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The Smashing Book #5

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Drupal Cheat Sheet Desktop Wallpaper


In this post we release a yet another freebie: a Drupal Cheat Sheet Desktop Wallpaper, a desktop wallpaper that features most popular variables of the open source content management system Drupal. The wallpaper was created by Giovanni Scala1 for Smashing Magazine and its readers.


Download the wallpapers for free! Link


Features Link

This pack is a set of wallpapers for Drupal developers showcasing available Drupal variables and their descriptions in a compact overview.

  • Page.tpl.php defines the main skeleton for the page,
  • Node.tpl.php controls the display of a node, and a node summary,
  • Comment.tpl.php defines the HTML for the comments block,
  • Block.tpl.php contains theme implementation to display a block (left and/or right side of page),
  • Box.tpl.php prints a simple HTML box around a page element.





Behind the design Link

As always, here are some insights from the designer:

Web developers typically work with many windows and applications opened at the same time, so why don’t use a wallpaper background to help remembering most used variables without opening a yet another window? Many users have alrealdy appreciated the WordPress Help Sheet Wallpaper18, so we hope that the Drupal theme developers will enjoy this one, too.

Thank you, Giovanni. We appreciate your work and your good intentions.

Footnotes Link

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  1. 1

    thanks ! o/

  2. 2

    With about 60 desktop icons, the wallpaper would work much better if darker – or perhaps lighter – the default blue makes it hard to see desktop denizens

    • 3

      I like using Fences for that problem. It gives organization to your desktop icons while adding a backdrop to the icons so that they can easily be seen. Then, when you want to see your wallpaper, just double-click the desktop and they all disappear.

    • 4

      why in god’s name would you have 60 icons on your desktop.. ugh..

    • 5

      I darkened the background and shifted the text right to leave room for desktop icons on the left
      (yes, a designer will see I scaled the bg to fill the left area, instead of tiling it – but I think that provides a smoother bg under the icon area)

      @jp – normally I have 40-50 desktop icons (most are shortcuts to folders I drop files or open frequently) – then a few app shortcuts, some random downloads etc.

  3. 6

    Drupal + Smashingmag = Win!

  4. 8

    Is there a PDF version of this available?? I have a habit of putting them into a notebook of cheat sheets I have.

    In any case, thanks for making this!

  5. 11


    June 14, 2010 2:09 pm


  6. 12

    Helge-Kristoffer Wang

    June 14, 2010 3:36 pm

    Awesome! :-) Would have been fun with different color schemes tho’.

  7. 13

    Nice wallpaper. may be you want to see this Drupal Cheat sheet for beginner :)

  8. 14

    Very nice =) Big thanks!

  9. 15

    I am working on a Drupal project now and this is perfect, thank you Smashing (and creator)! Please more Drupal articles and resources. PDF version++

  10. 16

    Thanks so much for this! I use Drupal on a daily basis, and this will be a very handy reference sheet.

    Could you by any chance make another version with the most common theme functions? That’ll be kickass for us designer-noob-programmers. Thanks! :)

  11. 17

    this is awesome! I just started using drupal a crap ton, maybe ill make it a background on one of my spaces !

    Thanks again

  12. 18

    Cherenkevich Aleksey

    June 14, 2010 11:00 pm

    Thank you for your work. Great idea!

    But in my opinion the typography of this helper is not good. There are ways to improve it.

  13. 19

    I need a tuttotial how to make own design for drupal.

    • 20

      @Michael: Tutorial for making a Drupal theme? Try Drupal 6 Themes by Ric Shreves. 312 pages of Drupal theme goodnessed baked right in.

      • 21

        @Michael : I’ve got this book from Ric Shreves and i agree with AL , it’s really useful and give a great insight of Drupal theming functions and other in depth features. I suggest you also to lurk around, it’s full of guides and information. Plus the community is huge and really supportive.

        • 22

          Anyone have a feel if this book and its info will be outdated w/ Drupal 7?

          • 23

            @SlowX That’s an interesting question, but i’ve got a feeling that untill october ( as Michael says) this book will be one of the best guide available.
            I’m sure as soon as Drupal go 7 there will be a spawn of new books and this one will be outdated, but in general I don’t know if the render engine will change , the basic theming structure looks pretty similar to me, even if , as you can see, there are a lot of improvements especially on the theming functions : At the same time it gives you an in depth knolwedge of the whole theming structure in drupal and even how to create a theme form scratches.

      • 24

        thanks a lot!

        I’ve found this book on amazon Drupal 7 Bible by Ric Shreves. Release date is 15 october 2010.

  14. 25

    Finaly a smasmag, drupal article!

  15. 26

    Thanks for the Drupal support!

  16. 27


    Can we expect something similar for Joomla! use too? ;)

    Mo x

  17. 28

    Smashing Drupal!!! :)

  18. 29

    Very good idea, use on my desktop, thank you for sharing.

  19. 30

    I whipped up a 1280×1024 version in Photoshop if anyone wants it:

  20. 31

    Blocks can appear in any theme region, not just in a sidebar. Cool reference having all of those variables and descriptions in one place, though if you’re building your theme off of Zen (which you usually should) there will be some other variables available and maybe some differences.

    Why use Zen? As long as you follow its instructions (i.e. don’t completely butcher its CSS) you’ll have a muuuuch easier time getting your theme to work in many browsers.

    Whether you use Zen or (e.g.) 960, please, please use a base theme, don’t code from scratch, and *don’t start from a copy of Garland*.

  21. 33

    Suck my node/1337.

  22. 34

    Fire pits tables

    June 16, 2010 5:13 pm

    Is drupal really nice.???I would love to figure this out!


    fire pit

  23. 35

    Thanks for posting a Drupal article! I was shocked to see it come up on my RSS feed. Please, more Drupal stuff!

  24. 37

    Wow .. Creative way to share cheat sheets .. Love this .. Thnx


  25. 38

    Wow ..Looks Good!

  26. 39

    a Drupal Cheat Sheet Desktop Wallpaper, a desktop wallpaper that features most popular variables of the open source content management system Drupal. The wallpaper was created by Giovanni Scala for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

    ipad tablet

  27. 40

    Love it! Every once in a while when its necessary to reference a theme variable, it’s nice to not even have to open a browser or look for notes.

  28. 41

    edwardson sarenas

    July 19, 2010 10:54 pm

    how to display the admin name or the user that is logged in?

    is it included in the wallpaper?

  29. 42

    Great one!

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