Making Configurable Theme Settings

Every time you want to make a change to a theme, you must make the change and then deploy it to your server. For a Site Administrator, this process is tedious, especially if it’s a minor change to a theme, such as a banner color change. What happens when it must be changed back? It must be deployed again. For larger theme changes, this process is unavoidable, but for smaller changes, there’s a better way: configurable theme settings. The Theme Developer can control the visibility and value of theme elements and provide variations of theme elements for the Site Administrator to configure and choose in the Control Panel. This tutorial covers how to create configurable theme settings for your theme.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open your theme’s WEB-INF/liferay-look-and-feel.xml file, or create it if it doesn’t exist, and follow the pattern below to nest a <setting/> element inside the parent <settings> element for each setting the theme requires:

    	<theme id="your-theme-name" name="Your Theme Name">
          <setting configurable="true" key="theme-setting-key"
          options="true,false" type="select" value="true" />
          <setting configurable="true" key="theme-setting-key"
          type="text" value="My placeholder text" />
          portlet decorators...

    The example configuration below adds a text input setting for custom text:

      <setting configurable="true" key="my-custom-text"
      type="text" value="Liferay rocks!" />

    The available theme <setting> attributes are shown below:

    configurable: whether the setting is configurable or static

    key: the language key that identifies the theme setting

    options: sets the options for the select menu if the type is select

    type: the type of UI to render to control the theme setting. Possible values are checkbox, select, text, or textarea.

    value: sets the default value for the theme setting

    You can find more information about setting attributes and all other configurations for the liferay-look-and-feel.xml in its DTD docs.

  2. Add init_custom.ftl to your theme templates if it doesn’t already exist, and follow the patterns below to define your theme setting variables in it:

    Booleans (a select box with the options true and false or a checkbox with values yes and no):

    <#assign my_variable_name =

    Strings (a text input or text area input):

    <#assign my_variable_name =

    The example configuration below adds the custom text setting:

    <#assign my_custom_text =
  3. Apply your theme settings to the theme template. The example configuration below prints the value for the my_custom_text variable in a <p> element:


  4. Deploy and install the theme, and open the Control MenuSite AdministrationBuildPages. From this point, you can configure theme settings for two scopes:

    • Public or private page set: Click the gear icon next to the page set you want to configure. Then, under the Look and Feel tab, choose your settings and click Save to apply the changes to the page set.

    • An individual page: Open the Actions menu next to the page and select Configure. Then, click the Look and Feel tab and select the Define a Specific look and feel for this page option. Choose your settings and click Save to apply the changes to the page.

Figure 1: Here are examples of configurable settings for the site Admin.

Figure 1: Here are examples of configurable settings for the site Admin.

Now you know how to make configurable theme settings for your themes!

Creating Reusable Pieces of Code for Your Themes

Listing Your Theme’s Extensions

Importing Resources with a Theme

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