In this video we'll take a look at the Extra Features and Settings offered by Advanced Module Manager.
In the previous videos, we have seen how Advanced Module Manager allows us to assign modules to just about anything we want. This includes assigning modules based on Joomla! Content, Users, Components, URLs, other Modules, Devices and much more.
All that gives us full control over our Joomla modules.
Now, we'll dive into some cool additional features that enhance the way the module manager works even more.
And we will look into all the different options that can be found in the Global Configuration of the component.
We now have the latest Pro version of Advanced Module Manager installed, which at the moment is version 7.10.0.
And what you see here is a Joomla 3.9.3 setup.
If you are using newer versions, things might look a bit different.
When editing or creating a module with Advanced Module Manager, on the right-hand side of this main Module tab, we can see some cool additions.
To start off with, Advanced Modules Manager allows us to categorise modules. This feature can be used to group and filter the module list in a custom way. For example, let's give this module a category "Animals". And save.
We can now filter the modules by our category, to make finding certain modules easier and faster. Note that this does not affect the output of the module in any way, it is just a feature for organising modules on the administrator side.
Similarly, we can organise modules by giving them a colour.
These colours will show in the module list, so we can visually distinguish modules by colour if we want.
And we can even sort modules by colour!
As with the categories, these colours are just for organising modules in the administrator side. They do not change the way modules look on the frontend.
We can customise the available colours in the Advanced Module Manager settings, which we'll take a look at in a bit.
HTML Before / After
Next, we have two text fields here, that allow us to enter any custom HTML that will be prepended or appended to the content of the module.
This feature is only available in the Pro Version of Advanced Module Manager.
This feature can be useful to add content or styling to dynamic modules that we normally wouldn't be able to customise.
For example, here is the default output of this "Latest Articles" module on the site.
Now, with this feature, for example we can add a custom text on top of the list.
Let's add this line in the "Before" field.
And we'll wrap it in a h3 heading.
And here is our updated module in the frontend.
You can also use the Before/After fields to wrap the module in extra html, for example with a custom DIV tag.
Hide if Empty
Another nice feature that Advanced Module Manager offers is the "Hide if Empty" option.
This can be used to prevent the display of modules when they have nothing to show.
For example, if we were to set this module to only show articles from the "Sports" category, but we currently don't have any article in that category...
...as you can see, the module will still display on the website, with the surrounding block and the module title, but of course, without any content or articles listed.
Now, if we turn on the "Hide if empty" option, Advanced Module Manager will automatically hide the module completely if there is no content.
As you can see, now the module is not shown at all.
Now we'll just switch back to the core module manager for a moment.
As you can see, Joomla gives us a little field to enter notes.
This is nice, but very limiting. As you only have room for a very short note. It is really only suitable for a short description.
If we switch back to Advanced Module Manager, the name of that short field has changed to "Description". We can display this description in the list view in different ways. We'll get into that later.
So what about notes? Advanced Module Manager offers a separate Notes tab.
Here we have a much bigger field that we can use to enter more detailed internal notes.
You can click this button to insert your name and the current date.
This is useful to keep track of who added what note and when.
If you click it again, you see it adds a new comment line at the top.
Now let's take a look at the settings and options offered in Advanced Module Manager.
To access the Global Configuration of the component, we click on the "Options" button that we see in the toolbar on the top right.
The Advanced Modules Manager settings are in these different tabs.
All settings have a short description you can see when hovering over the title. That should give you enough information to know what a setting does.
Now, the default settings are fine for most setups. So you probably don't need to change any. But in some cases you may want to chang e the default behaviour of Advanced Modules Manager.
Only change settings if you understand what they are for and how they affect the behaviour of the extension.
This first setting we see, "Module List Title", simply affects the title that is displayed on top of the module listing page.
When using Advanced Module Manager, the title of that page will turn into "Advanced Module Manager".
But we can also make it revert to the original "Modules" Title.
With the "Default Ordering" option, we can decide the order in which the modules will be displayed by default in the module listing page.
As we know, we can of course customise the order by clicking on the title of any column in the module listing page.
This next setting is pretty self-explanatory. We can select whether we want newly created modules to be published or unpublished by default.
The "Default menu assignment" setting allows us to control the default assignments of a new module.
By default, a new module will show up on all pages on the website, unless we limit it by using the Advanced Module Manager assignments that we went through in previous videos.
But we can change this behavior by setting this to "None". Now, a new module would not show on any page unless we manually assign it somewhere.
By Default, the Advanced Module Manager will also load when editing a module in the frontend. But if for any reason you don't want this, you can disable it here.
Alternatively, you can decide to open frontend module edit links in the admin side for administrators.
The "Initialise on Event" setting determines the internal Joomla event on which the plugin should be initialised.
Some 3rd party extensions can cause conflicts with Advanced Module Manager. Changing this setting could solve that. But generally you should leave this setting alone.
The "Show Switch" setting controls whether to show in the module manager a link to switch between Advanced Modules Manager and the core manager.
The "Show Update Notification" setting controls whether to show an update notification in the main component view when there is a new version for this extension.
We recommend you leave this setting on, as we regularly release new versions with fixes and new features.
And the "Show Copyright" setting controls whether the copyright info will be displayed, but it pertains only the admin view. Regular Labs extensions never shows copyright info or backlinks on the frontend.
Features & Extra Fields
Moving on to the "Features" tab, here we see settings that control whether we want to use or not the Extra Features that we described earlier.
If we don't plan on using them, we can turn them off here and they will not be shown in the module editing page or in the module listing.
If we do want to take advantage of the "Colours" feature, here we can enter a comma separated list of RGB colours to show in the colour picker.
As you can see, there are several preset colours by default, but we can fully customise them here.
One additional feature that is not turned on by default, but can be enabled here with the Pro Version of Advanced Module Manager, is the "Extra Fields" feature.
This allows to add up to 5 custom text fields to be displayed on the right-hand sidebar when editing a module.
This feature can be useful to internally label modules in a custom way.
We can also use these fields in the templates module chrome files to add extra functionality.
The "Show Description" setting we have here pertains to the core notes text field.
The core module manager already shows that short note in the module list. Advanced Module Manager however adds the a bility to show this description as tooltip or in a separate column.
Finally, this last setting controls whether you want to enable the extra Notes tab or not.
The "Assignments" tab gives us the ability to disable any module assignment options for the module edit screen.
Here, we can switch off any assignments that we don't plan to use, in order to keep the available assignment options in the module edit screens to only the ones we need. This makes it a lot easier to find the assignments you do want to use. And it also makes the module edit page load a bit faster.
User Actions Log
Starting with Joomla 3.9, Joomla! added the ability to log the actions made by users on the website. Advanced Modules Manager supports this, and here we can determine whether we want to log user actions, and which events we want to log.
Finally, you will see that the Permissions tab points you to the core "Module Manager" permission page.
This is because Advanced Module Manager uses the core Module Manager permission rules, so those will be retained and you won't need to replicate them for this component.
So just to recap.
We've seen how to use cool extra features such as organising modules with categories or colours.
Also we looked into the other features, like the html before and after fields, the extra fields and the extra Notes tab.
We have also seen where to find the settings and how those affect the way Advanced Module Manager works.
You can find a list of all the features and settings, including their descriptions in the Advanced Module Manager tutorial.
Stay tuned for other videos that look more in depth at specific functionalities.