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Theming in Drupal 7 just got easier!

willrichardszoocha 0 Comments Drupal, UX & Web Design

Theming in Drupal 7 has always been a bit fiddly at the best of times. Unbeknown to me a small feature crept into a Drupal 7 release without me realising - the backport of theme debug settings from the much anticipated Drupal 8. This feature allows you to view debug information directly in the mark-up and not have to go chasing template suggestion names from within the Drupal admin screens.

In your Drupal 7 installation simply add this line to your settings.php:

$conf['theme_debug'] = TRUE;

Clear your caches and refresh the page and you should see debug information in your mark-up which contains template suggestions:

<!-- THEME DEBUG -->
<!-- CALL: theme('page') -->
<!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS:
   * page--front.tpl.php
   * page--node.tpl.php
   x page.tpl.php
-->
<!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/system/page.tpl.php' -->

<!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/system/page.tpl.php' -->

It may only be a small development in the scale of things, but this really does improve my theming workflow with Drupal 7. All I can say is huge thanks to the Drupal Community for implementing this, as it really does make a difference.


References/Further reading

https://www.lullabot.com/articles/drupal-8-theming-fundamentals-part-2 - The article where I stumbled across this feature. It's also well worth a read if you're in to Drupal 8 theming.

https://www.drupal.org/node/223440 - Further details on theme_debug.

https://www.drupal.org/drupal-7.33-release-notes - Drupal 7.33 release notes - where this feature was introduced.

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