Finding module positions on a Joomla 1.7 page

In the Joomla 1.5 world things where relatively simple: you just added "&tp=1" to the live site homepage's URL, and the available module positions where shown, with a red border and the module position's name in the top left - unless the template's author didn't applied some tricks from preventing you doing that. But what about Joomla 1.7? Anyone tried to do the trick even on a default install can see, that the trick apparently does not works here. Why?

Yea, among the many changes introduced with the advent of Joomla 1.7 this is the one which may be annoying at first. But in fact, the trick is still here - just a bit less visible. So what you should do to get a visual indication of all module positions used on a page?

  • In the administrative backend go to Extensions->Template Manager. Click on Options and set Preview Module Positions to enabled.
  • Navigate to the page in wich you want to see the available module positions in your web browser.
  • Look into the URL field in your browser and locate the parameters at the end of the URL. These are separated from the main part of the URL by a question mark. For example, in the URL http://mydomain.com/index.php?id=17, the "id=17" is a parameter.
  • If there are no parameters (you are on the frontpage), append "?tp=1" to the URL and press RETURN. For example, replace http://mydomain.com/index.php with http://mydomain.com/index.php?tp=1.
  • If there are already parameters in the URL, append "&tp=1" to the URL and press RETURN. For example, replace http://mydomain.com/index.php?id=17 with http://mydomain.com/index.php?id=17&tp=1.
  • And you will see the same as in the Joomla 1.5 - the module positions will be outlined in red.

The trick basically was extended, as you see, you can't see only on the frontpage the available module positions, but practically on any page.

Note that in some circumstances there may be module positions available that are not outlined in red.

This can happen when a template defines those module positions as conditional on there being modules enabled in that position. If there are no modules enabled in that position then the template may adapt and the position will not be visible.