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The Views module is by far one of the most important modules if you are trying to customize how your content displays on your site. It can create lists, tables, and can interact with several other modules. Combine Views with the Panels module and you can really start to display your content in a much more customized way.

The Views module provides a flexible method for Drupal site designers to control how lists and tables of content (nodes in Views 1, almost anything in Views 2) are presented. Traditionally, Drupal has hard-coded most of this, particularly in how taxonomy and tracker lists are formatted.

This tool is essentially a smart query builder that, given enough information, can build the proper query, execute it, and display the results. It has four modes, plus a special mode, and provides an impressive amount of functionality from these modes.

Among other things, Views can be used to generate reports, create summaries, and display collections of images and other content.

You need Views if:

  • You like the default front page view, but you find you want to sort it differently.
  • You like the default taxonomy/term view, but you find you want to sort it differently; for example, alphabetically.
  • You use /tracker, but you want to restrict it to posts of a certain type.
  • You like the idea of the 'article' module, but it doesn't display articles the way you like.
  • You want a way to display a block with the 5 most recent posts of some particular type.
  • You want to provide 'unread forum posts'.
  • You want a monthly archive similar to the typical Movable Type/Wordpress archives that displays a link to the in the form of "Month, YYYY (X)" where X is the number of posts that month, and displays them in a block. The links lead to a simple list of posts for that month.

Views can do a lot more than that, but those are some of the obvious uses of Views.

Views documentation

  • Views 1
  • Views 2 (This link goes to the Advanced Help project page. All Views documentation is included with its installation. For your convenience, you may also visit This site may or may not be fully up to date at any given time.)
  • Views 2 API (doxygen generated from Views 2 source. Only useful to developers.)
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Friday, July 31, 2009 - 19:06