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Customizing Built-in Screens

Use extensions instead

The methods on this page are of historical interest and may be helpful in understanding legacy code, but overriding templates and php files is strongly discouraged for any new customisations. These approaches need attention whenever you upgrade and will cause a range of problems from subtle to major if you forget about them.

As CiviCRM evolves, the recommended ways of customizing it change. The current preferred method is to Create an Extension to implement Hooks and use the API. If you can't find a way to use existing hooks to accomplish what you want, discuss it on StackExchange or Chat. It may be appropriate to add a new hook to core.

(It is possible to override templates and php in an extension, but you face the same problems when it comes to upgrading - don't do it!)

You can create customized versions of the standard CiviCRM forms and pages for your site. This gives you a lot of power to modify the CiviCRM user interfaces without requiring advanced programming skills - the templates use HTML plus a fairly simple scripting language. It also means you won't lose your customizations when you upgrade (although it is possible that changes in the core code could affect your templates - and testing after upgrades is essential).

First Time Configuration

  • Create a new directory under your webroot (or anywhere readable by www-data) where you will place your custom template files.
    • EX: /var/www/civicrm_custom
    • EX: /var/www/media/civicrm/customtpl/
  • Login to CiviCRM with administer CiviCRM permissions and navigate to Administer CiviCRM » Global Settings » Directories (in newer versions this is Administer » System settings » Directories)
  • Enter the full path to your custom templates directory in the Custom Templates field and save your changes.

Create a Custom Screen

These steps are for any "built-in" screen (e.g. the Contact Summary screen). Creating a custom Profile form or page are covered in the next section.

  • Navigate to the screen you want to customize and use your browser to View Source.
  • Search for .tpl in the source. You will find a comment line which gives you the path and name of the template used for the screen you are viewing.

    <!-- .tpl file invoked: CRM/Contact/Page/View/Summary.tpl. Call via form.tpl if we have a form in the page. -->
    
  • Locate this file on your server under your civicrm/templates path.

  • Make a copy of file in the equivalent path under your new custom templates directory.

    If your civicrm install files are in: /var/www/drupal/sites/all/modules/civicrm ...and your custom templates directory is: /var/www/civicrm_custom

    Create directory structure in your custom templates tree

    $ cd /var/www/civicrm_custom
    $ mkdir CRM
    $ cd CRM
    $ mkdir Contact
    $ cd Contact
    $ mkdir Page
    $ cd Page
    $ mkdir View
    $ cd View
    

    -OR-, do all of the above with:

    $ mkdir -p CRM/Contact/Page/View/ ; cd CRM/Contact/Page/View/
    

    Copy standard template to your new tree

    $ cp /var/www/drupal/sites/all/modules/civicrm/templates/CRM/Contact/Page/View/Summary.tpl
    
  • Edit the file as needed and save.

  • Then clean-up the compiled templates directory, usually by deleting all the directories under your templates_c directory. You can also do the cleanup by enabling CiviCRM debugging and running the directory cleanup command.

    Note

    You do NOT need to delete the standard version of the template from your main CiviCRM codebase. CiviCRM will look for a customized version first, and use that one if found.)

  • You should see your modified version when you reload the CiviCRM screen.

Create a Custom Screen for Contact SubTypes

You can have customized view/edit screens for contact subtypes in CiviCRM. This allows you to have different views for your specific contact subtypes.

If your civicrm install files are in: /var/www/drupal/sites/all/modules/civicrm ...and your custom templates directory is: /var/www/civicrm_custom

Create a directory "SubType" to place your custom contact subtypes

$ mkdir SubType

The new directory structure is:

  • /var/www/civicrm_custom/CRM/Contact/Form/Edit/SubType/
  • /var/www/civicrm_custom/CRM/Contact/Page/View/SubType/

To override edit screen: put subTypeName.tpl file in the templates/CRM/Contact/Form/Edit/SubType/ directory.

To override view screen(contact summary): put subTypeName.tpl file in the templates/CRM/Contact/Page/View/SubType/ directory.

For Example if you want to create custom templates for Contact SubTypes "Student" and "Sponsor". Copy standard template to your new tree as:

For Contact SubType "Student"

  • Edit Screen

    $ cp /var/www/drupal/sites/all/modules/civicrm/templates/CRM/Contact/Form/Contact.tpl
               /var/www/drupal/sites/all/modules/civicrm/civicrm_custom/CRM/Contact/Form/Edit/SubType/Student.tpl
    
  • View Screen

    $ cp /var/www/drupal/sites/all/modules/civicrm/templates/CRM/Contact/Page/View/Summary.tpl
               /var/www/drupal/sites/all/modules/civicrm/civicrm_custom/CRM/Contact/Page/View/SubType/Student.tpl
    

For Contact SubType "Sponsor"

  • Edit Screen

    $ cp /var/www/drupal/sites/all/modules/civicrm/templates/CRM/Contact/Form/Contact.tpl
               /var/www/drupal/sites/all/modules/civicrm/civicrm_custom/CRM/Contact/Form/Edit/SubType/Sponsor.tpl
    
  • View Screen

    $ cp /var/www/drupal/sites/all/modules/civicrm/templates/CRM/Contact/Page/View/Summary.tpl
               /var/www/drupal/sites/all/modules/civicrm/civicrm_custom/CRM/Contact/Page/View/SubType/Sponsor.tpl
    

Edit the file as needed and save.

Then clean-up the compiled templates directory, usually by deleting all the directories under your templates_c directory. You can also do the cleanup by enabling CiviCRM debugging and running the directory cleanup command. (NOTE: You do NOT need to delete the standard version of the template from your main CiviCRM codebase. CiviCRM will look for a customized version first, and use that one if found.)

You should see your modified version when you reload the CiviCRM screen.

If you need help with the templating language, check out the Smarty Documentation

Custom Profile / Contribution / Event Registration Screens

The process for customizing Profiles / Contribution / Event Registration is the same as above EXCEPT that you have the flexibility to create different screen "versions" for each of your configured Profile / Contribution / Event Registration Pages. The structure for contribution and event registration pages is similar to that of profile explained here. You do this by creating an extra directory layer in your custom directory tree that references the Profile's ID.

Tip

If you want a custom version of the Profile View screen for a Profile whose ID is 2...and your basic install and custom directory setup are the same as shown above - then your custom template copy should be saved to:

/var/www/civicrm_custom/CRM/Profile/Page/2/View.tpl

Tip

If you want a custom version of the Profile Create/Edit screen for a Profile whose ID is 2...and your basic install and custom directory setup are the same as shown above - then your custom template copy should be saved to:

/var/www/civicrm_custom/CRM/Profile/Form/2/Edit.tpl

Profile ID's are listed in the Administer CiviCRM » CiviCRM Profiles table (ID column).

Tip

If you want a custom version of the Register screen for an Event whose ID is 2...and your basic install and custom directory setup are the same as shown above - then your custom template copy should be saved to:

/var/www/civicrm_custom/CRM/Event/Form/Registration/2/Register.tpl

Customizing MembershipBlock.tpl.

If you are making customizations for specific contribution forms based on the ID, you will need to also customize the Main.tpl file to call your custom MembershipBlock.tpl file.

In Main.tpl in your custom template directory find:

{include file="CRM/Contribute/Form/Contribution/MembershipBlock.tpl" context="makeContribution"}

and change it to:

{include file="CRM/Contribute/Form/Contribution/1/MembershipBlock.tpl" context="makeContribution"}

insuring that you are using the correct path for your custom form id.

Referencing Individual Fields in Profile Pages

Profile view and edit pages consist of several template files working together. The View.tpl (detail view pages) and Edit.tpl (edit pages) each reference a corresponding Dynamic.tpl file, which cycles through the fields found in the profile and displays them in a table. The layout is very basic -- one column is used for the field label, the other column for the field value or form field. Often, when customizing profile pages, you may want to reference specific fields and layout them out in a customized display. To do so you would work with the View.tpl/Edit.tpl files and insert smarty tokens for the profile fields array. The profile fields array is structured as follows:

  • $profileFields_ProfileID => Field Name => label/value

So you would insert the following token into the template file to reference the First Name label and field value in Profile 3:

  • {$profileFields_3.first_name.label}: {$profileFields_3.first_name.value}

Custom fields in your profile are referenced using the custom ID value, e.g. {$profileFields_3.custom_38.value}.

To customize fields displayed within Drupal profiles, edit Dynamic.tpl and use $profileFields => Field Name => label/value (e.g. {$profileFields.first_name.value} - without the profile ID) to reference individual profile fields.

Tip

With debugging turned on, use the Smarty Debug url string to view the Smarty variables available for inclusion on any given page. Add &smartyDebug=1 at the end of your page url.

Changing Show/Hide Default on Collapsible Fieldsets

In the words of Dave Greenberg:

This is a bit tricky because the collapse vs. expand states are controlled via showBlocks and hideBlocks arrays that are passed into a jscript function by the PHP code.

So I will show you how to do this using an example.

If you want to make a fieldset that is by default collapsible or hidden on a CiviCRM Contact View screen, you would need to follow all the above instructions to first get the correct custom template and put it in the proper location. Let's assume you want to edit the CRM/Contact/Page/View/Tabbed.tpl screen, which is the default contact view. You would copy that into your custom template location. Then you will need to determine the name of the fieldset that you want to change the default state of. Let's say I want to collapse the "Communications Preferences" fieldset by default. Look in the file for that section, so in this case I find the line that has the following:

<a href="#"
    onclick="hide('commPrefs_show'); show('commPrefs'); return false;">
  <img
      src="{$config->resourceBase}i/TreePlus.gif" 
      class="action-icon"
      alt="{ts}open section{/ts}"/>
</a>
<label>{ts}Communications Preferences{/ts}</label>

We can see that there's a javascript onclick call which references 'commPrefs_show' and 'commPrefs'. So since this fieldset is by default showing up, we need to force the javascript to reverse it. So next you need to scroll to the bottom of this file and look for the following javascript call:

{literal}
 <script type="text/javascript">

   init_blocks = function( ) {
{/literal}
      var showBlocks = new Array({$showBlocks});
      var hideBlocks = new Array({$hideBlocks});
{literal}
      on_load_init_blocks( showBlocks, hideBlocks );
  }

  dojo.addOnLoad( init_blocks );
 </script>
{/literal}

The way we will fix this is to reverse the hide/show states of Communication Preferences. We will add the following two lines after on_load_init_blocks(showBlocks, hideBlocks);

hide('commPrefs');
show('commPrefs_show');

And that will fix it. Our final javascript call will look like this:

{literal}
 <script type="text/javascript">

   init_blocks = function( ) {
{/literal}
      var showBlocks = new Array({$showBlocks});
      var hideBlocks = new Array({$hideBlocks});
{literal}
      on_load_init_blocks( showBlocks, hideBlocks );
      // Added next 2 lines to reverse the show and hide states for commPrefs blocks
      hide('commPrefs');
      show('commPrefs_show');
  }

  dojo.addOnLoad( init_blocks );
 </script>
{/literal}

So for any other fieldset, you can find the show/hide names by looking for the fieldset section in the code as I demonstrated here. Just look at the <a> tag for the onclick function.

Using jQuery to hide contribution amounts, event fees, or membership options

It's pretty easy to do, but the key is identifying the unique 'id' of the radio button of the item you wish to hide.

Use Firebug to click on the radio button and copy and paste the id number. The ids are cryptic and will look something like this example: CIVICRM_QFID_369_2

Then use some jQuery. You can put this jQuery in one of three places. 1. a unfiltered block that is visible on the page in question (Drupal only) 2. in your site's theme files 3. in a custom .tpl in a Custom Template Directory in CiviCRM as described on this page

Here is an example of the jQuery code.

Note

there is no need to use drupal_add_js() or any other function. This is just pure jQuery code. Copy and paste, filling in the id of your field where indicated

This jQuery does 3 things: Hides the radio button itself, hides the label, and hides the <br> tag immediately after the label. So easy.

{literal}
<script>
  cj("#YOUR_CIVICRM_QFID_999_9").hide();
  cj("label[for='YOUR_CIVICRM_QFID_999_9']").next('br').remove();
  cj("label[for='YOUR_CIVICRM_QFID_999_9']").hide();
</script>
{/literal}

If you are using option #3 above you can use this jQuery in conjunction with $user->roles; array to hide certain options for certain roles only.

Move the placement of hook form elements

When defining CiviCRM fields in a Drupal module (such as Civievent Discount), CiviCRM normally will place the fields at the top of the form. If you want the placement changed, follow these steps.

  1. Set the path for custom templates in CiviCRM (see above).
  2. Make a custom version of CRM/Form/body.tpl at custom_civicrm_templates/CRM/Form/body.tpl (or wherever you place the custom templates).
  3. Cut everything between the

    {if $beginHookFormElements}
    

    and

    {/if}
    
  4. Create a new custom template at CRM/common called hookFormElements.tpl

  5. Insert the $beginHookFormElements text from body.tpl
  6. Create custom version of CRM/Contribute/Form/Contribution/Main.tpl (for memberships) and CRM/Event/Form/Registration/Register.tpl (for events).
  7. Place this snippet:

    {include file="CRM/common/hookFormElements.tpl"}
    

    wherever you want it to appear in the template. Include wherever body.tpl is also referenced.

  8. Refresh the template files. Turn debugging on (Administer > Configure > Global Settings > Debugging) and then put this at end of URL: &directoryCleanup=1, press enter to refresh page.