Layout Templates with the Liferay Theme Generator

Layout Templates specify how content is arranged on your site pages in Liferay Portal. For example, take a look at the 1-2-1 Columns Layout CE layout shown below:


Figure 1: The 1-2-1 Columns Layout CE page layout creates a nice flow for your content.

Liferay Portal CE 7.0 and DXP provide several layout templates out-of-the-box for you to choose from. You can change the layout for your page, and view the installed layout templates, by opening the Edit menu for your page, under the Navigation heading of the Product Menu and scrolling down to the Layouts heading.


Figure 2: Liferay provides several layout templates out-of-the-box for you to use.

If you’d like to create your own custom layout templates, you’ve come to the right place.

This tutorial demonstrates how to:

  • Create a Layout Template with the Layouts Sub-generator

  • Create a Thumbnail for a Layout Template

In order to create a layout template with the Layouts Sub-generator, you will need the Node.js build tools installed. The Liferay Theme Generator tutorial explains how to install these tools and how to create a theme.

Once you have the Liferay Theme Generator installed you can go ahead and get started.

Creating a Layout Template with the Layouts Sub-generator

Follow these steps to create a layout template:

  1. Open the Command Line and navigate to the directory you want to create your layout template in.

  2. Run yo liferay-theme:layout to start the layouts sub-generator.


    Figure 3: The Layout Template sub-generator automates the layout creation process.

    Note: If you run the layout sub-generator from the root directory of a theme created with the themes generator, it will add the layout template as a part of the theme in the src/layouttpl directory.

  3. Enter a name and ID for your layout template, or press Enter to accept the default values.

  4. Choose your Liferay version and press Enter to continue.

    At this point the layout template design process begins. As the generator states, Layout templates implement Bootstrap’s grid system. Every row consists of 12 sections, so columns range in size from 1 to 12. The sub-generator is user-friendly, allowing you to add and remove rows and columns as you design.

  5. Enter the number of columns you would like for row 1.

    Once you’ve entered a value, the generator asks how wide you want your row and column to be, and presents you with the available width(s).

  6. Choose from the available option(s) with your arrow keys and press Enter to make your selection.

    If you have remaining space, the generator will repeat this step for the remaining columns.

    Once you’re done configuring your row, you are presented with a few options:

    • Add a row: Adds a row below the last row.
    • Insert row: Displays a vi to insert your row. Use your arrow keys to choose where to insert your row, highlighted in blue, then press Enter to insert the row.


    Figure 4: Rows can be inserted using the layout vi.

    • Remove row: Displays a vi to remove your row. Use your arrow keys to select the row you want to remove, highlighted in red, then press Enter to remove the row.


    Figure 5: Rows are removed using the layout vi.

    Once you are done designing your layout you can move onto the next step.

  7. Select Finish layout to complete your layout’s design.


    Figure 6: Select the Finish layout option to complete your design.

    Your layout template files are generated for you in the current directory.

  8. Enter the path to your app server directory, or press Enter to accept the default.

  9. Enter the URL to your server or press Enter to accept the default http://localhost:8080 development site.

    Your layout template is generated, but you still need to include it in your liferay-look-and-feel.xml file.

  10. Add your custom layout template to your liferay-look-and-feel.xml using the <layout-templates> tag. Below is an example configuration for the Porygon theme‘s’ layout templates:

    <theme id="porygon" name="Porygon">
              <layout-template id="porygon_70_30_width_limited" 
              name="Porygon 2 Columns (70/30) width limited">
              <layout-template id="porygon_50_50_width_limited" 
              name="Porygon 2 Columns (50/50) width limited">

    The <layout-template> tag’s id attribute must match the ID you gave in step 3 (the TPL file name).

When your layout template was generated, a default thumbnail was created. You can learn how to create a custom thumbnail in the next section.

Creating a Custom Thumbnail for Your Layout Template

To create your own thumbnail follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the docroot directory of the layout template you just created.

    Note: if you created the layout template in your existing themes generator theme, the thumbnail is located in your theme’s src/layouttpl/custom directory.

  2. Replace the layout-name.png file with your own custom thumbnail PNG.

  3. navigate back to the layout’s root directory and run gulp deploy to re-build and deploy the template to your app server.

    Note: If your layout template was added as part of your themes generator theme, the layout template will deploy when the theme is deployed.

  4. Specify the thumbnail’s location in your liferay-look-and-feel.xml using the <thumbnail-path> tag. Below is an example configuration for the Porygon theme:

    <layout-template id="porygon_50_50_width_limited" 
    name="Porygon 2 Columns (50/50) width limited">

Your layout template is complete! As you can see, the layouts sub-generator makes creating a layout template a piece of cake.

Edit a page on your site and select your new layout template to use it.

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Liferay Theme Generator

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