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Drupal Themes Explained

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In this chapter, learn how to change your Drupal theme and change your site’s design and layout. You'll also learn how to distinguish between the administrative theme and the site theme, install a theme from Drupal.org, turn on and setup a theme, and configure a theme that utilizes modules to provide features.

This excerpt is from the Rough Cuts version of the book and may not represent the final version of this material.

From the Rough Cut

Up until now, your Drupal site has had a blue and white design. This is because you’ve been using a theme called Bartik whose default settings are blue and white.

Themes are responsible for controlling both your site’s design and layout.

Bartik is the reason why your site is blue and white. You can redesign your site with any color you choose if you modify Bartik’s settings or replace Bartik,

Bartik is also the reason that your site is using a 2 column layout. Currently you have a left column for blocks and a central column for content. You can redesign your site with any layout you choose if your take advantage of some of Bartik’s layout options or replace Bartik.

In this chapter, we’re going to show you how to change your theme and change your site’s design and layout.

At the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Distinguish between the administrative theme and the site theme
  • Install a theme from Drupal.org
  • Turn on and setup a theme
  • Configure a theme that utilizes modules to provide features

Part 1: Bartik Explained

Let’s start our exploration of themes by looking at the themes that come with Drupal by default.

Click the Appearance link in the black admin bar and you’ll see an screen that looks like Figure 9.1.

Figure 9.1 The two default Drupal themes, Bartik and Seven

Drupal comes with two themes enabled: Bartik, the default theme and Seven, the administration theme.

  • Bartik is the default theme that your visitors see when they visit your site.
  • Seven is the admin theme that you see when you use any of the administration screens.

Below Bartik and Seven are the currently disabled themes: Garland and Stark. Those are shown in Figure 9.2. We’re going to use these two themes for demonstration purposes in this chapter, but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever use either in real life. Garland is a legacy theme from Drupal 6 and has really been replaced with Bartik. Stark is an example theme that is mainly useful to experts who are very comfortable with HTML and CSS.

Figure 9.2 The two disabled Drupal themes, Garland and Stark

At the bottom of the Appearance screen is the dropdown option shown in Figure 9.3. Don’t touch this option. We’ve often talked to people who thought that this option was the way to change their site’s theme. It’s not. This is the option to change your administration theme and we don’t recommend you do that until you are more experienced.

Figure 9.3 The option for choosing your site’s administration theme

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