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Screen templates 15.png

The visual experience of your site front-end and back-end can be controlled in the Template Manager by choosing an installed template. A default template is used on all pages, but different templates can be assigned to various pages. The Template Manager also provides editing capabilities for the main index file of the template and the style sheet (CSS) file.

Version Changes

In Joomla! 1.0.x the Template Manager was available from Site -> Template Manager -> Site Templates and Administrator Templates menu item. The parameters of a Joomla! 1.0 template were hardcoded, but the parameters of a Joomla! 1.5 template can be configured easily on the Template [Edit] screen.

In Joomla! 1.5 a template is a type of extension, so the Template Manager was moved to the Extensions menu.

In Joomla! 1.0 you could have a look at the available template positions by clicking the Site -> Preview -> Inline with Positions menu item. In Joomla! 1.5 please click the Preview toolbar button on the Template [Edit] screen instead.

Column Headers

  • #. An indexing number automatically assigned by Joomla! for ease of reference.
  • Template Name. The name given to each Template by the Template author. Click the Name to open the Template for editing. If you hover the mouse over the Template Name, a small preview for the Template displays in a pop-up window. The Template Name normally corresponds to the sub-directory name that contains the Template in the <path-to-Joomla!>/templates/ directory. For example, the files for the "rhuk_milkyway" Template are in the directory "<path-to-Joomla!>/templates/rhuk_milkyway".
  • Default. Indicator of Default Template.
  • Assigned. Shows whether this Template has been assigned to any specific menu items. To assign a template to menu items, open the Template for editing.
  • Version. The version number of the Extension.
  • Date. The date this Article was created. This date is added automatically by Joomla!, but you may change it in the Parameters - Article section of the Article Manager - New/Edit.
  • Author. Name of the Joomla! User who created this item. Clicking on the Author opens the User for editing. See User Manager - Edit.

Typical Usage

Template Manager can be opened from Extensions -> Template Manager menu item. The installed front-end templates are listed on the Site tab while the back-end templates are available by switching to the Administrator tab.

If you hover over the name of the template, a thumbnail image of that template is displayed. Clicking on the template name will present the template configuration screen, which provides all the basic details of the template. Parameters available for configuration appear in the Parameters pane.

Screen templates edit 15.png

Template HTML Editor

Clicking the Edit HTML button will display the basic text editor, which was designed to allow minor adjustments.

Screen templates edit html 15.png

Template CSS Editor

If you click on the Edit CSS button on the template screen, the text editor will be displayed with the style sheet file of the template. For a template with multiple style sheets, you can select which one to edit.

Screen templates edit css 15.png

Template Site Preview

If you are curious about the available module positions, click the Preview button on the toolbar and the site front-end will be loaded showing you the available positions.

Screen templates preview 15.png

Note: The preview of an administrator template does not show you the administrator module positions.

Quick Tips

You can switch between the already installed templates for the Site and the Administrator by selecting the desired template and clicking on the Default toolbar icon on the upper right part of the screen.

Points to Watch

Important: Do not delete the default template files using FTP because it generates an error both front-end and back-end!

Before editing the HTML and the CSS file of the template, it is a good idea to make a backup of the file you are editing.

The Preview will only display positions that contain published modules. To make sure you can see all positions defined in the template, you can create custom modules for them.

You cannot assign the default template to specific menu items.


The templates listed in the Template Manager can be installed in the Extension Manager from Extensions -> Install/Uninstall menu item. The unnecessary templates can be removed on the Templates tab of the Extension Manager. Only those templates that may be uninstalled are displayed as accessible, the default templates (site and administrator) cannot be removed.