Zend Framework - Layout


A Layout represents the common parts of multiple views i.e. for example, page header and footer. By default, layouts should be stored in the view/layout folder.

A Layout configuration is defined under the view_manager section in the module.config.php.

The default configuration of the skeleton application is as follows −

'view_manager' => array( 
   'display_not_found_reason' => true, 
   'display_exceptions' => true, 
   'doctype' => 'HTML5', 
   'not_found_template' => 'error/404', 
   'exception_template' => 'error/index', 
   'template_map' => array( 
      'layout/layout' => __DIR__ . '/../view/layout/layout.phtml', 
      'application/index/index' => __DIR__ . '/../view/application/index/index.phtml', 
      'error/404' => __DIR__ . '/../view/error/404.phtml', 
      'error/index' => __DIR__ . '/../view/error/index.phtml', 
   'template_path_stack' => array( 
   __DIR__ . '/../view', 

Here, the template_map is used to specify the layout. If layout is not found, then it will return an error. Let us have a look at the main layout of the skeleton application.


<?= $this->doctype() ?>  
<html lang = "en"> 
      <meta charset = "utf-8"> 
      <?= $this->headTitle('ZF Skeleton Application')->setSeparator(' - ')>
         setAutoEscape(false) ?>
      <?= $this->headMeta() 
         ->appendName('viewport', 'width = device-width, initial-scale = 1.0') 
         ->appendHttpEquiv('X-UA-Compatible', 'IE = edge') 
      <!-- Le styles --> 
      <?= $this->headLink(['rel' => 'shortcut icon', 'type' => 
         'href' => $this->basePath() . '/img/favicon.ico']) 
      <!-- Scripts --> 
      <?= $this->headScript() 
      <nav class = "navbar navbar-inverse navbar-fixed-top" role = "navigation"> 
         <div class = "container"> 
            <div class = "navbar-header"> 
               <button type = "button" class = "navbar-toggle" data-
                  toggle = "collapse" data-target = ".navbar-collapse"> 
                  <span class = "icon-bar"></span> 
                  <span class = "icon-bar"></span> 
                  <span class = "icon-bar"></span> 
               <a class = "navbar-brand" href = "<?= $this->url('home') ?>"> 
                  <img src = "<?= $this->basePath('img/zf-logo-mark.svg') ?>
                     " height = "28" alt = "Zend Framework <?= \Application\Module::
                     VERSION ?>"/> Skeleton Application 
            <div class = "collapse navbar-collapse"> 
               <ul class = "nav navbar-nav"> 
                  <li class = "active"><a href = "<?= 
                     $this->url('home') ?>">Home</a></li> 
      <div class = "container"> 
         <?= $this->content ?> 
            <p>© 2005 - <?= date('Y') ?> by Zend Technologies Ltd. 
               All rights reserved.</p> 
      <?= $this->inlineScript() ?> 

As you analyze the layout, it mostly uses the view helpers, which we discussed in the previous chapter. As we look closer, the layout uses a special variable, $this->content. This variable is important as it will be replaced by the view script (template) of the actual requested page.

Creating a new layout

Let us create a new layout for our Tutorial module.

To begin with, let us create a tutorial.css file under the “public/css” directory.

 body { 
   background-color: lightblue; 
h1 { 
   color: white; 
   text-align: center; 

Create a new layout file newlayout.phtml at the /myapp/module/Tutorial/view/layout/ and copy the content from existing layout. Then, Add the tutorial.css stylesheet using the HeadLink helper class inside the layout head section.

<?php echo $this->headLink()->appendStylesheet('/css/tutorial.css');?> 

Add a new about link in the navigation section using the URL helper.

<li><a href = "<?= $this->url('tutorial', ['action' => 'about']) ?>">About</a></li>

This layout page is common for the tutorial module application. Update the view_manager section of the tutorial module configuration file.

'view_manager' => array( 
   'template_map' => array( 
      'layout/layout' => __DIR__ . '/../view/layout/newlayout.phtml'), 
   'template_path_stack' => array('tutorial' => __DIR__ . '/../view',), 

Add the aboutAction function in the TutorialController.

 public function aboutAction() { 

Add the about.phtml at myapp/module/Tutorial/view/tutorial/tutorial/ with the following content.

<h2>About page</h2>

Now, you are ready to finally run the application − http://localhost:8080/tutorial/about.

About Page