How to manage portlets in Plone 3
Note: From version 3.0 onwards, the default behavior for the Navigation portlet has changed. By default, it will not show up until the user navigates to one of the top-level folders or deeper into the site. For more information on this go here.
The Home Folder is where the site administrator can manage the portlets for most of the site.
Adding a portlet
- Log in as manager
- Make sure that you are on the Home page of your site.
- Click the "manage portlets" link at the bottom of either the right or left column.
Result: This will take you to a Manage portlets
Note: there are two pull-down menus on either side of this page. Each pull-down lists all of the portlets that are in a Plone site.
To add a portlet, select the name of the portlet from the drop down where you would like the portlet to display.
If the portlet you have selected requires configuration, a screen will appear that allows you to fill in this information.
For instance, if you select the Search portlet, you will then be prompted to select whether to enable LiveSearch:
Rearranging and Removing Portlets
You can use the Portlets assigned here controls to rearrange the display order of your portlets or to remove a portlet from the display. Click the up or down arrow to reorder portlets.
If you want to remove a portlet from the display, click the red X.
Note: any portlet managment that you do in the Home Folder affects your entire Plone site. However, you can override these selections using the Block/unblock portlets
controls within folders and on individual pages.
Using the Block/unblock Portlets Controls to Fine Tune Your Portlet Display
Portlets can be managed at the folder level or for individual pages without using the ZMI.
Suppose that you want to display the Review List, Events, and Calendar portlets on the right-hand side of most of your Web pages. But you want to eliminate the right-hand column altogether and display these three items on the left-hand side within a particular folder named folder2, two levels down. Here's how you do this:
- Navigate to folder2 and click "manage portlets"
- Now eliminate the right-hand column within this folder. To do this, use the Block/unblock portlets
controls. (I will explain all the features of Block/unblock portlets
later in this tutorial; for now, we're going to use just the ones we
Remember, this folder is inheriting how its portlets are displayed from the folders above it. You need to block this inheritance. To do this, you will use the Parent portlets pull-down menu. Select Block in this menu:
3. Next, in the Add portlet pulldown menu on the left side of the page, select the three portlets: Review List, Events, and Calendar.
When you are done, you will see the three portlets listed thus:
Now, if you click Return (under the Manage portlets page header) and view this section of your site, you will see that the right-hand column is gone from this folder, and your portlets are displayed in the left-hand column.
Now it's time to learn the rest of the features of Block/unblock portlets. These controls enable you to control portlet display in three different contexts:
- Group portlets
- Content type portlets
- Parent portlets
Before you can use the Block/unblock portlets controls to fine tune group portlet displays, you need to create some group portlets. Here's how you do that:
- Click Site Setup.
- Click Users and Groups.
- Click on the Groups tab.
- Click on one of the group names already showing, or create your own.
- Click on the Group Portlets tab.
Now you can assign portlets to that group. These portlets will show on the left or right side, whatever you choose, for the users in those groups.
- Navigate to folder3.
- Click "manage portlets."
- In the Group portlets pull-down menu, use Block to override the inherited settings. Or, use Always Show to override a Block that you created in a parent folder.
- You can now customize the portlet view for this folder in any way you like.
Here is an overview of the Block/unblock portlet controls for group portlets:
- Use Parent Settings: This is the default, which means that group settings are inherited.
- Block: This makes all inherited group settings go away.
- Always Show: This overrides any inherited Blocks. Here's a slightly more complex example of how this works: If you block a group portlet in Home/folder1, and then choose Always Show in Home/folder1/folder2/folder3, then you will see it on the Home Page, not see it at Home/folder1, not see it at Home/folder1/folder2, but will see it again at Home/folder1/folder2/folder3. (This is presuming /folder1/folder2 is inheriting the default settings.)
Note: You're probably already getting the idea that this can become pretty complex if you create a lot of Block and Always Show settings in various folders at various depths. A good rule of thumb is to develop a good rationale for your settings and to avoid over-complicating things.
You will learn more about the Block/unblock portlets settings in the next section...
Content Type Portlets:
Content Type Portlets can control the portlets for different kinds of content types such as News, Events or Images.
Here's how to manage settings for these portlets:
- Navigate to Site Setup.
- Click Types.
- Select the Content Type on the Type settings page.
- Click "Manage portlets assigned to this content type."
Now you can add the portlets you wish to display with this Content Type.
If you wish to customize the portlet view for a particular content item, such as a single news story you are currently viewing, you can use the Block/unblock portlets controls for Content Types. Here is an overview of how these controls work:
- Use Parent Settings: This is the default, which means that all settings of this Content Type are inherited.
- Block: This makes all inherited Content Type settings go away
- Always Show: This works only for folderish content types. This overrides any inherited Blocks. Here's a slightly more complex example of how this works: If you block a content type portlet in Home/folder1, and then choose Always Show in Home/folder1/folder2/folder3, then you will see it on the Home Page, not see it at Home/folder1, not see it at Home/folder1/folder2, but will see it again at Home/folder1/folder2/folder3. (This is presuming /folder1/folder2 is inheriting the default settings.)
Parent Portlets refers to the portlet display settings in the Folders above the current one. Here is an overview of how these controls work:
- Use Parent Settings: This is the default, which means that all settings in Folders above this one are inherited.
- Block: This makes all inherited Folder settings go away.
- Always Show: This overrides
any inherited Blocks. For example, if you block a portlet in Home/folder1, and then choose Always Show in Home/folder1/folder2/folder3, then you will see it on the Home Page, not see it at Home/folder1, not see it at Home/folder1/folder2, but will see it again at Home/folder1/folder2/folder3. (This is presuming /folder1/folder2 is inheriting the default settings.) Note: THIS doesn't work for me just yet. I submitted ticket number #6825
You will see in the Add portlet pull-down menu on the Manage portlets page an item called Classic Portlet. This item allows you to use portlets created for earlier versions of Plone.
For instance, suppose you have a Classic Portlet that you have created in your-site-instance/portal_skins/custom in the Zope Management Interface (ZMI) that displays "Hello world". In the pull down list find "page template". Name it "portlet1", delete the code thats there and add this:
<html> <body> <div metal:define-macro="portlet"> <p>hello world</p> </div> </body> </html>
Here's how you can include this portlet in your site:
- Click "manage portlets"
- Select Classic Portlet from the pull-down menu.
- Type the template id in the Add Classic Portlet form.
- Leave the macro as "portlet."
4. Click save.
This is all you have to do to add the Classic Portlet to your folder, page, or content type.
Managing Portlets on Your User Dashboard
Plone 3 features a User dashboard. You can manage portlets on this dashboard just as on any other Plone page and customize it with widgets showing summaries of portal content, making it similar to a personal Google page. Here's how to customize your User dashboard:
- Click on your user icon
- Click Dashboard
- Click Edit
You can now add and arrange your portlets.
Once you are finished managing your portlets, click Dashboard, and you will see them displayed:
This concludes the tutorial How to Manage Portlets in Plone 3.