article title is shown.
Linked Titles If set to Yes, the article title will be a link to the article.
Show Tags Show the tags for each article.
Show Intro Text If set to Show, the Intro Text of the article will show when you drill down to the article. If set to Hide, only the part of the article after the "Read More" break will show.
Position of Article Info Puts the article information block above or below the text or splits it into two separate blocks, one above and the other below.
Show Category If set to Show, the title of the article’s category will show.
Link Category If set to Yes, and if Show Category is set to 'Show', the Category Title will link to a layout showing articles in that Category.
Show Parent If set to Show, the title of the article’s parent category will show.
Link Parent If set to Yes, and if Show Parent is set to 'Show', the Parent Category Title will link to a layout showing articles in that Category.
Show Author If set to Show, the Name of the article's Author will be displayed. This is a global setting but can be changed at the Category, Menu and Article levels.
Link Author If set to Yes, the Name of the article's Author will be linked to its contact page. You must create a contact linked to the author's user record, and the "Content - Contact" plugin must be enabled, for this to be in effect. This is a global setting but can be changed at the Category, Menu and Article levels.
Show Create Date If set to Show, the date and time an Article was created will be displayed. This a global setting but can be changed at Menu and Article levels.
Show Modify Date If set to Show, the date and time an Article was last modified will be displayed. This is a global setting but can be changed at the Category, Menu and Article levels.
Show Publish Date If set to Show, the date and time an Article was published will be displayed. This is a global setting but can be changed at the Category, Menu and Article levels.
Show Navigation If set to Show, shows a navigation link (Next, Previous) between articles.
Show Icons Print and email will utilise icons or text.
Show Print Icon Show or hide the Item Print button.
Show Email Icon Show or hide the email icon. This allows you to email an article.
Show Voting If set to show, a voting system will be enabled for Articles.
Show Hits If set to Show, the number of Hits on a particular Article will be displayed. This is a global setting but can be changed at the Category, Menu and Article levels.
Show Unauthorised Links If set to Yes, links to registered content will be shown even if you are not logged-in. You will need to log in to access the full item.
Positioning of the Links Display the links above or below the content.
Read More Text Add a custom text instead of Read More.
Alternative Layout Use a different layout from the supplied component view or overrides in the templates.

Configure Edit Screen Pro only

Show Publishing Options Show or hide the publishing options slider in the article edit view. These options allow changes in dates and author identities.
Show Article Options Show or hide article options slider in the Backend article edit view. These options allow overriding of the global options.
Administrator Images and Links Show or hide fields to insert images and links in the Administrator.
Frontend Images and Links Show or hide fields to insert images and links when Frontend editing.

Other Fields Pro only

Here you can set values for fields that are not available in the other Content Settings (like for 3rd party CCK items). Just fill in the HTML name of the field and the desired value.

You can set up to 10 Field Name/Value pairs.

The Field Name should match the field name you find in the HTML output of the form.

Publishing Settings

Content Templater - Publishing Settings

Show in Editor Button

You can make them selectable via the Content Templater editor button. But you can also make the template have it's own button.

If you want to group templates in different buttons, you can place the buttons in categories and switch on the setting in the Content Templater configuration to Display Categories as separate Editor Buttons.

The following settings determine where the template will be selectable via the Content Template editor button.

Enable If selected, the template will be selectable via the Content Template Editor Button.
As separate Editor Button Select to show the template as separate Editor Button.
Editor Button Name This is the name displayed in the Editor Button. If you leave this empty, the template name will be used.
Item Image Choose an image to show in the list or separate editor button... just to make it look nice.
Enable in frontend If enabled, the editor button will also be available in the frontend.

The Pro version also has options to automatically load the template by default or automatically load the template via the URL.

Publishing Assignments Pro only

Content Templater - Publishing Assignments

The last tab contains an enourmous amount of assignment options.

By using the assignment options, you can determine where or when a template is available either via the editor buttons or via the auto load options.

This way you can - for example - create templates only for certain user groups. Or only available during certain seasons. Or only withing certain extensions (components).

Auto Load by Default Pro only

In the Pro version you can set templates to load by default (under the Publishing Settings).

If a template is set to load by default, it will be loaded when you create a new article (or other content item).

You can limit templates to certain sections / categories. So you can define different default templates per category.

You can also use the Publishing Assignment options to determine where or when a template will get loaded.

Auto Load by URL Pro only

In the Pro version you can also load a template on page load by adding a ctid variable to the URL, like: index.php?option=...&ctid=2

You will need to switch on the Auto Load by URL setting in the template (under the Publishing Settings).

The ctid corresponds the the id number of the template, which you can see in the list view (last column).

If you load a template via the URL it will take preference over any template set to load by default.

Settings

Content Templater is packed with options, giving you control over how it works and behaves. Here is the full list of the options you can find in the Content Templater configuration settings:

Editor Button Options

Enable in frontend If enabled, it will also be available in the frontend.
Button Text This text will be shown in the Editor Button.
Show Button Icon If selected, the icon will be displayed in the Editor Button.
Ask before inserting template Should a confirm box be presented before inserting the template?
Order List by Select whether to sort the list of templates by their name or ordering
Display Categories Select how to display templates with categories.

Options: Grouped, Grouped with Category Title, As separate Editor Buttons
Category Button Text This text will be shown in the Editor Button.
Open in modal Select to open the list of templates in a modal popup. Deselect to show as a dropdown.
Switch to modal Set the minimum number of items that should be available to switch to a modal popup instead of a dropdown.
Show list below button If selected, the list of templates will show under the editor button, instead of above (over editor text)

Auto Load Pro only

Load Delay (secs) When a template is loaded by default (via assignment or URL), the settings will be set via javascript. If you experience the settings not being loaded, increase the delay. This is probably caused by scripts not being ready yet (especially on IE browsers).

Other Settings

Contact Database Table The contact table is used in case you use the dynamic user tag.

If you use a 3rd party contact extension, you can change what contact database table to use. This only works for tables where the user id is stored in the user_id field.
Show Update Notification If selected, an update notification will be shown in the main component view when there is a new version for this extension.
Show Copyright If selected, extra copyright info will be displayed in the admin views. Regular Labs extensions never show copyright info or backlinks on the frontend.

Installation

You can either install Content Templater by using the core extension manager available in the Joomla! Administrator Control Panel, or by using the powerful Regular Labs Extension Manager.

Note: When updating Content Templater, you do not need to uninstall it first. The package will update all the files automatically.

Keep in mind that when you update to a major new version (or uninstall first), you might lose some configuration settings.

Regular Labs Extension Manager

It is very easy to install/update any Regular Labs Extension using the Regular Labs Extension Manager.

Please see the Tutorial for the Regular Labs Extension Manager for more detailed information...

Joomla! Extension Manager

To install via the Joomla! Extension Manager, just follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Joomla administrator;
  2. In the menu, choose: Extensions >> Extensions;
  3. Choose the tab: Install from Web (or enable it if you haven't done so yet);
  4. Select the search field and enter Content Templater and hit enter;
  5. Click on the Content Templater listing;
  6. Click on Install;
  7. Click on Install to confirm.
Joomla! Installer - Install from Web

Or if you need to install the Pro version or cannot install via the 'Install via Web' method for some reason:

  1. Download the extension install file (.zip);
  2. Log into your Joomla administrator;
  3. In the menu, choose: Extensions >> Extensions;
  4. Choose the tab: Upload Package File;
  5. Click on the Choose File button and select the extension zip;
  6. Click on Upload & Install.
Joomla! Installer - Upload Package File

If you have problems installing Content Templater, please try the manual installation process as described here: docs.joomla.org/Installing_an_extension