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In this article, we will mainly focus on the visual design of our site. To acquire the information presented here, it is assumed that you have some basic understanding of Joomla!’s visual design including templates, components, module position, and so on.

Adding Flash in templates

If you are familiar with Joomla! templates, then you will understand that there are two ways to display Flash in a template:

  • By hardcoded embedding of Flash items
  • By dynamically loading Flash objects at module positions

We have seen many modules that can display Flash objects. Therefore, in this section, we will be looking into the embedding of Flash objects within templates. It will also be helpful if we understand the structure of Joomla! templates.

Generally templates for Joomla! include headers in Flash. Flash animations are included in the header area of a Joomla! template. Some templates include the mechanism to show images from a specific directory. For example, the template shown in the following screenshot, available for download at http://joomlatp.com/joomla-1.5-templates/Templates-has-flash-header.html, is designed to show a Flash header comprised of the images kept in a directory:

Joomla! with Flash

The following sections briefly describe the structure of a Joomla! template and the ways to embed a Flash object in this template.

Structure of a Joomla! template

The look and feel of Joomla! is determined by templates. You can apply a template to the frontend as well as to the backend. Templates for the Joomla! frontend reside in the /templates directory of the Joomla! webroot, while those for the administration panel are found in the /administrator/templates directory. You can install multiple templates and apply one or more templates to the different sections. However, you must designate one default template for the site.

To designate a default template, go to Extensions | Template Manager. Select the desired template and click on the Default button on the toolbar. For assigning a template to a specific section of the site, click on a template, except the default template, and then select the section or the menu item for which you want to assign the template from the Menu Assignment section.

If you examine the directory structure of a Joomla! template, you will find at least the following subdirectories in the templates directory:




This is the main template directory. It contains some subdirectories and at least the following files under its root:

  • index. php: This is the main file for a template. The basic structure of a Joomla! template is defined in this file. We will examine this file later.
  • templateDetails.xml: This XML file defines the template by mentioning its designer, the different files bundled with it, the positions and parameters available, and so on.
  • params.ini: This file contains the parameters and their default values. For example, a template may use several colors for theming, but users can select a preferred color as a parameter for this template, and that information is stored in this file.


This directory contains all the cascading stylesheets to be used for a Joomla! site. This directory will contain at least one stylesheet named template_css.css. It may also contain a stylesheet named template_ie6.css and other stylesheets.


This folder may contain some definitions for the custom rendering of certain parts of the site. For example, the mx_joofree2 template contains two files-module. php and pagination.php. These two files define custom module rendering and pagination for Joomla!. For more information on using HTML overrides, refer to http://docs.joomla.org/How_to_override_the_content_from_the_Joomla!_core.


This folder contains the images for the template. It may contain a logo image, a background image, and so on. It may also contain some subdirectories, for example, the mx_joofree2 template contains a subdirectory images/headers, where the header images for the template are stored.

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