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Converting (X)HTML/CSS template to Drupal 7 Theme


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My presentation in Drupal Meetup Jan 28, 2012 held at Microsoft Office Makati Philippines. Drupal meetup is organized by PrometSource.

Published in: Business, Technology, Design
  • what will do if the an old website(HTML,CSS) having links to more than one page.Eg:index.html is the main page which have navigation manu on selecting a menu show another page(eg:-someother.html).So what should we do to get these page and its links
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Converting (X)HTML/CSS template to Drupal 7 Theme

  1. 1. Converting (X)HTML/CSStemplate to DRUPAL 7 themeBy: Adolfo G. Nasol –
  2. 2. Additional option for creatingDRUPAL theme As I said, this will give us another flavour on creating a Drupal 7 theme, Drupal THEMERS usually create themes using a base starter theme and modify to fit into their needs, with this, we are creating themes base on your existing (X)HTML structures and its corresponding CSS files.
  3. 3. What Designer(s) and Noobthink about Drupal Themeing? Noob assume that Drupal theming is complicated and its overwhelming They try to look at several Base starter themes and got confused (OMG, Ive better stay with WordPress / Joomla) Better create my own CMS huh!
  4. 4. What should you do? Never fear!, because its possible to create your own theme base on your designs and concepts and base on your existing (X)HTML and CSS structures and layout.
  5. 5. What should we learn? Step by step process for converting your (X)HTML/CSS template into Drupal 7 theme Finds the location of Drupal’s default template files (.TPL files ) and modify as you need it. Some examples and a demonstration
  6. 6. Basic knowledge required You need to know how to install and setup a Drupal site. (X)HTML/CSS – of course! Basic knowledge in PHP scripts A little knowledge in JavaScript (jQuery) Drupal Terminology (nodes, blocks, regions and etc...)
  7. 7. Why not just use a Base Startertheme? Hey, instructions for creating a Drupal theme usually tells us to start with an existing theme or base theme and customize it to fit to our needs. Do you have problem with that? Are you against it? - NOPE!
  8. 8. Then you’d better explain!,What’s the problem? Avoiding frustration(specially for noob). Existing themes and base theme often include options and features that you dont actually needs - lots of regions - bunch of CSS files that makes it work - So many features that make your site slow.This is fine if thats what you need but also result in very complex template files and bloated CSS.
  9. 9. Then you’d better explain!,What’s the problem? To help us learn how Drupal theming actually works and gain better understanding of the theming system.
  10. 10. Drupal 7 themes
  11. 11. Other valid reason? Your client gives you an existing (x)html/css template and he wants you to use that for their drupal website. Using a base theme for this is a lot harder because you already have existing html structures and layout, CSS class and ID’s won’t match and your frustration begins. Instead of using a base theme, its better to convert that existing template directly into a DRUPAL 7 theme.
  12. 12. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7 theme.Step 1 - Prepare the templatePrepare your existing (X)HTML/CSS template, make sure all files are intact and working properly, test it in the browser if it is working fine and bug free.
  13. 13. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7 theme.Adjust the following as a part of preparation process  Rename the logo as logo.png - Drupal looks for "logo.png" files inside a drupal themes and use it as default logo. If the logo is inside the images folder, copy that logo into the directory where the index.html file resides, they must be in the same level.
  14. 14. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7 theme. (X)HTML/CSS layouts,  Analyze your existing each section of the template will need to be converted into DRUPAL block regions, tools such as firebug can help you or even an HTML editing software such as Adobe Dreamweaver.  Take note of the sections in the html template, we will use this sections as block region and we will need to define it in file.
  15. 15. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7Create the folder for your theme Step 2 – theme. - Create a folder inside sites/all/themes/ directory, this will be the name of your Drupal theme, for example, if you created a folder named "mytheme" then your directory shall be "sites/all/themes/mytheme"
  16. 16. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7Copy the files in themes folder Step 3 – theme. - Copy all the files in your (X)HTML/CSS templates into the directory youve just created "sites/all/themes/mytheme" , make sure to include all the HTML files, CSS, Images, JavaScripts and other assets and etc...
  17. 17. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal –7 theme. Step 4 Create - Create "" file, name must be the same with your folder name, theme folder named "mytheme“ must have “” inside it. - Declare the following: name, description, core, engine, stylesheets, javascript’s, and regions. Visit for information on .INFO file, look on files for working examples, copy if necessary and update the information as needed.
  18. 18. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7Create page.tpl.php Step 5 – theme.  Duplicate your main html file, usually "index.html“ or “index.htm” and rename the copy as page.tpl.php
  19. 19. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7Copy all other TPL files you want to use Step 6 – theme. and overrides (optional)  Copy the template files you want to override and edit the mark-up (html.tpl.php, node.tpl.php, block.tpl.php), put this to your theme folder, this way you can edit the file without hacking the original in the core. Please check for list of core templates. Also check core modules folder for available .TPL files.
  20. 20. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7Edit page.tpl.php Step 7 – theme.  Open your page.tpl.php and edit, remove all tags starting from DOCTYPE up to opening <body> tag.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page.tpl.php and also remove the closing </body> body tag and the closing </html> html tag.
  21. 21. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7Check and declare all the reference for Step 8 – theme. the CSS and JS file into .INFO file.  Take note of all references to CSS file and JS file in the header section of the (X)HTML file and make sure you declare this into your .INFO file.  Note that if your html template used jQuery library, you don’t need to include this to because Drupal already comes with jQuery library.
  22. 22. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7 theme. regions Step 9– Insert your block  Start Inserting all your regions, any part of your page you want to be editable in the Drupal interface(via Blocks) need to be converted to a region. Code example: <?php if ($page[sidebar_second]): ?> <div id="sidebar-1" class="sidebar-1"> <?php print render($page[sidebar_second]); ?> </div> <!-- /#sidebar-1 --> <?php endif; ?>
  23. 23. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal – Insert variables you want to use Step 10 7 theme.  Start Inserting all the necessary variables you want to use and you need in the proper spot where you want to show it on your page. Some of the most common variable in page.tpl.php $site_name $logo $title $main_menu $secondary_menu $breadcrumbs $tabs $messages Variables are inserted using the Render API, information can be found here -> Example of printing tabs <?php print render($tabs); ?>
  24. 24. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7 Adjust your CSS Step 11 – theme.  Adjust your CSS and override Drupal default style sheet as you need to fit your design into your Drupal site. Firebug can help you a lot with this to properly find the correct element class and id’s that you want to override.
  25. 25. Step by step process forConverting (X)HTML/CSS toDrupal 7 theme. Step 12 – Test and Done!  And were Done! Note: Were done with the basic, its enough for you to be able to convert an existing html/css template to Drupal 7 theme. Advance theming use more .TPL files and requires you to create custom PHP code in template.php files, you need to learn how template hooks works and all the available pre-process functions. More information here:
  26. 26. Example of theme hook Adding external stylesheets ( template.php ) Code: <?php function mytheme_preprocess_html(&$variables) { drupal_add_css( cle, array(type => external)); } ?>
  27. 27. Theme Developer module Themers usually use theme developer module that can be downloaded at You can view template suggestion and existing variables value with the help of this module
  28. 28. Helper PHP function If you dont want to install theme developer modules, you can use the following PHP function to inspect your page for variables and array values: Code: <pre> <?php var_dump($var); ?> </pre> Or with this one <pre> <?php $vars = get_defined_vars(); print_r($vars); ?> </pre> For more info, please visit:
  29. 29. Happy DRUPAL Theming! Adolfo G. Nasol Mobile: 09195951276 Blog: Website: Email: adolfo@danreb.comMore power, PHDUG – Philippine Drupal User Group! 2012