Common layout customization tasks

What's in this topic

This article describes the following typical layout customization tasks:

To ensure stability and secure your customizations from being deleted during upgrade, do not change out-of-the-box Magento module and theme layouts. To customize layout, create extending and overriding layout files in your custom theme.

Set the page layout

The type of page layout to be used for a certain page is defined in the page configuration file, in the layout attribute of the root <page> node.

Example: Change the layout of Advanced Search page from default “1-column” to “2-column with left bar”. To do this, extend catalogsearch_advanced_index.xml in your theme by adding the following layout:

app/design/frontend/<Vendor>/<theme>/Magento_CatalogSearch/layout/catalogsearch_advanced_index.xml

<page layout="2columns-left" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:View/Layout/etc/page_configuration.xsd">
...
</page>

Include static resources (JavaScript, CSS, fonts)

JavaScript, CSS and other static assets are added in the <head> section of a page configuration file. The default look of a Magento store page <head> is defined by app/code/Magento/Theme/view/frontend/layout/default_head_blocks.xml. The recommended way to add CSS and JavaScript is to extend this file in your custom theme, and add the assets there. The following file is a sample of a file you must add:

<theme_dir>/Magento_Theme/layout/default_head_blocks.xml

<page xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:View/Layout/etc/page_configuration.xsd">
    <head>
        <!-- Add local resources -->
    	<css src="css/my-styles.css"/>
    
        <!-- The following two ways to add local JavaScript files are equal -->
        <script src="Magento_Catalog::js/sample1.js"/>
        <link src="js/sample.js"/>
		
    	<!-- Add external resources -->
	<css src="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.4/css/bootstrap-theme.min.css" src_type="url" />
        <script src="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.4/js/bootstrap.min.js" src_type="url" />
        <link src="http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat" src_type="url" /> 
    </head>
</page>

When adding external resources, specifying the src_type="url" argument value is a must.

You can use either <link src="js/sample.js"/> or <script src="js/sample.js"/> instruction to add a locally stored JavaScript file to your theme.

The path to assets is specified relatively to one the following locations:

  • <theme_dir>/web
  • <theme_dir>/<Namespace>_<Module>/web

Adding conditional comments

Conditional comments are meant to give special instructions for Internet Explorer. In the terms of adding assets, you can add CSS files to be included for a specific version of Internet Explorer. A sample follows:

    <head>
        <css src="css/ie-9.css" ie_condition="IE 9" />
    </head>
</page>

This adds an IE conditional comment in the generated HTML, like in the following example:

<!--[if IE 9]>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="all" href="<your_store_web_address>/pub/static/frontend/OrangeCo/orange/en_US/css/ie-9.css" />
<![endif]-->

In this example, orange is a custom theme created by the OrangeCo vendor.

Remove static resources (JavaScript, CSS, fonts)

To remove the static resources, linked in a page <head>, make a change similar to the following in a theme extending file:

app/design/frontend/<Vendor>/<theme>/Magento_Theme/layout/default_head_blocks.xml

<page xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:View/Layout/etc/page_configuration.xsd">
   <head>
        <!-- Remove local resources -->
        <remove src="css/styles-m.css" />
        <remove src="my-js.js"/>
        <remove src="Magento_Catalog::js/compare.js" />
								
	<!-- Remove external resources -->
        <remove src="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.4/css/bootstrap-theme.min.css"/>
        <remove src="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.4/js/bootstrap.min.js"/>
        <remove src="http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat" /> 
   </head>

Note, that if a static asset is added with a module path (for example Magento_Catalog::js/sample.js) in the initial layout, you need to specify the module path as well when removing the asset.

Create a container

Use the following sample to create (declare) a container:

<container name="some.container" as="someContainer" label="Some Container" htmlTag="div" htmlClass="some-container" />

Reference a container

To update a container use the <referenceContainer> instruction.

Example: add links to the page header panel.

<referenceContainer name="header.panel">
    <block class="Magento\Framework\View\Element\Html\Links" name="header.links">
        <arguments>
            <argument name="css_class" xsi:type="string">header links</argument>
        </arguments>
    </block>
</referenceContainer>

Create a block

Blocks are created (declared) using the <block> instruction.

Example: add a block with a product SKU information.

<block class="Magento\Catalog\Block\Product\View\Description" name="product.info.sku" template="product/view/attribute.phtml" after="product.info.type">
    <arguments>
        <argument name="at_call" xsi:type="string">getSku</argument>
        <argument name="at_code" xsi:type="string">sku</argument>
        <argument name="css_class" xsi:type="string">sku</argument>
    </arguments>
</block>

Reference a block

To update a block use the <referenceBlock> instruction.

Example: pass the image to the logo block.

<referenceBlock name="logo">
    <arguments>
        <argument name="logo_file" xsi:type="string">images/logo.png</argument>
    </arguments>
</referenceBlock>

Set a block template

There are two ways to set the template for a block:

  • using the template attribute
  • using the <argument> instruction

Both approaches are demonstrated in the following examples of changing the template of the page title block.

Example 1:

 <referenceBlock name="page.main.title" template="%Namespace_Module::new_template.phtml%"/>

Example 2:

 <referenceBlock name="page.main.title">
     <arguments>
         <argument name="template" xsi:type="string">%Namespace_Module::new_template.phtml%</argument>
     </arguments>
 </referenceBlock>

In both example, the template is specified according to the following:

  • Namespace_Module: defines the module the template belongs to. For example, Magento_Catalog.
  • new_template.phtml: the path to the template relatively to the templates directory. It might be <module_dir>/view/<area>/templates or <theme_dir>/<Namespace_Module>/templates.

Template values specified as attributes have higher priority during layout generation, than the ones specified using <argument>. It means, that if for a certain block, a template is set as attribute, it will override the value you specify in <argument> for the same block.

Modify block arguments

To modify block arguments, use the <referenceBlock> instruction.

Example: change the value of the existing block argument and add a new argument.

Initial block declaration:

...
<block class="Namespace_Module_Block_Type" name="block.example">
    <arguments>
        <argument name="label" xsi:type="string">Block Label</argument>
    </arguments>
</block>
...

Extending layout:

...
<referenceBlock name="block.example">
    <arguments>
        <!-- Modified block argument -->
        <argument name="label" xsi:type="string">New Block Label</argument>
        <!- Newly added block argument -->
        <argument name="custom_label" xsi:type="string">Custom Block Label</argument>
    </arguments>
</referenceBlock> 
...

Use block object methods to set block properties

There are two ways to access block object methods:

  • using the <argument> instruction for <block> or <referenceBlock>
  • using the <action> instruction. This way is not recommended, but can be used for calling those methods, which are not refactored yet to be accessed through <argument>.

Example 1: Set a CSS class and add an attribute for the product page using <argument>.

Extending layout:

<referenceBlock name="page.main.title">
    <arguments>
        <argument name="css_class" xsi:type="string">product</argument>
        <argument name="add_base_attribute" xsi:type="string">itemprop="name"</argument>
    </arguments>
</referenceBlock>

Example 2: Set a page title using <action>.

Do not use <action>, if the method implementation allows calling it using <argument></a> for <block> or <referenceBlock>.

Extending layout:

	...
	<referenceBlock name="page.main.title">
	    <action method="setPageTitle">
	        <argument translate="true" name="title" xsi:type="string">Catalog Advanced Search</argument>
	    </action>
	</referenceBlock>
	...

Rearrange elements

In layout files you can change the elements order on a page. This can be done using one of the following:

Example of <move> usage: put the stock availability and SKU blocks next to the product price on a product page.

In the Magento Blank theme these elements are located as follows:

Let’s place the stock availability and SKU blocks after product price block on a product page, and move the review block out of the product-info-price container. To do this, add the extending catalog_product_view.xml in the app/design/frontend/OrangeCo/orange/Magento_Catalog/layout/ directory:

<page layout="1column" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:View/Layout/etc/page_configuration.xsd">
    <body>
        <move element="product.info.stock.sku" destination="product.info.price" after="product.price.final"/>
        <move element="product.info.review" destination="product.info.main" before="product.info.price"/>
    </body>
</page>

This would make the product page look like following:

To learn how to locate the layout file you need to customize, see Locate templates, layouts, and styles.

Remove elements

Elements are removed using the remove attribute for the <referenceBlock> and <referenceContainer>.

Example: remove the Compare Products sidebar block from all store pages.

This block is declared in app/code/Magento/Catalog/view/frontend/layout/default.xml:

<page xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:View/Layout/etc/page_configuration.xsd">
    <body>
...
        <referenceContainer name="sidebar.additional">
            <block class="Magento\Catalog\Block\Product\Compare\Sidebar" name="catalog.compare.sidebar" template="product/compare/sidebar.phtml"/>
        </referenceContainer>
...
    </body>
</page>

To remove the block, add the extending default.xml in your theme: <theme_dir>/Magento_Catalog/layout/default.xml

In this file, reference the element having added the remove attribute:

<page xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:View/Layout/etc/page_configuration.xsd">
    <body>
...
        <referenceBlock name="catalog.compare.sidebar" remove="true" />
...
    </body>
</page>

Replace elements

To replace an element, remove it and add a new one.