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This chapter is from the book

Selecting Menu Item Types

Menu item types are organized into four groups. Each group contains layouts for each menu item type you are using. If you install third-party components and modules, new layout types will be added to the Menu Item Type list (Figure 4.28).

Figure 4.28

Figure 4.28 Selecting a menu item type

  • Internal Links: Used to display the content on your site.

  • External Links: Used to link to sites outside your web site.

  • Separators: Used to place separator items, such as graphics or lines, between your menus.

  • Alias: Alias links are used to link back to existing menu items.

    Each menu item type has various layouts. In this section we cover the most common types of layouts used, the details and parameters you can set with each layout, and examples of what the layouts will look like on the site. However, it is impossible to cover every variation. As you work with menu item types and their parameters, you will become familiar enough to develop and customize the look you are going for.

To create an archived article list layout:

  1. Choose Menu > Recipes Menu.
  2. Click the New icon to open the New Menu Item selection page.

    Hovering over a menu item type displays a pop-up describing the layout (Figure 4.29).

    Figure 4.29

    Figure 4.29 A pop-up description of the layout

  3. Choose Internal Link > Articles > Archive > Archived Article List.

    The Menu Item Editor opens, where you configure all the settings for this layout type. At the top of the page is the name of the layout type selected for this menu item. You can change the layout type at any time by coming back to the Menu Item page (Figure 4.30).

    Figure 4.30

    Figure 4.30 The Menu Item Editor for the Archived Article List

  4. In the Menu Item Details area, in the Title field, type Archived Recipes.

    The title is the name of the link as it will appear in the Recipes Menu module.

  5. Leave the Alias field blank.

    The Link field displays the actual parameterized URL used by the system to call this page. You cannot modify this field; Joomla fills it in automatically. See Chapter 7, “Modifying Global Settings” for more information about search engine–friendly URLs.

  6. Choose Recipes Menu from the Display In drop-down menu.

    Your choice determines in which menu module this link appears.

  7. In the Parent Item list, leave Top highlighted, because this is a top-level parent menu item.
  8. Click the Yes radio button for Published.

    If you don’t publish your menu item, it won’t appear in your menu. Select No if you plan to publish the menu item later or for hidden menu items.

  9. In the Access Level list, choose Public.
  10. In the “On Click, Open In” list, choose Parent Window with Browser Navigation.

    This selection opens your menu item in the current window without opening a new browser window (Figure 4.31).

    Figure 4.31

    Figure 4.31 The menu item details settings

  11. Click Apply.

To set article archived list parameters:

  1. Choose Menu > Recipes Menu.
  2. Click Archived Recipes.
  3. Under Parameters (Basic), choose “Most recent first” from the Order drop-down menu (Figure 4.32).
    Figure 4.32

    Figure 4.32 Article archived list basic parameters

    Archived article lists have only one basic parameter: the order in which you want the list sorted. Most order settings are self-explanatory with the following exceptions:

    • Order: Sorts the articles by the order they appear in the Article Manager. Use this when you want to choose the order for your articles.

    • Default: Sorts by most recent archived article first.

  4. Click the arrow next to Parameters (Component) to expand the list.

    Component parameters set to Use Global use the article’s Global Configuration parameters (Figure 4.33). Changing the parameters here will override the article’s parameters for this menu item only. These parameters were covered in detail in Chapter 3, “Adding Your Content.”

    Figure 4.33

    Figure 4.33 Article archived list component parameters

  5. Click the arrow next to Parameters (System).
  6. In the Page Title field, type Our Older Recipes.

    This places a page title above the article list.

  7. Click the Yes radio button for Show Page Title (Figure 4.34).
    Figure 4.34

    Figure 4.34 Article archived list system parameters

    Leave all other system parameters at their defaults:

    • Page Class Suffix: Assigns a CSS class from your template.

    • Menu Image: Places an image next to this menu item link.

    • SSL Enabled: Is used by Joomla to allow SSL connections.

  8. Click Save, and then click Preview.

    The first menu item is now in the Recipes Menu module. If you cannot see the link, click the arrow next to Recipes Menu to expand the list (Figure 4.35).

    Figure 4.35

    Figure 4.35 The Archived Recipes menu item added to the Recipes menu module

    This creates a menu item (link) so the user can access any archived recipes, but it also will control how the archived recipes are laid out.

  9. Choose Recipes from the main menu.

    The Recipes section opens, displaying all of the current recipes, with a Recipes menu on the right to help users navigate through all the recipes contained on the site (Figure 4.36).

    Figure 4.36

    Figure 4.36 The web site Recipe section

  10. In the administrative back end, choose Content > Article Manager.
  11. Select the checkbox for three recipes and click the Archive button.

    The three articles you chose are now grayed out and archived (Figure 4.37). If you do not create a menu item for archived items, your users have no way of accessing or viewing content that has been archived on the site.

    Figure 4.37

    Figure 4.37 Archiving recipes

  12. Return to the Recipe page of the web site, click Refresh, and then choose the Archived Recipes menu item.

    A list off the archived recipes is displayed, along with a filter to search through the archives (Figure 4.38). The archived articles list layout defined how this content will be presented to the user.

    Figure 4.38

    Figure 4.38 The archived list layout

To create an article layout menu item:

  1. Choose Menus > Recipes Menu.
  2. On the Menu Item Manager toolbar, click the New icon.
  3. Choose Internal Link > Articles > Article Layout.

    The Menu Item Editor opens (Figure 4.39).

    Figure 4.39

    Figure 4.39 The article layout

    Unlike all the other layouts, the article layout type displays only a single article.

  4. In the Title field, type Today's Recipe.
  5. Leave all other fields in the Menu Item Details at their defaults (Figure 4.40).
    Figure 4.40

    Figure 4.40 Creating an article layout

  6. Under Parameters (Basic), click the Select button (Figure 4.41).
    Figure 4.41

    Figure 4.41 Selecting an article

    A small window appears, displaying all articles created (Figure 4.42).

    Figure 4.42

    Figure 4.42 A list of created articles

  7. Click the Zucchini Cakes title.

    Do not change the Component Parameters unless you want to override the Global Configuration parameters set for this article. System Parameters allow you to add a title to the page, define a custom CSS class, and enable SSL connections.

  8. Click Save, and then click Preview.

    Another menu item, Today’s Recipe, is added to the Recipes menu.

  9. Click Today’s Recipe to see an example of an article layout (Figure 4.43).
    Figure 4.43

    Figure 4.43 A single article using article layout

To create a category blog layout menu item:

  1. Choose Menus > Recipes Menu.
  2. On the Menu Item Manager toolbar, click the New icon.
  3. Choose Internal Link > Articles > Category > Category Blog Layout (Figure 4.44).
    Figure 4.44

    Figure 4.44 The blog layouts

  4. In the Menu Item Details area, type Desserts in the Title field.
  5. Leave all other fields in the Menu Item Details at their defaults (Figure 4.45).
    Figure 4.45

    Figure 4.45 Category blog layout details

  6. Continue setting category blog parameters.

To set category blog parameters:

  1. Choose Menus > Recipes Menu.
  2. Click the Desserts menu item.
  3. Click the arrow next to Parameters (Basic).
  4. Choose Recipes/Desserts from the Category drop-down menu (Figure 4.46).
    Figure 4.46

    Figure 4.46 Selecting the section and category

    This tells Joomla the section and the category to pull the articles from.

  5. Click the Hide radio button for Description.

    Selecting Show displays the section and category descriptions set in the category and section managers. Selecting Hide does not display the descriptions.

  6. Leave Description Image set to Hide.

    If an image was created for the section and category descriptions, you could set this to Show to display the images.

  7. Leave the rest of the parameters at their defaults (Figure 4.47).
    Figure 4.47

    Figure 4.47 Category blog layout parameters

    You can alter these numbers to see the affect on the layout.

  8. Click Save, and then click Preview.
  9. In the Recipes Menu, click the Desserts link.

    You use the parameters to alter the layout and override any article global parameters set, such as hiding the date and author info, and so on (Figure 4.48).

    Figure 4.48

    Figure 4.48 A category blog layout on the site

To set category blog advanced parameters:

  1. Choose Menus > Recipes Menu.
  2. In the Menu Item Manager, click Desserts.

    The Menu Item Editor opens for Desserts.

  3. Click the arrow next to Parameters (Advanced) (Figure 4.49).
    Figure 4.49

    Figure 4.49 Category blog layout advanced parameters

  4. Change advanced parameters as desired, and then click Save.

To create a category list layout menu item:

  1. Choose Menus > Recipes Menu.
  2. In the Menu Item Manager, click Desserts.

    The Menu Item Editor opens. To see the difference between layout types, you are going to change the Dessert item’s blog layout to a category list layout.

  3. In the Menu Item Type area, click the Change Type button (Figure 4.50).
    Figure 4.50

    Figure 4.50 The Change Type button

    The Change Menu Item page opens.

  4. Choose Internal Link > Articles > Category > Category List Layout (Figure 4.51).
    Figure 4.51

    Figure 4.51 Selecting the category list layout

    The Category List Layout option shows all the articles belonging to a single category in one list.

  5. Click the arrow next to Parameters (Basic) (Figure 4.52).
    Figure 4.52

    Figure 4.52 Category list basic parameters

  6. Choose Recipes/Desserts from the Category drop-down menu.
  7. Leave the Advanced, Component, and System parameters at their defaults (or adjust them to your preference). They are the same as for each of the other menu item types.
  8. Click Save, and then click Preview.
  9. In the Recipes Menu, click Desserts.

    The list of all articles appears in the Desserts category (Figure 4.53).

    Figure 4.53

    Figure 4.53 The Desserts menu item in category list layout

To create a section layout menu item:

  1. Choose Menus > Recipes Menu.
  2. Click the Desserts menu item.

    The Menu Item Editor opens so you can change the layout type to a section layout.

  3. In the Menu Item Type area, click the Change Type button.
  4. Choose Internal Links > Articles > Section > Section Layout.

    A section layout show all the articles, arranged by categories, in a single section. The category titles are links, and they display the number of articles each category contains (Figure 4.54).

    Figure 4.54

    Figure 4.54 The section layout settings

  5. Under Parameters (Basic), choose Recipes from the Section drop-down menu (Figure 4.55).
    Figure 4.55

    Figure 4.55 The Section layout basic parameters

  6. Click Save, and then click Preview.
  7. Click the Desserts link from the Recipes Menu.

    The section title, Family Recipes, is at the top of the page, along with the section description, and the categories for this section are all listed as links. Next to the category links are the number of articles contained in each category (Figure 4.56).

    Figure 4.56

    Figure 4.56 The section layout viewed on the site

  8. On the Desserts page, click the Desserts link.

    A category list layout is displayed automatically, allowing the user to search the available recipes (Figure 4.57).

    Figure 4.57

    Figure 4.57 Selecting a category link

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