How To View Module Positions in Joomla! 1.7

Joomla! 1.7 is now obsolete. Joomla! 2.5 is the newest release with long term support.

Instructions for installing Joomla! 2.5 can be found here.

Instructions for viewing module positions in Joomla 2.5 can be found here.

In Joomla! 1.5.x you would append ?tp=1 to the end of the URL to view your module positions.

For security reasons, Joomla 1.6 and 1.7 change this behaviour and you no longer see the module positions by appending ?tp=1 to the end of the URL.

This tutorial assumes you have Joomla! 1.7 installed. Instructions for installing Joomla! 1.7 under XAMPP are here.

These instructions are the same for both Joomla! 1.6 and Joomla! 1.7.

Click on images for full size versions.

(1) Login to the Joomla! backend.

(2) Select Template Manager from the Extensions menu:

(3) Click on the Options icon:

(4) Click on the Enabled button of the Preview Module Positions entry.Then click on Save or Save & Close to save the change.

(5) Observe that module positions are now visible on your Joomla! pages when you append ?tp=1 to the end of your URL:

When you are done examining module positions, remember to set Preview Module Positions to Disabled.


  • Kerry says:

    This does not work on the 1.7 site I am playing with. It has an Artisteer template on it.

    • admin says:

      Hmm … I wonder why?
      There isn’t really a whole lot to go wrong.
      The are four things I can imagine – two are trivial and two are harder:
      Trivial Problems
      (1) Forgot to click on Save after setting Preview Module Positions to Enabled
      (2) The website you are using is not the web site you made the changes to.
      Harder Problems
      (3) Joomla! 1.7 is having a compatibility problem with your browser, so even though you make changes, they are not happening. At first, I thought this was confined to IE8 and certain Joomla! admin pages, but it appears to also be affecting FireFox 6.0 on different pages. Try a different browser when making the backend changes. I used IE 8 when I tested the procedure.
      (4) The Artisteer template is doing something really funky and messing up Joomla! Since I don’t use Artisteer, I can’t even begin to diagnose that. But I think that is highly unlikley.
      One of the first 3 are more likely. If it is not (1) or (2), then it is probably (3).
      These two threads discuss IE 8, IE 9, and FireFox 6.0 compatibility problems with Joomla! 1.7:
      IE 8 & IE 9 problems
      FireFox 6.0 problems
      These aren’t the only issues I noticed with Joomla! 1.7 – the Movable Type API plugin doesn’t seem to work with it either – it installs, but I am not able to get my blog client to work with it.
      What annoys me is that Joomla! 1.7 has been out for over 6 weeks and these bugs have not been addressed.
      I can’t recommend Joomla! 1.7 to anyone.

    • Alex says:

      I get the same as Kerry, also my main menu is not working, wonder if Artisteer has ‘1.7 issues.’

      • admin says:

        Thaks for the information. Again, since I don’t have Artisteer, can’t offer any help.
        I still don’t see why Artisteer should have problems – unless it is creating really funky template code that strays well outside of normal Joomla! template design.
        Try changing your browser. Various browsers have different problems with Joomla! 1.7. Please note that Chrome, FireFox, Flock, Mozilla are all based on the same engine (it is possible they all behave differently with Joomla!, but I’m not testing it out), so your different browser options are: (1) Internet Explorer, (2) Chrome / FireFox, or (3) Opera.
        In my reply to Kerry, I gave two links which discuss broweser issues with Joomla! 1.7.

  • stan says:

    it worked for me, thanks a million.
    One question though, why do i have to set it back disabled mode, is this for security reasons?

    • admin says:

      Yes, it is for security. You always want to minimize the amount of information you provide to a potential hacker. Adding ?tp=1 was a quick way for a hacker to see if a site was running Joomla!
      If you are just running this on your own machine for testing purposes, then there is no reason to disable it – because it would be a hassle to keep enabling / disabling it?.
      Thanks for your feedback.

  • My question is how to define (or set) module position initially so that it can be selected later? Thanks in advance.

    • admin says:

      The module positions are determined by the template you are using. The only way to add or remove module positions is by editting the template (theme) files.
      A user cannot decide to add a left sidebar, or a footer, or split a sidebar into two. All of that has to be done by editting the template PHP files.
      The names of the module positions are located in a file call templateDetails.xml which is located in your <joomla folder>\template\<template folder>.
      In your index.php file (this is the core template file), you place the various module positions using the following style of code:
      <jdoc:include type="modules" name="position-9" style="beezDivision" headerlevel="3" />
      (this snippet is taken from the Beez2 theme (which is the default for Joomla! 1.7).
      I hope this answers your question. And thanks for asking.

  • shamsitha says:

    I am facing same problem, and did as per your instruction but no result. I am using joomla 1.7 and template is rt_syndicate_j16.
    Please help ….

    • admin says:

      The instructions are not that difficult. I would suggest trying them again, ensuring you go step by step. Ensure you save at the appropriate points – it does not good to change a setting and then leave the page without saving the changes.
      Since I am unable to download rt_syndicate_j16, I can’t test it out on my machine.
      As well, I would imagine you should be using the j17 version – since, from what I understand, j16 is for joomla 1.6.
      Since I can’t test out the theme, it is possible that it completely bypasses joomla’s normal way fo handling things and handles module positions without going through joomla.

  • aruna says:

    Nice article..
    I am using joomla 1.7 and This worked for me.
    Thanks a lot. 🙂

  • Marek says:

    Thanks, worked 🙂

  • ryanjayson says:

    Thanks it worked.

  • kandari says:

    Thanks for the tip.
    I wonder why i must disable the option once again.
    Does it hold security risks?

    • admin says:

      You don’t have to disable it, but … for security reasons, you want to give potential hackers as litle information about your site as possible.
      I am not aware of any direct security risk.

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