In some situations you may want to keep the current core layout available, but would like to render a very similar layout for a special purpose. Maybe you want a differently formatted list of items, or maybe you want some other piece of information from your site that’s related to the current item being shown. Whatever the reason, we need to take a slightly different approach to that of the Template Override.

Don’t worry; Its very similar and is straight forward with Joomla 2.5+ .

Once you have identified the layout that you want to augment, copy it to the same directory that you would have for a template override BUT under a different name, i.e. customlist.html.php. This will let you load your new layout for a given item, just by adding layout=custom to the URL of the page.

Alternative Menu Items

If you would like to have your new layout available as a menu item, that is straight forward as well. In similar way, copy the original layout xml file from the component view’s layout director to the same override directory, and rename it to match your new layout name, but with the .xml instead of .php and no html part, i.e. customlist.xml.

Custom Alternative Layout in Joomla

After that, just open that file and edit the title attribute in the <layout> tag and make sure its unique compared with all the other layouts for that view, like perhaps:

<layout title="Custom List">

With that, you should see something similar to this when you’re creating a new menu item:

Custom Alternative Layout Select in Joomla

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