Caution: This documentation is for eZ Publish legacy, from version 3.x to 5.x.
For 5.x documentation covering Platform see eZ Documentation Center, for difference between legacy and Platform see 5.x Architecture overview.


This section explains the concept of designs and how eZ publish handles different designs. As mentioned in the beginning of this chapter, design is all about the way actual content is marked up and visually presented. When talking about a design, we're talking about the things that make up a web interface: HTML, style sheets, images that are not a part of the content, etc. All files that are related to appearance reside in the "design" directory. An eZ publish installation is capable of handling a virtually unlimited number of designs. Each design has its own dedicated subdirectory within the main design directory. The name of a subdirectory also functions as the actual name of a design. A typical eZ publish design consists of the following components:

  • CSS files
  • Image files
  • Font files
  • Template files

Among other things, a siteaccess dictates which design that should be used. By making use of different siteaccesses, it is possible to combine different content and designs. A typical eZ publish site consists of two siteaccesses: a public interface for visitors and a restricted interface for administrators. Both siteaccesses use the same content (database and var directory) but they use different designs. In particular, the administration siteaccess would most likely use the built in administration design. The public siteaccess would use a custom design.

Default designs

An eZ publish distribution comes with at least two default designs:

  • admin
  • standard

The "admin" directory contains all design related files that make up the built in administration interface. The "standard" directory contains a set of standard/default design related files such as the default/standard templates, images, etc. The contents of these directories should not be tampered with. Instead, custom designs should be used (if/when necessary). A custom design can be added by creating a new subdirectory within the main "/design" directory.

Design directory structure

All files that belong to a specific design are located inside the directory of that design. The name of the directory also functions as the name for the design itself. A eZ publish design directory typically contains the following subdirectories:




Font files used by the "texttoimage" template operator which is capable of visualizing text using truetype fonts.


Non-content specific images (banners, logos, graphical layout elements, etc.).


Custom templates that will be used by instead of the default/standard templates. These files will be triggered by template override rules that are specified in a configuration override for "override.ini". Please refer to "The template override system" section of the "Templates" chapter for more information about this feature.


CSS files.


Main template(s) (for example the pagelayout, header, footer, etc.) and custom templates that will be used instead of the standard/default templates.

Balazs Halasy (11/01/2005 8:18 am)

Balazs Halasy (17/11/2005 2:42 pm)


  • CSS

    What is the most important file to edit the main?