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Customising the CMS

Accessing theme templates in the CMS? [SOLVED]


4 Posts   467 Views


7 March 2014 at 12:00pm Community Member, 604 Posts

I'm extending LeftAndMain to create a custom CMS area. This is loosely based on the Settings area of the CMS.

After looking into how the Settings area is put together in code, I noticed this function that sets the theme to display tabs correctly:

public function getResponseNegotiator() {
      $neg = parent::getResponseNegotiator();
      $controller = $this;
      $neg->setCallback('CurrentForm', function() use(&$controller) {
         return $controller->renderWith($controller->getTemplatesWithSuffix('_Content'));
      return $neg;

This gets a template located in /cms/templates/Includes/

So I duplicated this in my custom LeftAndMain child and created a duplicate template. This is not a module as it is very specific to the application and we want to keep code/templates in one area of the file system.

When I do the same as above, getTemplatesWithSuffix only returns

I have stepped through the code and found that even though my custom template is found, it is ignored because $theme is null in this subsequent function:

public static function hasTemplate($templates) {
      $manifest = SS_TemplateLoader::instance()->getManifest();

      if(Config::inst()->get('SSViewer', 'theme_enabled')) {
         $theme = Config::inst()->get('SSViewer', 'theme');
      } else {
         $theme = null;

      foreach ((array) $templates as $template) {
         if ($manifest->getCandidateTemplate($template, $theme)) return true;

      return false;

So how do I make the CMS aware of the theme? Or is a way of doing this?


7 March 2014 at 2:38pm (Last edited: 7 March 2014 2:38pm), Community Member, 604 Posts

Worth adding: Theme is set in config.yml like so:

Name: mysite
After: 'framework/*','cms/*'
# YAML configuration for SilverStripe
# See
# Caution: Indentation through two spaces, not tabs
theme: 'mytheme'

I thought the After: might have been the culprit, but even if I remove it entirely and do a dev/build, the CMS still can't get hold of it.


7 March 2014 at 3:31pm Forum Moderator, 474 Posts

The CMS deliberately unsets the theme, so it won't load templates from there. Put the templates in mysite/templates/ instead.


11 March 2014 at 8:37am Community Member, 604 Posts

Thanks Simon,

I wasn't really interested in separating this one template from the rest of the codebase (for future maintenance reasons). But your suggestion did work.

In then end I was able to get the template to load from the theme directory by adding this to my LeftAndMain extended class:

public function init() {
   Config::inst()->update('SSViewer', 'theme_enabled', true);