Customising 'Specific Settings' of an Appearance Type

Hi All

Does anyone know how I can add an additional checkbox/parameter to the specific settings of an appearance type when editing blocks?

What I want to do is take the products_multicolumns.tpl from the views/products/components and pass the buy_now.tpl call within it show_features=true so that the features for a product are displayed with the other info.

I’ve currently achieved this using hooks (created a product_multicolumns_list.override.tpl in addons\my_changes\hooks\products and customised the code to add this parameter to the buy_now.tpl call.

That’s fine and is does what I want but now where ever I use the products_multicolumns.tpl appearance type for a products content type, I get my override - and I don’t always want to!

So… my question boils down to:

  1. Can I create my own appearance type for products? and how. I’ve tried just copying the products_multicolums.tpl and renaming it but it doesn’t appear in the appearance type drop down.

  2. Can I add another parameter to the specific settings values for an existing appearance type?

    I got as far as following the admin code to the update.tpl in admin\views\block_manager but could see how the select dropdown options where being populated.

    thanks for any pointers/help


I think you need to also create a new tpl in /skins/YOURSKIN/customer/blocks - I believe the dropdown is populated based on these. Just copy /skins/YOURSKIN/customer/blocks/products_multicolumns.tpl and adjust the include to point to your new file in /views/products/components/.


Hi Bob

thanks for the advice, I did sort of try that with the products_multicolumns.tpl before my hooks override. So I tried to keep it simple and copied the products2.tpl to products3.tpl in the [my skin]\customer\blocks folder. I updated the refs inside this file to products3.tpl and refreshed the blocks screen in admin with the &cc option to clear the cache.

but I’ve only got the follow options in the appearance dropdown - Multicolumns , Multicolumns small , Products , Products2 , Short list and Hot deals

So I’m doing something stupid (entirely possible!) there must be somewhere else that needs updating?

thanks if you can assist further.

I’ve just played around with this a bit and this is what I have found.

I copied /skins/YOURSKIN/customer/blocks/products_multicolumns.tpl to a new file: products_test.tpl. I left the include as is. I now have a new standard sidebox available in the block content option called ‘Multicolumns’. If I create the block using the ‘Multicolumns’ option, the block shows the following:

Content: multicolumns

Appearance: blocks/products-test.tpl

So this appears to populate the dropdown although I have no idea from where it is grabbing the name ‘Multicolumns’. Also, the block does not display in the storefront.

I will try to play some more when I have the time.


Hi again Bob

ok, I’ve found where the config for these files is - schemas\block_manager. in specific_settings.php and structure.php is defined these various tpl block files that are available when you choose a block content (eg Products) and then choose a location. You can configure which appearances are available for specific locations which is quite handy for what I want :slight_smile:

The only thing I’ll need to work is:

How to link new specific settings definitions to the code in the tpl - for example I want to add a checkbox for ‘Show Features’, like the Show Item Number’ checkbox. How to link that back to the show_features=true call in the tpl…

My copied products2.tpl → products3.tpl is showing as _products3 in the appearances list. How to make it products3 without the underscore. Is this a language translaition/conversion thing??

thanks if you are intersted in carrying on the research :slight_smile:


ok, I added show_features=$ to access the new specific setting and I insert the new field name into cscart_language_values in order for the field to be displayed nicely.

insert into cscart_language_values (





‘EN’ – lang_code

,‘products3’ – name of template file used in block manager

,‘Products3’ – value to display


This does what I wanted so I’m happy. I’m suprised this hasn’t been covered in another forum thread, making me wonder if there is an easier way of doing it?

Just a suggestion: It would be useful if I could set Filling to “Manually” and Appearance type to “Accordion Menu” - allowing me to configure menu blocks with a specific set of categories. Of course, I’d also like to see the same treatment for the stock category types (Emenu, Plain, etc.). I’ll post a feature request in the Bug Tracker…

FYI: this mod works as expected in 2.0.10