Theming Portlets

Themes can provide additional styles for your apps. You can change the markup for portlet containers by modifying the theme’s portlet.ftl file.

This tutorial demonstrates how to style portlets with your themes.

Portlet FTL

Although you can individually style a portlet via the theme’s CSS or the portlet’s Look and Feel Configuration menu, you may want to modify the default look and feel for all portlets in your site. A portlet’s template–its container, CSS classes, and overall HTML Markup–is defined via the theme’s portlet.ftl file. To provide a custom style for all portlets, use the CSS classes in this file for the various container elements, in conjunction with the portlet decorators to achieve the desired look and feel. Be cautious: changes to portlet.ftl affect all the portlets in your site when the theme is applied.

To help you with your bearings as you modify your portlet’s template, below is a quick look at the portlet.ftl file that’s included in the default theme of Liferay DXP 7.1.

    portlet_display = portletDisplay
    portlet_back_url = htmlUtil.escapeHREF(portlet_display.getURLBack())
    portlet_content_css_class = "portlet-content"
    portlet_display_name = htmlUtil.escape(portlet_display.getPortletDisplayName())
    portlet_display_root_portlet_id = htmlUtil.escapeAttribute(portlet_display.getRootPortletId())
    portlet_id = htmlUtil.escapeAttribute(portlet_display.getId())
    portlet_title = htmlUtil.escape(portlet_display.getTitle())

The variables shown above are used throughout the template, so its important that you understand them before modifying the file:

  • portletDisplay: is fetched from the themeDisplay object and contains information about the portlet.
  • portlet_back_url: URL to return to the previous page when the portlet WindowState is maximized.
  • portlet_display_name: The “friendly” name of the portlet as displayed in the GUI.
  • portlet_display_root_portlet_id: The root portlet ID of the portlet.
  • portlet_id: The ID of the portlet (not the same as the portlet namespace)
  • portlet_title: The portlet name set in the portlet Java class (usually from a class).

Next, a condition checks if the portlet header should be displayed. If the portlet has a portlet toolbar (Configuration, Permissions, Look and Feel), the condition is true and the header is displayed:

<#if portlet_display.isPortletDecorate() && !portlet_display.isStateMax() 
&& portlet_display.getPortletConfigurationIconMenu()?? 
&& portlet_display.getPortletToolbar()??>

You can use a similar pattern if you want to dynamically show portions of the portlet’s UI.

Next, the portlet title menus are defined. These are used in portlets that let you add resources (Web Content Display, Media Gallery, Documents and Media):

portlet_title_menus = portlet_toolbar.getPortletTitleMenus(portlet_display_root_portlet_id, renderRequest, renderResponse)

The configuration below contains the information for the configuration menu (Configuration, Permissions, Look and Feel):

portlet_configuration_icons = portlet_configuration_icon_menu.getPortletConfigurationIcons(portlet_display_root_portlet_id, renderRequest, renderResponse)

The rest of the file contains the HTML markup for the portlet topper and the portlet content. This section barely scratches the surface of the portlet.ftl file. You must examine the portlet.ftl file yourself and determine what elements and classes need updated for your theme and site.

Now that you are more familiar with your theme’s portlet.ftl file, you can learn the role Portlet Decorators play in the overall look and feel of your portlets.

Portlet Decorators

With Portlet Decorators, you can customize the style of the application wrapper. Themes come bundled with three default portlet decorators in their liferay-look-and-feel.xml:

  • Barebone: this decorator displays the bare application content, showing neither the wrapping box nor the custom application title.

  • Borderless: this decorator shows the title at the top, but does not display a wrapping box.

  • decorate: this is the default Portlet Decorator when using the Classic theme. It wraps the application in a white box with a border, and displays the title at the top.

Now you know how to make your portlets stylish! But if default decorators are not stylish enough for you, [EDITOR: Our defaults are always stylish!] go to Portlet Decorators to learn how make and apply your own.

Look and Feel Configuration

Creating Configurable Styles For Portlet Wrappers

Themes and Layout Templates

« Portlets and ThemesCreating Configurable Styles for Portlet Wrappers »
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