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Drupal 7 Themes (Community Experience Distilled) [Paperback]

Ric Shreves
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 24.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 May 2011 1849512760 978-1849512763

Create new themes for your Drupal 7 site with a clean layout and powerful CSS styling

  • Learn to create new Drupal 7 themes

  • No experience of Drupal theming required

  • Discover techniques and tools for creating and modifying themes

  • The first book to guide you through the new elements and themes available in Drupal 7

  • eBook available as PDF and ePub downloads and also on PacktLib

In Detail

Drupal is an award winning open source Content Management System (CMS). Based on PHP and MySQL, its power and flexibility combined with its exceptional design mean it is one of the most popular choices for creating a CMS website.

Drupal employs a specialized templating system and supports themes, which allow you to change the look and feel of your system's front and back-end interfaces.

Drupal 7 Themes is an ideal introduction to theming with Drupal 7. If you want to create a striking new look for your Drupal 7 website, this book is for you. This book is a revised, updated and expanded edition of Drupal 6 Themes, rewritten specifically for Drupal 7.

This book will show you techniques and tools to help you improve the look and feel of any Drupal 7-powered website. Starting from the basics of theme setup and configuration, you will learn about the Drupal theming architecture and the PHPTemplate engine, and then move on to modifying existing themes and building new themes from scratch. You will find out about tools to make your theme development easier.

A practical guide showing you how to create themes for your Drupal 7 site

What you will learn from this book

  • Learn about the Drupal 7 Theming Architecture

  • Find and install new themes

  • Get the most from Drupal's theme configuration system

  • Create a new theme from scratch

  • Master PHPTemplate

  • Modify the default templates and styles

  • Override the default templates with your own

  • Create dynamic styling that responds to the content or the user

  • Discover tools that make theming easier and more efficient


Filled with practical examples, this book helps you to understand the logic behind the theming system employed in Drupal, and how to make it work for you. You will learn key concepts and work through examples with careful, step-by-step instructions.

Who this book is written for

The main requirements to make use of this book are knowledge of HTML, CSS, and a touch of creativity. You don't need to know anything about theming in Drupal; all you need is basic experience of working with Drupal. .

Although this book aims to make Drupal theming accessible to designers, theming in Drupal 7 involves writing some PHP code, and a basic knowledge of PHP will be helpful.

Regardless of your technical skills, this book will teach you to design themes for your Drupal websites quickly and easily.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

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Frequently Bought Together

Drupal 7 Themes (Community Experience Distilled) + Drupal 7 Module Development + The Definitive Guide to Drupal 7 (Definitive Guide Apress)
Price For All Three: 78.44

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (24 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849512760
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849512763
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 18.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 565,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ric Shreves is a partner at water&stone, an interactive agency specializing in open source technologies. He's worked with content management technologies for more than 10 years and previously served as the Chairmen of the non-profit Mambo Foundation. Ric's written several books on technology and worked as a tech journalist and columnist for a number of publications, including ComputerWorld. He lives in Bali, Indonesia.

You can visit his personal site at http://RicShreves.net and his company site at http://www.waterandstone.com

Product Description

About the Author

Ric Shreves

Ric Shreves is one of the founding partners of water&stone, an interactive agency that specialises in open source web content management systems. Ric has been building CMS websites for over 10 years, and during that time has been involved in projects for a number of global brands, including BASF, BearingPoint, Colgate-Palmolive, Tesco Lotus, FPDSavills CBRichard Ellis, Mercy Corps and many others. Ric has published a number of books on open source in general and on open source content management systems in particular. Past work includes books on Mambo, Drupal, Joomla! and Ubuntu.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the three essential Drupal books 25 July 2012
A very good introduction to Drupal 7 theming. It's written in a clear and logical style. I found it very helpful when I started with Drupal theming; I still use it as a reference.

I'd go as far as to say it's one of the three essential books when learning Drupal (along with Using Drupal (from O'Reilly) and Drupal 7 Module Development (also from Packt).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction 18 Dec 2011
It has a good introduction to themes in Drupal. If you want to know how to modify the existing theme or even create you own theme then this book explain it well. The only downside in drupal in general is that creating your own theme from scratch requires knowing drupal APIs very well which can be painful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Custom Themes from Scratch? Sorry, Not Here... 15 Jun 2011
By Brandon M. - Published on Amazon.com
My goal in buying this book was to learn to create a custom theme from scratch to gain greater control and avoid the overuse of div and class tags that are common in so many drupal templates, as well as to learn how to build on that theme by adding more pages and customizing them. I am nearly finished with the book but am no closer to that goal than when I started. While I was able to write a page and a half of useful notes concerning other areas, I was disappointed to learn that the book dedicated all of 2 pages to the complex topic of custom theming from scratch (pages 144-145), the vast majority of which covers the issue of nesting HTML inside the PHP as a best practice and a review on creating a css file. I was hoping to find a systematic breakdown and explanation of the page.tpl.php file, not only of the php code (an easy task given that the page.tpl.php is all of 90 lines of code and is largely repetitive) but a demonstration of creating and implementing a new region within the page.tpl.php with any available options for variations described. Since a very general overview of the page.tpl.php file was given on pages 74-78 I was anticipating a further breakdown of this topic deeper into the book. I am not intimately familiar with php syntax but am able to easily grasp the concept if it is explained even to a minimal extent, however, in that section (pages 74-78) large chunks of code are described as to their general purpose and not explained in any depth, such as:

"The following excerpt includes the logo, the site name, and the site slogan. As the statements are all conditional, the output will only be displayed to the site visitors, if the site administrator has enabled the items in the Theme Configuration Manager" (pg 76, Shreves' complete explanation).

For a book dedicated to Drupal theming, it is disappointing that a much better, but outdated (as of this writing) job of covering the topic of breaking down the page.tpl.php file and building a custom theme from scratch is done at [...] at least to an extent that can be copied and pasted by a reader, and "Drupal 7 Themes" should have at least included a link to that page in the book, given the extent to which the book covers the topic itself...

Final verdict: 3 stars for having some useful information that I will probably refer to in the future but failing to delve deep enough into the specific issue of building a custom theme from scratch by modifying the page.tpl.php page, which is what I bought it for even though the name implies that it should have, and minus 1 star for the failure of the support editor to get back to me or to take action when I brought up these issues before the book was even released.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for information, poor writing and editing 23 Sep 2012
By Mac - Published on Amazon.com
This book seems to be pretty much what I've been looking for - a straight-forward exposition of Drupal's theming layer in version 7 that assumes some Web development experience and incrementally builds upon the instruction through the book.

However I need to note that I'm shocked at how poorly it was edited, if at all. In fact I doubt that there was even too much proofreading applied. Sentences routinely break at bizarre places, it can be hard at time to interpret the point of some phrasing, and there are many obvious typos as well.

Given that, this book is still a trove of very helpful content as, even with all of the Drupal material online, I've found it almost impossible to find one source that can expose the amazing applicability yet extremely arcane structure of the theming layer as well as this book does. If you already have some Web development under your belt but are fairly new to Drupal, I'd highly recommend getting this book as at least the first step towards understanding how it all works.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book out there for getting up to speed on theming Drupal 7 11 Aug 2011
By Loren C. Swendsen - Published on Amazon.com
I thought this book was great. I'm still using it (a lot) as a reference while converting our static website to Drupal.

The book assumes very little prior knowledge of Drupal or Drupal theming, which is great if you're starting out. There are a lot of nice tables and charts that list out naming conventions for overrides, all available variables for a given template file, etc. The appendix alone is quite valuable, and I prefer it to hunting around the drupal.org online documentation.

In a nutshell, this book does what it says it will do, which is take you from zero to sixty on Drupal 7 theming. The entire book is dedicated to theming, whereas a lot of other D7 books out there only have 1 chapter on it.

What I'd like to see (are you listening book publishers?) is a book that is all custom all the way. I.e. not using default themes, child themes, or free themes as starting point. I'd love to see something like case studies showing how to build certain types of sites (magazine, small business, portfolio, etc) totally from scratch.

Anyway, for what it's worth I think this is currently the best book out there for theming Drupal 7.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Useful, BUT 7 Jan 2014
By Wolf-Dieter Otte - Published on Amazon.com
I own the latest version of the book. I bought it as I was hoping that this would be better than the version that pertains to drupal 6. This, unfortunately, is not the case. How a whole book on drupal theming can be written without mentioning hook_theme() is hard to understand. Hello? What an incredible omission! It also does not cover the new render arrays/function render(). There is mentioning of drupal_render(), but, as is the case throughout the book, the reader is referred to the online articles on the drupal site. I wonder why it does not occur to the author, whenever he is writing something like "Visit the Drupal API to learn more about these important functions. See XXX", that this is exactly the material that he should cover. That is the reason why I would want to read the book in the first place, because the important things ARE COVERED!

Not to mention numerous errors ...

I'm not saying the book is useless. But I do say that you should not get your hopes up to high.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You can rewrite this book in about ten pages. 17 May 2013
By marcotaffi - Published on Amazon.com
This book covers some aspects of drupal theming that you can easily find in a online guide, and it repeats them maybe ten times.
I think you can summarize them using five to ten pages only... the rest is not so useful.
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