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Placing Panels in Blocks with Mini Panels

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    BUILDING WEBSITES IN DRUPAL 7 WITH PANELS Placing Panels in Blocks
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    with Mini Panels with Amber Matz
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    AMBER MATZ: With panels, you can place blocks and panel regions.
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    With mini panels, you can place panels and block regions.
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    It's only fair, right?
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    While it's true that most things are cuter in miniature,
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    unless you're building panels of puppies,
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    mini panels isn't really the cute alternative
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    to panels, just a more portable version.
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    Mini panels enables you to create a portable panels component that
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    can utilize layouts, use context, and add content to panels that may
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    then be placed in block regions using
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    the block administration page.
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    It can even be used to build mega menus using the menu mini panels
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    module, which I will not be covering in this lesson
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    due to problematic alliteration issues.
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    However, in this lesson, we will build
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    and enhanced footer region containing three menus and three
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    columns using mini panels and the block administration page.
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    By the end of this lesson, you'll be on your way
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    to creating simply adorable mini panels that
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    can be placed as blocks on your Drupal site.
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    On my site, I want to add a panel to my footer region that contains
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    three columns with a navigation, user
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    menu, and main menu contained in each column.
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    But so far in panels, I've only been able to add
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    panels to the main content region.
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    So how do I add panels to the content region?
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    Well, I could do that using mini panels.
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    So I'll go ahead and enable mini panels.
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    I've already downloaded the panels package and mini panels is
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    one of the modules contained in panels.
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    So I'll enable that here and click Save Configuration.
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    Now I can go to Structure, Mini Panels,
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    and this is where I can administrate my mini panels.
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    I can add, edit, or delete them.
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    So first, I'm going to add a mini panel
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    by clicking on the Add button.
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    I'll give it an administrative title of footer menus.
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    This is going to give it a machine name and a regular title.
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    And I'll give it an administrative description for my future self
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    or anyone else that's administrating the site.
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    Navigation user and main menus in a three column mini panel.
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    I'll leave this category blank.
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    It's going to default to mini panels.
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    But if you're creating a host of mini panels,
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    this is a great way to keep things organized.
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    I'll click Continue.
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    And I don't have any contacts or relationships I need to add,
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    because I'm just dropping in menus.
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    So I'll click Continue.
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    And now I can choose my three column layout
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    by selecting the columns three category and then
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    this three column layout here.
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    I'll click Continue.
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    And now this should look quite familiar
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    if you've been playing around with panels at all.
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    I've got my three regions with a gear
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    in each corner where I can add content.
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    So I'll start with the left side.
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    And I'll click the gear, then Add Content.
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    I'll go into Menus.
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    And first I'll add my navigation menu.
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    I clicked on that, and I can override
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    the title here if I wished.
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    I could use keywords from contexts, or I can use the title to contain
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    the original title, or I can display no title at all by checking
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    Override Title then using the Drupal keyword none with angle brackets
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    surrounding it.
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    But I'm just going to leave this as is and click Finish.
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    Next, I'll go into the middle column, click the gear,
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    then Add Content.
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    Go back into Menus, and now I want to add
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    the user menu to that middle column.
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    So now I'll click Finish.
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    And finally, on the right side I'll Add Content.
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    Go back into Menus, and I'll add my main menu, then Finish.
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    I'll click on the Preview button to see how my content looks.
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    And if I needed to make any other changes,
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    if I wanted to change these content pane titles,
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    I could go back in to my content pane by clicking the gear then
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    settings, and I could override the title.
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    But I'm going to call this good.
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    So I'll click Finish.
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    Now I can go back in, I can edit, disable, delete,
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    clone, or export this mini panel.
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    But what I'd really like to do is add this to my footer region
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    right now.
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    So I'm going to go over to the block administration page,
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    and I can get to that through the Admin menu
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    by clicking Structure, Blocks.
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    And this should look pretty familiar.
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    If you've used blocks at all, under disable blocks,
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    I've got my mini panel of footer menus.
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    I can drag this up to the footer, or I
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    could have selected it from the drop down menu.
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    And now I'll click Save.
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    I can administrate the visibility settings
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    just as I would a regular block by clicking the Configure button.
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    But first, let's see if this worked.
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    Let's head over to the home page, scroll down, and now in my footer
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    region, I've got a three column panel containing
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    the navigation, user, and main menus.
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    If I want to edit this mini panel, I can
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    do it in several different ways.
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    I can hover over the mini panel and go to the Configure block length
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    that appears in the contextual menu.
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    Then I could modify any of the block visibility settings or region
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    settings, or this new link appears-- Manage This Mini Panel.
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    So I can click on that.
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    And this navigation is not a linear wizard as it may appear to be.
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    I can jump around to any section by clicking on these links.
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    So I can jump over to content or back to context
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    if I wanted to add a context setting.
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    So I don't need to proceed through this settings contacts layout
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    content by using any of these Submit buttons.
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    I can just jump around as needed.
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    So here, I could add more content.
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    I could modify the settings of these panels, whatever I needed to do.
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    If I wanted to export this mini panel,
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    I could click on the Export tab, select all, copy this, and paste it
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    into another site or wherever I needed to import this mini panel.
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    So using the mini panels module, you can create a panels layout
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    with unique layout or content, and you can drop that
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    into any region available in your theme.
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    For our purposes here, I created a mini panel with a three column
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    layout and I dropped in the navigation,
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    user menu, and main menu.
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    Then I used the block administration page
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    to move that mini panel into the footer region.
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    I can configure visibility settings just as I would a normal block,
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    or I can manage the mini panel by going back into the footer menus
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    mini panel and clicking on any of these sections that I need to edit.
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    I can change the layout or content, or I can export the mini panel.
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    So that's how you can use mini panels
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    to drop in panels to any region in your theme.
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    Drupalize Me

Placing Panels in Blocks with Mini Panels

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With mini-panels, you can build portable panels components and place them as blocks in regions of your theme.

In this lesson...

  • Build a 3-column mini-panel
  • Place a menu in each column
  • Place the mini-panel in the footer region as a block

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to build a mini-panel and understand how to place it in a region using the block administration page.

Demo site log in:

  • Navigate to /user
  • Login with admin/admin
Downloads: 
Log in or sign up to download companion files.
Additional resources: