Theming Sidebars and Panels

Here’s a pretty basic css technique I’ve noticed myself using a lot of lately (not at all my own invention). The divs used as examples come from zen theme.

Often a design calls for putting a background (or border) on a sidebar. It should look as so:
If you haven’t been down this route before, you will probably try something like

  background: #123456;

Node theming by field: deconstructing $node->content in Drupal 5

The CCK ‘display fields’ settings are very useful for theming nodes by content type, but I often find myself having to get further into customizing node output field by field.

Once I decide there’s no way getting around taking finer control of my node’s fields, I create a node-{type}.tpl.php by copying my existing node.tpl.php and open up Devel’s ‘Node Render’ tab. Then I delete the $content variable from the template and start adding things like

print $node->content['field_image']['#value'];
print $node->content['body']['#value'];
The $content variable is nice for amateurs, but we need the unrendered $node->content to get good control of a node.

While this gives me complete control over the output of the node’s fields, the drawback is that now if I add a new field to the node, or if I add a module that adds something to $node->content, I have to go back to my template and add in this new element. Because I often do my theming and development in parallel, this can be rather annoying, and there is also a danger that I could overlook doing it.

Therefore I think it may be more practical to use code like this in the node template:

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