Which Layout is used where?

This article refers to the deprecated v2.5 layouts - it is due to be revised to treat the j3.2 style layouts.  However the principles are the same.

Layouts control how jDownloads shows Categories and Downloads on the front end.

They are very flexible and allow customising in a simple and practical manner.

Broadly speaking

  • the Categories layout show the category information,
  • the Files layout shows the Download information,
  • and the Category layout is mainly used for header and footer aspects.

This use from multiple layouts gives flexibility and consistency to the actual views on the front end.


There are six Layout classes:

  1. Categories,
  2. Category,
  3. Files,
  4. Download Details,
  5. Summary,
  6. Search.
and each layout has four parts:
  1. Main,
  2. Header,
  3. Subheader,
  4. Footer

Which Layout is used depends upon how the view was called. 

When showing Download Details, Summary or Search views then it is quite straight forward:

  • viewing Download Details uses the active Download Details layout for all four parts;
  • viewing the Summary uses the active Summary layout for all four parts;
  • viewing a Search uses the active Search layout.

When viewing Categories and Downloads then:

  • Downloads are always shown with the main part of the active Files layout;
  • from a 'List all Categories' menu item then the initial view uses  Categories Layout parts, except of course for the Download items which use the main part of the Files layout;
  • from a List all Downloads menu item then the active Files layout is used for all four parts;
  • for other views then a mixture of layouts is used as discussed below.

Showing Categories & Downloads

When progressing down the structure after starting with say a List All Categories then the layout parts used come from different layouts as illustrated opposite.

  • The 'top' and 'bottom' use the header and footer parts respectively from the active Category Layout. 
  • The Sub Category view is controlled by the main part of the active Categories layout.
  • And the Downloads view is generated by the main part of the active Files Layout.
  • Note that the Sub Heading uses the subheader part of the active Files layout
layouts which01  layouts which02A

Colin Mercer, April 2015

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